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 and bookings and meeting specific needs such as managing lease data.
In their IWMS Buyers Guide, Verdantix – an independent research and consulting firm with a focus on innovative technologies that optimize business operations – identified three common paths that organizations take when looking to deploy an IWMS. In this blogpost, I will briefly touch all three of them.
Report - Verdantix 2019 Green Quadrant® for IWMS
This Verdantix 2019 Green Quadrant® reviews integrated software solutions that centralize the information and workflows for many real estate and facilities management processes.
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. For instance: by integrating space management with contract management, you can ensure you have moved everyone off a floor or even out of an entire building within the right timeframe when a lease is ending.
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 is 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 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 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, 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 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 making a decision 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.
What IWMS solutions are available on the market today? This Verdantix 2019 Green Quadrant® reviews integrated software solutions that centralize the information and workflows for many real estate and facilities management processes. Download the report here.
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