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What Is An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)? Features, Use Cases, Pros & Cons

Table of Contents
  1. What Is An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)? 
  2. What Problems Can An IWMS Solve? 
  3. Who Is An IWMS For?
  4. What's An Example Of How An IWMS Can Be Used?
  5. What Are The Features Of An IWMS?
  6. What Are The Pros Of Using An IWMS?
  7. What Are The Cons Of Using An IWMS?
  8. Do You Need An IWMS, CAFM or CMMS?

As a property owner or facility manager, you’re likely all too familiar with the increasing complexities and demands within the industry. Maybe you’re struggling with operational visibility or need a solution to help you manage your time – if this sounds like you, an IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) could be the answer.  

With more than 3 decades of experience in the facility management sector, SFG20's subject matter experts are on hand to answer all of your questions surrounding IWMS software.  

In this article, we’ll clearly define what an IWMS is before discussing its use cases, features, pros and cons as well as how it differs from other facility management software solutions.  

 

What Is An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)?  

An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is an end-to-end suite of software solutions which provides an aerial view of all your organisation’s key operations.   

It works by capturing, generating and consolidating data and metrics related to the five vital functional areas related to the functional areas of real estate and facilities management, all on one single platform.  

An IWMS is considered to be any platform which combines these 5 key areas:  

  1. Facilities Management  

    Facility managers can use an IWMS to manage all of their soft facilities management aspects, such as space management, move management and space utilisation. It builds on the functionality of Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) software and can integrate with PropTech to support operational workplace management and drive productivity. It also provides an ability to enhance the customer service experience and integrates occupational health and safety management. 
  2. Real Estate and Properties Management  

    An IWMS provides a unified database and dashboard which can help organisations manage their entire real estate portfolio, including property and lease details, insurance details, building warranties, rent and service charge levels and occupancy. Through this software, real estate managers can model scenarios, track key metrics and make data-driven decisions.    
  3. Inside a facility

    Operations and Maintenance Management  

    An IWMS can handle the same aspects of a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) such as service requests, preventative maintenance and cost tracking for facilities and assets. It can also automate work orders, schedule maintenance and manage inventory, improving efficiency and reducing downtime in turn.  It then overlays this with wider asset management capabilities and supply chain management.  
  4. Sustainability and Energy Management   

    IWMS software solutions allow you to monitor, analyse and optimise energy usage and provide great visibility into energy consumption, helping to reduce costs and drive sustainability initiatives across your organisation. There is a greater drive to capture and monitor Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics and some IWMS can support this and leverage the wider reporting and dashboard capability that the software provides. 
  5. Capital Project Management  

    Many organisations use IWMS to support project management as it provides you with visibility into project statuses, resource management, costs and timelines. You can also manage and monitor construction documentation, budgets and schedules for capital projects such as renovations or new building constructions.  

 

By grouping all 5 of these vital processes of real estate and facilities management into one single system, an IWMS can help organisations reduce expenses, meet sustainability goals and make more informed decisions backed by data.  

One study from Research and Markets found that IWMS solutions have the potential to improve facility usage efficacy by 39.3% and decrease facility maintenance costs by 15.2%. 

With an IWMS, you no longer need separate software systems and solutions to benefit from all of your important property data - you can think of it as the do-it-all software for real estate and facility management.  

Below, you’ll find out more about the challenges that this powerful software solution can tackle.

 

What Problems Can An IWMS Solve?  

  • Siloed Working

IWMS solutions act as a centralised hub, connecting and coordinating data into a single, holistic platform to provide a detailed overview of an organisation's facilities, assets and resources.  

  • Manual Input

By automating and streamlining workplace management processes, IWMS helps organisations reduce manual effort, minimise errors and increase overall productivity. 

  • Rising Costs

IWMS can help look across the whole cost base of a building and a wider property portfolio, enabling organisations to identify and capitalise on cost-saving opportunities through better resource utilisation, preventative maintenance and energy management. 

  • Changing Demands

 IWMS helps organisations to quickly adapt to evolving workplace needs, such as remote work, flexible seating and changing occupancy patterns.  

  • Sustainability and Environmental Impact

IWMS solutions include features that help organisations monitor and manage their environmental footprint, supporting their sustainability initiatives and reducing carbon emissions. 

 

Who Is An IWMS For?   

Building workers talking

Used by facilities services providers, real estate services firms, landlords, managing agents and corporate occupiers, an IWMS can be advantageous for a variety of building types, and especially useful for businesses with a larger property portfolio across multiple locations.  

  • Commercial Office Buildings

This type of facility can leverage an IWMS to ensure efficient space utilisation and enhance the overall workplace experience for employees.   

  • Hospitals And Healthcare Facilities

These specialised environments can utilise an IWMS to optimise infection control, support the management of patient-facing and clinical spaces and maintain a sterile environment which is vital for patient care and safety.  

  • Large Educational Campuses

Educational facilities can use an IWMS to improve space utilisation across the entire campus and promote better management across the diverse spectrum of space types from classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories, sports facilities, residences and other campus amenities.   

  • Manufacturing Facilities

An IWMS can help to increase efficiency and productivity within operational hubs by minimising downtime through better resource management, optimising workspace design and managing energy consumption. 

  • Data Centres 

Sensitive technology-driven facilities can utilise an IWMS to maintain optimal environmental conditions and track equipment performance, ensuring uninterrupted operations and minimising downtime.  

 

What’s An Example Of How An IWMS Can Be Used?  

Imagine a commercial real estate company that owns a multi-tenant office building in a major metropolitan area. Let’s say that the property manager has noticed a decline in tenant satisfaction, particularly regarding the efficiency and utilisation of the office spaces.  

By using an IWMS, the property manager can: 

  • Through the integration of PropTech, analyse occupancy data to identify both underutilised and well-utilised spaces, assess adjacencies and flows, uncover granular insights into space usage patterns and allow for better workplace design to be instigated. 
  •  Leverage simulation tools and digital twin capabilities within the IWMS to test different office configurations such as converting private offices to open workspaces or adding more collaboration zones. This scenario planning allows the property manager to evaluate the impact of potential changes before implementation.  

  • Implement a more optimal layout which can include features such as hoteling stations or hot desking to better accommodate the changing needs and preferences of tenants.  

The valuable data insights from an IWMS would allow the property manager to enhance the overall workplace experience, boost tenant satisfaction and ultimately increase the value and competitiveness of the commercial property. 

 

What Are The Features Of An IWMS?

Person tapping a touchscreen

  • Accurate Data Collection and Integration

An IWMS serves as a single point of focus for data storage and access from diverse sources such as CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawings for floor plans, maintenance records of equipment, lease agreements and sensor data from facilities (temperature, energy consumption). 

  • Unified Database and Analytics

All collected data is consolidated into a central database and can be used to generate comprehensive reports and analytics. This can provide valuable insights into various aspects of the facilities including space utilisation, maintenance needs and energy efficiency.  

  • Functional Modules

An IWMS typically comprises several integrated modules, each serving specific organisational requirements:  

  1.  Space Management
    This module enables the tracking and management of office spaces, conference rooms, and other facilities. It allows organisations to visualise and optimise space allocation, improve space utilisation and facilitate desk hoteling when required. 
  2. Asset Management
    This module tracks and manages physical assets across fixed, loose, or mobile/portable such as furniture, equipment and vehicles. It helps organisations schedule preventative maintenance, monitor warranties and optimise asset lifecycles. 
  3. Maintenance Management
    This module assists in managing work orders for repairs, replacement and preventative maintenance. It can automate workflows, track technician progress, and ensure timely completion of maintenance tasks.
  4. Lease Management
    This module tracks lease agreements for various properties, including lease terms, upcoming renewals and associated costs, helping organisations effectively manage their real estate portfolio.

What Are The Pros Of Using An IWMS?  

  • All-In-One

IWMS software takes all of the top features from the best facility management software and merges them into a single platform, allowing you to keep tabs on all of your operations as though looking through a magnified lens. It encompasses many facility management functions and models such as Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) and Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software.   

  • Streamlined Data Management

An IWMS acts as a centralised database which consolidates and stores all data including floor plans, asset information, maintenance records, occupancy data and more.   

  • Workflow and Automation

 IWMS software streamlines processes for managing tasks, approvals and notifications while reducing manual effort and improving overall productivity.   

  • Analytics and Reporting

 An IWMS provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities that provide valuable insights into workplace performance, resource utilisation and cost-saving opportunities.  

  • Accessible From Anywhere

 IWMS software is usually available in both desktop and mobile form, enabling remote access and collaboration and ensuring that teams stay connected and responsive.   

  • Better Communication

An IWMS can serve as a communication hub, enabling employees to submit service requests, report issues, and access information about the workplace all from one place. It can also foster collaboration between different departments involved in facilities management.  

  • Improved Employee Experience

As IWMS can help organisations design and manage flexible work arrangements in the workplace, this can lead to improved employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity. Plus, as an IWMS can streamline workflows and automate repetitive tasks, this can free up time for employees to focus on more important work.   

 

 

What Are The Cons Of Using An IWMS?  

  • Cost

Implementing an IWMS can be costly, with higher prices usually the case for organisations with complex needs.   

  • Customisation Challenges

 Customised IWMS software can take longer to set up compared to pre-configured options. A customised IWMS platform can make future upgrades more difficult and costly, and once any changes have been made, it can be challenging to undo them.   

  • Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

 As IWMS software handles sensitive workplace data, you’ll need to prioritise robust cybersecurity measures and compliance with relevant data privacy regulations to safeguard confidential information.  

 

Do You Need An IWMS, CAFM or CMMS? 

You now understand that a IWMS solution provides a complete overview of real estate and facilities management, giving organisations the digital tools they need to iron out operations, make informed decisions and cut down costs.  

However, depending on the size of your organisation and your needs, it may be the case that you need a smaller, less advanced solution such as CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management) or CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System) instead. 

With extensive industry knowledge, SFG20 are here to make understanding and choosing facility management software as easy as possible.  

If you’d like to read more about CAFM systems and CMMS, we recommend taking a look at our helpful guides below.

Compare IWMS With Other Software

 

 

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