Facility Management Software

What is facility management software?

Facility management software (FMS) is a comprehensive solution that helps manufacturing organizations manage their facilities more effectively. It provides tools for maintenance management, space management, asset tracking, and compliance monitoring, among other functions. By centralizing data and processes, FMS enables facility managers to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall performance of their manufacturing facilities.

Why is the purpose of facility management software

The primary purpose of facility management software (FMS) in manufacturing is to streamline and automate the management of facility-related tasks. This includes scheduling and tracking maintenance activities, managing space utilization, monitoring the condition of production assets, ensuring regulatory compliance, and improving communication and coordination among facility management teams. FMS aims to enhance the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations while minimizing downtime and operational disruptions.

What are the types of facility management software

Facility Management Software (FMS) for manufacturing can be categorized into several types based on their functionality and scope:

  • Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS): These systems offer a comprehensive suite of tools for managing all aspects of manufacturing facilities, including maintenance, space, real estate, and energy management.


  • Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM): Focuses on the planning and management of physical space, assets, and maintenance activities in manufacturing environments.


  • Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS): Primarily designed to manage maintenance activities, work orders, and preventive maintenance schedules specifically for manufacturing equipment and facilities.


  • Enterprise Asset Management (EAM): Emphasizes the management of physical assets throughout their lifecycle, including acquisition, maintenance, and disposal, tailored to the needs of manufacturing operations.

Why is facility management software important

Facility management software (FMS) is essential for ensuring the smooth operation and maintenance of manufacturing facilities. It helps organizations:

  • Increase Efficiency: Automate routine tasks, streamline processes, and improve resource allocation specific to manufacturing.


  • Reduce Costs: Optimize maintenance schedules, prevent equipment failures, and manage energy consumption effectively.


  • Enhance Compliance: Ensure adherence to regulatory standards and maintain accurate records for audits in the manufacturing sector.


  • Improve Decision-Making: Provide real-time data and analytics tailored to manufacturing for informed decision-making.


  • Boost Productivity: Minimize downtime and operational disruptions, leading to improved productivity in manufacturing processes.

What challenges are there with facility management software

High Initial Costs:

One of manufacturers’ most significant challenges when implementing facility management software (FMS) is the high initial investment required. This includes not only the cost of the software itself but also expenses related to hardware upgrades, customization, and integration services. Additionally, there may be costs associated with consulting services to help tailor the facility management software (FMS) to the specific needs of the manufacturing facility. These upfront costs can be a barrier, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises with limited budgets.


Integration with Existing Systems:

Integrating facility management software (FMS) with existing systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and other specialized software can be a complex and time-consuming process. This integration is crucial for ensuring seamless data flow and cohesive operation across different platforms. However, it often requires significant technical expertise and resources. The complexity increases if the existing systems are outdated or if there is a lack of standardization across the software solutions currently in use.


Data Management:

Accurate and consistent data entry and management are critical for the effective use of facility management software (FMS). In a manufacturing environment, this can be particularly challenging due to the high volume of data generated by various processes and equipment. Ensuring data integrity involves setting up robust data governance practices, regular audits, and validation checks. Inaccurate or inconsistent data can lead to poor decision-making, inefficiencies, and increased operational risks. Additionally, manufacturers must ensure that the data collected complies with regulatory requirements, which adds another layer of complexity.


User Training:

Effective utilization of facility management software (FMS) requires comprehensive training for all users. This includes not only initial training sessions but also ongoing education to keep up with software updates and new features. Training can be resource-intensive, requiring dedicated time from both trainers and employees. In a manufacturing setting where production schedules are tight, finding the time for thorough training can be challenging. Moreover, the varying levels of technical proficiency among staff can necessitate tailored training programs to ensure everyone can use the system effectively.


Continuous Updates:

Facility management software (FMS) needs to be regularly updated to include the latest features, security patches, and compliance requirements. Keeping the software up-to-date can be a daunting task, especially for manufacturers who operate in highly regulated industries. Each update requires careful planning and testing to ensure it does not disrupt ongoing operations. Manufacturers must also stay abreast of regulatory changes and ensure their FMS can meet new compliance standards. This continuous need for updates can strain IT resources and budget.


Customization and Scalability:

Manufacturers often require facility management software (FMS) solutions to be customized to fit their specific operational needs and workflows. Customization can be a complex process, requiring detailed analysis and adjustments to the software’s core functionality. Additionally, as manufacturing operations grow and evolve, the facility management software (FMS) must be scalable to accommodate increased workloads and new processes. Ensuring that the software remains flexible and adaptable to future needs without requiring significant rework or additional costs is a major challenge.


Resistance to Change:

Implementing a new facility management software (FMS) can face resistance from employees accustomed to existing processes and systems. Change management is a critical aspect of facility management software (FMS) implementation, requiring clear communication about the benefits of the new system, training to ease the transition, and ongoing support to address any issues. Overcoming resistance and fostering a culture that embraces technological advancements are essential for successful facility management software (FMS) adoption.


Compliance and Security:

Manufacturers must ensure that their facility management software (FMS) complies with industry-specific regulations and standards. This includes data security measures to protect sensitive information from cyber threats. Implementing robust security protocols and ensuring compliance with regulations such as ISO standards, FDA requirements, and other local and international guidelines can be resource-intensive and complex. Regular audits and updates to security measures are necessary to mitigate risks and ensure ongoing compliance.


By understanding and addressing these challenges, manufacturers can more effectively implement and utilize facility management software (FMS), enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and improving overall facility management.

The best practices of using facility management software

To maximize the benefits of facility management software (FMS), manufacturers should follow these best practices:


  • Conduct a Needs Assessment: Identify specific facility management needs in manufacturing and select a software solution that meets those requirements.


  • Involve Stakeholders: Engage all relevant stakeholders in the selection and implementation process to ensure buy-in and support.


  • Provide Comprehensive Training: Ensure that all users receive thorough training on how to use the software effectively.


  • Regularly Update Data: Maintain accurate and up-to-date records to ensure the reliability of the facility management software (FMS).


  • Monitor Performance: Continuously monitor the performance of the facility management software (FMS) and make adjustments as needed to improve efficiency.

How to improve facility management software

Improving the use of facility management software involves several key strategies, with adopting a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) playing a pivotal role in enhancing overall facility management.


Adopting a CMMS:

Integrating a CMMS with your FMS can significantly improve the management of maintenance activities, streamline workflows, and enhance data accuracy. A CMMS provides a centralized platform for tracking maintenance tasks, scheduling preventive maintenance, and managing work orders, which helps ensure that all facility management activities are well-coordinated and efficient.


Continuous Training:

Provide ongoing training to staff to ensure they are proficient in using the FMS and CMMS. Continuous education helps employees stay updated with the latest features and functionalities of the software. Regular training sessions can address gaps in knowledge and ensure that all users can utilize the software to its fullest potential. This training should be tailored to different user roles within the organization to maximize its effectiveness.


Regular Audits:

Conduct regular audits to identify and address any gaps in the system. Audits help ensure that the FMS and CMMS are used correctly and efficiently. They can reveal areas where processes can be optimized, highlight compliance issues, and ensure that data entered into the system is accurate and up-to-date. Regular audits also help maintain the system’s integrity and ensure it meets the facility’s evolving needs.


Feedback Mechanisms:

Implement feedback mechanisms to gather insights from users and make necessary improvements. User feedback is invaluable for identifying pain points and areas for enhancement.

By regularly soliciting feedback from FMS and CMMS employees, facility managers can make informed decisions about software updates, training needs, and process improvements. This ongoing dialogue helps ensure the system remains user-friendly and aligned with the organization’s operational goals.


Customizing the System:

Customize the FMS and CMMS to fit the specific needs of your manufacturing operations. Tailoring the software to address your facility’s unique requirements can improve user adoption and efficiency. Customization might include setting up specific maintenance schedules, creating tailored reports, and configuring dashboards that provide relevant insights to different user roles.


Ensuring Compliance and Security:

Keeping the FMS and CMMS updated is crucial for maintaining data security and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations. Regular updates help protect the system from vulnerabilities and ensure it can meet regulatory requirements.

How to build an effective facility management software strategy

Building an effective facility management software (FMS) strategy involves several key steps:

  • Assess Needs: Conduct a thorough assessment of facility management needs and challenges in manufacturing.


  • Define Objectives: Set clear objectives for what you aim to achieve with the facility management software (FMS).


  • Select the Right Software: Choose a software solution that aligns with your objectives and requirements.


  • Develop an Implementation Plan: Create a detailed plan for implementing the software, including timelines, resources, and responsibilities.


  • Train Users: Provide comprehensive training to ensure all users are proficient in using the software.


  • Monitor and Evaluate: Continuously monitor the performance of the facility management software (FMS) and evaluate its impact on manufacturing facility operations.

The key features of facility management software

The best facility management software (FMS) should be designed for manufacturing environments, providing a comprehensive suite of features to enhance facility operations and management. It should include:


Maintenance Management:

Scheduling and tracking preventive and corrective maintenance activities, allowing manufacturers to create detailed maintenance schedules, automatically generate work orders, and monitor the completion of maintenance tasks. This ensures that all manufacturing equipment remains in optimal condition, reducing downtime and extending the lifespan of assets.


Asset Management:

Monitoring the condition and performance of manufacturing assets and providing real-time tracking of all assets, including detailed records of maintenance history, usage, and performance metrics. This helps facility managers make informed decisions about asset utilization, replacement, and maintenance.


Space Management:

Advanced space management tools that allow efficient utilization and allocation of physical space within manufacturing facilities. The facility management software (FMS) should enable users to plan and optimize workspace layouts, track space occupancy, and manage the allocation of resources. This ensures that manufacturing operations are streamlined and that space is used effectively.


Compliance Management:

Ensuring adherence to regulatory standards is critical in manufacturing. The compliance management feature helps manufacturers maintain accurate records for audits and inspections. Software should include built-in compliance checklists, automated alerts for compliance tasks, and comprehensive reporting tools to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met consistently.


Reporting and Analytics:

Powerful reporting and analytics capabilities offer real-time data and insights for informed decision-making. CMMS software generates customizable reports on various aspects of facility management, including maintenance activities, asset performance, space utilization, and compliance status. These tools help identify trends, uncover inefficiencies, and support strategic planning.


Work Order Management:

Streamlining the creation, assignment, and tracking of work orders allows for the easy generation of work orders based on predefined maintenance schedules or ad-hoc requests. It tracks the progress of each work order, from assignment to completion, ensuring transparency and accountability. This feature helps maintain a well-organized workflow and ensures that maintenance tasks are completed efficiently.

The ROI of facility management software

The Return on Investment (ROI) of adopting facility management software (FMS) in manufacturing can be significant. By improving operational efficiency, reducing maintenance costs, and enhancing asset performance, FMS can lead to substantial cost savings.


A facility management software (FMS) can help prevent costly downtime and extend the lifespan of equipment, further increasing the ROI. The ability to ensure compliance and avoid regulatory fines also contributes to the financial benefits of FMS.


Overall, adopting an facility management software (FMS), more specifically a CMMS, can improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance facility management in manufacturing. With it, manufacturers can achieve a higher level of efficiency, compliance, and overall operational excellence.