The Digital Shift in Facilities Management for Retail Industry
Facilities Management is a vital aspect of the retail industry, responsible for ensuring seamless operations, safety, and customer satisfaction. In recent years, the integration of technology into facilities management has transformed the way retail businesses handle their facilities to keep up with the demands of modern consumers and enhance operational efficiency.
We will help you delve into the core functions of facilities management and explore how you can make your department work more efficiently, serve the company better, and lay the groundwork for achieving success with advanced technology.
What is Facilities Management?
Facilities management is the process of effectively coordinating and maintaining a company’s physical assets, infrastructure, and resources. It includes a wide range of tasks such as maintenance, space planning, safety compliance, vendor management, and more to support the core business activities and provide a safe, functional, and productive environment for employees and customers.
In the retail industry, it requires facilities managers to control and maintain physical store locations, warehouses, and distribution centers. They are responsible for ensuring that the facilities are well-maintained, cost-effective, and aligned with the business’s strategic objectives.
So what’s happened if facilities management didn’t exist in the retail industry?
The absence of facilities management would have significant adverse effects on the company, its employees, and its customers. It can increase operational costs, decrease efficiency, lead to safety risks, and reduce customer satisfaction. The impacts would be wide-ranging and detrimental to overall business performance.
On the opposite side, effective facilities management can lead to significant cost savings. A study by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) found that optimised facilities management can reduce overall operating costs by up to 20% in the retail sector. As a result, it is an integral part of the retail industry, contributing to the efficient and safe operation of stores.
What are the key functions of facilities management in the retail industry?
Facilities management principles can be similar across types of businesses, but specific industries will face to distinct challenges in this area. For instance, facilities management in the retail industry will be focused on keeping customer-facing spaces to the highest standards.
Within the retail sector, facilities management includes a diverse range of activities, each serving a specific purpose. The primary functions of facilities management in this industry include the following:
Maintenance and Repairs: Regular maintenance and timely repairs of store infrastructure, lighting, HVAC systems, plumbing, and other essential equipment such as POS hardware, barcode scanners, POS terminal, and more to deliver a seamless shopping experience to customers
Retail Space Management: Planning working schedules for cleaning operatives, security personnel, and caterers, especially during peak shopping times creating. Efficiently managing the store layout to optimise space usage and improve customer flow can positively impact sales and customer satisfaction.
Health and Safety Compliance: Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and creating a secure environment for customers and employees is a top priority for facilities managers
Financial Management: Managing budgets, tracking expenses, and optimising spending to improve cost-effectiveness
Vendor Management: Collaborating with vendors and suppliers for maintenance services and managing contracts is essential for streamlined operations.
The role of technology in facilities management transformation
The digital shift in facilities management is driven by the need for greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced customer experiences. Leveraging technology allows retailers to address challenges such as asset tracking, maintenance scheduling, and task automation. Digital solutions offer real-time data and analytics, empowering businesses to make informed decisions and optimise their facilities management strategies. To meet these challenges, a plethora of technologies are available to assist teams in achieving their objectives.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Automation and connected equipment positively impact how the business manages its operations, especially in the retail industry. It is informed to harness the power of IoT for facilities management. IoT devices such as sensors and smart meters can monitor equipment performance, energy usage, and environmental conditions in real time. The result is a smarter, more efficient operation, enabling predictive maintenance and energy optimisation.
Integrated Facilities Management Software
This type of software provides a centralised platform to manage various aspects of facilities operations, including maintenance, work orders, space planning, health, and safety compliance. Making it easier for facilities managers to oversee all functions. It also helps you keep track of important documents such as lease agreements and inspection reports. Besides, facilities management software solutions allow you to track important metrics so you can measure outcomes.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Imagine a large retail chain with multiple stores spread across various locations. Each store generates a vast amount of facilities-related data, including equipment performance, energy consumption, temperature, and humidity levels. Manually analysing this data across all stores would be time-consuming and prone to human errors. This is where AI-driven analytics comes into play to simplify, optimise, and predict facilities management needs.
AI-driven analytics can help you identify patterns and trends in facilities data, optimising resource allocation, and predict maintenance requirements. By harnessing the power of AI in facilities management, the retail industry can achieve higher productivity, and better customer experiences, and ultimately gain a competitive edge in the market.
5 crucial factors to consider when selecting a facilities management system
As mentioned earlier, the facilities management system plays a pivotal role in enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, improving customer experiences, and smoothing out the overall functions of your retail spaces. When selecting a facility management system, it is crucial to take into account several factors to ensure it meets your business's specific needs and aligns with your goals. Here are some essential factors to consider:
- Scope and Features: Assess your business's requirements and the scope of the facilities management system. Determine which features are crucial for your business, such as maintenance management, asset tracking, space planning, security, etc
- Scalability: Consider the future growth of your business. Ensure that the facilities management system can scale with your business needs and accommodate additional locations or facilities if required
- User-Friendliness: The system should be intuitive and user-friendly to encourage adoption among employees. Complex or difficult-to-use systems may lead to resistance and hinder productivity
- Integration Capabilities: Check whether the facilities management system can integrate with other existing software and systems in your business, such as ERP, CRM, HR, or financial software. Seamless integration can streamline operations and data flow
- Customisation Options: Every business is unique, and your facility management needs might be specific. Look for a system that offers customisation options to tailor the software to your requirements.
By carefully considering these factors, you can select a facility management system that aligns with your business objectives and helps you streamline operations, optimise resources, and improve overall efficiency.
A business case streamlining facilities management with Odoo
Odoo is an all-in-one business management software that offers various modules to streamline operations, including various aspects of retail operations. Its flexibility and customisation capabilities make it an ideal choice for retailers seeking to enhance the facilities management process.
Havi Technology has recently been helping a large retail chain transform its facilities management system using Odoo. Their goal was to efficiently manage a diverse range of assets and equipment, from air conditioners and computers to tables and chairs, POS machines, and fire protection systems. This required keeping track of crucial details such as suppliers, maintenance contracts, and repair agreements associated with each asset.
Havi's team carefully analysed the requirements and designed tailored solutions on the Odoo platform to address these needs. Here's how Odoo can help them improve facilities management processes.
Creating repair requests with Odoo Helpdesk
To handle maintenance requests effectively, Havi suggested the company use Odoo Helpdesk. This module allows their employees to create maintenance requests for equipment easily, which are then centrally managed to ensure everyone is aware and can provide necessary approvals.
Managing maintenance requests and tasks in one place
Managing numerous requests, especially for retail businesses with large venues or multiple locations, can be quite challenging. However, with the Odoo Maintenance module, the company can have a single, reliable source of truth to efficiently handle all approved requests and tasks.
Image Source: Odoo.com
This module enables them to efficiently track, and manage maintenance work orders. Facilities managers can assign tasks, set priorities, and monitor progress in real-time. This streamlines the workflow and ensures timely completion of maintenance activities. Besides, this module also helps facilities managers effortlessly send status updates to relevant stakeholders, ensuring everyone is informed about their requests.
Control assets visibility and their lifecycle
Efficiently managing assets and their lifecycles is a critical aspect of any retail business. With the Odoo Maintenance module, the company can now achieve a holistic view of all assets at a glance. They can get all asset-related information such as the asset's history, maintenance records, and usage patterns. This valuable data enables them to schedule maintenance tasks, optimise asset utilisation, reduce downtime, and extend asset lifespans.
Image Source: Odoo.com
Gain real-time reporting and analytics
Odoo provides real-time reporting and analytics on facilities performance, maintenance activities, and resource usage. These insights enable facilities managers to make data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, and implement more efficient strategies.
Curious about the story of this retail business?
Facilities management stands as one of the important roles in the retail industry. Its impact extends across every department and beyond. By leveraging advanced technologies and using integrated software solutions like Odoo, retail businesses can enhance their facilities management practices, reduce downtime, and provide an excellent shopping experience to their customers. Embracing Industry 4.0 principles in facilities management will undoubtedly be a game-changer for the retail industry in the years to come.
Curious to explore how Odoo can further bolster and support your valuable work? Get in touch with us to arrange a demo and get expert advice. Uncover how Odoo can become your ultimate solution!