It's hard to imagine that facilities management has only been recognised as an industry of it's own since the 1980's. The establishment of facilities management heralded a jump from the big mahogany desks and secretary fronted offices of the 50's and 60's, to the cubicle and computer set up we are so familiar with today. And with this change, it was not long before facilities management became a necessity to manage offices, and ultimately ensure the smooth functioning of the built environment.
Over time, the industry of facilities management has progressed rapidly. What started as a technical role has focused to one of strategically integrating people, places, processes and technology to work together as one cohesive, well-oiled machine. As a result, facilities management is constantly evolving, forced to adapt to suit the ever changing trends and new technologies that drive it's growth.
With the current known pressures in todays society, we've taken a hard look at likely trends over the next three years. With these in mind we have compiled a list of the five changes most likely facing facilities management in the future.
While the electronic age brought the promise of ridding offices of paper-clutter, the corporate world was soon to find out just how empty that ideal was. Ironically, paper usage has increased, with a key inhibitor being attributed to usability. While technology has been surging forward, it hasn't always thought about how user-friendly it's processes were.
This is a trend that is set to change. Now that the hype of technology is wearing off the focus is quickly shifting from the 'flash and dazzle' to how we can use it to improve our everyday lives. For facilities management, where managing not just one location but several is common place, being limited to the printed word is not only inadvisable but down right foolish. Making the move towards software that is usable, increases efficiencies, and can be accessed where ever and when ever is more important than ever.
It's no secret that heightened security is a key focus around the globe. And it's not just our world leaders that have to think about the who, why, and where, of visitors and staff on site. Facilities managers need to know who each person is that enters their sites at all times. Paper-based sign-in books are not even close to being enough in this day and age. They are limited, small in information, slow to record, and hard to search through; a massive issue in cases of emergency. Future security measures are increasingly leaning towards software systems that monitor on-site movements, offer facial recognition matching, and easy provides reporting on who has accessed their site and when.
A not too uncommon site these days is that of the facility management awash in piles of work orders, dealing with multiple systems that don't integrate well with each other. Often, these systems create more work than is necessary, which increases pressure on facilities management to ensure tenants, landlords, employees, and contractors are kept happy and well informed. Worse still, with so many paper-based requirements, it is so very easy to misplace or miss fill what will undoubtedly turn out to be the vital form that would stop all the rest from tumbling down.
Finding a software system that allows facilities managers to monitor contractors, communicate preventative maintenance schedules, or book in contractors for works in advance is the first step towards streamlining processes. finding one that also allows instant messages and dedicated forms by visitor type is the cherry on the top, and will be key to the productivity and success of facilities managers moving forwards.
'Zero harm' is one of the latest trends in safety culture frameworks, and is set to become a key priority for businesses in the very near future. The goal with 'zero harm' is to ensure that employees, contractors, and visitors are all able to return home safely and injury free after a days work.
For some facilities managers, this may necessitate a new way of thinking. In some cases, a complete overhaul of systems, processes, and tools may be required. A new wave of technology is being developed and, along with it, comes the new sector of 'PropTech' (or 'Property Technology'). PropTech allows facilities managers to refine, improve, or reinvent the way in which they manage services and safeguard sites in order to achieve the goals of a 'zero harm' workplace.
Access control allows facilities managers to keep their sites safe and secure by controlling the movements of people wishing to access their building or site.
Traditionally, access control has been managed either by using a paper-based system, or by manually updating details on an electronic system. With the increased demands on facilities managers to keep a strong grip on the likes of security and tracking access tools such as swipe cards however, finding a software management system to do this seamlessly and automatically is absolutely vital.
Five predicted changes to facilities management. Five needed solutions. How about one instead? Let Sine show you how they have risen to the challenge of aiding facilities management both now and in the future.
Much more then a one-trick pony, Sine is multi-faceted digital visitor management system, able to help facilities managers forge their way into the future. It's intelligent, it's intuitive, and it has - and will continue to - preempt the challenges and rapidly advancing changes faced by facilities managers.