Will IWMS survive the new workplace revolution?
Traditionally, IWMS software focuses on best-practice process automation to achieve operational efficiencies. This is still an essential part of running a facility. But with businesses now putting a greater emphasis on workplace agility and employee experience, it is no longer sufficient. IWMS must, therefore, raise its game or disappear. Is your FM software on its way to becoming extinct? Or is it part of the next generation of more connected and smarter software platforms?
To stay relevant, facilities software must respond effectively to the needs of a changing work environment. Here are six key capabilities IWMS needs to survive the great flexible office revolution:
#1 Dynamic info on floor plans
An agile workplace must come prepared to handle change. To begin with, organizations require dynamic info on floor plans. Did you know that advanced facilities software today can upload and visualize (3D) spatial and asset data from CAD and BIM, as well as occupancy and comfort data from sensors? As a result, it provides a more holistic view of the workplace and a better understanding of how employees use equipment and workspaces.
To create interactive floor plans, the software must be able to convert CAD drawings into intelligent data. This spatial data can then be accessed and updated easily without specialist knowledge. Furthermore, asset changes will automatically be reflected on the floor plans, and vice versa.
Building Information Modelling has become more widespread in the design and construction industry. Moreover, it is increasingly extending throughout the building lifecycle to support facility management. BIM capabilities of FM software are, therefore, also gaining importance. Embedded BIM is a powerful capability because it makes rich asset information and 3D geometry directly available to FM teams.
#2 Sensor and IoT integration with IWMS
Sensors (preferably wirelesss) are becoming ubiquitous. Through the integration of IoT sensors networks with IWMS software, FMs and workplace leaders can leverage granular data to:
- Monitor and improve space usage and workplace comfort
- Provide location-based, real-time assistance to workers
- Enable activity-based, smart building services
#3 Space optimization
Reservation data can now effectively be combined with presence detection through sensors. When analysed and visualized on floor plans, heat maps, and dashboards, this allows detection of underutilization and optimization of space usage. By running analytics to understand occupancy, companies can make huge savings.
#4 User-friendly touchpoint to empower workers
FM teams and service operatives, working around a site or building, can of course hugely benefit from specialized mobile tools. It enables them to manage their workflows on the go and access relevant information whenever they need it. But with activity-based working becoming commonplace, FM software needs to offer that degree of flexibility to ALL workers. People have become used to taking care of almost anything from a screen, be it a smartphone, laptop or interactive kiosk. They expect the same smooth, multi-channel interaction with their workplace. So, ensure that staff can be productive through workplace touchpoints that are as connected and user-friendly as the ones they use in everyday life. This includes options like barcode scanning or tapping a feedback button to request routine services, such as a refill of a coffee machine or a cleaning request.
#5 Data-led insights into workplace usage
Advanced IWMS software can process data from workplace sensing and multiple user touchpoints. Convenient touchpoints are, for example, a self-service web portal, mobile apps, and interactive screens and kiosks. This enables insights into how people use the workplace and how to evolve the environment to better support new ways of working.
#6 Activity-based services
In a flexible work environment, services should no longer be executed according to fixed schedules but targeted where they are most needed. IoT-enabled IWMS can correlate sensor data with data about occupancy, reservations, weather conditions, and more. As a result, FM teams can dynamically plan and deliver services, based on user activities and feedback. Without wasting time or resources, service delivery becomes more efficient.
To help FMs tackle today’s challenges, MCS Solutions is continually working to improve its IWMS platform, making it smarter, easier to use, and more flexible. Feel free to request a demo if you would like to see the possibilities.