Software Advice routinely hears from businesses on the hunt for the best facilities management software. With all this information coming in, it's clear that there's value in compiling that information and issuing reports about it. Therefore, Software Advice took a random sample of its interactions and presented that as a means to show what the market is likely looking for in facilities management. The results may prove surprising.
The Software Advice study showed that there's quite a bit of opportunity in the field. While educational building managers mainly turn to facilities management systems—37 percent of cases did—managers of office and healthcare buildings didn't have similar systems in place. In fact, 28 percent of office building managers and 35 percent of healthcare building managers had no formal system in place to speak of. That wasn't to say that less than formal systems weren't in use; many prospective buyers put pen and paper to use instead, while others turned to spreadsheets, email or text messages, or even some combination therein. Reports suggested that healthcare building managers were most likely to turn to pen and paper at 33 percent, while office building managers did likewise at 23 percent.
For smaller businesses, the report found that the main goal of facilities management tools was to maintain better records. Around 40 percent of the sample managed between one and four buildings total, while a little better than 20 percent managed between 10 and 24 buildings. Overall, though, around 75 percent of buyers were managing between one and 24 buildings, and that too meant some clear possibilities for system makers. For instance, offering mobile device service is great for someone who has a large number of buildings to manage in the overall system—five percent of buyers managed over 200 buildings, just to show where the top end of this study was—but when it's fewer than 20 and all close together, the need for mobile service might not be so great.
Finally, the report noted that one of the biggest challenges involved in buying property management systems was, almost counter-intuitively, the lack of specific features. It may seem strange given that we just discussed how companies were actually buying too much to get all the features, but there are some features that just don't seem to be readily available. Record keeping is still an issue in some cases; while better record keeping was a problem for 31 percent of users not turning to property management systems, it was still a problem for eight percent of users actually using such a system. Other functions often needed include space management systems, maintenance agreement document tracking, and equipment settings tracking are all important features.
This is a document that should prove very valuable to those who make facilities maintenance software, as it will make quite clear just what's desired, as well as likely targets for sales calls. The more closely the offered software can match the desires of those who buy it, the more likely it is that said firms will buy the software. It's clear record-keeping is a big part of a facilities management buy, but it's far from the only such reason to buy, as some firms are just getting started with such software. Providing a good value here will depend on the ability to display just what the software can do, and Software Advice seems to have handed software makers the keys to the kingdom with this new study.
Edited by Maurice Nagle