Efficiency Strategies for Facility Managers in Times of Social Distancing

You’re used to not spending a lot of 1:1 time with your facilities team. And social distancing has brought a whole new spin to your projects, who can handle them, and what deadlines look like. Moreover, an unreliable CMMS during these times makes your job as a facility manager so much harder. But because this “new normal” is slowly turning into “normal, normal” maybe it’s time to consider updating your CMMS to a system that aligns better with the needs of your team.

What Is a CMMS?

Facility Managers use computerized maintenance management systems, or CMMS, which is software designed to keep track of an organization’s maintenance operations. They’re used to manage new work orders, review past ones, and even track data—all of which can benefit your organization’s bottom line—and that makes you look really good to your boss!

Social Distancing Guidelines and Facilities Management

With new CDC guidelines in place calling for no close contact requiring a minimum of six feet of space between yourself and other people, it makes face to face time with your team and end-users difficult. But adhering to social distancing recommendations can be a snap for facilities teams when they’re using the right CMMS. And these tools are what your software needs to have to ensure your team can do their part to flatten the curve while still getting work done.

One Channel for Communication and Managing Tasks

How do you currently communicate regarding maintenance projects? Text? Email? Calls? All three? An excellent CMMS will provide a strong line of communication in a single channel. And in addition to tracking progress on projects, you should also be able to remain updated on everyone’s workload—switching around assignments as needed. For many facilities managers, this is a huge relief when they can’t work directly with team members. A good CMMS will ease the stress associated with a lack of in-person discussions by aiding communication and efficiency on jobs.

File Sharing and Markup

When your team members are working in different locations, getting files organized and uploaded to a centralized location can be time-consuming, to say the least! Which is exactly why your CMMS should make this task a breeze.

Rather than relying on a VPN, consider using a cloud-based CMMS that will allow any type of file—jpeg, pdf, dwg, doc—to be uploaded and organized efficiently, allowing other team members to view, markup, and comment in-app.

In fact, this ease of use opens up many more doors of opportunity, letting team members who have more institutional knowledge about a problem or building to upload that information making it available for all team members to access. Likewise, user manuals and instructional videos for equipment can also be made available for sharing with team members through your work order system.

Collect Support Tickets and Set Priorities

Without seeing team members and end-users face-to-face, you as the facilities manager need ways to receive and prioritize projects that come in. And with many organizations working with skeleton staffs amidst social distancing guidelines, it’s more important than ever that anyone who comes in contact with an issue has the ability to submit a ticket for review without going through a cumbersome phone or text process where information is missed or forgotten. For instance, an excellent CMMS may introduce URLs for each floor of your building simplifying the organization of tickets. They also make it easy to prioritize what jobs come in so your team can get to the most pressing matter first rather than merely by the order tickets are submitted.

You’re used to not working closely with facilities team members often—but that doesn’t mean the need never arises. And having the wrong CMMS in place while trying to maintain social distance can prove disastrous not only for your team but for the entire organization. As everyone gets used to this new normal, ensure you’re making it easy for them to be at peak performance with an outstanding CMMS.

Why Layer?

An app like Layer is perfect for a facilities team working remotely. With an easy-to-learn interface and nimble features, it’s the perfect solution for your organization. Learn more >