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Okappy – The New Network For Facilities Management

The World of Work is Changing
Decentralisation, flexi-hours and the gig economy are now the norm. More and more the workplaces of today are increasingly likely to be working in autonomous groups or virtual teams, rather than working a nine to five in the same office building. We are more likely to have several jobs over a lifetime, or even several jobs at the same time, than the traditional job-for-life in a large organisation.

Work is more likely to be done by groups of companies subcontracting out rather than one company doing everything. According to a report from Gartner, by 2020, over 40% of field service work will be performed by technicians who are not employees of the organisation that has direct contact with the customer.

It is clear that responding to these trends is now imperative if businesses are to keep up with the rest. This impacts how work needs to be managed; communication and collaboration are key and the information needs to be both real-time and available anywhere.

How will companies maintain quality when many of their workforce work remote or are subcontractors? How will they communicate in a way that is efficient and keeps everyone in the loop? How will business stay in control of the work they carry out?

Market Networks
Market networks are expected to be the next big thing in technology and they are driving many changes in how companies work, whilst creating massive opportunities for the most forward-looking companies.

Market networks are an emerging type of business model aiming to make working life fairer and easier for everybody. Through combining the main elements of both networks and marketplaces, they use SaaS (software as a service) workflows to focus action whilst promoting the service provider as a differentiated company, helping to build long-term relationships.

Market Networks can liberate companies from the hassles of paperwork, from duplicating information and above all, from the stress that comes with chasing engineers or subcontractors to find out what is going on.

With a Market Network, once you’re connected with your subcontractors, engineers and customers, you can send and receive jobs and real time information from each party as they update them from their web or mobile devices. This means there is no more silos, no more fragmented information across multiple different applications or locked away in different companies, and no longer a need to chase each layer to find out what is happening.

Put Into Practise With Okappy’s Networked Job Management…
Let’s look at an example. Say, the heating breaks in an office block and so a Facilities Management company are called, except the office managers aren’t able to get hold of their workforce. The whole process is delayed and the heating isn’t fixed for a week.

If Okappy’s Market Network platform were used, the job to make the repair would be added immediately, various people within the FM company would be notified instantly and able to allocate the job to one of their engineers, who would either do the job if available or subcontract it to someone else if not. The status of the job would be updated in real-time and no phone-calls or paperwork needed in the process. The market network connects everyone who is involved, from the customer to the engineer, creating a ‘virtual team’ of stakeholders and making communication seamless.

While the use of market networks is not yet widespread within the FM industry, there are nevertheless several success stories of ahead-of-the-curve trade firms using market networks already. Facilities Management contractors Convert Water Ltd claim that trades-focused market network Okappy has provided them with “the tools to grow and develop the whole business.” Market networks are set to transform existing job management systems for the better, enabling companies to collaborate in a ways never seen before. A more detailed account of Convert Water’s story (as well as other case studies on trade firms using Okappy for job management) can be found on Okappy’s website (www.okappy.com).

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About Sarah OBeirne

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