FM service management software activation: 7 keys to success
For service companies, time is money. Consequently, as a service provider, you must be able to go from contract signature with a new customer to go-live in weeks — not months. This involves rapid deployment of service management software and configuration to the agreed contractual scope and SLAs. Good software vendors will, therefore, provide expertise and tools enabling services organization to quickly activate the software in a wide range of client environments.
So what are the critical success factors when implementing FM service management software?
1. A focus on value
Before starting a project, define which objectives are the most important, as this will impact the configuration. By linking all project decisions to organizational objectives (e.g. operational efficiency, compliance with contractual obligations, and a smooth billing process) you will improve focus and prevent disappointment further down the line. A project-to-value mapping is a useful resource to help you achieve this. Expect your software implementation partner to take a collaborative approach, bring value KPI lists, and guide you through the process.
2. A fast start with ready-to-use processes
To hit the ground running, service providers should adopt a standardized template. This template is a pre-configured version of the software, including:
– Pre-configured processes – based on best practices from industry experts – which can be easily tailored to the specifics of a customer contract
– Standard dashboards and reports for KPI monitoring, and budget and SLA compliance tracking
The platform should also include powerful tools to efficiently upload all relevant data (asset inventory, spatial data from CAD or BIM) for use in the software.
Adopting new tools can be unsettling for FM managers and technicians. The right mix of classroom training and self-learning videos will help users get up to speed quickly.
3. Software configuration, not customization
Companies are moving away from highly-customized software platforms that heavily depend on vendor support. Instead, FM software should be flexible enough to be configurable by the service provider.
As a service provider, you will find the best value in standard service management software that has embedded best practices AND is easily configurable by the end user. Because if the software cannot be configured to your way of working, users will ignore it and continue to use manual processes. Make sure that the configuration capabilities (e.g. asset classification, service catalogue, work order workflow, reporting) fit your requirements, as they may differ from one IWMS vendor to another.
Opting for a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) model may also be a good idea, as this will eliminate the need for additional hardware resources.
4. Integration of service management software
To enable easy integration with your existing software environment, it is important for the FM software platform to offer a library of standard web services.
A modular, well-integrated FM platform will also allow you to start small and add new modules later, as your needs evolve (e.g. BIM, Smart Buildings).
5. Phased rollout
Usually, service providers start with reactive services (e.g. help desk tickets, SLA monitoring), then move to more planned services (e.g. maintenance plan and execution) and eventually add CAD drawings and BIM models to further support these services.
You can also conduct a phased migration by implementing the new system in some locations or business units first. The information learned from these early implementation stages can then be used to guide the rest of the process. Set up a small expert team that can manage software configuration and embeds learnings from every contract that goes live.
6. Reporting and SLA compliance
Service delivery models are switching from traditional input-based contracts to output- and outcome-based models. Because of these new models, it is important to:
– Make performance visible to the client through KPI reports and dashboards
– Proactively monitor SLAs to minimize penalties.
7. Usability and user experience
Use the software to transition towards an outcome-based service model. Engage with end users through various touchpoints to empower them to request extra services (e.g. ‘Clean me now’) or give instant feedback through ‘happy or not’ buttons and apps. This will increase customer loyalty by adding convenience and productivity throughout people’s workday.
It is important that the tool is user-friendly for field teams as well. Deploy mobile apps that plug into the platform and provide 24/7 access to all relevant info and capabilities. Also, make sure that user interfaces and instructions are highly visual and easy to understand by cleaners and maintenance technicians.
In conclusion: reduce time-to-value through smart activation
If you are mindful of the above implementation aspects and choose your vendor carefully, your investment in service management software will pay off more quickly. It will also put you in a better position to outpace your competition by providing a level of service that they just can’t match.
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