FEATURE CAFM through a three-minute interaction, will get them a new lightbulb in their off ice. Despite the apps, this is still pretty much the reality. FM service providers and tech businesses should be driving customer expectation. Unfortunately, the reverse is happening. It is the customers, faced with new pressures, who are laying their requirements at the door of their suppliers. End-user CEOs, through their own personal experiences, have higher expectations of what business technology should look like. If FM can’t deliver, it will be sidelined as a subsidiary consideration within other, more up-to-date enterprise management systems. CLAIRE VISSER CAFM DIRECTOR, CAFM EXPLORER We are finding that customers want more and more functionality on the move. Traditional CAFM activities such as updating work orders and viewing helpdesk requests are no longer enough to aid the role of facilities managers. Clients want mobile access to more information and more core tasks that are typically available in their CAFM system. As such, mobile capability is high on the CAFM agenda. We have responded by introducing several enhancements to CAFM Explorer, from QR code scanning, retrieval of work orders, asset history and associated documents to dynamic risk assessments, signature capture, stock assignment, cost allocation and live time capture. A key demand has been access to a wider range of data at the point of service, and here the availability of SFG20 schedules for planned maintenance has proved invaluable. Several of our customers have taken advantage by integrating SFG20 data; some have reported saving weeks of time by automatically uploading their SFG20 maintenance schedules. At the point of service, engineers can access 28 MARCH 2014 2017 OEM manuals (rather than print or carry hard copies), create meter-reading recordings and view historical data and critical trend analysis. The expansion of QR code functionality has also enabled customers to record the seamless and accurate logging of customer issues, and benefit from guaranteed engineer attendance at the right assets. All this critical information triggers real-time reports and alerts, ensuring that management has instant access to all critical information, forecasting and trend analysis. These mobile developments off er a holistic view of a facility’s costs, processes and management. Facilities managers have the information they want, when and where they want it, enabling them to respond quickly and eff ectively to potential issues. But our core CAFM soft ware is also evolving to accommodate FMs’ changing expectations. Dynamic risk assessments, for example, can now be produced within the core product, ensuring that all data is captured – including signatures at the point of activity. With financial control such a high priority, more and more customers, particularly those who are service providers, want their CAFM soft ware to integrate with their finance systems. Real-time capturing of time, stock and other costs with automatic links into contracts and budgets ensures our customers can see a detailed breakdown of all financial spend. Integration with building management systems continues to expand. Many customers take advantage of automatic work order generation, and further automatic notifications, along with higher visibility and reporting, are on the way. Finally, we are supporting many customers in shift ing administration to their service provider. This gives the service provider controlled access to the CAFM system, allowing them to update relevant information while the customer maintains overall control of the process. SEEING IS BELIEVING John Gorman, marketing manager at Anders+Kern UK, looks at how digital signage soft ware can help keep employees engaged and fully informed A key part of being a successful FM professional is eff ectively communicating information to employees. The PADS4 family of high-end digital signage soft ware ensures that messages are displayed when and where needed. It enables the corporate signage network to be controlled from one central point. Important messaging can be delivered to employees on any display, on any location worldwide. The soft ware can also be used to display messages across multiple devices, whether it be a video wall in an entrance lobby, a desktop PC in a sales department, an LCD display in a breakout room, or a marketing manager’s tablet. PADS4 HTML5 Viewer runs on multiple platforms, meaning the final signage message can be made accessible and delivered to employees however they consume their information. And Desktop Viewer allows staff to be informed passively through the PADS4 screen saver, or actively with desktop alerts that automatically pop up. A read receipt can be requested to get detailed feedback about who has seen the message. PLAYipp, a cloud-based digital signage platform, extends digital signage functionality to mobile devices, helping to streamline internal information flow. Through Mobile View, employees have immediate access to urgent messages, news, discussions, KPIs, and all other important company information – no matter where they are. Important updates reach everyone quickly and employees have constant access to policies, routine protocols and shortcuts to important tools such as intranets, reporting systems and more. The app can be branded to suit the individual company’s graphical profile. Concierge Booking is a room and resource booking system with features that take much of the hassle out of organising meetings. Reserving a room is just the start. The soft ware can order equipment and supplies, arrange catering, invoice suppliers and send confirmation notification emails. Its digital signage facility can print badges for visitors as they arrive, provide help with wayfinding, and display relevant information outside the meeting room. A useful feature is that it does not require an SQL database or installation on Microsoft Exchange or Internet Information Server. The soft ware slots in without requiring adjustment to existing configurations, and is therefore more likely to receive the IT seal of approval.
Facilities Management Journal March 2017
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