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Top 5 Reasons Facility Managers Need Space Management Software
How using software as a service (Saas) to track facilities data results in lower costs, improved flexibility and more productivity
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INTRODUCTION

The concept of space management has come a long way over the years. In the beginning, there were no easy solutions to the office space issues that companies faced. If a room was being misused, or resources were being allocated poorly, there was little that a business could do. Corporate leaders lacked the resources needed to gather information and make intelligent decisions.

Slowly, that problem began to dissipate over time. Whereas in the beginning, businesses had no tools at their disposal beyond pen and paper, they eventually began to incorporate more technology into the day-to-day details of managing their offices. That began with such tools as Excel spreadsheets, a moderately hightech method of organizing data, and from there, facilities management solutions continued to evolve.

The wave of the future lies in the letters SaaS - software as a service. By using software solutions to keep track of their facilities' data, managers can have realtime access to information that will help them make critical decisions.

The market for SaaS is growing everywhere, not just in the realm of facilities management. According to Gartner research reported by Forbes, overall global revenue generated by the SaaS market reached $14.5 billion in 2012. Companies everywhere are realizing the many benefits that software solutions can have in improving their operations.

In terms of space management, what does this mean? The answer, in brief: lower costs, improved flexibility and, ultimately, a more productive business. Read on to discover the specifics.

1. Reducing occupancy costs

It's alarming how ineffective most companies are at using their workspaces optimally. According to a recent report from IWMS News, almost 45 percent of a business' space portfolio is vacant at any given time. Businesses are constantly failing to allocate their space properly - because their offices are always in flux due to transitioning employees and relocating departments, rooms are always falling through the cracks, going underused.

By using space management software, businesses can fix this problem. Software solutions help facilities managers by pointing out which rooms in their buildings are being used too little and which are being used too much. Using the real-time data that's at their fingertips, executives can shed superfluous real estate, scaling down their office spaces to the exact size that's right for them. This means no more wasted rent money - every dollar achieves the maximum effect.

2. Reducing need for expansion

Corporate department heads are always looking to expand. The bigger the office, the greater their power, and thus ambitious executives are always asking their facilities managers for more, more, more. Often, though, these expansions are unnecessary. What these departments need isn't more space - it's a more optimal strategy for using the space they already have.

Using space management software can remove the guesswork from this process. No longer do facilities managers need to make decisions about expanding offices based on intuition. Instead, they can use technological solutions that show them exactly where their spaces are being underutilized, proving when expansions aren't needed.

3. Improving space flexibility

There's an exact science that goes into using an office space optimally. For example, businesses need to make sure each department is in a location that makes logical sense, and like-minded offices should be near each other. If the payroll office and the benefits office communicate regularly, they should be on neighboring floors to facilitate easier communication and collaboration.

Using software can make it easy for facilities managers to solve these mysteries. By pointing out which departments interact with which others and where they're located, these solutions can point to inefficiencies in building layouts and help companies become more flexible. Ultimately, this should make their whole companies more productive.

4. Making data visible

The most concrete way that space management software makes a difference is by presenting businesses with data. Companies don't need to make important decisions about their offices based on people's opinions - facilities managers can make their own judgments about whether an office is designed well or a room is used properly, but those judgments are subject to human error. Thanks to software solutions, they can act instead based on cold, hard facts.

According to FacilitiesNet, the phenomenon of "big data" is revolutionizing facilities management. Michael Bendewald, a built environment consultant for Rocky Mountain Institute, argues that thanks to the data revolution, companies have easier access to information, and furthermore, it's better organized than ever before.

"We're not talking about simple spreadsheets full of utility bills and asset information tucked away in various facility managers' PCs," Bendewald writes. "We're talking about a single database of all that information and more, easily accessible to stakeholders."

Businesses use IWMS solutions to analyze everything from site selection and leasing to cost management to security. In all of these endeavors, better access to data can make all the difference in companies' decision making processes.

5. Increasing productivity

The ultimate goal of companies who use space management software is to become more productive. Over the long term, this is a realistic outcome to expect, as using SaaS solutions is a far more efficient way of managing facilities than the old-fashioned methods. By using software instead of pen and paper to organize their offices, companies can make decisions more quickly and effectively.

Time will be saved, as having instant access to data takes a great deal of legwork out of the process, and money will be saved as well, since IWMS solutions serve to find and eradicate inefficiencies in spending. The beauty of facilities management software is that it helps companies take the energy they devote to their office buildings and reallocate it toward improving their enterprises overall.

iOffice makes software for those who want an FM tool that is easy to use, budget friendly & configurable; it is designed to save you money as well as increase production and efficiency. To receive a free 8-page guide with data, insights, stats and tips on space management software, please email iOffice. Besides space management, iOffice's software encompasses, asset management, inventory, moves, visitor tracking, mail and copy tracking, and more.

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