How to choose the best building management app

By Switch Automation • September 22, 2018

A good building management app presents a huge opportunity for commercial property managers to streamline operations, save time and cut costs. Here’s how to select one that empowers your facilities team to be more productive while remaining agile.

Understanding the building management app ecosystem and what it can do for you

Choosing a building management app can seem daunting at first. With so many options serving a variety of functions, it’s easy to fall prey to siloed information, processes and communication. Before you commit to one, define your business objectives and which processes you’d like the app to facilitate. For example:

  • Site control
  • Work order management
  • Project management
  • BMS control
  • Space utilization
  • Repair validation
  • Vendor accountability
  • Property value monitoring
  • Reporting & analytics
  • All of the above!

Put your people first

Your team is on the front lines, often juggling tenant complaints with routine maintenance and unexpected building issues. Think about their responsibilities, environment and work habits. Are they frequently on the move between sites? Do they use a range of smart devices, necessitating desktop, iOS and Android functionality? Will they need to gather performance insights in real-time in order to make informed decisions? What about capturing and sharing information with one another and vendors?

Map your strategy with the right technology

An effective building management app should be both scalable and interoperable, preferably backed by a secure software platform that integrates with a variety of systems and IoT solutions. This way, as your portfolio evolves to accommodate new technologies, you won’t have to change apps or learn a new software system. Your building management app should also have the capacity to store the large quantities of data. After all, your buildings produce an avalanche of useful information from systems, equipment and sensors, and you don’t want to get stuck buying it back from a vendor down the road. Additionally, you’ll benefit from having access to all your performance details in one place without having to log in and out of multiple apps. A comprehensive building management app should:

  • Reduce technician site visits and truck rolls
  • Enhance communication between your team and vendors
  • Prevent time-consuming workflow bottlenecks
  • Facilitate on-the-go decision making
  • Increase occupant comfort and help reduce tenant complaints

The future of facility management is mobile

As the facilities management industry continues to shift from reactive to proactive maintenance, you can give your team a distinct competitive advantage by putting the power of machine learning, big data and analytics in their hands. The right building management app will deliver timely performance insights while giving them the flexibility they need to be agile from the field.

Want to learn more about how to harness the power of your building data on-the-go? Watch our webinar: How to leverage a smart building app.

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