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Space & Occupancy Management Systems

A key driver of your organization’s facilities costs is space. Yet a recent survey about space & occupancy management by FMinsight.com shows that 54% of facility managers still use old-school techniques to manage their space says, Michel Theriault, Principal Consultant with Strategic Advisor, an FM Consulting firm, USA.

While most of the organizations still use notably paper based methods such as Excel and CAD drawings, it does go down to 32% for organizations with more than 100,000sqm in their portfolio. This is still high considering the importance of having tools for managing one of the essential drivers of cost.

FM software tools aren’t a luxury anymore. They are a basic requirement for any facility management department. Systems that enable you to track and manager space provide vital information on how you use a valuable commodity. With that information, FM manager can provide evidence and statistics about organization’s efficiency not just overall, but department by department. It helps to identify underutilized or vacant areas quickly and efficiently and enables more efficient space allocation and move management. The software can help drive more efficient use of space, give better information about ability to accommodate growth within the organization and provide data which company can use to implement alternate work arrangements for new space configurations.

In fact, when asked how important the right tools are for managing space and occupancy, 87% of Facility Managers say that it’s highly important or very important. The results are surprising, considering the importance of the right tools and the changes in the software industry that makes software much more accessible to organizations of all sizes. Instead of needing own server or software licences and heavy technical support, web based services are easier to implement and operate since it eliminates the time, energy and costs of implementing and maintaining software within the company systems.

So the question is if so many facility managers rate a software based system for managing space and occupancy as highly important, why do so few have the right tools?

While the financial benefits of the factors above are sometimes difficult to quantify for the decision makers in the organization, making the case is still important. FM managers can start by investigating the more inexpensive options, including web based services and single-purpose solutions to establish the costs to implement and operate. Then compare that with the time and energy operations & maintenance staff and consultants currently spend maintaining manual information and updating it. Also, factor in the inefficient use of space. Talk to suppliers, who can easily provide the business case for implementation and their experience can help get the tools needed to do the job efficiently.

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