Managing facilities is becoming more complicated. It’s more important than ever to use integrated workplace management solutions, not platforms driven by siloed data. An inability to holistically evaluate your workplace and facilities, you won’t see the relationships between individual segments of the business.

How does maintenance affect space utilization? Will better vendor management reduce facility costs? How is your lease administration impacting your balance sheet? These questions and a thousand others need answers, and the only way to find them is through a top-down, encompassing view of your facilities. Nothing provides this level of objectivity quite like an IWMS.

An IWMS Solution

What’s an IWMS? To get integrated workplace management solutions, companies need an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). An IWMS digitally connects the dots between business processes and how each affects operations as a whole. It’s the dashboard system facility managers use to collect and interpret data, recognize trends, plan changes, execute processes, and generally manage the workplace.

An IWMS shows workplace managers how to capitalize on its digital tools and resources. Take a look at some of the core tools of an IWMS:

  • Portfolio management—Portfolio management is among the core IWMS solutions any business can capitalize on. Whether you have one location or a dozen, it pays to have macro insights about real estate. How much are you paying in leasing and building maintenance? What’s the capacity of each building or floor? Is it time to move?
    Portfolio management is particularly crucial for companies expecting growth or looking at consolidation. It provides good data for big-time decision-making about facilities and affiliated costs of operation.
  • Lease administration—Lease administration is a complex process, beginning by identifying need and relying on constant cost evaluation. Having tools to manage the process is imperative to controlling this costly facet of facilities.
    Have your occupancy expectancies changed? What’s your total facility management budget? Are there cap-ex improvements to consider? Are you coming up on a renewal and a chance to renegotiate rates and terms? IWMS tools give managers access to the resources and planning tools to account for these questions and any others involving leasing.
  • Workplace allocation—Workspace management software is a must-have in today’s agile, flexible offices. Knowing how to divvy up the workplace, what types of desking concepts are viable, and what utilization levels look like are all variables in maximizing workplace efficiency. IWMS puts facility managers in control of the physical workplace in ways like never before.
    Use integrated occupancy sensor data to determine peak utilization by workspace type. Look at stack plans to understand workforce distribution across a building. Use utilization trends to understand the types of workspaces most in-demand. An IWMS brings insights to the tangible workplace, so managers can shape it to the needs of the business and its employees.
  • Maintenance planning—Buildings need upkeep. A lot of it. From a simple hole in the drywall, landscape improvements, and remodels,someone has to make sure it all gets done. Maintenance planning involves budgeting, identifying need, and coordinating projects—all things an IWMS platform can do.
    An IWMS streamlines service requests for the everyday maintenance items. It has tools for project planning and budgeting, including creating proposals and reviewing bids. It offers a holistic view of how maintenance affects the business at large. An IWMS simplifies maintenance planning by taking it out of spreadsheets and documents, and putting it into a dynamic dashboard where it offers contextual insights.
  • Service management—Many companies have begun the shift to integrated facilities management. They’re consolidating service partners and vendors, and negotiating better rates for more inclusive services. To do this, facility managers need data for contract leverage.
    An IWMS archives service contracts and invoicing records to show how much the business pays for certain services or to certain vendors. It details contracts and agreements, showing the full benefit of working with specific companies. The platform can even schedule and remind managers of maintenance, allowing them to coordinate them more efficiently. Having all this data and capability through a single platform is the path to integrated facilities management.

It’s all available through an IWMS

Facility managers are swimming in data and tasks—so many that it’s impossible to manage everything without the right software. An IWMS rolls everything into one, manageable place. Not only does it provide the insights and data for decision-making, it automates and streamlines processes to execute on those decisions.

Regardless of the types of workplace management solutions your facilities may benefit from, an IWMS is the path to unlocking them. From holistic facility management comes broadly beneficial initiatives that power business success.

Keep reading: What’s the Difference: IWMS, CMMS, CAFM and EAM?

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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.