Are your maintenance workflows failing? Are your work requests getting lost, jobs stalling, SLAs being missed and costs rising? If so, what’s the problem? And how do you resolve it?

If these issues are familiar to you, you’re not alone. Maybe it’s because you’re using email and Excel sheets to try to marshall your workflows (research says 90% of spreadsheets contain broken links, problematic formulas and other errors). But many companies - even those who have bought costly FM software to streamline the way they work - can find their process breaking down over time. Having a well-documented procedure and training programme won’t close the process gaps created by clunky and inadequate software.

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Here are 5 reasons your maintenance workflows may be failing:

1. Your workflows are not optimised for mobile

You may have digital workflows of sorts in place, but they’re not optimised for mobile. An FM platform that can’t be accessed on tablets and phones may be causing your team to abandon the process. When it comes to logging problems, users may be tied to desktops, so fail to flag issues as soon as they see them - or in an incomplete way. At the same time engineers may not be able to seek help to expedite a fix, or record their hours in real-time.

Without a workflow optimised for mobile:

  • Processes can collapse
  • Vital data can go uncollected
  • Engineer tracking/support is difficult
  • Security can be compromised as unauthorized channels/platforms are used

Instead, choose cloud-based CAFM software that’s secure and accessible from any device. And make sure it has a world-beating, mobile optimised interface. It’ll be worth it.

2. You’re still manually logging work requests

It’s 2022 but you’re still manually logging work requests. Your process may be failing because customers are having to phone your help desk or send an email, for you to complete a work order on their behalf. 

This is slowing everything up and eating into your time and resources.

The right CAFM tools will help you:

  • Mobile optimised user work order request forms - make sure anyone can log an issue wherever they are
  • Capture structured data on work order creation - always get the data you need direct from the requester
  • Capture photos/videos - so your engineers can see exactly what’s going wrong 
  • Requester and Contractor based SLA selection - understand service expectations from the outset

Get this right and you can start to spend time on strategic and commercially rewarding tasks, rather than simply being administrators. 

3. Your team are still overwhelmed by calls and emails

You don’t have a single system where your clients are logging work requests and through which you are contacting engineers and contractors. Calls and emails are pouring in to different people in different ways. Hours are lost in chasing engineers and contractors by phone. Process is collapsing.

Instead, look for a CAFM that offers:

  • Automatic notification updates - to keep all stakeholders constantly informed
  • Easy search function - so queries can be followed up
  • Contractor reminders and alerts - for SLAs at risk / breached or overdue callouts and services
  • Work order activity stream for more effective collaboration

4. You can’t see what’s happening to your work requests

Data, communications, documents and work order histories are scattered across different systems. You can’t tell what’s going on with each job. A lack of oversight and tracking is leading to stalled jobs, duplication of work, wasted money and a lack of data for future task optimisation.

 Choose the CAFM tools that offer:

  • Real-time operational dashboards - tracking job status/KPIs in real-time
  • Public and private communications - keep communication flowing
  • Files, photos and document storage - associate documentation with assets
  • Clear work order audit trail - for compliance and process optimisation
  • Clear SLA metrics recorded for contractors - to track meaningful KPIs
  • Date dimensions such as ETA, Due Date, Action Date - sets clear expectations and drives down inbound contacts to your team

5. Your process is not automated

You know how your system is supposed to work. You may have told your team how to deal with work requests a thousand times. You may have detailed and well-documented compliance steps for them to follow. But if these processes aren’t supported with automation (or if they are only partly automated) vital steps can be omitted or your workflows can simply grind to a halt.

You need to choose a system that lets you build the mobile optimised workflows that work for you.

Choose a CAFM that comes with:

  • Dynamic/custom workflow builder
  • Duplicate work order recognition
  • Automatic notifications e.g. Contractor reminders
  • Triggered automation e.g. auto-triage 
  • Personalised user experience - that helps users only see what they need to see

Great workflow management is about automating and joining up procedures. It closes up process gaps and improves levels of service. It ensures that jobs are always moving through your system and that you are recording evidence of what you are doing for future optimisation and auditing.

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Josh Greibach

Written by Josh Greibach

Josh Greibach is the CEO & Co-Founder of Expansive Solutions. His passion is delivering value through data-driven strategies. With a proven track record in leading successful teams for both B2C and B2B, Josh now focuses on rocking the world of facilities management with his FM software. He's here to revolutionise the industry and help businesses thrive in our digital-driven world.

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