Why a Tablet is the New Best Friend of a Facility Manager

Just this week I met a Facility Manager, let’s call her Mary, who single-handedly looked after a huge student hotel and as you can guess, her hands were full with all the day to day hustle and bustle that comes with one (especially now that schools have started).

Not an unfamiliar situation for many, I believe. There always seems to be more to do than time to do it in. And always a trend to be more efficient with less. But how does one manage to surf this tidal wave of to-dos? Here's Mary's story.

Like many others, Mary felt that the issues that are both important and pressing are the ones that need to be done first. The issues that are pressing but not as important follow suit, and the important but not pressing issues are left to be done tomorrow. Or during next week. Or the following. You know how it is.

One area that fell all too often to negligence, is that of compliance assessments.
I presume you know how many different checklists and reports a facility manager has to work with (if you don't, believe me, there are several). Endless paperwork to fill in, tick the boxes, crunch everything into excel, write report on the word template, and pdf it to whoever needs to be reported to, from senior management to the health and safety authorities. And after all this the papers are filed, just in case the auditor needs to see them.

Mary’s boss is a keen man to improve the business. And to do so, he requires everybody to report to him, as one would expect. One area, in particular, he’s interested in is the state of the buildings they manage as a company. Not only because it’s their responsibility to manage them, but also, because of the owners of the buildings, the customers, want to know the condition of their asset too!

Completing all the checklists and reporting needn’t be so difficult and hard.
What if most of the process would be automated? By taking the checklists from paper onto a smart platform this is exactly what is being done. Now Mary does everything on her tablet, adding the pictures she needs with just a tap of a finger; and sends the report forward to the dashboard which can be monitored by her boss around the clock, if he want’s to.

Moreover, Mary’s boss is grateful, because now, when the customer asks for a report on the facilities, he doesn’t have to harass Mary for the reports and apologise to the customer for delivering them late. All he has to do is email a report to the customer straight from the software. By streamlining the process, both Mary and her boss now have time to work on more pressing matters.

If you want to understand the why behind the situation Mary or her boss was in, check our blog series about the VUCA framework. For the how of avoiding a situation like that, check And for a real-life example, check the Fortum case study:

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Anthony Jones

Chief Operating Officer