Today’s workplace technology solutions, commonly called CAFM or more recently IWMS, have their foundations in the late 1980s and the advent of the personal computer. Graduating from spreadsheets, the first generation of CAFM software systems were standalone programmes deployed onto a single PC and focused on asset and maintenance management; what is today called CMMS by many.
After undergoing several adaptions and changes, with the rapid growth in the use of the Internet, 2008 saw the launch of web-based CAFM, which could be easily deployed centrally and accessed using an internet browser locally, regionally or internationally by internal and external stakeholders. Web-based CAFM solutions providing a wealth of configurability and functionality to provided client solutions without the need for development are now the norm.
In recent years, cloud hosting, BIM to CAFM integration and a rapid increase in the use of mobility by the workforce with tailored apps on smart phones and tablets devices have been trends. Mobility is now extending to provide apps, integrated with CAFM and IoT (Internet of Things)/sensors, for use by all stakeholders in a facility including the executives, customers, suppliers and the workforce to drive measurable and sustainable facilities services.
CAFM provides organisations with the overall management of their facilities. All aspects of the workplace, from cleaning to mechanical will be managed within the CAFM to ensure the workplace community receives best in class service. Once a building is operational there will be a number of daily demands on the building, and the CAFM system will monitor and manage these services and providing building users a channel to communicate with the building management team.
We are in an age whereby mobility technology is changing our way of life, when you are home and at your workplace. Your CAFM will provide you with a single source of truth, all operational data of your building and facility will be measured, stored and acted upon. The solution will become the heartbeat of the building.
Traditionally thought of as managing just hard services, a CAFM has evolved into managing all the services required to maintain a ‘healthy’ building which includes soft services. The workplace is changing, with more and more building users demanding additional services from their building. Soft services are incredibly visible, with cleaning issues being one of the most reported problems within a CAFM, therefore the system needs to be able to respond and provide you and your building users with feedback and a quick resolution.
IoT sensors have now improved significantly. With a longer life span and more reliable data capture, they are now able to produce valuable output. The big data principles allow us to analyse this data and create actions, all in an automated fashion. The way in which we approach maintenance for hard and soft services with IoT is changing; instead of scheduled tasks being generated, we are now able to measure the use of facilities, say a washroom and instigate cleaning services when we have reached a definable threshold (e.g. 100 people), when the facility requires cleaning and not every 15 minutes.
FSI’s Concept Evolution has embraced and adopted IoT (Internet of Things). This has enabled us to provide innovate solutions to our clients and the marketplace. There must be a tangible need for using IoT, as it needs to solve a business problem and not be implemented just for the sake of it.
Along with the advent of IoT, we now see a significant increase in the use of mobility, for both the workplace community and cleaning staff. FSI GO, our app-based mobility solution provides cleaning supervisors and cleaning staff with an app on their mobile device to manage their work. In the case of a cleaning supervisor, the supervisor activity will allow for the overseeing and management of team members, allowing for jobs to be verified and closed once actioned.
For cleaners, the cleaning activity will provide cleaning staff with a list of tasks they need to manage. From here they can view the areas required for cleaning, and confirm their location by using the RFID/NFC function. Cleaning and security routes can be defined within the CAFM and issued to the cleaning activity to empower staff.
Concept Advantage provides a channel of communication for the workplace, allowing the workplace community to interact with the built environment. Once downloaded from a user’s App store, end users can interact with a number of workplace apps, one of which is Chat Log. The Chat Log app provides a social interaction for building users to log Helpdesk requests, as well as view and interact with other users of the building. Fully integrated into Concept Evolution and FSI GO, Concept Advantage completes the end to end solution for managing facilities within the workplace.
Any new system will represent change within a business. A clear definition of an organisation’s business process, along with an appreciation of the building data available for both hard and soft service regimes will be vital. Our professional services team will guide a client through a structured and proven project methodology, developed over a number of years, enabling FSI to deliver a professional, on-time and in-budget project.
About the Author: Based in the UK, Karl Broom is the Territory Sales Manager at FSI (FM Solutions) Ltd. Broom joined FSI in 2006 and has a genuine passion for software development and how technology can help solve problems for businesses. He takes pride in understanding current issues experienced within various organisations and listening to how end-users would like strategic workplace software to aid them in their day-to-day working life. Broom has a unique insider’s understanding of delivering products that reflect the demand for usability, visibility and accessibility across an entire organisation, thereby leading the way in CAFM and mobile application solutions.