Ever wondered how buildings are controlled today? Welcome to the world of the bulding management system (BMS). Here we look at how and why they are...
What is an IWMS?
Integrated Workplace Management Systems is another way in which digitalisation is impacting the worlds of facilities and space management. What are they?
An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is a software solution that provides a holistic means of managing spaces, whether these be residential, commercial or industrial. In addition to the spaces themselves, an IWMS also provides a means for the assets contained within to be maintained and managed.
The Building Blocks of an IWMS
IWMS are typically built around five functional areas as per below:
- Real Estate Management
This component of an IWMS deals with management of the real estate assets themselves including the purchase, sale and leasing operations. A primary focus of this element of an IWMS is financial management, including financial planning and analysis, transaction management, lease analysis, tax accounting and real estate portfolio management.2. Project Management
The project management element of an IWMS deals with larger project (or capital) works. This may include an upgrade to existing facilities, the building of additional space or a reconfiguration. This element is centred around functions such as payment scheduling, bid management, project management (including project documentation storage and critical path analysis) and procurement.3. Space Management
Space management is primarily concerned with space utilisation and optimisation. As such, this module may include functionality related to move management, resource handling, drawing handling and scenario analysis and building information modelling (BIM) and computer aided design (CAD) integrations.4. Maintenance Management
This is where maintenance activities take place within an IWMS. This includes the raising and management of work orders; the storage of risk assessments and method statements; the asset record and register which collates service history and warranty tracking as well as planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) schedules.5. Energy Management (& Sustainability)
IWMS will often have functionality focused on reducing resource consumption (for example water and power) and emissions. This may involve integrations with building management systems (BMS) or IoT sensors and will typically process and provide output around energy consumption benchmarking, occupancy and other sustainability metrics.
Independent Evaluation of IWMS
Whilst the criteria for ranking differs between the two companies, there are some common elements that are necessary to compete within the top tier of IWMS options. One of the primary decision factors for purchasing managers is the quality of the user interface. This has typically been a weak point of all facilities management solutions and is a requirement for users to engage with the product. Of course, the software should also be accessible and usable across a variety of form factors such as mobile and desktop.
As iOFFICE - one of the leading providers of FM software - have themselves commented: “[t]he IWMS of the future should serve as a digital workplace concierge, allowing employees to find people, reserve rooms, request services and receive mail or visitors”.
Further, as The Real Deal has noted this year “[w]ith the growth of the Internet of Things, a trend that is gaining ground is the integration of IWMS software and Smart Building solutions. This allows for IWMS to draw on real-time data from sensors to manage the modern work environment”.
It is factors such as these that has led companies such as Homyze to choose Cleverly in providing its complete workplace management solution.