Facilities management at a professional level is all about teamwork. The fact is that facility management is a profession which has many moving parts. There are so many dynamic elements in our work that no single person can handle it all by himself. It’s just not possible for a facilities manager to be expert of all the functional verticals that his company might be providing to the client. A typical median facility that a professional IFM company manages has a minimum of 20 on ground staff engaged in operations. Hence communicating them with effectiveness becomes crucial for optimal operational efficiency.
It is crucial for a facilities manager to be aware of the job status reports and one to one interaction with the entire team on daily basis. Doing that manually and in person would consume most of the productive time of a facility manager. Hence communication technology has to be utilized to make the entire process more lean and efficient. Proper channels of communication are the only thing which can really help every team member of the IFM team become more efficient.
Some of the communication tools which are really helping the facility managers become more effective are as follows
Microsoft SharePoint: Its a great tool for creating a company-wide intranet. The entire IFM company can use the platform and every facility manager can be in touch with his company top level as well as his immediate functional team.
IM Applications: WIth the growth of smartphones every one of us uses instant messaging applications. The IFM company can easily use any one of the free apps or can get one created for its own use. This lets all the team members be in touch with the facility manager using the single interface hence reducing the need for traditional modes of interpersonal communication.
Google Docs: A free tool for basic use, this suite is a great communication and real-time team collaboration application. Since it is a google product hence its uptime is also the best in the digital communication work.
CMMS: Computerized maintenance management system
Big facilities often have multiple facility management tasks running at the same time. Here the basic communication technology tools mentioned above would not suffice and hence the companies have to adapt CMMS for having a smooth operation.
CMMS has many features like service request management wherein the bottom line FM staff or even the users or occupants of the building can digitally raise a service request for a specific task to be conducted. This makes the system and operations really efficient. Project management is another feature for large-scale companies where the client’s management staff, as well as the IFM companies managers, can share the insights and analytical data on a common platform.
Another great feature of CMMS is the maintenance schedule monitoring and alerts. This feature makes preventive maintenance tasks a breeze. It also leads to the better economics of maintenance.
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