Making the Move from Excel to IWMS

Recently, we came across an article on the importance of Facilities Management Departments (FMs) moving away from Excel and toward a reliable IWMS or CAFM system.  This article truly inspired us, so we decided to put our own twist on the subject.

Too many companies are taking on extra work and stress by recording their facilities data in excel spreadsheets.  No matter how large or small the company is, we at RSC believe that every Facilities Department deserves more than what excel can provide.

Facilities Management is a dynamic role.

Over time, FM’s have found themselves playing a greater part in strategic decision making within a company.   This has increased the need for facilities management as a whole to have constant access to immediate, accurate, real time data that enables them to provide meaningful information for the business that has direct impact on the bottom line.  While excel can provide a very basic and inexpensive solution for small business with no risk of financial penalties for any potential under-performance, an excel spreadsheet can’t:

  • Provide accurate complex reporting
  • Provide real-time data updates on work order
  • Can’t assign or prioritize tasks to send out jobs

Excel spreadsheets often have gross data inaccuracy, causing a lack of integrity in reporting.  Relying solely on excel can result in serious errors in data as Facility Managers attempt to track a variety data (e.g., moves, work requests, hotelling, lease renewals, etc)  across multiple workstations and geographical locations. “. . . [R]elying on spreadsheet as a primary source of information for FM, reactive and planned maintenance, and asset and performance management has severe limitations. . . .  They can even become counterproductive to FM, causing it to lose impact and detract from its business critical function.”   Even more spreadsheets cannot provide data security.  Once you have released data in spreadsheet form, it’s out in the world.  It can’t be controlled.  If you have sensitive data, it is significantly safer to record, maintain, and report inside an IWMS application like ARCHIBUS which has proper data access controls.

Luckily, if you or your company are still using excel to track your data, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) Software like an IWMS can solve all those issues. An IWMS application, like ARCHIBUS, can:

  • Be Proactive. An IWMS is made to notify people when things happen that are of concern to them – new work requests, or leases coming up for renewal.  It sends emails reminding people of what they need to do next.  It’s tough to get a spreadsheet to do this.

  • Segment Data. When someone has access to a spreadsheet, they can see what’s in there and change it.  In an IWMS application, you are assigned a role that only allows you to update the data you need to update.  This means people aren’t confused by seeing what doesn’t matter to them.  Segmented data forces data integrity, because only people that should change particular data can change it.

  • Global Functionality.  Although these days spreadsheets can be shared, it’s awfully difficult to have many people update the same spreadsheet (say, add on-demand work requests) simultaneously.  IWMS systems are great at making functionality available to multiple people simultaneously.

  • Collaboration.  Many processes require that a group of widely-separated people work together.  One person makes a request, another assigns it to a workman, the workman completes the work, an inspector reviews the work, the person who requested the work answers a survey about the quality of the work.  It’s difficult for such a detailed process to happen via a spreadsheet, especially one where different versions are kept on different desktops.  For processes that involve multiple people, you really need an application (like an IWMS) with true workflow.

We at RSC are dedicated to helping you seamlessly make the transition to an IWMS application, like ARCHIBUS.  Ditch the stress that comes from working with excel spreadsheets and make the move to an IWMS application.  It will be one of the best decisions your Facilities Department and company makes.  An IWMS truly is the best solution for your Facilities needs.  For more information, check out our Keys to a Successful IWMS Implementation or contact us directly at info@rsc2lc.com


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One thought on “Making the Move from Excel to IWMS”

  1. My workplace is considering getting CAFM software, and it’s good to know that it’s the right move for the business. I didn’t realize that spreadsheets were unable to provide data security, and while we haven’t had any data leak issues, I do think that it’s important to keep our security practices up to date, so a CAFM may be a step in that direction. My boss is still on the fence about the transition, but he’s always one for being proactive, as you said that a CAFM assists with, and sending email reminders is something he’s struggled with, so I’m sure your article will sway him.

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