In the annual FM software survey, conducted by Service Works Group (SWG), to provide insight into how technology is impacting the profession, nearly 50 per cent of the respondents stated that the greatest business benefit of FM software has been in helping to secure new, and add value to existing contracts, by demonstrating confidence, offering improved data quality and greater transparency.
The survey respondents (of whom 45 per cent worked in-house and 31 per cent were outsourced service providers) revealed that they are using FM software for a variety of purposes. With 91 per cent of respondents using CAFM for reactive maintenance and 88 per cent to manage PPM schedules, many FMs continue to use CAFM for maintenance works. However the survey also revealed FM software is being successfully utilised to bring a wider range of benefits to the business through asset management (72 per cent) and contract management (47 per cent), as well as resource management (32 per cent), space planning and move management (29 per cent), mobile workforce management (35 per cent), and health and safety (34 per cent).
Over half of the FM service providers have integrated their FM software with other systems to realise business efficiencies. Integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software (73 per cent), finance (60 per cent) and health and safety (63 per cent) systems were the most popular, alongside Building Management Systems (BMS) (57 per cent), energy management (53 per cent) and environmental (56 per cent) systems. Despite the mandatory introduction of 3D Business Information Modelling (BIM) for all UK public sector projects, from April this year, and the call to the industry to embrace BIM technology, still only 50 per cent of the respondents stated that they are integrating CAFM with BIM.
Self-service is becoming increasingly popular in FM, with almost 60 per cent citing this as a significant FM software technology trend. The results show that two thirds of respondents provide self service help desk access and 90 per cent of those said they offer access specifically to their staff and building occupiers, an increase from 54 per cent last year.
The most prominent trend, highlighted by the survey, was the use of mobile apps. Last year, 45 per cent of respondents said they were already using tablet and mobile technology as part of their FM strategy to manage contractors and operatives, which has risen this year by 27 per cent to a total of 72 per cent.
While FM software emerged as the leading tool used to help manage the FM function, the survey found that many organisations are still relying on Excel (31 per cent) and paper based (14 per cent) tools to manage the FM function, leaving them not only without global access to information for consistent management reporting, but also vulnerable to serious service failure, lack of compliance or health and safety breaches.