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An essential element for the delivery of any facilities management service is a competent planning function that quickly allows you to get an up to the minute view of tasks at any time and in any location.

In this whitepaper we look at ways technology can help improve scheduling and what the benefits are from a both a customer loyalty and financial perspective. 

THE IMPACT OF SCHEDULING ON MARGINS

In an industry that works on tight margins, scheduling is crucial. Time wasted is money lost, which is why facilities management and support services organisations are keen to invest in the latest scheduling technology.

In our experience, we estimate that without the right planning tools in place an organisation is losing between 10-20% of operating profit through:

  • Over delivery of hours
  • Manual processes which are prone to human error
  • Inefficient use of frontline teams in terms of hours matched to roles
  • Unbillable hours through failed delivery

This does not include the lost value of time being spent with customers because senior operations staff are spending too much time off-site doing unnecessary admin.

With efficient planning, tight control over the cost of delivery and access to real-time information, high margins can be maintained. If every contract operates on schedule with the correct mix of skills and roles on site i.e. each contract delivered on time and on budget, you’ll see your profits rise.

As you will appreciate, this is far easier to plan than to execute. With efficient, intelligent processes you can also reinstate the time senior operations spend with a client tracking and improving your service.

THE USE OF FM TECHNOLOGY

The FM Software Survey 2016 provided an informative look at the use of technology in the facilities management and support services industry.

This UK-wide survey looked into how technology is affecting facilities management and revealed that the use of FM software has increased to 43% from 36% in 2015.

However, 14% of respondents said they still use a paper-based method to manage their operations.

This can be a costly strategy for any FM business as it is time-consuming, doesn’t allow for collaboration and is prone to human error. It also doesn’t promote control, expediency and expertise within your business, nor does it offer the output or level of intelligence a competitive enterprise requires. 

SCHEDULING SOFTWARE FOR FM

Software that regulates and polices schedules should ideally be a part of your standard operations. The latest FM software enables you to deliver against difficult service demands; note, FM Software not just any software.

As an industry we are contract-centric. We need to optimise our workforce not just against their contracts of employment but also against the contracts we have committed to service.

You should be able to plan delivery of hours, budgets and the mix of personnel appropriate to the costs you have estimated for the provision of facilities management.

You should be able to track what is in contract (included in your service) and identify what is an additional requirement and chargeable according to those rates. 

DIFFERENT SCHEDULING OPTIONS

With the right workforce management software, the ability to operate multiple complex schedules makes workforce management a more efficient process.

You can integrate rules and processes based on each individual, site or contract, as well as accommodate company policy and legislative demands. Scheduling should be customised to prevent under or over-delivery or a lack of relevant skills in certain areas, for example: if you’ve anticipated higher costs, and have agreed contracts accordingly – you can protect your business from margin erosion and failure to deliver to SLAs.

BUDGETING AND COST CONTROL

When it comes to the problems faced by facilities management and support services organisations, delivering to budget comes top of the list.

In a competitive industry that works to tight margins, it was unsurprising that most respondents to the FM Software Survey 2016 cited the following as their principal challenges in delivering FM:

Scheduling software will ensure your workforce’s activities are optimised to deliver precisely against the agreed outlines of the contract.

Scheduling data can be fed into your financial analysis to give you the information you need to forecast the levels of time and costs involved before you take on a new contract. This analysis will then allow you to price more accurately and allocate the correct level of staff to a job.

This degree of control over-planning, time allocation and resourcing gives you the ability to stay on top of costs and remain on budget. This then means you can price contracts accordingly in order to remain competitive.

PURPOSE BUILT FOR FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

Tight scheduling and the ability to view delivery in detail is essential in the facilities management and support services industry due to margin pressures and budgetary constraints.

That’s why it is essential to invest in purpose-built software that has been developed especially for FM, for example, Timegate from Innovise is designed for facilities management and the support services sector. It’s able to offer specific, filtered and up to the minute intelligence on business compliance, profitability and effectiveness.

With live data gathered from every corner of your business, Timegate dashboards enable you to cut through the noise to see the information that’s important to you. Scheduling is then presented in a clear, user appropriate format – enabling your workers, whether in-house staff or third party contractors to follow the same plan.

Cutting out the need to search for information, Timegate scheduling software saves time as it lists the information that is relevant to you or your department. Your workforce only sees what they need to see – harnessing valuable time that allows them to get on with the task in hand, meeting the SLAs of each contract.

With the ability to provide reports and graphical representation of data, Timegate’s intelligent technology sets it apart from other similar software solutions on the market today.

Learn more about Timegate & Servicetrac or find out more about Innovise Software.