Organisations deploy an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) for a broad range of reasons, from supporting the consolidation of facilities data and rationalisation of IT systems, to managing space allocation and bookings and meeting specific needs such as managing lease data.
Verdantix – an independent research and consulting firm with a focus on innovative technologies that optimise business operations – identified three common paths for IWMS deployment in their IWMS Buyers Guide. In this blogpost, I will briefly touch all three of them.
Verdantix 2019 Green Quadrant® for IWMS
What solutions are available on the market today? This Green Quadrant® reviews integrated software solutions that centralise the information and workflows for many real estate and facilities management processes.
1. Start with one module (solution) with the option to expand
A huge advantage of an IWMS is that you can start working with one module and can easily expand to other modules. For example: one of our clients started with the implementation of the Planon IWMS solution for maintenance management and facility contractor management across 3,000 properties, buildings and structures in 39 countries. They are successfully using it for several years now. The first implementation was beneficial for them and that is why they decided to take the next step: rolling out the space management functionality to their 40 largest locations globally. They could easily integrate the new module with the existing one.
2. Multiple real estate and facilities management processes within one single platform
When companies are willing to further automate and manage a broad set of real estate and facilities operations, an IWMS provides additional benefits in comparison to multiple point solutions. This is due to integrating all processes within the same platform. This supports IT system rationalisation, improves data consistency and enables organisations to run analysis on more integrated data.
In one of our recent white papers, we discussed the advantages of integrating multiple processes into one platform and provided some examples from a space management perspective. For instance: by integrating space management with your contract management, you can ensure you have moved everyone off a floor or maybe even out of an entire building in good time when a lease is ending.
The continuing demand for Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) underscores the desire among real estate and facility managers to adopt an integrated approach. To make the most out of technology, these managers look for a system that can handle the full scope of their real estate and facility management processes. Having one database for all CRE and FM information really eases the maintenance of data, ensures consistency and data quality and supports better reporting and more extensive analysis. It is about ‘single input for multiple use’: all workplace and asset data is available for all processes and modules in the IWMS and the data from all these other processes and modules can be used in combination.
3. Using IWMS together with other IT Solutions
Having over 35 years of experience in the automation field, at Planon we know that there are systems that are essential for business operations and continuity, like an ERP system and HR applications. These systems also contains important data for real estate and facilities management processes, like employee data (e.g. unique ID-code and contact data) and financial data (e.g. cost centres and general ledger accounts). In addition there are also best-of-breed solutions offered by specialist providers that have very strong functionalities in certain areas, like energy management, way finding or resource planning. Using these systems in combination with an IWMS could also improve the process handling and user experience.
Therefore it is important that the IWMS supports data exchange and real-time process integration between these (sometimes critical) business applications. This ensures that everyone is working with the same information, processes can continue seamlessly when different IT solutions are used and that functionality is available that suits the automation needs the best. For example, when combining an ERP with an IWMS you have the best of both worlds: a fast and cost-efficient implementation, a higher acceptance by CRE and FM end-users, and continuity of the core business processes. Choosing not to integrate can run a number of risks. A key one is not getting the added value of combining the software systems. Think for example of: the ease of data management and data sharing, improved decision making based on combined information, and better control and improved performance because of un-siloed processes.
Before making your investment, thoroughly analyse your company’s goals and needs. This will help you to properly align yourself with a software vendor who will take the time and listen, so you can be sure that you make the most out of your technology and that the system you choose is constructed with all the tools your organisation needs.
What IWMS solutions are available on the market today? This Green Quadrant® reviews integrated software solutions that centralise the information and workflows for many real estate and facilities management processes. Download the report here.
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