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Lee Sands asks how facilities managers can add real value to their organisations with the right EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) software application in place


The remit of a facilities manager is never straightforward or even easy to define. With a seemingly ever-increasing portfolio of responsibilities, from buildings maintenance through to regulatory compliance, facilities managers face a continual uphill struggle to get the job done, before even considering how to add any real strategic value to the organisation. Add to this the pressure to maximise business uptime all while minimising costs, and it’s no wonder that facilities managers from a variety of different sectors are looking for solutions to help them optimise operations, driving both efficiency and cost savings across the business.


Predict to prevent

One area in particular where technology can assist with this pressure, is in the realm of maintenance, and predictive maintenance to be precise. As facilities managers know all too well, maintaining assets in tip-top condition is critical, with a failure to do so often resulting in costly downtime. The right EAM solution will analyse patterns in performance, providing the specific data to enable facilities managers to work with maintenance teams to put in place a predictive maintenance management process. This move from a programme of reactive maintenance to a proactive maintenance schedule which chimes with the strategic priorities of the business, ensures optimal performance while preventing the costly downtime that can occur, saving money in the process.


This real time insight into asset performance not only enables the effective scheduling of preventative maintenance, minimising disruption to the business and therefore optimising customer service levels, but by predicting potential equipment reliability problems, a good EAM solution will enable facilities managers to plan alternative and reassign resources where they’ll add the most strategic value. It’s this forewarning of impending problems that makes the real difference, with the ability to add alerts to notify facilities managers of looming compliance inspections and automatic notifications of asset problems when predetermined levels are exceeded enabling facilities managers to accurately anticipate both asset reliability and regulatory risk.


Going mobile

Another benefit of the new generation of EAM solutions is the truly mobile nature of the system. No longer constrained by geography or time zones, the best EAM systems support all mobile devices, screen sizes and operating systems. This make a field technician’s job easier, giving them access to the right information, wherever and whenever needed, resulting in quicker, more efficient asset maintenance. But, more importantly for facilities managers, the ability to upload information while in the field means there’s no longer any time lag between work being carried out and the status update for that particular asset reaching the facilities manager.


For business operating in a 24/7 global marketplace, which, let’s face it, applies to almost all businesses in this day and age, this ability to access up-to-date information, regardless of location or time, increases efficiencies across the business. And, when it comes to facilities management, the more reliable and the more timely the information you’re working with, the more proactive you can be, knowing the exact status of all company assets at all times.


By providing a comprehensive, real time view of the entire organisation and its assets, the best EAM solutions can lessen the burden on facilities managers, helping them to re-establish their role as a real value-add part of the business. Rather than simply fire-fighting an ever-changing list of top priorities, facilities managers can utilise EAM systems to their full advantage, securing the very foundations which underpin the future success of the business.


What to look for in an EAM solution:

  1. Industry experience is a major bonus. Working with a partner with a successful track record in implementing EAM solutions for similar businesses to yours will help a great deal.
  2. For ultimate control and visibility, mobile capability should come as standard.
  3. Don’t go with a finite solution. Flexible, scalable technology will evolve alongside your business rather than hold you back.
  4. For maximum user up-take and buy-in, the system must be easy to use. Try not to add another level of complexity to your organisation.
  5. Choose the appropriate size of solution for your size of business. What works for huge multinationals or smaller businesses won’t necessarily work for you.

For more information on how Sapphire can help with your facilities management requirements, visit our website now.

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