What are the most important differences between Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) and Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) and Facility Management Information Systems (FMIS). The evolution of these systems in terms of standardization, integration capabilities, workflow orientation, CAD and BIM connectivity, and technology are described.Learn more
Focus on customer satisfaction
Services are customer and employee centric. A good customer connection or account management role is therefore important in professional services management. The account manager knows the company’s overall strategy and understands the changing needs of departments and employees in terms of business support services. The account manager connects with internal customers and evaluates the perceived quality of services, the performance of SLAs, promotes new business services and actively contributes to service innovation.
Integration of multiple services disciplines
To increase the quality, accessibility and efficiency of the delivery of services, multiple support disciplines need to become integrated. Facilities management and IT are examples of employee centric services that drive employee productivity and satisfaction. Technology is also driving the trend toward integration as the difference between IT and FM assets becomes less clear. Customers are no longer even aware of these differences and expect a one-stop-shop concept where they can easily make requests.
Different disciplines can learn from established best practices. The frequently used IT best practice ITIL includes concepts and processes and can be reused in facilities management, such as service desk, incident management, configuration management, change management or SLA management. The integration of processes like on boarding, job rotations or off boarding involve facilities, IT and HR.
Mobility and self-service
How, where, and when work is completed is changing. More and more people are working outside the traditional building, including working from home or while travelling. This also has an impact on the accessibility and availability of facility and IT services: people need 24/7 easy access to relevant services and supportive information. Web-based self-service is a proven concept with technology that allows people to request services at any time and from anywhere. Customers can query the status of their request, the planned delivery, costs involved or additional information. The key success factor for self-service is relevancy, simplicity and communication. Smart mobile apps can further improve the customer experience regarding access services, entering a request, booking a meeting room or logging an incident in a very simple and intuitive way.
Successful implementation of self-service drastically reduces the number of calls to a traditional service desk or helpdesk. Although it will never replace the human interaction offered by a service desk, self-service allows your helpdesk staff to focus more on giving expert support and customer satisfaction. Once service processes are standardized, workflow solutions ensure immediate distribution of calls to relevant tradesmen or external service providers without the need for manual interaction with the service desk.
In-house, outsourced or combined service delivery
The decision to outsource services to one or more external service providers is influenced by many factors. It starts with the companies’ core strategy and the importance of services to realizing that strategy. More essential services tend to be executed by internal staff and tradesmen. The less important the services are and the lower their impact on business continuity, the easier it is to contract external providers.
Flexibility, knowledge, corporate social responsibility (CSR), costs and compliance determine the best way of contracting your services. In most organizations, a combination of in-house execution and outsourcing applies. Main contracting is a concept where multiple services are outsourced to one single service provider, providing one single point of contact and optimizing the synergy between these services. In a Total Facility Management (TFM) contract, the management and monitoring is outsourced to a contractor. Only the Account or Demand management role remains within the organization.
In any sourcing concept, it is key that delivery is connected to the services process, ensuring fast and correct execution. Software solutions play an important role in this process, dramatically reducing processing times and ensuring seamless communication between all stakeholders: customers, service managers, front office and helpdesk staff, back office specialists, tradesman, field engineers and external providers.
Service orchestration and monitoring
The combination of customer-oriented service level agreements (SLA), external provider contracts, and internal delivery make professional service management complex and diverse. Centralized services management ensures that services are delivered as agreed, are in line with changing needs and truly contribute to business objectives. Real-time monitoring allows service and contract managers to identify potential risks. Dashboards provide immediate insight into potential escalations, performance, costs and budgets, customer satisfaction and processing times. These insights support continuous improvement processes in service delivery, contracting and customer focused innovation.
Integrated Services Management software
Integrated services management (ISM) unifies all stakeholders such as customers, employees, helpdesk or front office, back office, managers, tradesmen and external service providers in one connected process. ISM also integrates multiple support disciplines like FM, IT and HR service management in one customer-oriented concept.
ISM implicates the implementation of a professional software solution that includes all aspects: service level management, self-service, apps, helpdesk, workflow, dashboards, cost and budget management, contract management and best practices with preconfigured FM, IT and HR processes like incident management, configuration management, room booking and reservations, employee on boarding and much more.
Established Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) include service management solutions. Connecting service management processes to adjacent processes in maintenance management, space management, sustainability, or real estate management increase the benefits of an integrated approach and deliver new valuable insights and management information across all business support processes.