PRSM 2014 Trends Report - (Page 7)

TECHNOLOGY RULES The future of facilities management TRENDING: TECHNOLOGY Retailers have, however, begun to embrace the necessity of IT infrastructure improvements, research from the Platt Retail Institute has found. Platt Retail Institute’s research also found that the percentage of retailers planning to increase IT spending in the future exceeds many other sectors. In regards to facility maintenance technology, Software Advice’s recent 2013 CMMS Benchmark Report found that users of CMMS software reported the greatest satisfaction with their systems. In Maureen Lux Key Areas of Advancing Technology for FM operations Facility management, as it pertains to the retail community, historically has not been seen as cutting edge in regard to the adoption and implementation of new technology, but those days are fading in to the past. As consumers, we recognize our dependence on technology and as an industry, we are increasingly moving towards new technology with a myriad of smart devices and services to help communicate, capture, analyze, and act on the enormous amount of information. At Dollar Tree, Manager of Property Administration, Maureen Lux is not only aware of the advances in technology, she’s driving innovation down every available avenue and particularly in three key areas that seem to be trending up in the area of adoption. Mobility: It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Cell Phone Over 50 percent of the population owns a smart phone now and across the industry these devices are helping to automate core functionalities within daily work processes as well as updates with real-time updates on stores, equipment, maintenance schedules, etc. Dollar Tree’s customized Computerized Maintenance Management Software particular, CMMS users were most satisfied with their systems’ preventive maintenance features—a critical system functionality, particularly for retailers with a large number of stores. The same research from Software Advice found that professionals utilizing mobile technology were most satisfied, reporting an average satisfaction of 8.5 on a 10-point scale. As mobile applications have improved and mobile technology costs have decreased, retailers should consider mobile deployment options when evaluating new systems. (CMMS) system, from Officetrax, enables the Facilities Management team to integrate information sharing from various mobile devices, including tablet computers used by vendors in the field. Dollar Tree’s IT and operations departments have already introduced iPad apps that enable regional and district managers to access core company systems like email and payroll. Now the property management team is partnering with Officetrax to give them access to its CMMS system as well. With this app, managers conducting store tours or at home on weekends can quickly check on the status of a service request at any of their stores. The iPad customization should be ready for rollout by the end of this year. According to Tom Kay, Director, National Accounts Corrigo, Incorporated, “Mobility affords us access to virtual data that we have stored in our existing webbased systems and allow us to interact with our equipment and assets in the field, i.e. energy monitors, smart RFID tags or labels, QR code readers, etc.” Data Collection: Who Picks up the Tab? Do We All Benefit? Mobility is leads the industry into the second area of innovation and growth the use of technology as it applies to data collection. The old adage, “information is power,” certainly holds true in the world of retail maintenance. In a recent study by Corrigo approximately 30 percent of retail industry respondents considered the capturing of reliable data, or what is now being coined “predictive analytics,” as one of the top pressing needs in their organizations. Where in the past, most of the data collected was limited and often rarely used. The ability to leverage webbased software solutions like (CMMS), Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), and Energy Management Software (EMS) to accurately predict future trends by capturing key data is now essential to the success of any retail maintenance organization. This proved to be the case for both large and small companies who participated in the survey, although for somewhat different reasons. Facility managers and directors of the larger companies expressed the need to capture relevant historical data across all facilities and vendor types in order to make strategic decisions and to accurately report on maintenance and repair spending. According to an individual at one national chain, “We spend millions on facility management a year. I 2013 I 7

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PRSM 2014 Trends Report