7 Mobile Apps Every Facilities Manager Should Build
It’s 10pm on a Wednesday night and an employee working late needs to print out an urgent document, but the printer has run out of printer toner. Do you:
- Call them to let them know where to find it and what building codes they need to access it
- Ignore them. Their fault for leaving it until the last minute
- Direct them to their Office app, which has all the information they need, whilst you order another drink in the pub
One of the toughest challenges facilities management teams face is keeping all tasks and problems under control in an efficient way, particularly when employees are relying on them more than they should.
Mobile apps can help make it as easy as possible for employees to access resources and information on office-related requests and needs. By empowering them with easy access to this information, you can cut down the number of requests and enquiries, making these processes more efficient and saving you time. No more working over weekends!
There is really no limit to the number of apps you could offer your employees, from facilities information to IT services requests. These apps will only be helping and empowering your workforce, so don’t be afraid to come up with as many ideas as you think could help!
To give you some inspiration, here are our top 7 app ideas for facilities management:
1. Office app
If your company has several offices or branches, one of your employees’ challenges is probably finding out basic information about other offices they may be traveling to for a project.
A company-wide app including information for all offices could make travel and logistics easier for employees no matter what office they are traveling to. Employees could also use the app to find out information about their own office and new starters would find it particularly useful as part of their induction.
In the app, you could include any useful office information including:
- Office location and directions
- Opening hours for evenings and weekends
- Facilities, including car and bicycle parking, showers, gym, etc.
- Dining facilities
- WiFi information
- Essential contact information of facilities management, maintenance and IT support teams
- Useful information such as closest facilities for lunch and dinner and places to stay near the office
- Essential travel information such as flight booking information, commute information and transport information
2. Catering app
Everyone loves food. So much so that, according to one of our clients, the cafeteria menu section in their intranet is the top accessed section in the entire company.
So if your office has a cafeteria or any form of catering for employees, an app including information on daily menus and specials is guaranteed to be a success. And your employees will love you.
The app could contain:
- Daily menus
- Ordering information and forms
- Opening and closing times
- Catering information for meetings and options available (breakfast, afternoon tea, etc.)
3. Service request app
Imagine if employees could simply submit requests via their mobile device whenever they need assistance with anything, from IT requests (eg. a malfunctioning printer) to room bookings.
This would make bookings, support and other tasks much easier and smooth, reducing the barriers between employees and departments.
By sending requests directly to the relevant team via a mobile device, employees would no longer need to follow the usual steps of completing forms, attaching them to emails, finding the right contact information and emailing the forms to the right team. What’s more, using a mobile device would also allow them to include supporting information, such as images of the issue taken with the device.
Support teams would also be able to attend to requests in real-time as these would arrive straight to their mobile device, enabling them to move more easily through the office without returning to their desk.
An important area where a service request app would be useful is employees working away from the office, for example in the field in the case of oil and gas companies. Being able to submit a service request via the app would be a much easier process than downloading, completing and emailing forms using a mobile device.
4. Reporting and tracking app
Logging data can be a time-consuming process, especially if data collected away from the office has to be saved in paper and then transferred to the relevant database once back at the office.
Instead, employees could be given an app that allows them to collect this data directly on their device and submit it straight to the right database. For example, this could be useful for employees who need to carry out daily safety checks; they could just use a form feature where they tick the right boxes or enter information in the right fields.
Another area where this app could help is incident reports. If an employee needs to file information about an incident while working in the field they could just do so using a form on their mobile device. And as an additional perk, they could use the device’s native functionality to make information more accurate, for example by including photographs.
Mobile devices are great ways to log data or reports because they allow you to use a variety of apps to measure data in different ways, for example using calculators or accelerometers.
5. Directory app
A directory app could well become the most popular app among your employees. In the app you could include a series of directories based on a variety of needs, for example a list of contacts or a list of important building codes and services.
A directory app could also be really valuable to technical and your facilities management team, as this could allow them to easily and quickly check any technical information, from building codes to maintenance information and guides.
6. “Hot desking” app
If your company runs a “hot-desking” policy, an app could make this process so much easier.
The app could solve logistical issues such as:
- How does hot desking work?
- How do you log in and out of the desk phone?
- How do you use desk phones?
The app could also allow employees to book hot desks in advance and to book meeting rooms in any office locations depending on their needs.
7. Business continuity app
No one likes being caught off guard when there’s an emergency and not being able to access work resources can be really disruptive.
No matter what the emergency is (whether infrastructure, environment or transport-related), an app can help you make this as least disruptive as possible.
You could use the app to communicate to all employees what’s happening and how you’d like all employees to proceed.
Employees could also use the app if they come across an emergency to find out who they need to notify and what to do about it. Including clear guidelines or procedures in the app can be a real asset here. Relevant emergency contact information could also be included using a simple directory.
Another useful thing to include in the app is support material, for example emergency scenario guides that employees can follow step-by-step.
We hope you liked our ideas! As we mentioned, facilities management apps have a lot of potential so if you think of any other great ideas please let us know in the comments below.