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7 Steps to the Right FM Asset Management System

7 Steps to the Right FM Asset Management System

Every facilities management professional has a vast number of physical assets under his or her purview, from furniture and art, to tools and materials. Maintaining an inventory of all these assets is a labor-intensive, error-prone task if each individual item has to be physically located and manually counted. Bar coding has long been used as way to speed up inventories, and RFID technology is becoming ever more common as an FM asset management tool. Which technology is the right one for your facility?

John Rimer, writing in, outlines 7 steps to choosing the best technology for facilities management, including asset management systems. His recommendations:

  1. Identify the stakeholders– senior management, human resources, finance, and end users – and determine the impact the asset management technology will have on their work. Ideally, everyone will benefit from the new technology.
  2. Examine the workflow for your facility’s asset management, and look for problem areas. Are there duplications of effort? Inaccuracies? Incomplete communications? Safety issues? Then define your target workflow, one that asset management technology can help to achieve.
  3. Develop system requirements that fit the target workflow needs. If your assets are primarily large and easy to access, like furniture or file folders, a bar code system could be the solution. If your organization has many assets in warehouses, or a large quantity of small items, a combination of handheld and doorway-mounted RFID readers may be the right fit.
  4. Research potential providers by talking to colleagues, attending industry conferences, and talking to third-party experts. Set specifications for your ideal vendor – areas of expertise, years in business, product lines, etc. – and create a short list of vendors who fit your requirements.
  5. Solicit proposals from the vendors on your short list, including your goals for the technology, and a detailed scope of work. Remember: the lowest bid isn’t always the best bid, and a bargain price may be masking a lack of functionality or robustness.
  6. Interview top candidates and give them a “script” of several tasks which their technology should be able to solve. Then observe a demo of their solution for these tasks, looking particularly for ease of use, flexibility, and intuitiveness.
  7. Negotiate the contract with the successful candidate, and work with them to develop an implementation plan.

Keep in mind that the system you choose, whether it’s RFID or bar code or a combination of both, should be able to grow with your organization into the future.

Your FM operation is unique. The ideal asset management technology vendor will be willing to consult with you to determine the best system for your workflow needs and the stakeholders’ goals, prior to any sale. Choose a vendor who can customize the technology to fit your unique needs, one who will stand by you, and stand behind their products, for the long term.

Photo © Elnur/AdobeStock

How Document Conversion Boosts Employee Satisfaction

How Document Conversion Boosts Employee Satisfaction

Document conversion already has a number of well-proven benefits, including:

  • Reduced filing space requirements
  • Fast, accurate information retrieval
  • Secure information access
  • Compliance with accessibility regulations

The value of these benefits is easy to quantify, and makes a strong financial case in favor of transforming your operation’s paper documents to searchable, accessible digital documents.

There’s another benefit, however. It’s less obvious, but it translates into cost savings just as surely as those other benefits listed above. It’s the value of employee health and job satisfaction created by telework. A recent study showed some rather alarming statistics associated with long commutes:

  • 33% more likely to suffer from depression
  • 37% more likely to suffer financial anxieties
  • 12% more likely to have work-related stress
  • 46% more likely to be sleep-deprived
  • 21% more likely to be obese

The bottom line: A long commute cuts deeply into employees’ job satisfaction and productivity. In the Washington, D.C., area, the average public transportation commute time is 86 minutes.

But there’s a solution, and it involves document conversion.

Current trends show that a combination of telework and flexible office hours is optimal for employee satisfaction, loyalty, longevity, and productivity. This is where document conversion comes into the picture. A document may have originated on paper, but once it is converted to a digital format, it can be accessed from anywhere. Work can continue whether an employee is in the office or at home. Moreover, security protocols control who is allowed to read documents and edit them, ensuring the safety of sensitive information – a higher degree of security than paper documents which can easily be lost or misfiled, or fall into the wrong hands.

It doesn’t take an in-depth study to tell managers that employee satisfaction translates into profits. Hiring and training alone are costly, averaging $4189 to hire and $1886 to train just one new employee. But with the greater employee satisfaction which telework creates, these are costs that businesses can avoid. Add these HR savings to the value of reduced storage space, increased productivity, and improved security, and the conclusion is obvious: Document conversion is good for your employees and good for your bottom line.


Photo © elnariz/AdobeStock