CAFM’s Role in Transforming the Facilities Management Working Experience for the Better

On World FM Day, 08 May 2024, Idox celebrates the vital work of facilities managers worldwide. In line with this year’s theme, Inspire, Integrate, Innovate: Ignite your career in FM, we highlight the crucial role of facilities managers in ensuring the health, safety, and productivity of sites of work, learning, and leisure. We also emphasise the critical part FMs play in making sure essential services are running consistently and smoothly. 

The facilities management sector is continually beset with skills shortages. An endemic lack of resources is increasing the workload for those still in the business, leading to delays in repair and maintenance that are undermining both productivity and end-user satisfaction. Morale is plummeting, exacerbating the talent exodus. 

The challenge isn’t just improving the working experience for current FMs to boost job satisfaction and retention, but also finding a way to attract the next generation into the industry. Technology is vital. Esther Coleman, Product Manager at Idox, explains how the strategic use of a CAFM system can enable companies to mitigate the impacts of a workforce shortage and ensure continued effective facilities management.  

Worsening Talent Crisis

While many industries have struggled with a lack of staff in recent years, facilities management has been hit worse than most: 66% of FMs and staff left or considered leaving their job in the previous 12 months and 54% of corporate leaders expect to have open FM-related positions at all levels of the organisation this year. Many FMs were laid off during the pandemic when buildings were closed and then have chosen not to re-join the industry as younger generations appear to be uninspired by FM as a career. A radical change in approach is essential.   

This shift in demand is highlighted by the fact that 86% of FM employers say there is a gap between their team’s current knowledge and skills and what they need to excel in. Certainly, the role of facilities management has evolved in recent years. FMs are responsible not only for ensuring buildings and equipment are operating efficiently and that compliance requirements are met; they also have a key part to play in meeting environmental targets and evolving the working environment to meet employees’ post-Covid expectations. 

Given the enormous pressures facing under-resourced FMs today, there is little time to consider energy efficiency or reimagine working spaces. The priority has to be keeping the lights on, which means key strategic issues – issues that are both exciting and career-enhancing – are sidelined, further undermining morale and job satisfaction.  

Automation and Optimisation

A better working environment can only be achieved if the manual, tedious and repetitive tasks are better handled and staff at every level feel empowered to do the right job at the right time. Adopting technology such as a CAFM system to automate and optimise the core FM processes can transform efficiency and enable FMs to prioritise critical activity such as preventative maintenance. 

By streamlining workflows and automating key processes such as work order generation and scheduling, the efficiency of the existing workforce is transformed. A single system to manage the entire operation provides one source of truth, giving FMs vital data to support day-to-day activity. An at-a-glance dashboard provides immediate visibility of service compliance deadlines, maintenance schedules and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), including outstanding jobs and their associated timeframe, enabling an intelligence-led approach to prioritising tasks and allocating resources that minimise downtime and improve end-user satisfaction. 

Affinity Water

Affinity Water adopted the use of CAFM Explorer® to help deliver essential water services to its customers. It needed a reliable, all-in-one facilities management solution to help streamline FM tasks. With the web-based, self-service Help Desk feature of CAFM Explorer®, the team are able to log all planned maintenance and reactive work orders into a central digital hub. As both planned and reactive maintenance is managed via the system, all maintenance-related tasks are monitored within one centralised dashboard, enabling the team to effectively keep track of work progress and gain operational efficiency.

Efficiency Creates a Positive Experience

Mobile systems also eradicate the frustration created by wasted time. With no need to return to the office to receive the next job or update the current one, engineers can be far more productive. CAFM Explorer® enables engineers to raise reactive jobs during PPM visits and check what other jobs are outstanding when on site, further reducing the need for revisits.  

FMs have full visibility of job status at any time and can also track the performance of engineers and third-party service providers. Problems are automatically surfaced, enabling the rapid remediation required to mitigate operational risk. CAFM also provides a simple way to track and report on technician performance, helping to identify areas for improvement

In addition to supporting the effective allocation of resources, the use of a single source of information makes it far easier to share information between staff. With best practices, hazards, troubleshooting guides and equipment manuals all available on demand, staff can improve their knowledge and minimise traditional reliance on individual expertise. It also provides a chance for FMs to identify opportunities for career development, for example by providing training to broaden equipment expertise for engineers. 

Yeovil College

When Yeovil College in Somerset adopted the use of CAFM Explorer®, it transformed its facilities management to an integrated digital platform, allowing it to effectively support students, faculty, and staff. By enabling the team to monitor all maintenance-related tasks within one centralised dashboard, CAFM Explorer® simplified the maintenance and repair processes across the campus. By using tablets instead of paper-based tickets, the facilities staff have cut delays caused by misplaced paperwork and saved time travelling across offices to manually log reports. This has resulted in better work management across the campus.


Every aspect of an automated, streamlined, and intelligent facilities management operation transforms not only efficiency but also the working experience. Equipment uptime improves, reducing the need to ‘manage’ unhappy end users. Real-time information ensures essential tasks, from compliance to preventative maintenance, are prioritised, addressing one of the biggest areas of FM anxiety. Reducing manual tasks and paperwork creates a more efficient and less stressful work environment, leading to improved morale and reduced turnover. Greater efficiency reduces the need for additional headcount, allowing FMs to retain and invest in the best available talent.  

Critically, by automating routine tasks, staff have a chance to look at the more strategic aspects of facilities management, such as project planning and sustainability initiatives, making the profession more attractive and rewarding for both existing and new recruits.  

As we celebrate World FM Day, we highlight the innovative and inspiring opportunities within the facilities management sector that can ignite the careers of a new set of skilled workers. With CAFM, FMs can explore areas of innovation, such as the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor environmental performance. They can use in-depth insight about the entire operation to consider ways of improving the working environment to attract individuals back into the office after years of working from home. And they can integrate digital solutions to their workplace to inspire the next generation into facilities management. 

Find out more

To find out more about Idox and CAFM Explorercontact us to arrange a demo. 

Published on: 7 May 2024

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