Are you benefiting from mobile applications?

by FM Media
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Mobile applications are making life easier; not just in our recreational lives, but also in our professional lives, and facilities managers are no exception. JINDOU LEE, CEO of Happy Inspector, lists some apps that will assist building managers in their day-to-day lives.

The world is currently experiencing an ‘application renaissance’, where the surge of mobile applications (mobile apps for short) available in the marketplace is set to fill every niche imaginable. It seems as though every day sees some new tool or asset made available to make one’s life easier; not just in a recreational, social or gaming context, but also from a business standpoint.
The mobile app development wave is aiding people in their professional lives, and facility/building managers are no exception. Apps specially designed for property management not only make property managers’ lives simpler, they also greatly enhance their productivity.
There are certain key areas in a building manager’s day-to-day life that can be enhanced and assisted by mobile apps that currently exist in the marketplace. I have listed some of these below. This list is simply meant to bring the concept to light, rather than offering a be-all and end-all list of apps. The possibilities are limitless and your own research will uncover all sorts of gems.
There are countless apps comprising general tools and utilities that can benefit a building manager, such as voice-to-email applications for the manager on the run or asset-tracking apps to assist in maintaining finances. I have merely detailed currently existing applications that are specific to tasks that fall under a building manager’s day-to-day agenda.

1. BUILDING MANAGEMENT TOOL SUITES
The first on the list of building management apps is probably the one that is most pivotal to changing a building manager’s life for the better. Tool suites exist that have been designed from the ground up with the intention of facilitating and expediting every facet of the daily tasks faced by a manager of a building or office complex. Applications of this nature allow a manager to track mail and package deliveries inbound to the building or office, lodge maintenance requests simply and intuitively, and send messages to or receive messages from staff and building occupants – all from a single handheld device.
These applications provide big opportunities to save time and enhance productivity, simplifying the labours of the modern building manager. An example of such an application is the mybuilding.org application, which offers the above tool suite. It, however, requires registration with the co-existing website to enable use of the app’s functions.

2. ENERGY MONITORING APPLICATIONS
Every building manager knows how vital proper energy management is. There are multiple energy management applications that currently exist that work over a wireless network within a building. These applications allow you to use your mobile device to monitor the emissions of your building and the carbon footprint you’re leaving behind.
Signing up to these services enables a building manager to set goals and budgets, and the application will graph your usage and identify if your monthly projection will fall within the allocated financial allotment. In addition, it is possible to track your energy usage history and identify the peak usage times, paving the way to more energy smart, greener decisions. Examples of these types of applications include uMeter and Energy Maximiser.

3. GUIDES AND TRENDS
The building and office management community has a vast, collective array of tips and resources that have been made available over multiple apps. These apps place a sea of knowledge at facility managers’ fingertips, giving them the power to stay on top of trends as they develop and to discuss the tools of the trade with other managers around the globe.
These apps compile pertinent news stories, highlight new utilities and tools available in the marketplace, and offer a rich set of resources to both burgeoning and experienced building managers. Examples of these sorts of applications are Maintenance Solutions Magazine App and Building Operating Management Mobile. Although not an app, magazines like Facility Management can also be downloaded digitally as an e-zine.

4. SECURITY APPLICATIONS
Let’s get this straight from the get-go – it’s best not to put your office or building security at risk by implementing mobile applications, not without significant research, at least. You don’t want to have passwords or encrypted data residing on your app if the app proves to be poorly protected and susceptible to hackers.
This doesn’t mean, however, that great apps that can benefit the security of your building don’t exist. Some of the most interesting and useful applications in the marketplace are the various security camera live feed apps associated with brands of security devices. As these applications are released by the same specialised security corporations that established the cameras in the first place, the level of safety is significantly higher. These applications allow you to monitor the live feed from your building or office at any time, remotely, from any destination. Now that’s peace of mind. These apps exist for all the major security camera brands.

THE FUTURE IS MOBILE
The mobile application marketplace is alive with useful, functional tools that can assist facility managers in their day-to-day lives. It’s time to adapt to this fresh, technological world of apps, and to harness their power to save time, money and labour, and to maximise efficiency.
Applications will continue to evolve and change, offering the user more automation and more simplicity, and enabling rigorous chores and tasks to be completed seamlessly from a single handheld device. The future is mobile and it is here.

Jindou Lee has over 12 years of experience in the technology/internet sector. He regularly consults with organisations on how mobile technology can improve business efficiency and workflow. He is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for tech start-ups, business and mobile technology. Currently, Lee is the chief executive officer of Happy Inspector, an iPad application that eases property inspections.

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