Local governments provide a wide range of important services, from police and fire departments to municipal courts and public works. If there wasn’t a reliable facilities team to keep things running smoothly, there would be problems with these services very quickly.
Facilities management is a very important part of municipal government, so there is a lot of pressure on it to do well. But many facilities departments are having trouble because people are retiring, equipment is getting old, and budgets are getting smaller.
Here are six problems that facilities staff in local government have to deal with, along with the ways that complete facilities management software can help.
Problem: All of the information about my floor plans and facilities is outdated
Many local governments are trying to solve problems from the 21st century with tools and ideas from the 20th century. Do you know any of this?
There are old floor plans on paper, siloed data that is spread out in different places, and no one place where all facility information is kept. Instead, paper documents are stuffed into file folders and binders, and simple Word documents and Excel spreadsheets are used to track metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).
With complete, reliable data, it’s easier to run government buildings in a safe, cost-effective, and effective way.
Solution: Online data archive
Imagine if everyone on your team could see all the information about the building in one place. Do you need information about boiler warranties? Done. Do you need to know how often the water heater has been serviced? No issue. Need to give access to the latest floor plans to another department? I wrote this for you.
Amazing, right? That’s how good software for managing a building is. It keeps track of all the information about your facility in a digital format that is easy for your team to access.
The most recent digital floor plans are one of the best things about FM software. While adopting FM software, some software partners, like CloudApper, will take your current floor plans, digitize them, and then update them. Some software partners will also collect all the information about your facilities and put it into the software for you.
Problem: I need to find out what’s in any of my buildings
Local governments are in charge of a wide range of things, such as courthouses, park shelters, wastewater treatment facilities, and more. All of these buildings are different and serve different purposes.
It’s hard to keep track of rooms and equipment in many buildings if you only have your memory or old lists to help you. How can you effectively manage millions of square feet in many buildings if you don’t even know what’s inside each one?
Solution: Mapping assets based on where they are
Some FM software lets you map your assets to your digital floor plans. You can find the location of any property you want, such as electrical panels, light fixtures, power generators, water fountains, trash cans, and so on.
On your digital floor plan, colored pins show where your assets are. It is easy to find your assets and know where they are in each place. Now, you can:
Plan effective routes for routine maintenance, cleaning, and inspections. Show a new team member or an outside contractor where to find an asset.
Try out how it works with the CloudApper Facilities app. (Full disclosure: not all FM software can do this, so keep that in mind when looking at your options.)
Problem: I’m stuck in a cycle of doing reactive maintenance
There are a lot of facility managers who understand how you feel. Especially if their buildings were old and they didn’t have enough money to keep up with repairs, which was expensive and took a long time.
They want to be more proactive, but they can’t because they need to keep track of their asset life cycles, their maintenance histories are wrong, and their work order processes are done on paper.
Demands for reactive maintenance can cause your team to be buried under a mountain of expensive problems that are hard to get out of.
Solution: Enhanced management of work
Starting a preventive maintenance (PM) program will be challenging if you don’t get a handle on your daily maintenance. FM software gives team members instant access to work orders, which saves paper, improves efficiency, and keeps a record of all tasks that have been done.
With CloudApper Facilities, you can handle reactive work better and have more time and money for preventive maintenance.
The reporting feature of the FM software helps you keep track of maintenance activities at all of your facilities. Make sure that work orders are being done, and figure out any problems before they get out of hand.
With FM software, it is possible to automate the scheduling of preventive maintenance tasks. It also gives your professionals access to any asset data and PM methods they might want while on the go. Also, FM software ensures that your staff does all the jobs they have been given.
Problem: I have too much work to do by hand
The 2022 State of Local Government Survey found that most local governments in the United States lack resources and have to do too much manual work.
Too few resources (44%); too much manual work (34%).
These problems slow you down and make your work less effective, whether cumbersome processes requiring a lot of back and forth or old paper-based systems.
By using an FM platform, you can cut down on waste and use fewer overall resources to take care of your buildings.
Solution: Making things more accessible and automating them
39% of local governments have made investing in technology a top priority for 2021 so that they can automate routine tasks and processes. This is a big part of what FM software does.
By automating tasks that used to take a lot of time and labor, like organizing work orders, entering asset information, and doing routine inspections, FM software lets your team do more work faster with fewer resources.
One example is that FM software has a feature that lets you ask for service.
Instead of calling or emailing the maintenance department, residents can use the interactive web application to ask for help.
The software automatically tells the tenant how their request is going and gives you a few seconds to review the work order and set a date for it.
Your maintenance technician gets an automatic alert that they have a repair order, and they can get to any information they need to do the job.
No one needs to spend the whole day taking care of all the work orders, ensuring the technicians finish them, and answering tenants’ questions about their requests’ status.
Problem: If one of my technicians leaves, even for a short trip, I’m in trouble
The 2022 State of Local Government Survey says that having enough staff is one of the most important issues.
54% believe they need help finding the skills they need to replace people who are leaving.
62% of those who answered said it would be difficult for someone else to take care of their responsibilities if they took a two-week vacation.
What happens to the rest of your team when the person on your facilities team who knows the most about the building goes on vacation, gets a new job, or retires? Most likely in deep water without a paddle.
Your more experienced technicians know a lot of valuable information that the rest of your team needs to have access to.
Solution: Effective ways to share knowledge
FM software is a place to store all of your facility’s information, like how to fix that AC unit that won’t work right and where to find that one hard-to-find item. Because everything is digital, everyone on the team can get all the information they need from their mobile devices.
FM software makes it easy for people to cover unfamiliar facilities or procedures when someone is out of the office. In fact, they went to the same place less often to check on the facilities. The facility management team can better predict what they will need before leaving because they have access to all the important information in the program. It is the best way to share what you know.
All the information about your facilities should be in your FM software so that work is manageable when someone is on vacation. The remaining team members can quickly take over the position of an employee who is leaving. Also, using technology like FM software makes it more appealing for potential new workers to join your maintenance team.
Problem: My local government wants more working together and sharing information
The State of Local Government Survey for 2022 shows that more and more people want departments to work together better. More than half of the respondents say that the best way for departments to work together is to use technology that combines data from different sources.
There is also a desire for better and more open capital planning. For example, almost 70% of local governments want to make their capital planning more strategic, loose, or collaborative.
Your data on your buildings hold the key to better coordination between departments and more openness in capital planning. If you know how to handle it well, it could be a potent tool.
Solution: Openness through information
FM software lets you track, gather, manage, and share accurate, up-to-date information about a facility. It combines several data streams to give you a complete picture of your overall position (maintenance activities, asset conditions, etc.). Now that you know this, you can:
Establish more precise capital budgets (and show the data you used to come up with your budget)
Show the costs and risks of putting off purchases and projects that need capital.
Give feedback that is backed up by data to other departments.
Be a reliable source for all facilities.
Using your facility’s data with FM software can help your business work better together and be more open.
Cloud app fails for local government facilities management
CloudApper Facilities is an all-in-one facilities management solution for state and local governments that:
Asset management, Maintenance supervision, Building management Work order management.
Contact us now to find out how we can help you deal with some of the most challenging FM problems.