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March 07, 2019

How much value can an IWMS bring to your organization?

 Real Estate and Facility Managers are often looking for innovative solutions to optimize their business operations. 

Webinar – What, Why and ROI of an IWMS

In this co-hosted webinar, Verdantix shares the potential ROI of an IWMS. In addition, they share a framework on how to develop a numbers-driven business case for an IWMS implementation. Planon elaborates on the benefits clients have seen by implementing an IWMS.

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There are many point solutions on the market, but a prominent solution that every CRE and FM professional should evaluate is an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). There are many advantages to an IWMS when compared to standalone software for different business operations. However, those advantages must be translated into a compelling numbers-driven business case in order for your team to secure budget for this investment. 

Recently Planon, together with Verdantix – an independent research and consulting firm with a focus on innovative technologies that optimize business operations – organized a webinar to discuss the new Verdantix report "The Business Case for Integrated Workplace Management Systems." The webinar provided practical tips on calculating the potential ROI of an IWMS and how to write a numbers-driven business case. Mastering the business case is critical. So, I will be releasing a series of three blog posts, where I will share the key take-aways from this webinar that will help you create a winning business case for IWMS. This first blog is about understanding exactly what an IWMS is and defining its key benefits.

What is an IWMS?

To understand how an IWMS can add value to your business, it is important to first get a good grasp of what an IWMS does and to know where it fits into the field of enterprise software solutions. An IWMS is typically defined as a software platform that can be used across the entire organization for real estate and facilities management purposes. Within this system important information can be captured, managed, and reported to optimize facility operations. It helps your workforce manage real estate portfolios and workplace-related services more efficiently. It supports multiple business operations including: leases, capital projects, facility and space utilization, workplace services, maintenance, energy and sustainability management. Having all these areas supported by one single software platform offers multiple benefits.

What are the key benefits of an IWMS?

There are many different benefits of an IWMS, not only for real estate and facility executives, but also for the organization as a whole. Here are four of the top benefits:

  • Improved data quality. An IWMS replaces standalone solutions with a single system, becoming “the single source of truth”. This improves data quality control and consistency. The IWMS can be integrated with other applications in your IT landscape to eliminate redundancy and differences.
  • Lower IT support costs. An IWMS simplifies your IT infrastructure because it eliminates standalone or legacy systems and makes sure the same version is used across the organization. Therefore, application managers have fewer systems to maintain and can update and upgrade the software centrally. It makes their work easier, more effective and more productive.
  • Process standardization. With the use of pre-configured workflows based on best practices you can standardize processes, moving away from situations where multiple solutions and applications rule. It ensures continuous alignment and improved communication between business domains during the entire lifetime of the software.
  • Better decision making. An IWMS offers you an integrated view and, therefore, a more complete understanding of your real estate and workplace portfolio. It combines information about the real estate portfolio, spaces, assets, maintenance and services activities, and so on. This not only helps you to react faster, but also to plan ahead.

Corporate real estate and facilities executives are becoming increasingly aware of the large number of advantages an IWMS has to offer. A global survey by Verdantix in 2018 shows that 84% of them are thinking about consolidating their systems in the future. Furthermore, 34% are already at the stage of evaluating the purchase of an integrated solution to manage their workflows.

Taking a step back: what are my goals?

Now that you have a better understanding of what an IWMS is and the potential benefits, it is important to be clear about the specific goals you have for an IWMS within your organization. Be sure that you can define your organization’s main reason for considering implementing an IWMS. Then you can demonstrate how the strategic objectives you have in the RE and FM departments are aligned. Typically, these five strategic goals should be explored:

  • Improving productivity
  • Ensuring business continuity
  • Improving employee satisfaction
  • Ensuring compliance
  • Reducing operational costs

Real estate and facilities organizations must deal with an intense workload and often the five goals above are hard to achieve. But, when equipped with the right technology tools, RE and FM professionals can make huge improvements when dealing with time-consuming processes and data quality. 

Taking a step forward: what’s next?

An IWMS can help to overcome these hurdles and to achieve each of the five strategic objectives mentioned above. This might already be a compelling story for you as a reader, but how can you convince your budget holder or financial executive? How should you calculate the potential ROI of an IWMS, and write a convincing business case? The next blog in this series will elaborate on the best ways to approach this.

Would you rather not wait until the next blog? You can watch a recording of the entire webinar with Verdantix right now.

Geert-Jan Blom
Global Product Marketeer