Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) are software solutions designed to optimize facility management and real estate performance of organizations. As even the acronym causes confusion, clarification is required. In this post I will discuss what everybody ought to know about IWMS.
1. Integrated Solution
Although many point solutions optimize facility management and real estate performance, their focus in most cases is to solve a single business problem. IWMS on the contrary, is an integrated solution not aimed at solving one individual business problem, but improving the organization as a whole. Thinking that your business problem doesn’t have any relation with other business problems to me is just naïve.
2. Process driven
Processes are the foundation of any organization. They can be found everywhere within your organization flowing from department to department, from stakeholder to stakeholder, and governed by organization rules they are daily routine for many employees. Even the slightest improvement in organizational process can have a huge impact on the bottom line of an organization.
Most IWMS’s are process driven. This means that IWMS optimizes processes. From a trouble ticket to asset disposal, processes can be optimized.
3. Decision support
Optimizing processes can only be successful when you have solid information about those processes. Although you might have a gut feeling about certain process in your organization, you are not able to make informed decisions without reliable information. IWMS can empower you with that information to make those decisions. What’s more, combining information from other parts of the organization can improve the organization as a whole.
4. Five main solution areas
Integrated Workplace Management Systems provide solutions in the following functional domains.
- Project Management
- Corporate Real Estate
- Facilities & Space Management
- Maintenance Management
- Environmental Sustainability
Each of the above solution areas has specialized characteristics however in order to be classified as an IWMS these functionalities need to be met.
As the workforce is becoming more and more decentralized, the need for web-based software solutions is only increasing. A dispersed staff challenges facility and real estate professionals to re-evaluate and change the status quo. This change is mostly initiated by the intrusion of web based technology in our lives. Most IWMS are web-based and are well equipped to be used both domestically and internationally.
6. Standards Compliancy
Over the last couple of years quite a few standards initiatives have gained substantial momentum (OSCRE, LEED, BREEAM, IPD, etc.). Directed by legislation it is expected to be increasingly supported by IWMS vendors. Most IWMS vendors have already incorporated standards in their product portfolio and this will increase dramatically.