Technology platforms have forever changed the way facilities management is done.

Today’s work order management systems provide greater visibility, flexibility, and the opportunity to know more about your assets, spending patterns, and maintenance strategy.

And although the era of pen and paper records is settled in the past, a work order management system isn’t the end-all-be-all of a facilities maintenance strategy.

It’s often said that we’re only as good as our tools. But it’s also true that our tools are only as good as we’re willing to make them—our tools need to be tailored for maximum effect. Technology is no different.

Here are three ways to elevate your work order management system to accomplish even more for your organization’s facilities portfolio.

Make use of dedicated support teams

Your portfolio doesn’t run on its own, and neither does your technology.

No matter your work order management platform, it’s important to be able to leverage the presence of dedicated support. At minimum, you should strive to be covered along the following critical lines.

Technology: Is your work order management system up to date? Are your credentials, data, and personnel info securely managed? Is your work order data current, accurate, and complete? Do your reports reflect the most important trends at your locations?

Expert triage: When facilities needs occur that may require significant resources and spend, do you have access to experts interested in the best outcomes for your organization? What about confusing one-off situations? Without an expert on hand, you’re simply managing in the direction of excess spending.

After-hours support: Things happen. But when a facilities emergency arises at the most inconvenient time, do you have processes and personnel in place to ensure that problems don’t lead to long-term disruptions? Your customers and associates depend on you. If a pipe breaks in the middle of the night, a security guard should be able to call a dedicated line and have emergency maintenance on the way.

Capture, organize, and take action from work order data

Any given work order can offer hundreds of individual data points. But are you putting processes in place to capture, track, and organize the data that’s going to be important to your organization?

Data isn’t anything without a meaningful story.

Unless you can independently create a meaningful narrative about the ocean of facilities data your portfolio will create over time, you’re going to need to bring a team of analytics experts on board.

With the right expertise, you can take action on the most important things and avoid common performance bottlenecks.

  • Your teams will accomplish more important work in less time
  • You’ll avoid unnecessary costs by prioritizing high-needs and high-traffic locations
  • You’ll set meaningful and achievable performance benchmarks
  • Your providers will receive the work that fits better with their unique strengths

Discovering what you need to know about your facilities—and making it clear what’s already known—is about experience and skill. Your technology platform can’t do this on its own.

Develop an effective bench of service providers

Smart vendor management is essential to a high-performance facilities portfolio.

Without a deep provider network and a strong plan for coverage at each of your locations, it’s inevitable that certain needs will begin to fall through the cracks. And as a result, old issues and new disruptions—along with unnecessary costs—will begin to pile up at your locations.

Over time, your customers may begin to feel that you’re not looking out for their best interests. If that happens, your organization’s reputation may suffer, and your business growth could slow.

These issues are bigger than any technology platform. In fact, they’re essential to charting the future success of your business. It comes down to understanding priorities, trades, skill sets, and workflows.

  • How many technicians will you need at any of your locations at any given time?
  • Which regions are showing the most need, and for what trades?
  • Are each of your providers properly insured? Do you have that documentation on file?
  • On top of answering these essential questions, you’ll need someone to handle the alignment between your providers and the work orders they’ll be assigned.

To do that, you’ll need to have an in-depth knowledge of each provider’s individual strengths, a record of their responsiveness, and an ongoing assessment of their performance within your portfolio.

And all of that requires the kind of expertise that no technology platform alone can provide.

Technology is essential to the success of any modern-day facilities portfolio. But it’s by no means the key to the lasting success of your maintenance programs. Consider working with a team of dedicated experts. Get in touch with SMS Assist to learn more about our programs:

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