Whether you are a business servicing and maintaining several real estate properties or need to maintain the premises of your commercial clients, a facilities maintenance system is a necessity.
In order to run any residential or business establishment at the optimal level of productivity, having all the elements in order is essential, including all the facilities of the building. No establishment has ever been able to run smoothly if the facilities and physical assets are not in working order. Businesses, tech parks, housing cooperatives, apartments, and other building committees employ facility maintenance experts or facility managers for this.
A facilities management professional takes charge of all maintenance operations to ensure all the building facilities are functional and efficient round the clock. This enables businesses and individuals to build a productive environment within the premises.
This is no easy task!
Facilities maintenance is a multi-discipline management process that has several moving parts. Ensuring the smooth operation of all facilities is a challenging task for every facilities manager. Additionally, the challenges of a facilities manager keep growing in the new-age world, where we all are surrounded by technology and are accustomed to using facilities with almost no downtime.
Managers need a powerful software solution to battle these challenges to replace legacy systems. The Zuper Field Service Management solution is designed to help facilities managers streamline all their maintenance initiatives and empower them to keep the building facilities well-oiled and functional. Here are the five most prevalent challenges in the field of c and how Zuper FSM helps facilities managers overcome them.
Five Most Prevalent Challenges for Facilities Managers
1. Too Many Paper Trails
Facilities managers have a long list of tasks to accomplish daily. They usually have a team of technicians who help them navigate each work request and ensure that every system is fully functional. Each technician has a different skill set and a different work requirement. Some facilities need round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance, while some just need to be maintained and repaired at regular intervals or when they are out of order.
Due to different levels of work requirements, all technicians have different billing formats — regular timesheets, contractor billing, one-time charge, and so on. The facilities manager must keep track of the contact information of all the field technicians as well.
Not to mention all the records of checklists, bills, property details, property assets and the details of each, payment records, and many more. The paper trail is indeed never-ending. Some businesses try to replace paper trails using excel sheets, which works for a while, but eventually, too many paper trails will be replaced with too many excel sheets, bringing forth the same challenge.
Facilities managers need a solution that not only stores and organizes all this information but also enables them to retrieve the relevant information when required. Zuper Field Service Management (FSM) software has modules for asset management, contract management, invoice management, and a detailed billing and payments module with integrations with several payment apps.
2. Lack of Smooth Communication Channels
On a typical day, facilities managers usually handle multiple tasks at once and put out several hypothetical fires. They need to be in constant communication with field technicians, monitor all jobs, reach out to several sellers to maintain the inventory, and at the same time keep their property heads and people using the facilities updated regularly. They must assign jobs and ensure those jobs get completed on time to always keep the boat sailing.
They need a streamlined mode of communication to keep all stakeholders in each job in the loop. They need a single platform through which they can send out all communications as and when required without having to switch to multiple apps and software.
Zuper offers a way to streamline all the jobs and ensures that the managers have complete visibility across everything. Zuper also has a Zuper pro mobile app for field technicians. The facilities manager can onboard all field technicians on Zuper and assign tasks to them through Zuper. The technicians will get notified in the Zuper pro app, and they can update the job status as they go on with it. The manager can track the progress of all tasks right from the admin dashboard. Apart from that, the managers can also make a note of their field technicians’ skill sets, expertise, and certifications to dispatch the right person for the job.
In case managers wish to hire part-time contractors or an on-demand workforce for the job, Zuper also offers integration with platforms like FieldNation to hire technicians and track the job status right from the Zuper platform. Additionally, Zuper integrates with several email and messaging applications like RingCentral to send out automated job updates to stakeholders.
3. Manual Work Management and Scheduling
Managing all the incoming tasks and ensuring all those are completed on time is essential for any establishment to work smoothly. Facilities managers need to stay on top of all these jobs and see them through completion to maintain all the facilities with minimal downtime. Planning and scheduling jobs are essential to the manager’s daily responsibilities. But, to do this, they need to schedule jobs, assign those jobs to the right technician, and collaborate with the respective technicians to provide them with all the support they need to complete the job. Without a software solution that can end-to-end streamline all processes, there is no way one can efficiently manage so many moving parts all at once. A lot of maintenance requests might slip through the cracks if there is no work order management software that can keep a record of all incoming requests.
Facilities managers need a system that can help them handle the scheduling and dispatching of all work orders and keep an eye on every job. Zuper FSM solution helps managers handle all work orders and maintenance needs with efficient work order management software with automated scheduling and dispatching capabilities. Managers can get real-time updates of all jobs and ensure every maintenance need is taken care of systematically and on time. Intelligent scheduling and dispatching functionalities of the Zuper platform help managers ensure that the resources are utilized optimally, with minimal downtime.
4. Keeping Track of Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is one of the core responsibilities of a facilities manager. All the types of equipment in any establishment require regular maintenance and caretaking to increase the lifespan of all systems and reduce the possibility of unexpected system failures. Regular maintenance also helps managers to minimize repair costs. But, while facilities managers are busy attending to time-sensitive repair needs and putting out hypothetical fires for the most part of their day, preventative maintenance tasks take a back seat. This can have many far-reaching repercussions.
Facilities managers need to ensure that they schedule and plan for preventative maintenance. Regular preventative maintenance benefits the business a lot.
- Extend equipment lifespan
- Reduce unnecessary downtime
- Better organization of tasks
- Reduce unplanned maintenance
- Facilitate data-driven decisions based on maintenance metrics
- Minimize unpredicted reactive maintenance costs
For all the leaders in facilities maintenance to implement efficient preventative maintenance measures for all equipment, they need to save and update the details of all the assets. Maintaining all the asset and maintenance data is very cumbersome. Also, there are chances of errors if this is done manually. The Zuper FSM software has an asset management module that lets managers maintain a detailed record of all asset details and their maintenance needs. Not only that, but technicians can also update the details of these assets right from their work orders. With the asset management module, facilities managers can maintain the entire detailed history of all the assets with all the repair and maintenance jobs completed for each of those.
Managers can also have maintenance contracts configured in Zuper to support the different contractual maintenance requirements with service providers or end customers.
5. Compliance Management Challenges
Compliance management is undoubtedly the biggest challenge that facilities managers face. Managers are responsible for various aspects of all the assets. They have to ensure that all assets on the premises always comply with all relevant regulations. When ignored, it might lead to accidents, health risks, or damage to the building infrastructure. There are compliance regulations for fire suppression systems, security systems, winterizing, safety equipment, etc. For example, all the lifts need a safety check every three months. The US has the OSHA workplace safety compliance code for commercial buildings while there is the National Building Code for residential buildings. On top of that, each state has a separate safety compliance code for all the facilities. Thus, keeping track of the safety compliance requirements of every asset and ensuring each asset is maintained to follow these standards is a very time-consuming task when done manually.
The software that leaders of facilities maintenance use should also help to ensure regulatory compliance with any applicable standards. The Zuper FSM has an extensive asset management module that lets managers maintain all the compliance requirements. Additionally, managers can create detailed job checklists while scheduling maintenance for each asset to ensure that the assets are tested regularly for regulation compliance.
The role of facilities maintenance in any type of establishment, be it residential or commercial, is growing. The number of appliances and machines is growing, and so is the need for maintenance. Parallelly, the wait time and patience of users are thinning. Facilities can no longer have extended downtimes for maintenance or repairs. So, leaders in facilities maintenance need a solution that helps them streamline and plan all their jobs and a system that can help them execute all preventative and reactive maintenance initiatives effectively.
A comprehensive field service management solution like Zuper is the best choice. Zuper comes with multiple modules that can handle all aspects of facilities maintenance and give managers complete visibility over all tasks. Additionally, as all these Zuper modules are so well interconnected, managers can monitor all the details from one single dashboard — the status of all assigned jobs, real-time progress of ongoing jobs, unassigned jobs, pending payment, inventory, and so on. Facilities maintenance needs for no two establishments are the same. Zuper is the only solution that can be fully customizable to fit all the unique needs of facility maintenance for every premise.