In addition to processes and workflows, it is important to understand the required output, reports, KPIs and management information from an IWMS and to validate these requirements carefully when selecting your solution.
For global organizations that operate in multiple countries or continents, the necessities from IWMS software vendors will typically include requirements for multi-language, currency, time-zone and measurements. To see multinational companies' considerations, watch this webinar on implementing a global IWMS.
2. Use a standard solution
Just as IWMS has evolved to encompass more business processes, more companies have started shifting to standard software solutions. Because business processes will change over time, most organizations choose an Integrated Workplace Management System that is able to adapt to changing needs within the standard software. Customized and tailor-made software have shown to be expensive, time consuming, and extremely hard to maintain, so instead of customizing software, an IWMS should be configurable using a standard solution. This increases flexibility, reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), and ensures compatibility with new software versions.
3. Select an IWMS that integrates
Not only should an IWMS be based on market sustainability standards like IPD, BOMA, CEN or LEED and BREEAM, it should also connect to other IT solutions, like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Resources (HR), Building Management Systems (BMS) or Smart Meters. These systems, including SAP and Oracle, contain data that is relevant for facility management and real estate management processes. For example, the IWMS should send financial charge back information to ERP, or update room- and phone information in the HR system. In addition to data exchange, today’s technology like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA or SOAP) even supports real-time process integration between software systems.
Five measurable benefits to build your IWMS business case
1. Full transparency
Not knowing your portfolio, its value, size, occupancy, planned maintenance, lease contracts, service suppliers, SLA’s, etc. brings an enormous risk in terms of costs, compliance, and business continuity. An IWMS gives you transparency in all relevant aspects by creating a standardized and structured data repository for all your processes. You know the exact amount of space available for future growth, the floor areas for contracting the cleaning, the expiration of lease contracts, and when the next maintenance order needs to be executed. With this type of management information, you are back in control.
Facilities, office spaces, meeting rooms, and workplaces already seem to be well utilized, however practice shows that their occupancy is on average just between 50% and 60%. An IWMS offers you the tools to measure and analyze your utilization and increase the effective use and value for your organization. This even allows you to eliminate underperforming facilities and spaces or change their functions. As an IWMS supports your business processes, you can easily analyze the performance of these processes and ultimately improve efficiency and quality of output. This type of system helps you identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, excessively spent time, exceeding budgets or any other parameter that impacts your business. IWMS allows you to continuously improve and benchmark these processes to achieve maximized efficiency and customer satisfaction.
3. Proven compliance
In today’s society, legal issues are having a bigger impact on real estate and facility management. Health & safety, maintenance, security, sustainability, and IFRS and FASB lease accounting are just a few examples of areas with an increasing need for compliant processes and reporting. Structured administration and documentation needs to be in place to prove compliance in case of any audit or other incident. An IWMS ensures compliance, protecting you from any legal consequences.
4. Decision support
In today’s business climate, it is extremely important to make the right decisions fast. Mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, budget constraints, and other economic factors put high pressure on facility managers and real estate managers. This increases the need for reliable and integrated management information to support decision making processes. IWMS supports operational, tactical, and strategic decision making with reports, analyses, dashboards, and benchmarks. In addition to standard reports, IWMS allows organizations to create specific output or analyses based on historical trends and future forecasts.
5. Cost savings
All of these IWMS benefits include direct and indirect cost savings and revenue increasing benefits. Gartner published an analysis on IWMS savings, which states that organizations can find a 10-15% cost reduction in space by effective and efficient management, 5-8% costs savings by process improvements and better contracting, and 5-8% savings in lease costs by professional lease administration. Other research indicates a result of “10-20% savings in real estate and facilities operations due to transparency and control over data and information.” (Gartner, Market Guide 2016)
Build your business case for IWMS
Before selecting and implementing an Integrated Workplace Management Systems, we recommend making a business case including internal and external costs and monetary and non-monetary benefits from a three year perspective. In many cases the IWMS software costs are a minor part of the total investment. Data collection, change management, internal costs, IT infrastructure and project management should be considered.
Also, specific customizations or integrations can impact the Total Costs of Ownership (TCO) heavily, depending strongly on the vendor and solution of choice. The IWMS deployment and support model is also a part of the business case: is the IWMS installed within your organization or hosted by the vendor? Is application management done internally or outsourced to the vendor? These choices will impact both costs and benefits.
Do want to know more about building a credible business case? Read this white-paper.