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June 04, 2020

Three common paths for IWMS deployment

Organizations choose to implement an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) for a variety of reasons, from supporting the consolidation of facilities data and rationalization of IT systems, to managing space allocation including bookings and meeting specific needs such as managing lease data.

White Paper - What is IWMS?

An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is a single software platform for real estate and facility management that combines integrated functionality for the management of real estate, space planning, asset & maintenance, integrated services, and sustainability.

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A recent report from Verdantix – an independent research and consulting firm – indicates that an IWMS remains a worthwhile investment for enhancing real estate and facility management processes. In addition, this software solution takes on a vital role in three of the four major real estate and facility management IT strategies that organizations are currently leveraging.

That is why I believe it is important for organizations to take a closer look at the ways in which an IWMS can be deployed. This will help real estate and facility managers get a clearer view of the potential of an IWMS, and where an integrated solution like this can fit within their existing (or future) IT landscape. In this blog, we’ll explore three common paths for IWMS deployment:

1. Start with one module (solution) with the possibility to expand

A huge advantage of an IWMS is that you can start working with one module and easily expand to other modules. For example: one of our clients started their IWMS implementation with maintenance management and facility contractor management for 3,000 properties, buildings, and structures across 39 countries. This client found many benefits from successfully using these modules, and therefore, decided to take the next step: rolling out the space management functionality to its 40 largest locations globally. Because the Planon IWMS is built for this type of expansion, this client could easily integrate the new module with the existing ones.

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, especially when compared to using multiple point solutions. These benefits are unlocked because all processes are integrated by design within the same platform. This supports IT system rationalization, improves data consistency, and enables organizations 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.

The continuing demand for Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) highlights 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 simplifies 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 are available for all processes and modules in the IWMS and the data of all these other processes and modules can be used in combination as well.

3. Using IWMS together with other IT Solutions

Planon recognizes that there are essential systems for business operations and continuity, like an ERP system and HR applications. These systems also contain 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 centers and general ledger accounts). In addition, there are also great solutions offered by specialist providers that have very strong functionalities in certain areas, like energy management, wayfinding, or resource planning. Using these systems in combination with an IWMS could also improve the process handling and user experience.

Therefore, it is relevant 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, that processes can continue seamlessly when different IT solutions are used, and that the functionality meets the organization’s automation needs best. One great example of this type of beneficial integration includes combining an ERP with an IWMS. Now 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. Some benefits include the ease of data management and data sharing, improved decision-making based on combined information, and better control and improved performance by removing previously siloed processes.

The most important step in deciding to implement an IWMS would be to thoroughly analyze your company’s goals and needs. This will help you to properly align yourself with a software vendor who will take the time to listen, so that the system you choose is constructed with all the tools your organization needs.

Does an IWMS sound like a viable option for your organization to automate real estate and facilities processes, and would you like to explore the key benefits, use cases, and capabilities of an IWMS? To learn more, read our white paper “What is IWMS?”.

Geert-Jan Blom
Solution Product Marketeer