Repairs and maintenance, known in the industry as R&M, is the bread and butter of any business’s facilities management (FM) program. Coordinating with third party contractors, resolving repair requests and enacting routine maintenance measures all fall under the umbrella of R&M, and it’s typically the facilities manager’s job to oversee these operations.

While it may seem counterintuitive to outsource your R&M activities—after all, it’s the core of your facilities manager’s job—implementing an integrated facilities management (IFM) solution will give you greater control over things such as FM costs and total spend, labor needs, geographic and site-specific demands, seasonal trends and more. It will also free up your facilities manager’s time, allowing them to not only act tactically but think strategically.

With an IFM solution in place, you’ll be equipped to:

Take Advantage of Automation and Predictive Analytics

By utilizing a cloud-based system to manage your facilities program, you can generate work orders and track their progress with the click of a button. Automation eliminates the need to manually switch back and forth between fragmented systems, allowing you to store, track and modify work orders and R&M requests whenever and wherever you want. 

This type of end-to-end system will also allow you to access predictive analytics—an indispensable feature that utilizes historical data to predict future outcomes. For example, if you have an HVAC unit that repeatedly breaks down, an IFM platform will help track key asset details in real-time, enabling you to see the full picture and decide whether it makes more economic sense to repair or replace the unit entirely. By keeping these trends and patterns at the forefront, you can greatly improve the efficiency of your R&M program. 

Increase Visibility into FM Workforce Needs and Effectiveness

IFM will help you figure out whether or not you’re truly getting the most out of your labor force as well as your facilities’ spend. The data you collect and use to run analytics will help you forecast the days, months and seasons when maintenance activity peaks. It can even determine when is the best time of year to tackle large scale projects so you can avoid service disruptions. An IFM solution will alleviate these tactical burdens, elevating your facilities team and freeing them to think and act more strategically. 

Optimize Preventive Maintenance Efforts

Ad hoc repair requests will continue to arise and be addressed as needed, but an IFM solution really proves its worth when it comes to optimizing your preventive maintenance efforts. Armed with insight into your recurring maintenance issues, you can get a better idea of how to prevent them. Other benefits include:

  1. Longer asset lifespan
  2. Prevention of problems or equipment breakdowns before they occur
  3. Better budgeting practices based on historical asset data and performance

Share Information Across Your Organization

One of the key benefits of an IFM approach is its ability to streamline your company-wide communications. Different portal views offer different data sets depending on who is trying to access them. The C-suite, for instance, will likely be interested in big-picture data relating to budgets and the bottom line. Facilities managers and/or store managers, on the other hand, can utilize the same portal to access information pertaining to the status of work orders and invoices, as well as photos of assets and warranty details. For leaders intent on abolishing silos and simplifying R&M project management, this is a huge improvement over legacy methods.

A holistic IFM solution has many benefits that stand to influence your facilities’ operations in tangible, meaningful ways. Even if you employ a facilities manager, or several, dedicated to managing R&M, partnering with an IFM provider can help them do their jobs better while allowing your entire organization to thrive. 

To learn more about how R&M fits into an Integrated Facilities Management solution, click here.

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