The bigger you get, the more important it is to have reliable, repeatable systems for pulling everything and everyone together. A five-people start-up sitting in a shared workspace could get by without even email, but an enterprise-level organization with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of employees spread out across a global corporate real estate portfolio of company campuses, facilities, and leased offices needs a robust, modern facility management solution that supports collaboration by breaking down data silos.  

Research into current workplace trends has highlighted the importance of connection and collaboration for hybrid work model employees. According to Eptura’s proprietary research in the 2024 Workplace Index report, connecting with colleagues and working together are the two top reasons for coming into the office. But the concept of collaboration is just as important for the facility and maintenance teams that keep everything up and running so that when people are in the office, they can be productive.  

Unless the manager and technicians have reliable systems for collaboration, the team falls apart, leading to a heavier reliance on on-demand maintenance, which brings with it less predictability and more costs. In fact, according to that same report, the average full-time employee time spent on reactive maintenance is double that of preventive maintenance inspections and tasks. Finding and fixing small issues before they grow into large problems takes half as long. 

How facility management software brings it all together 

Large organizations have always relied on large hierarchical systems to manage maintenance, from generating, assigning, and tracking work orders to controlling inventory. The difference was that in the past, these systems were both complex and complicated, involving manual data capture that was time consuming and unreliable, making on-demand, preventative, and predictive maintenance nearly impossible to execute efficiently.

But now teams can implement facility maintenance software to remove the complications. The systems are still large and complex, but automation and built-in user-friendly features make it possible for teams to extend the useful lives of assets, cut costs through operational efficiencies, and control inventory at scale. 

Facility maintenance software helps you pull the team together by first centralizing your data. With a dense, centralized database containing thousands of data points, facility and maintenance managers can quickly access and share information on specific pieces of equipment. From there, they can generate reports that help them see — and plan for—the maintenance big picture. 

Improving internal communication for stronger SOPs and better troubleshooting 

Modern facility management systems help improve internal communication through centralized and accurate record-keeping, allowing for the timely sharing of objectives, tasks, and expectations. Because all the data is in one place, everyone can have equal access to it.  

The result is a transparency that encourages and then enforces accountability. 

At the technicians’ level, they get standardized work orders packed with everything they need to close out efficiently, from lists of associated parts and materials to step-by-step instructions.

And because the same information is shared between and then followed by the technicians, the department knows everyone is using the most up-to-date standard operating procedures (SOPs), improving the quality of the work and simplifying the troubleshooting process if anything doesn’t go according to plan. 

For larger organizations spread over multiple locations, the advantages increase. Every efficiency discovered at one location can be shared by the maintenance department across all the others, creating a cascade of saved time, money, and effort. 

Beyond simply being a powerful tool for work orders, the platform helps establish the concept of real-time collaboration between various stakeholders. By bringing more factions together that had previously operated in silos, business owners can ensure the right information is getting to the right people.

The facility team can share data with the maintenance department. Accounting gets more accurate data on hours worked and money spent. Acquisitions has a stronger sense of when assets need to be replaced. They also have more insights into which suppliers are providing the best parts and materials. 

Bridging the gap between maintenance generations and speeding up onboarding 

A large factor in the ongoing maintenance technician shortage is the increasing number of retirements. For many companies, losing technicians means also losing a lot of institutional knowledge. The process of digitizing and centralizing maintenance policies and procedures protects “tribal knowledge,” the collective maintenance know-how that often only lives inside the heads of more senior staff. Teh benefits are both long- and short-term. As new staff come into the department, it’s easier to train them with organized, accurate documentation. And you can send them solo out on assignments sooner knowing they can always access instructions from any connected device.   

Improving relationships with suppliers and vendors 

Just as important as how the team works together is how it gets along with third-party vendors and suppliers.  In cases where an organization outsources parts of its equipment maintenance program, it needs to make sure that it’s using a platform helps:
Maintain accurate contact information on third parties 

  • Assign work orders outside the organization 
  • Streamline ordering for parts and materials 
  • Track and close out work completed by vendors 

A unified, end-to-end solution allows vendors and business stakeholders easy access to the information and tools they need to perform maintenance projects because it’s all organized in one location. 

Third-party-vendor-management

Also, managers can add clear, precise instructions to work orders, removing the likelihood of preventable errors. If issues do arise with a vendor or supplier, the maintenance department already has the paper trail it needs to clear up any confusion or settle any disputes. 

The key to collaboration for facility and maintenance teams is a modern software solution that helps bring them all together online, no matter how physically spread out they are across locations. Once everyone starts working from the same sets of data, they stop wasting time, boosting operational efficiency and cutting costs. But facility software does more than help you bring those teams together. By breaking down data silos, you can connect stakeholders from across the enterprise, including everything from accounting to procurement.  

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Jonathan writes about asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions in his role as a digital content creator at Eptura. He covers trends across industries, including fleet, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality, with a focus on delivering thought leadership with actionable insights. Earlier in his career, he wrote textbooks, edited NPC dialogue for video games, and taught English as a foreign language. He hold a master's degree in journalism.