An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is a software platform that combines processes, communications and data into a single system. Facilities managers, commercial real estate professionals, and workplace leaders use IWMS software to simplify and automate essential functions needed to keep buildings running smoothly, and people happy and engaged.
Think of IWMS software as a resource that brings many moving parts together. Instead of trying to track data and information bit by bit, IWMS lets managers and leaders document the small details, and view the bigger picture all on one platform.
As a result, professionals can get more done in less time, and be more confident about the decisions they make.
What specifically is IWMS software used for?
IWMS software supports facilities management (FM). Facilities management can be defined as implementing strategies and processes to support the functionality, safety, and sustainability of a facility. It must consider the building, the assets within the property, and the people who work in the offices or spaces.
Historically, an IWMS tackled five key components:
- Space and facilities management
- Real estate management and lease accounting
- Maintenance management
- Capital project management
- Sustainability and energy management
However, the technology has evolved to accommodate modern needs, and is more customizable.
Space and facilities management
Space management software is the foundation for all facilities management. It transforms floor plans into interactive displays so that you can explore options and move things around virtually. That’s a lot easier than trying to physically drag chairs and desks from place to place. Some space management software will capture data from multiple sources, including IoT sensors, to provide real-time data on occupancy rates.
Real estate management and lease accounting
Successful managers need detailed and accurate information about the size of their buildings, how many people are using the spaces inside, and how much it costs to operate and maintain the properties. They should also have detailed records of all property and assets, including lease terms, owners and lessees. IWMS software gives managers a place to store and organize relevant documents, data, leases, and more. Housing all of this information in one space also makes it easier for different people to communicate when they need to work together.
If a bathroom is out of order, or the heat is still on in June, managers need a way to get this information from tenants, and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Unhappy tenants are usually unproductive employees, and that impacts everyone’s bottom line.
Many software systems, including Office Control, allow tenants to submit service requests, as well as help managers prioritize preventive maintenance and keep track of repairs and costs. New requests are directed to the appropriate recipients, who can then schedule a time to come in and fix the problem. Tenants can even submit requests through a mobile app, making it a quick and convenient process.
Capital project management
Software that can assist with capital project management will help owners and managers track and organize all the documentation required to complete a construction project. Having all this information on a searchable online system improves transparency and increases efficiency.
Sustainability and energy management
There is a greater demand for and interest in sustainable facilities. 81% of millennials expect companies to be good corporate citizens, according to Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse study. This cohort is also willing to spend more if a brand or company can show that it has made a commitment to be less wasteful of essential resources. Because it matters to consumers, it matters to businesses.
Managers can attract quality tenants who are interested in participating in a sustainable work environment if they are able to reduce energy consumption and use alternative energy sources. Energy management software is the central nervous system.
An energy management platform allows leaders to obtain a deeper understanding of energy consumption for each building, and proactively make changes that can drastically reduce the property’s carbon footprint while also reducing costs. For example, they can calculate the short-term and long-term costs and benefits of implementing more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
Using IWMS software to create a more efficient work environment
Now that you have a clearer idea of what IWMS software does, you can start to think about how it can transform your buildings or offices.
No matter what you do or what industry you work in, communication is key to success. Poor communication can also create many problems for people or companies. IWMS can be used to augment commination and improve information sharing between managers, clients and employers.
With hybrid work arrangements and flexible hours, it’s rare to have entire companies in the same spot at once. But leaders and managers can use IWMS software to send messages, updates, notices and more via email, text and even automated voice message. It only takes a few minutes for a message to reach dozens or even hundreds of employees. If the elevator is going to be out, or a flood has rendered one of the offices unusable, managers can keep employees informed and prepared for the day ahead.
People also appreciate IWMS software because it gives them a place to store digital files. From floorplans to office policies, this secure resource center allows management and staff to find exactly what they’re looking for by doing a quick search. Admins can also set permissions so that only certain people can view certain folders.
Make the office a happy and safe place to work in
Employees expect more from their offices or workspaces, and more from their employers. They need flexibility, predictability, and assurance that they are doing business in a safe and cleans space. For example, with hybrid arrangements, workers want to know that they will have a designated spot to use for the day when they come in. Similarly, management needs to ensure that the office isn’t overcrowded.
IWMS software allows employees to find an available workspace, usually from their phone. It only takes a few minutes for them to make arrangements for their week. Management can limit or add spaces and set special rules about how often an employee can book a spot.
Take advantage of paperless systems
Assets are even harder to track now that people are not in the office all of the time. Someone might have just returned a monitor or chair that they borrowed months ago. Or desks might have been rearranged to give employees more space.
Instead of trying to track each item using paper and a pen, use IWMS software and custom barcodes so that you can scan assets and create a detailed profile for each item. Include information about repair or renewal requirements so you can plan ahead. Scan barcodes using your smartphone.
Avoid unexpected breakdowns or unnecessary fines. IWMS software makes it easy to keep up with this ongoing task.
Plan for the future
Data is essential to the future success of any business. It explains what has happened, indicates what will happen next, and gives managers an idea of what their next steps should be. Reports generated by IWMS software are extremely valuable in preparing buildings and people for future growth. Since the platform already has access to so much data, putting custom reports together is a breeze.
Why You Should Consider IWMS Software
IWMS software isn’t just a trendy technology; it is becoming an essential tool for facilities and office managers who are looking to improve services and save time without increasing costs. Here are some excellent reasons why you should consider IWMS software:
- There has been a shift to more flexible workplaces and workplace strategies
- People and companies need to make quick, fact-based decisions in order to avoid big setbacks
- There is a demand for better transparency
- Teams are searching for ways to enjoy seamless collaboration with many different people and parties
An IWMS is designed to simplify, optimize and elevate experiences for employees and managers. The cloud-based solutions allow users to be more productive and efficient, no matter where they are working from.