Find the best Facilities Management Software for Schools
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As a school administrator, you know that managing a school campus can be cumbersome. In addition to the classrooms and hallways, the expansive property also includes a playground, gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, science labs, and health center. Each of these has its own unique maintenance needs. Additionally, there are compliance requirements from city councils and state and central governance bodies.
Relying on spreadsheets or pen and paper to manage school facilities can quickly get out of hand. Maintenance and repair requests can pile up, and even essentials such as HVAC and water can get disrupted.
A facilities management system can help ensure that everything runs smoothly and all issues are taken care of in time.
To help you choose a facilities management software for your school, we've prepared this guide.
Here, we'll cover:
What is facilities management software for schools?
Facility management software for schools helps school administrators track and manage premise maintenance needs. It helps ensure infrastructure is in proper working order, meets all compliance requirements, and is at par with applicable standards.
Most basic tools offer features such as work orders, work requests, reporting, maintenance checklists, inventory management, and workflow automation. However, some advanced tools also offer features such as preventive maintenance and depreciation and warranty tracking to help you address issues ahead of time.
Common features of facilities management software for schools
Create and manage one-time or recurring work orders for maintenance needs and repairs.
Submit requests for maintenance or repair through a mobile app or the software's web page.
Automatically assign work orders to the correct technicians based on pre-set parameters.
Add pre-made checklists of things to do for each work order.
Track usage of consumable supplies and parts for replacement.
Create purchase orders for new parts and consumable supplies.
Create customizable and standard reports to evaluate work order completion rate, maintenance costs, technician productivity, and inventory levels.
What type of buyer are you?
What an independently operated school needs from facilities management software is very different from what a chain of schools needs. Thus, before you select a tool, it is important to understand what type of buyer you are.
Buyers of facilities management software for schools usually fall in one of the following two categories:
Independent establishments: Such schools usually need a facilities management tool with basic features like work orders, work requests, and reporting. A cloud-based tool, with a per user/per month pricing model could be a good option.
Chain or franchise of schools: Such schools have multiple locations and need to juggle maintenance needs across all locations. Accordingly, they would need a facilities management tool with comparatively advanced features such as inventory management, warranty tracking, preventive maintenance, and advanced reporting. They can explore both cloud-based and on-premise deployment models based on the level of upfront investment they want to incur.
Benefits of facilities management software for schools
Facilities management software helps schools maintain their infrastructure and stay on top of all maintenance needs. Its benefits are as follows:
Prompt redressal of issue: Instead of having maintenance and repair requests raised by your staff and students pile in a corner in your office, have them addressed promptly.
Reduce disruption due to maintenance requests: Keep regular school days from being disrupted by routine maintenance tasks by scheduling recurring or preventive maintenance requests for holidays and day-offs.
Know where your resources are being spent: Track exactly where your resources and staff's time is being spent with the help of customized reports. Also, ascertain if there are any recurring problems your staff is dealing with.
Minimize emergency repairs: Identify trends in your maintenance needs, and schedule preventive maintenance requests to reduce the need for emergency repairs.
Key considerations when purchasing facilities management software for schools
The right facilities management software can help you improve maintenance procedures and reduce cost. However, choosing a solution can be tricky. Here are a couple points to keep in mind:
Check for mobile capabilities: An important part of facilities management is being able to snap photos and report issues while on the go. If users need to open up a laptop for everything they need to raise a request, the solution might not be as effective as you want for it to be. So make sure the solution you choose has mobile capabilities, either through an app or mobile browser.
Don't get confused with the jargon: Vendors use different names to describe their software functionality, such as computer-aided facility management (CAFM), computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), enterprise asset management (EAM), and integrated workplace management systems (IWMS). Don't let jargon confuse you and focus on the features of the solution instead.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.