These days, compliance for Facilities Managers covers everything from H&S, to data governance, supplier management and financial control. But in the end, meeting these requirements comes down to managing just 3 things: people, process and paperwork. Get this right, and compliance can become less of a laborious, box ticking exercise and more ‘the way you do things’ as a business.
What are the three main tasks of facilities management?
We would argue that the three main tasks of Facilities Management are managing people, process and paperwork. Everything else follows from there. All of the day-to-day and big picture FM duties, from work order management, to asset control, supplier management and invoicing all boils down to controlling these three things in the most efficient way possible. And compliance does, too.
How a manual compliance process can fail
Compliance in a manual system can be a continual round of chasing people to follow processes, then completing paperwork to evidence your business is doing what it should be. But in a manual system this can just end up being a box-ticking exercise rather than actually making a difference to what happens on the ground.
At the same time, modern businesses are continually growing and evolving. Standards, regulations and legal requirements are always changing and tightening. In your organisation, people move, priorities change and processes need to be continually optimised and updated to meet your goals. As the number of people and premises you manage shift and change, you need to ensure standards are applied automatically and consistently.
How can you streamline compliance in your FM team?
If you're going to keep on top of statutory and regulatory compliance, you’ll need to digitise and automate the way your people work together to follow your processes, ensuring they continuously generate and manage the documentation to prove compliance and improve performance.
If you do this, your team will be able to deliver safer equipment and facilities, faster and with fewer errors.
Managing people, process and paperwork with FM software
Why the 3Ps are critical to compliance?
People are at the heart of compliance.
People service equipment, they clean facilities, they manage and share the records and documents you need to keep business safe from the risk of failure. If you have the digital tools to manage communications between them and direct their activities, you’ll have all the oversight and control you need to define, share and follow required processes.
Process is how you ensure consistent quality outcomes.
Managing the way your people work (through work permits, workflows, notifications, alerts, handling financial records etc) will help your team follow consistent working processes that meet the requirements of the standards and regulations.
Documentation is how you prove that those standards and regulations have been followed.
FM software that records and monitors communications and outcomes in real time, automatically generating the data and documents you will need to prove compliance. Structuring, organising and storing this documentation digitally is the way you make information easily available for training, audits and continuous improvement.
Automate the cycle within a CAFM for more frictionless compliance
Fundamentally, compliance needs your people to:
- Know what is required of them
- Follow processes effectively
- Carry out work safely
- Prove that they have done so
If you can automate this cycle within a CAFM, your people will be able to follow processes more effectively and your system will be a real-time record of all the work you do.
- Show your people the processes they need to follow
- Digitally direct and manage them as they complete their tasks
- Prompt and remind them to complete required documentation
- Structure and organise data and documents in your system ready for audit
When it comes to compliance, don’t just think about it as ‘box ticking'. Digitise and automate the way you work with a CAFM and the frictionless management of people, process and documentation will simply become ‘the way you do things ‘.
It’ll make you smarter and more efficient as an organisation, and it’ll help you breeze through those audits that you used to dread.
Above all , you’ll be using the system to your advantage to keep your facilities safe for your staff, visitors and engineers.