2016 FMX Year in Review

Here at FMX, 2016 brought a bunch of snazzy software updates, talented new employees, and much more! In this blog post, you’ll find a recap of our biggest highlights from 2016.

FMX 2016 Year in Review Statistics Gif
Wondering what these stats mean? Check out the infographic at the end of this post!

December 2016:

  • We improved the speed and performance of FMX and added a grid view for Schedule Requests in addition to other updates.
  • We shared our thoughts about how manufacturers can benefit from using facilities management software.
  • We enjoyed making this holiday video at our annual Christmas party!
  • Speaking of Christmas, we also had a lot of fun creating this Facilities Management Gift Guide. 

November 2016:

October 2016:

Allison McGillivray's Headshot Photo
Welcome to the team, Allison!

September 2016:

August 2016:

July 2016:

Kathryn Moore's Headshot Photo
Welcome to the team, Kathryn!

June 2016:

May 2016:

April 2016:

March 2016:

February 2016:

  • This month had us leaping with joy as we enabled users to edit resolution details for Work Requests, added flexibility for Planned Maintenance email notifications, and more!

January 2016:

Katie Dye's Headshot Photo
Welcome to the team, Katie!

Now for those stats we mentioned earlier…

2016 FMX Year in Review Infographic

Click here to download this infographic.

We have big plans for 2017 such as improving our mobile interface and expanding our API, just to name a few. We truly appreciate your support and we look forward to another successful year!


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Jamie is the marketing director at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not keeping the marketing ship afloat, chances are she’s trail running with her husband or practicing her guitar skills.


Introducing: Custom Modules in FMX

Here at FMX, we believe that our “out of the box” modules are pretty awesome and our customers agree. But we also realize that our standard modules might not be everyone’s cup of tea. So, we’re excited to introduce the FMX Custom Module!

Check out the video below to learn how you can benefit from adding a “build your own” module to your FMX site.

What is a Custom Module?

Under the hood, a Custom Module starts with the same framework and workflow as our standard Maintenance Request Module. The difference is, your new Custom Module can be tailored to match your unique needs and workflows that don’t fit into the mold of our standard modules.

Have it your way

With help from your FMX Customer Success Manager, your Custom Module can be equipped with:

  • A unique module name and icon (e.g., Human Resources Requests, Custodial Requests, Time Off Requests, etc.)
  • Customized forms, fields, and request types
  • Customized user permissions, approval processes, and email notifications
  • Color coding on the calendar page to easily identify your Custom Module requests

Custom Module success story: Broadmoor Baptist Church

FMX customer Bill Watters, Director of Operations from Broadmoor Baptist Church in Mississippi, loved FMX at first sight. But, the standard FMX modules didn’t quite match all of his organization’s workflows and the vocabulary they had grown accustomed to using.

The FMX Customer Success Team consulted with Bill to understand his unique needs and created these tailored Custom Modules for his FMX site which you can see in the video above:

  • Access Control Requests: Issuing new key cards for building access
  • Clean It Requests: Managing custodial needs
  • Fix It Requests: Managing maintenance needs

“Your customer support has been fantastic. We don’t see you as vendors, we see you guys as partners–and there’s a big difference there…The interaction and the customization, that makes a partner. And that’s what you guys are to us.”

– Bill Watters, Director of Operations, Broadmoor Baptist Church

Interested? We’re ready to help!

To learn more about Custom Module capabilities and pricing, contact your FMX Customer Success Manager today to schedule a consultation (or email support@gofmx.com). Custom Module setup typically takes less than a day, so you’ll be up and running in no time!

Prepare Your Crew, Equipment, and Grounds for Old Man Winter

Here in Ohio, stores are lining their shelves with fall decor and Halloween candy which can only mean one thing, winter is just around the corner. It also means this is the perfect time to get a head start on preparing your crew, equipment, and grounds for the colder weather ahead.

Check out the tips below for a smooth sailing winter, even when the “weather outside is frightful”. If you live in a warm weather paradise, share this post with a cold climate friend!

Prepare your equipment

Will your equipment be reliable when old man winter strikes? Do you have access to back-up equipment in case of equipment failure? Follow the steps below to make sure that your equipment is in tip-top shape so you can prevent unexpected emergencies.

  • Clean, repair, and store summertime equipment (mowers, trimmers, etc.) in a separate location to provide easier access to wintertime equipment.
  • Inspect existing equipment that will be used heavily in the wintertime (snowplows, salt spreaders, etc.) to assess each item’s condition and determine if any equipment needs to be repaired, replaced, or rented. If it will cost more to maintain a piece of equipment than it’s actually worth, consider replacing it.
    • Develop and maintain an accurate equipment inventory to track model #’s, serial #’s, purchase dates, warranty expiration dates, and odometer readings. This information will help you predict when to replace equipment before it’s too late.
  • Snow and ice removal takes a toll on equipment. Perform preventive maintenance before winter sets in to make sure your equipment can handle the job:
    • Hydraulics: Check hydraulic cylinders for stress cracks in the paint, leaking or bent fittings, and damaged hoses. Remove contaminants from hydraulic systems so they don’t turn into rust and gunk while in storage.

    • Electrical components: Inspect and protect motors, wires, solenoids, switches, and connections to make sure they’re operating properly. Use a rust inhibitor to protect electrical systems from damage.

    • Mechanical and structural components: Check for cracks, bent pins, broken cutting edges, missing or broken bolts, and twisted framework. Repair any damage that is found.

Protect key landscape components

Follow these steps to ensure that your landscaping elements will stand the test of winter and be ready to blossom in the spring.

  • Clean up fallen leaves.
  • Apply extra mulch to prepare beds and tender plants for winter weather conditions.
  • October is the perfect time to replace summer annuals with chrysanthemums.
  • Plant spring bulbs before the ground freezes, or around mid-November.
  • Drain and winterize irrigation systems to prevent damage due to freezing.
  • Aerate soil and apply gypsum along driveways and near low runoff areas to reduce the damage caused by the accumulation of salt based deicers.

Prepare your crew and grounds

Before those snowflakes start falling, follow the steps below to rally your crew and ensure that everyone is informed about your winter procedures and proper upkeep of your grounds.

  • Establish contracts with outside equipment and service providers.
  • Review snow removal and inclement weather procedures and responsibilities with your staff.
  • Leverage your seasoned veterans to train new staff members on safe operation of equipment.
  • Inclement weather can result in long hours for your crew. Keep your staff safe and sane by recruiting extra helping hands in advance from other departments or outside contractors in case you need them.
  • Map out and assign snow removal routes. Prioritize which areas on or around your property (roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) will need to be cleared first after a snowfall.
  • Determine what to do with excess snow and notify equipment operators so they know where to push the snow.
    • Place signage in the areas designated for excess snow so that your building occupants will know those areas are reserved for snow piles.
  • Pre-treat sidewalks and other paved surfaces with anti-icing products to make snow and ice removal easier when the time comes. Consider using liquid anti-icing products, rather than granular ones like rock salt.
    • Although liquid deicers are more expensive, they typically do a better job preventing snow and ice from sticking to paved surfaces. If you do plan to use salt as a deicing agent, be cautious when using it near landscaped areas due to the erosion it can cause and avoid using it around electrical boxes and structural materials since it causes corrosion.

Download the “Winter Preparation Checklist”

We’ve combined all of the tips above into a handy checklist you can download below and print out to track your progress while you prepare for winter.

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Click here to download the “Winter Preparation Checklist”.


How FMX can help

FMX is a cloud-based software that simplifies facilities management. With FMX, you can maintain an accurate equipment inventory and schedule preventive maintenance tasks to ensure that your equipment and grounds are properly winterized.


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Jamie is the marketing director at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not keeping the marketing ship afloat, chances are she’s out hiking with her high school sweetheart husband.


Sources:
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/groundsmanagement/article/Grounds-and-Equipment-Preparation-for-Winter-Often-Begins-in-Summer–14967
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/groundsmanagement/tip/Snow-and-Ice-Management-Focus-on-Equipment–30280
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/groundsmanagement/article/Hot-Buttons-for-Colder-Weather–3452

 

CMMS/CAFM Selection Q&A with Taylor Short from Software Advice

Here at FMX we could talk for days about the benefits of using facilities management software. But, we don’t want you to just take our word for it, so we interviewed Taylor Short, Market Researcher at Software Advice, to get his take on the topic.


Meet Taylor

taylor-short-blog-headshot.pngTaylor Short is a Market Research Associate at Software Advice, a company that hosts research and reviews of facility management software and CMMS software solutions for small businesses. His research explores the impacts of emerging software and technologies, and he has conducted primary research with both consumers and business owners to get a full picture of technology’s role in these markets today.


1) How can Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) or Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) systems address common pain points for business owners?

Taylor’s Take: Some common pain points Software Advice hears from software seekers include losing work orders, having trouble tracking all assets, and overall inefficiency in scheduling preventative maintenance. Simply automating daily maintenance tasks can ensure departments never have to deal with paper work orders again; once created, the CAFM system holds onto work orders until they’re closed out. Secondly, software offers a bird’s eye view of operations with dashboards that display the location of all assets. And finally, a user can create regular PM’s and the CAFM system will send notifications as they are due. Together, these CAFM capabilities keep managers aware of all work and offer tools to increase efficiency.

2) What kind of ROI can be expected from investing in new software?

Taylor’s Take: Software buyers can use the standard return on investment formula (gain from CAFM – cost of CAFM / cost of CAFM x 100) to get a percentage answer, which can tell you how much of your initial investment a CAFM system will return. Another way to look into the costs of a software investment is to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO), which examines costs throughout the entire life of the software and includes additional costs such as those for installation, data migration, support, and more. You can find your TCO with our calculator.

3) What are some recent trends in the small business space around facilities management technology?

Taylor’s Take: Mobility is the most discussed technology trend in facilities and maintenance management today, and for good reason. Access to a full-featured CAFM system in your mobile device adds tremendous value for technicians in the field, who can create and close out work orders, view and take images of assets, or scan QR codes with a camera. These capabilities completely remove the time usually taken by traveling between the office and the job site, which can instead be used to perform more work.

4) What are some recommended steps to find the product that’s right for your business?

Taylor’s Take: Many companies say they need facilities management software, but don’t have a specific plan in place or goal for what they want to see out of it. So first, it’s important for a facilities management team and the company executives to develop the results they want to see from a software investment. Secondly, facilities departments should determine the specific features that will deliver that result. Maybe the goal is to increase work order completion rates by 30 percent; the company could then include work order management tools. Finally, companies can evaluate additional features and modules that increase convenience, such as mobile access. With a clear goal and feature set in mind, a company has a greater chance to find the exact CAFM they need. Buyers can consult user reviews of CAFM systems at softwareadvice.com or other technology comparison sites to create a short list of products that are a good fit, and then set up demos or free trials to get a feel for the product. Remember, it’s always a worthwhile investment of time and energy to find a product that fits your needs, and has all the proper integrations.


Consider FMX

FMX enables facilities managers to more efficiently and effectively track work orders, schedule resources, and plan maintenance. Our cloud-based software features a calendar view that anyone can use to submit, track, and manage requests, events, and assets.  Facilities owners and managers gain visibility into activities and costs, while building staff and tenants get updated status information on their facilities requests.

Discover why FMX was named one of “The 3 Best-Reviewed Facilities Management Systems, sign up for our 14-day free trial today.

Utilize Data to Maximize Facility Team Performance

Whether it’s someone who’s discomforted by an HVAC problem or someone dealing with a computer issue, there are people relying on the services provided by your facility, maintenance, and IT teams on a daily basis. It’s critical that sufficient manpower and resources are available to provide those services in an efficient and productive manner.

In this post we’re sharing some tips and tricks for utilizing data to maximize the performance of your facility teams.

It starts with asking the right questions

  • Is our team responding to requests and resolving work orders in a timely manner?
  • Is our team’s current workload manageable?
  • How is our team’s workload trending over time?
  • How can our team be more efficient and productive?

Let’s dig a little deeper to discover how you can gather the right data and put it to use to answer each of the key questions listed above.

Is our team responding to requests and resolving work orders in a timely manner?

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Responding to and resolving requests quickly, strengthens relationships with building occupants, gives your facility team a sense of accomplishment, and reduces labor costs.

Gathering insightful data:

  • If you haven’t already, put a system in place to track response/resolution time trends.
  • Set benchmarks for time to respond to requests and time to resolve work orders. Share those benchmarks with your facility teams so they’re aware of the expectations.
  • Monitor your team’s performance vs the benchmarks.

Making sense of the data:

  • Are your teams/employees not achieving the benchmarks?
    • This could be an indication that your team’s processes are inefficient or that they have limited resources or manpower.
  • Are your teams/employees achieving the benchmarks?
    • Awesome! They must be doing something right, try to figure out what’s working so well and make sure that trend continues.

Putting the data into action:

  • Observe your team’s processes and/or survey them to discover potential bottlenecks that are slowing them down (e.g., Can they receive work orders electronically on the go or do they waste time driving from one location to another to get updates in person?).
  • Equip your team with the resources they need to complete their work more efficiently (i.e., Tools, additional staff, etc.).

Is our team’s current workload manageable?

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Overloading some of your departments or employees with too much work can result in low morale and work orders slipping through the cracks. Yikes!

Gathering insightful data:

  • If you haven’t already, put a system in place to track work orders currently assigned to each department/team and individual employee.

Making sense of the data:

  • Are some teams/employees more overloaded than others?
    • This could be an indication that staff members are not allocated properly or that the work order assignment process should be reevaluated.

Putting the data into action:

  • Consider hiring more staff for teams that are short-handed or re-assigning staff members to overloaded teams.
  • Consider re-distributing responsibilities of overloaded teams to other teams or employees that share similar skills.
  • Analyze your work order assignment process to ensure that items are being assigned as fairly and evenly as possible.

How is our team’s workload trending over time?

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Identifying your team’s workload trends over time can help you adapt to both slow and busy periods to ensure consistent productivity.

Gathering insightful data:

  • If you haven’t already, put a system in place to track the workload assigned to each department/team and individual employee over time.

Making sense of the data:

  • Analyze the data to identify workload trends over time.
    • Doing this will help you determine if there is any seasonality to the workload for a given team, employee, or type of work.

Putting the data into action:

  • Consider how you can leverage slow periods to tackle special projects, catch up on deferred maintenance, or be proactive with completing preventative maintenance tasks.
  • Consider how you can better allocate resources during busy periods to keep your team efficient and productive.

How can our team be more efficient and productive?

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Dig deep into your team’s processes and help them make improvements until they become a well-oiled machine.

Replicate success:

  • Does one particular team or employee constantly outperform the others? If so, discover what makes them so effective and figure out how their success can be replicated throughout your other teams and employees.
  • Identify areas for improvement in your team’s performance and processes. Then, implement changes and track your team’s progress to see what’s working and what isn’t.

FMX can help

FMX enables facilities managers to more efficiently and effectively track work orders, schedule resources, and plan maintenance. Our cloud-based software features a calendar view that anyone can use to submit, track, and manage requests, events, and assets.  Facilities owners and managers gain visibility into activities and costs, while building staff and tenants get updated status information on their facilities requests.

Our newly enhanced reporting and analytics module provides powerful insight into your team’s performance through interactive dashboards.

Enhanced Reporting Has Launched!

We’re super excited, and we think you will be too, because we just launched one of the biggest feature enhancements in FMX history — enhanced reporting and analytics! Heck, even our office dogs are excited. This one’s a game changer.

Check out the video below to see what all the hype has been about and get acquainted with our new interactive dashboards.

A pat on the back for our developers

We’re lucky to have such a talented and dedicated team of software developers here at FMX. In fact, they’re so great at what they do that they’ve already improved the interface of our new reporting module since we made the video above! So, when you navigate to the reporting module in your FMX site it will look more like this:

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A little help from your friends

You don’t think we would just turn you loose with these new dashboards without providing you with some helpful resources do you? Of course we wouldn’t!

You can check out these help articles in our Learning Center and, as always, you can contact our friendly customer success team via email at support@gofmx.com if you have any questions.

Let us know what you think

We hope you’re as pumped as we are about the new and improved reporting and analytics. We would love to hear any feedback you have on this enhancement! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, what are you waiting for? Go slice and dice your own dashboards in your FMX site.

Stay in the loop with future FMX updates by subscribing to our blog posts. It’s easy, just click the red Follow button in the right sidebar of the blog and you’ll receive our new posts via email.

March 2016 FMX Update

We’re happy to introduce several new updates we added to enhance FMX last month! Pressed for time? Here’s the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) summary:

  • Schedule requests can now be routed to a previous status.
  • You can now track an hourly labor rate per user.
  • Labor cost data can now be viewed in the work request and planned maintenance grids.
  • We’ve added a user log view so you can see what your users have been up to in FMX.
  • Users can now specify the time of day they want to receive planned maintenance reminder emails.

Intrigued? Keep reading for more details and visuals related to each enhancement.

Coming soon: Major reporting and analytics enhancements

We’re super close to rolling out a major enhancement to the reporting and analytics capabilities of FMX. These enhancements will allow you to create customized interactive dashboards consisting of data across your FMX site. Here’s a sneak peek and more information will be coming soon!

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Schedule request enhancements

Have you ever accidentally approved a schedule request instead of declining it? Have you ever had an event that needed to be re-invoiced due to a change in costs? Well, now you can re-route a schedule request to a prior status as long as you have the proper user type permissions. Here’s how it works:

Make sure the appropriate user type has permission to route schedule requests under the Schedule Request Access section in the user type editor.

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Find the schedule request that needs to be re-routed and click the Route button.

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Select the prior status the request should be routed to and click the Save button. That’s it!

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Learn more about schedule requests in our Learning Center.

User enhancements

Tracking labor rates:

You can now track an hourly labor rate per user and view work request and planned maintenance labor cost information. Here’s how it works:

Navigate to the user type editor for the user type you want to track a labor rate for and check the Has labor rate box near the top of the page.

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Then, navigate to the user type editor for the user type that should have permission to enter user labor rates and view labor rate information. Check the Can set labor rate box near the bottom of the page in the User Access section. Select the appropriate option for the View labor rate permission — selecting the Any option will allow this user type to view labor costs logged in work requests and planned maintenance tasks.

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In the example below, I can enter a labor rate for Mitch Galehouse by clicking on the Users tab in the left sidebar, clicking on the gavel icon across from Mitch’s name in the user list, entering his labor rate and clicking the Save button. Now, whenever Mitch resolves a work request or executes a planned maintenance task and enters his worker hours his labor cost will be calculated automatically.

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Here’s an example of a planned maintenance task executed by Mitch Galehouse. In the planned maintenance occurrences grid we can see how many worker hours he logged and his labor cost that was automatically calculated. Labor cost data can also be viewed in the work request grids (i.e., labor costs logged for completed maintenance requests).

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User log view:

We’ve added a user log view so you can see what your users have been up to in FMX.

Let’s say that I wanted to see everything Morgan Murray has been doing in my FMX site. I can access that information by clicking on the Users tab in the left sidebar, and clicking on the book icon across from Morgan’s name in the user list. Then I’ll be able to see a log of requests she’s submitted, responded to, resolved, and more. 

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PM email notification enhancements

Tired of receiving planned maintenance reminder emails at midnight? Users can now specify the time of day they want to receive PM reminder emails by following the steps below.

Click on the Settings button under the user’s name in the left sidebar.

Settings Button

Scroll down to the Preferred notification time drop-down list and select the desired time of day for the user to receive PM reminder emails.

Preferred Notification Time

Feedback

We would love to hear any feedback you have on this set of FMX enhancements! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Stay in the loop with future FMX updates by subscribing to our blog posts. It’s easy, just click the red Follow button in the right sidebar of the blog and you’ll receive our new posts via email.