Managing a property comes with the burden of somehow always having a backlog of tasks – the requests are challenging to keep up with, and the administrative work seems endless. Having to manage multiple properties only multiplies the work and can get overwhelming at times.
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case. Today’s technology provides managers with different solutions that can alleviate not only the high number of requests but also help bring down the high operational costs.
In this article, we will take a look at what cloud-based CMMSs are and how they can be of help to you and your business. We’ll also provide some advice on how you can choose the right solution, so you’ll be ready to make a decision and start using technology to your advantage in no time.
What is a CMMS?
CMMS stands for computerised maintenance management system, and it has its application in different industries – from oil and gas to property management. This type of solution is a software application that aims to streamline maintenance processes and help those in charge manage labour costs and various assets.
To best explain what CMMSs can do, let’s take a look at what the abbreviation means.
Computerised, obviously, means that the work is done and stored on your computer. This method of working ensures that no data is lost, as was common with the traditional paper-based system.
Maintenance means that it deals with maintenance-related tasks. This can include both predictive maintenance, as the system will alert you if a piece of equipment might slow or break down, and regular tracking of maintenance tasks.
Management means that the leadership level of a company will benefit from using this system. Of course, front-line workers will have access and see an improvement in their day-to-day as well, but management will be able to create forecasts and reports regarding all KPIs.
System means that a CMMS is usually not just one asset but multiple. Ideally, the system will be customisable so that it can be adapted to any company’s needs and requirements.
For example, a CMMS can be used to provide an overview of how well equipment is performing, automate administrative work, and plan, organise, and track all maintenance efforts. The most popular applications of a CMMS include help with the following tasks:
How A Cloud-Based CMMS Helps Facility Managers
After we have cleared up what a CMMS actually is, let’s go over the ways it can benefit your managerial duties. We’ll discuss the main benefits of adopting this type of system and share the most important features of a CMMS.
If you’d like a custom-made CMMS, reach out to Valcon, and we can provide you with a tailored solution to fit your exact needs.
The first way that a CMMS can help facility managers is the one we already touched on briefly, and that is to streamline all processes. With a CMMS in place, you’ll be able to enhance operational efficiency through a more organised and comprehensive communication channel. Instead of emailing or calling back and forth with the service workers, you’ll have the option of simply placing a request on one central hub that everyone has access to.
This not only increases efficiency but also promotes tenant satisfaction, as they’ll be able to notice the difference in the speed at which their complaints are being addressed. For example, if there is a problem with a leak in one of the units you manage, the tenant only needs to place a call with you, and you can then place a request on your CMMS and the first available repairman will see it and handle the problem as soon as possible.
On the other hand, a CMMS can be connected to equipment. So, for example, if there is even the potential of an issue with a central air conditioning duct, the system itself will alert you even before the tenants notice the aircon has gone down. This is called predictive maintenance and is one of the top ways to improve both tenant satisfaction and productivity. In fact, Deloitte reports that predictive maintenance has been shown to increase productivity by 25% and reduce breakdowns by a whopping 70%.
Controlled Downtime and Costs
To continue the narrative regarding predictive maintenance, we also have to mention the fact that it plays a significant role in cutting down costs while potentially completely eradicating any downtime. As the system lets you know that there is just a possibility of a problem occurring, a service team can fix it before the tenants even feel the negative effects. Similarly, the cost is significantly lower than the one you would have to pay for a full repair.
Another way that CMMS can help you reduce costs is with its inventory management capabilities. Overstocking and understocking can both lead to needless costs, especially if there is anything that needs to be restocked urgently. By having a centralised overview of your inventory, you ensure that the costs going into it are optimised as well.
Finally, we have to mention that costs can be further controlled with the improved decision-making a CMMS fosters. With such a solution in place, all your decisions will be backed up by data from concrete and objective insights provided by smart software. This ensures that you don’t have to second guess your decisions and are able to provide optimised leadership to your teams.
The fact that a CMMS acts as a central hub for all the necessary information is something that we’ve already discussed in this article. Access to all the data available for one specific task or property is essential to increasing productivity and ensuring that all requests are handled in a timely manner.
This is one of the central features of any CMMS and should be available in any system you choose. However, it’s important to watch out for the different storage methods that vendors offer. For example, data needs to be backed up in two different locations in case something goes awry with one of them. That way, you’re reducing the risk of data breaches and loss.
Creating various reports is one of the key duties of any facility manager. However, it’s also one of the least favourite tasks to many as it’s very time-consuming and tedious. Thankfully, technology can be of help here, too.
A CMMS can gather relevant data adjusted to your company’s KPIs and offer nearly finished insights and reports at the end of a set time boundary. For example, you can monitor the average time spent per HVAC repair activity and use that report to set realistic goals or identify outliers and proceed with optimisation.
Having all of this large data in one place also ensures that you don’t need to consistently keep track of everything – let the system do that for you and just extract a report at the end of the quarter. This will not only save you lots of valuable time but also ensure you have enough room for more important tasks throughout an average day.
Why is a Cloud-Based CMMS the Best Option?
Throughout the previous section, the idea of centralised information has been one of the key features that characterise a good CMMS. However, what good is that data if access to it is very limited?
Storing anything on the cloud means that anyone can access the dataset – from leadership to front-line workers. This can be a crucial factor in streamlining any process. For example, a manager may enter that a refrigeration system is out of order and leave all the necessary information, including the location and specifications of the equipment. Then, a person in charge of the repair team can access it remotely and assign workers to it without needing to waste time on in-person audits or several phone calls.
The main concern here is probably the safety of the data. Cloud-based solutions typically have authentication policies in place so that only those who are granted access are able to see certain information. This means that a manager can have the full overview of everything related to the property they’re in charge of, while the repair team can only see the task they’ve been assigned to complete.
Choosing the Right CMMS for Your Business
Finally, if you’re ready to take the next step and adopt a CMMS solution, you need to be able to make a well-informed decision. Certain features are must-haves for all such solutions, such as data insights, reporting, and information retention. However, others are more or less flexible and need to be designed to cater to your specific business. We already mentioned that CMMSs are popular in different industries, so the first thing you’ll want to do is to look for one that is aimed at helping property managers.
With numerous choices available on the market, offering varying capabilities at varying price ranges, the ideal solution would be to create your own tailor-made CMMS. This way, all the features are built around your needs and are as scalable and as flexible as required.
But, to do that, you’ll need the right IT support.
How Valcon Can Help
Valcon SEE is a Dutch IT company with years of experience in the PropTech industry. Our solutions offer enhanced performance, data storage and management, communication channels, and various other capabilities that fit our clients’ businesses.
Our cooperation starts with a meeting during which you relay your requirements, and we create a development plan. We work together with all our clients to ensure that all their needs are met and that the final product is optimised in a way that helps them achieve all the goals they set.
To start working on your ideal CMMS, schedule a meeting with us, and we’ll take care of the rest.