You are not alone

Imagine you are using a manual process for handling maintenance management. How do you then balance the workload? Let’s say you have ten field engineers and three of them call in sick. You need now to reshuffle all your work orders, you have a pile right in front of you sitting on your desk. You will divide them by discipline, then by region or functional area, to make sure you are allocating the right job to the right person.

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That’s easily done right?

Unfortunately, this scenario is extremely common. According to the 2015 Facilities Management Software BuyerView report by Software Advice, a large proportion of companies are using no system at all (28%), pen and paper (23%), spreadsheets (12%), or a combination of other solutions (10%) to manage their work orders.  

What I see most frequently is companies using multiple methods. People are looking for data in Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and other siloed software systems. They can’t extract information in a reasonable time frame, or can’t get to it at all. And a lot of that information is stored in people’s heads.

I knew someone who had one of the most complex spreadsheets you could possibly imagine for large-scale capital projects. He was the only one who knew how the spreadsheet worked, therefore the organisation couldn’t ‘let him go’. He would fight anyone trying to implement a project management software solution as it would jeopardize his job security. However this left the company at risk.

Reducing risk is one of the reasons for implementing an IWMS solution. Improving record keeping (35%) was the top reason for companies to acquire a new software, with improving maintenance scheduling (22%) coming in second place.

While I was reading through this report, I couldn’t help but think that a lot of facilities and real estate managers need to see these numbers. I know you think you are way behind, but you’re not. This report shows that they are many, many other companies in the process of upgrading from a manual system.

That said, there was one thing I disagreed with:

I don’t see how it is even possible for field engineers to not use a mobile app to do their work. It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t care if you have one building or 50, the people who are doing the work are being paid to be in the field around the equipment that needs to be fixed. They should not have to be constantly going back and forth to a computer to update records and get new work orders. Why not do it in real time?

For now, just be reassured that you are not alone in figuring out this new world of work and how to best take advantage of all the technology available.

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