You are not alone

Imagine you are using a manual method for handling maintenance management. How do you go about doing work-load balancing? You’ve got ten people in the field, and three of them call in sick. Now you have to reshuffle all of your work orders—a pile of them sitting in front of you—and divide them by discipline, then by region or functional area, so that you have a proper distribution.

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OK, no problem. Right?

Unfortunately, this is an extremely common occurance. 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%).

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

I knew a guy 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 so they couldn’t get rid of him. He would fight any effort to implement a project management software solution because it minimized his job security. But it left the company at risk.

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


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 there 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 people in the field to not have 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 technology.

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