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Are archaic supplier management and reporting methods holding back FM industry?

Many managers are failing to use software to manage the FM function, according to the Annual FM Software survey by Service Works Group and i-FM. In this technological age, 31% of FM organisations are still relying on spreadsheets (Excel) and 14% on paper-based tools, the survey reports.

According to the authors, such a failure to make use of modern software is “leaving (those firms) not only without global access to information for consistent management reporting, but also vulnerable to serious service failure, lack of compliance or health and safety breaches.”

FM software usage

Survey respondents (45% of which worked in-house and 31% were outsourced service providers), reported that they were, however, using FM software for:

  1. Maintenance (91% using Computer aided Facilities Management/CAFM for reactive maintenance and 88% to manage planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedules).
  2. Asset management (72%)
  3. Contract management (47%)
  4. Mobile workforce management (35%)
  5. Health and safety (34%)
  6. Resource management (32%)
  7. Space planning and move management (29%).

Over half of the FM service providers reported that they had integrated their FM software with other systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, health and safety and financial systems.

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The most significant trend identified was the move to mobile apps, with 72% of respondents reporting that they were using tablet and mobile technology as part of their FM strategy to manage contractors and operatives. This had increased from 45% last year.

Commenting on the survey, Len Simmons, Chief Operating Officer for FM compliance specialist Altius, said:

“While many FMs are utilising smart technology to manage suppliers and contractors, there’s a sizeable number who remain reliant on old fashioned paper-based or spreadsheet systems, which are no longer fit for purpose. These archaic management processes eat up multiple manpower hours and  expose organisations to risk because there’s a lack of visibility and it takes so long to retrieve essential information.”

Integrated solutions can help

He continued: “The survey also shows that nearly 50 per cent of FM providers aren’t integrating their software solutions. In the case of supplier management and supply chain compliance, If data sits in ‘silos’ across multiple platforms there will be blind spots, which can add risk and inefficiency.”

Altius’ cloud-based Exigo software enables FM providers to gain complete, real-time visibility of the compliance of their suppliers. This provides a real-time, collaborative solution that scales with their business and enables them to focus on developing productive and secure supplier partnerships.

Exigo data is flexible and can integrate with any other enterprise or back office systems to give users the complete picture based on information from across the enterprise. It can be integrated into existing finance or ERP systems, allowing users to measure compliance risk against up-to-date spend information. The data can be easily exported in a wide range of formats.


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