Incident IQ

K-12 Workflow Management Blog

How Facility Management Workflows Save Time & Stretch Budgets

Article Contents

For K-12 schools, facility management is a high-stakes operation with responsibilities often spanning multiple buildings, systems, teams, stakeholders, and regulations. Workflow inefficiencies can stretch already tight budgets and overwhelm even the most diligent teams, causing maintenance delays that can quickly snowball into major safety hazards or school-closing catastrophes.

With the right facility management software, K-12 schools can streamline work order creation and automate routine tasks, allowing staff to concentrate on urgent needs and strategic planning. Below, we’ll explore the essentials of workflow automation and how this powerful technology can help your teams optimize their efforts.

Advantages of Workflow Automation 

Using facility management software to automate your workflows unlocks a number of day-to-day and strategic benefits.

  • Reduces time spent manually routing tickets: Manual ticket routing is time-consuming, and even the most organized facilities staff sometimes miss an email (or forget to send one). Automated workflow systems ensure no ticket can slip through the cracks. 
  • Improves operational efficiency: By streamlining complex processes and automating repetitive tasks, you can improve the overall efficiency of your facility management operations.
  • Reduces risk of error: Workflow automation significantly reduces the risk of errors, such as mistakenly routing maintenance tickets to the wrong teams or dispatching technicians without the necessary tools or information. 
  • Increases visibility on KPIs and goal tracking: Automated workflow systems cut through the noise, enabling team members to easily view metrics on key facility management goals and issues like overdue or pending tickets.
  • Promotes data-driven decision-making: Comprehensive data breakdowns and reporting capabilities enable data-informed budgeting decisions and strategic planning.
  • Fosters collaboration between facility management team members: Use workflows to clearly define responsibilities, keeping everyone on the same page and empowering better collaboration between team members. 

The benefits of workflow automation are clear. Next, we’ll look at how automated workflows improve facility management outcomes for stakeholders at all levels.

How Do Workflows Help Improve Facility Management

Workflows enhance facility management by helping standardize processes and ensure consistency across all tasks. Below, we’ll explore how integrating effective workflows not only streamlines operations but can also elevate the overall management of your school facilities.

Enable Centralized Project Management

Centralized project management is a cornerstone of effective facility risk management. It enables administrators to consolidate, streamline, and automate internal processes using workflows. Automation ensures that every process follows a uniform procedure, enhancing consistency and allowing for real time updates and tracking, which are crucial for timely decision-making and resource allocation.

A cohesive overview of all projects also reduces the complexity of managing multiple tasks across various locations. By implementing automated workflows, schools can significantly reduce staff workload and minimize project execution errors that lead to unnecessary downtime.

Optimize Maintenance Scheduling

Facility maintenance managers can spend all day scheduling maintenance tasks and assigning them to the right team members. Facility management workflow automation systems optimize ticket assignments, taking into account the current workload and priority of tasks assigned to each team member. 

This ensures that each team member is fully utilized without being overwhelmed and that the right person performs the right maintenance tasks at the right time, leading to more streamlined operations and reduced downtime. You can also leverage automated workflows to automatically set up and assign routine maintenance tasks to the appropriate team members or specify custom routing rules based on your existing processes.

Ensure Timely Preventive Maintenance

Staying on top of your preventive maintenance checklist can be challenging. K-12 school environments are a special type of controlled chaos, and emergent issues can easily pull your team away from scheduled upkeep activities. If you don’t have a centralized asset management and procurement system, it can be even easier for things to fall through the cracks.

Automated workflows ensure that all assets receive necessary maintenance before potential issues become costly repairs by tracking maintenance schedules and automatically notifying responsible parties. Keeping up with preventive maintenance not only increases the lifespan of assets but also helps stretch your budget by avoiding unexpected breakdowns and expensive emergency repairs.

Manage and Plan Work Requests

Automated management workflows streamline every aspect of managing and planning service requests, from categorizing work orders and assigning tasks to performing follow-ups and tracking progress through to completion. These systems can even track requests logged with outside vendors for maintenance requiring special skills or labor. Facility managers can use ticket data to evaluate the vendor relationship over time to see if it might be time to seek new providers.

Leveraging a maintenance ticketing system enhances efficiency and improves transparency, allowing team members to see the status of their tasks and managers to monitor overall workflow progress. This frees up time and eliminates headaches for facilities managers while helping better organize work requests so that nothing important gets missed. 

Encourage Smart Building Management

Smart building management is one of the top school facility maintenance trends to watch in 2024 and beyond. With technologies like smart thermostats and occupancy sensors making their way into classrooms, schools can reduce energy consumption while still offering a comfortable environment for students and staff. Predictive, eco-friendly building management also helps build favor and recognition within the community your school facilities serve.

By integrating your smart technologies with a workflow automation system, you can uncover energy efficiency and sustainability insights, set automated notifications for software updates, and make real-time adjustments to HVAC settings and building systems that can contribute to substantial cost savings.

Minimize Human Error 

Even the most trivial maintenance tasks hit your budget’s bottom line. Having to re-do work because of an oversight or expand the scope of a project due to incomplete ticket information increases those expenses. 

While no system can completely eliminate human error, workflow automation software can help facility managers ensure that staff review all submitted service requests, all tasks are assigned correctly, and no important details are missed. By enforcing standard procedures for every task, automated workflows significantly reduce the likelihood of errors, leading to improved reliability and effectiveness in managing school facilities.

Streamline Emergency Response

When emergencies arise, every minute counts, making speed and efficiency more important than ever. A detailed emergency response workflow can be the difference between a coordinated, swift, and effective reaction to unexpected incidents or a catastrophe.

An automated emergency response workflow typically includes immediate notifications to all relevant parties, role assignments based on the scenario, and step-by-step actions tailored to different emergencies. By using workflow automation software to manage emergency response workflows and team responsibilities within a centralized system, you can help ensure a smooth and efficient response during chaotic situations. 

Maintain Safety and Compliance Efforts

As a facility maintenance manager, you must prioritize safety and compliance to meet legal and ethical standards. By creating automated workflows to monitor compliance-related tasks, track regular inspections, and generate alerts for detected violations, you can streamline and document all safety and regulatory compliance efforts while ensuring nothing important is missed. 

By doing so, you can help support a safe learning environment for students and staff, which should always be a facility manager’s top priority. Maintaining rigorous safety and compliance records through workflow automation also helps minimize the risk of legal issues.

Improving Project Management Workflow

Automated facility management software improves efficiency, productivity, and safety for K-12 schools. Implementing automated workflows helps optimize execution, significantly lowering operational costs over time, especially when integrated with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

We specifically designed Incident IQ’s automated workflows with schools in mind. Our single platform software solution integrates seamlessly into daily operations, enabling facilities managers to automate work order management, preventive maintenance scheduling, compliance tracking, and more. With our helpful (and free!) facility maintenance plan template, you can start optimizing your facility processes today. 

Ready to see for yourself how Incident IQ’s industry-leading facility management workflow system can streamline business processes and optimize your school’s facility management processes? Schedule a demo today!