Avoid Pitfalls During Your Facility Management Software Implementation by Learning From Buyers With Experience

By: Shephalii Kapoor on May 20, 2024
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From resource allocation to maintenance scheduling and compliance tracking, managing a facility requires a lot of work for facility managers. A dedicated facility management system can make the jobs easier for them by providing tools to simplify various aspects of facility management, including maintenance, space utilization, and compliance. 

However, to make the right software purchase, knowing the correct set of features, average software price, and common challenges faced while purchasing facility management software is crucial.

Each year, Software Advice's advisors speak with thousands of software buyers evaluating new facility management software for their businesses. We've mined those conversations to provide insights that will help small businesses understand the budget requirements, feature needs, and pain points of current users to finalize the best tool for their needs.

Key insights

  • Software buyers from the facility management industry prioritize maintenance management functionality during purchase, while those using the software currently consider work order management as the top priority in facility management software.

  • Most businesses either rely on manual methods and third-party software for their day-to-day facility management practices or do not have any system in place at all.

  • Switching to facility management software is driven by the need for functional sufficiency, efficiency, and reliability.

  • The top five industries investing in facility management software allocate between $80-$117 per month, with an overall buyer average of $106 per month.

Prospective buyers and current users prioritize different features

To gain insights into user preferences, we analyzed thousands of facility management software reviews available on Software Advice to identify the features that the users of the software consider most critical for their daily work. Interestingly, our findings revealed a discrepancy between the priorities of facility management software buyers and users.

  • Thirty-nine percent of current software users rate work order management as the most essential feature in facility management software as compared to buyers who are majorly looking for maintenance management functionality in a facility management tool.

  • These findings indicate that businesses already using facility management software find immense value in work order management functionality. The feature allows facility managers to create work orders, assign them to appropriate personnel based on their skills, availability, and workload, and monitor their status in real time. Additionally, it facilitates the generation of reports related to work orders. 

  • Maintenance management, on the other hand, allows for the scheduling, execution, and monitoring of maintenance activities to ensure that facilities and assets are kept in optimal condition. The feature allows users to maintain a comprehensive record of all physical assets within the facility and schedule routine maintenance tasks based on their usage, time, or condition thresholds.

Pro tip

Consider a facility management platform that offers space management features to help users manage reservations for physical spaces within the facility, track their occupancy rates, manage floor plans, and allocate resources effectively.

Current pain points for facility management software buyers

When our advisors asked buyers what methods they were currently using to handle their day-to-day facility operations, here's what they found:

  • Around 38% of buyers use manual methods, such as pen and paper tracking and spreadsheets to automate their day-to-day operation workflows. 

  • While 31% of buyers rely on third-party tools for their facility management practices, nearly 28% do not have any system in place.

These discussions shed light on businesses' real-life challenges with their existing methods. These included limited functionality (39%), inefficiency (37%), and reliability(7%).

  • Limited feature options: Manual methods of facility management and third-party tools often lack the necessary features and capabilities required to effectively manage a facility management business. Facility management involves unique challenges, such as managing equipment maintenance and tracking assets across multiple locations. While third-party tools may offer basic functionalities, these may still lack the necessary features, such as work order management and equipment tracking to meet the unique requirements of the business. Moreover, both these methods offer limited reporting and analytics capabilities, making it difficult for facility managers to gain insights into key performance metrics of the business. 

  • Inefficiency: Traditional methods of facility management, such as spreadsheets and pen-and-paper tracking are both time-consuming and prone to manual errors. Likewise, third-party tools are often not specifically designed for facility management tasks, which makes them inefficient for managing complex facility operations, such as work order management, preventive maintenance scheduling, and compliance management. Moreover, these tools offer limited customization options, making it difficult for facility managers to tailor the software to their specific needs, leading to inefficiencies. 

  • Reliability: Several facility management businesses switch to a new tool from their existing methods as they need a more reliable solution for managing their maintenance operations. As compared to both manual methods and third-party software, facilities management software offers specialization, comprehensive functionality, customization options, integration capabilities, support, and compliance features that are tailored to the specific needs of facility management businesses.

Reasons for switching to a dedicated facility management system

Compared to the existing methods used by professionals, a dedicated facility management software solution offers the following benefits: 

  • Task automation: The system automates several repetitive tasks and workflows, such as work order generation, assignment, and tracking, reducing manual intervention and saving time. It also automates preventive maintenance tasks based on predefined schedules or condition-based triggers, ensuring that maintenance activities are performed on time. Users can also set automated notifications to alert relevant stakeholders about upcoming maintenance tasks, work order updates, and other critical issues. 

  • Scalability: A dedicated facility management system can be configured to adapt to the changing needs of the facility management business. Administrators can customize workflows, data fields, user roles, and permissions to accommodate growth and changes in facility size or complexity. As compared to manual or third-party methods, a dedicated facility management platform offers support for managing multiple sites or locations from a single platform. 

  • Better functionality: As compared to manual methods and third-party tools, facility management software offers extensive customization options, including dashboard, reporting, and workflow configuration to tailor the software to the specific needs of the facility management industry. It offers a centralized repository for all facility-related data, including asset data, floor plans, and occupancy data, making it easier for users to access and search relevant data. Moreover, it offers real-time updates about asset status, maintenance activities, and space utilization, enabling quick decision-making and efficient resource allocation. 

  • Comprehensive features: A dedicated facility management solution offers a wide range of features, including preventive maintenance scheduling, work order management, asset management, facility scheduling, and vendor management to simplify facility operations. These help facility managers optimize facility operations, improve maintenance processes, and minimize operational costs.

Pro tip

Shortlist a facilities management solution with mobile access to help technicians and facility managers create and manage work orders, view asset information, track maintenance activities, and monitor facility operations in real-time.

Average budget for facility management software buyers across industries

The budget for purchasing facilities management software varies from industry to industry based on factors such as the facility size and complexity, deployment model, number of users, customization level, and the required functionality.

However, the average budget across industries for purchasing facility management software was approximately $106 per user, per month. 

The chart below highlights the average buyer budget per month for the top five industries interested in facility management software.

Average budget for facility management software by industry

Use cases for facility management software

Based on our advisors’ interactions, these are the top five industries using a facility management tool for different use cases: 

  • Real estate businesses need facility management solutions to improve operational efficiency and enhance tenant satisfaction. They may look for specific features, such as tenant management, space management, compliance, and safety assurance in a facility management tool. These features can help businesses manage their properties well and stay competitive in the market.

  • Educational institutes require a facility management solution to ensure the efficient operation of their campuses. Other than basic maintenance management and space management features, these organizations may require safety and security management features, along with communication tools to manage their facilities. 

  • Offices have resources such as equipment, furniture, and utilities that need effective allocation. Therefore, they may look for resource management, space management, and maintenance management features in facility management software. 

  • Non-profit organizations often operate on limited budgets and rely on donations and grants. In addition to work order management, space management, and reporting in a facility management system, they may also need features for resource optimization, event management, and compliance tracking for effective management of their facilities. 

  • Churches need a facility management tool to simplify various administrative tasks and ensure smooth operations within their premises. Their feature requirements may include resource booking, calendar and scheduling, communication tools, and integration with church management systems.

Looking for more resources?

Click here to check out our facility management software directory, FrontRunners Report, and Buyers Guide, and compare hundreds of products.


Methodology

Software buyers analysis methodology

Findings are based on data from conversations that Software Advice’s advisor team has daily with software buyers seeking guidance on purchase decisions. The data used to create this report is based on interactions with small-to-midsize businesses seeking facility management tools. For this report, we analyzed approximately 700+ phone interactions from May 1, 2023, to May 3, 2024.

The findings of this report represent buyers who contacted Software Advice and may not be indicative of the market as a whole. Data points are rounded to the nearest whole number.