Being on the facilities management team is a lot like being on the IT team; it’s a thankless job.  


No one ever seeks out the IT team at the end of the day to congratulate them for a job well done: “Nice work today, Sharon…my computer and all my systems worked flawlessly…couldn’t have done my job today without you.”  But when something’s not working quite right, there are no shortage of people furiously tracking down the IT team.

The facilities management team suffers a similar fate.  In most companies, it’s a cost center.  It consumes resources, and can’t ever take credit for a great financial quarter.  Senior management views it only as a necessary evil, and no one congratulates the facilities technician when the bathroom is stocked and the air conditioning is working on a hot day in August.

That’s why it’s gratifying when we can help a facilities team get a big win, something that happened recently with one of our ServiceNow-based customers.

The Company is a US-based technology/software organization with over 20,000 employees and 100 locations.  They were managing their workplaces with a hodgepodge of disparate products, homegrown solutions, spreadsheets and email.  In the words of one of their facilities leaders, “…one 3rd party product for conference room scheduling, a light version of another product for Space, a homemade form for service requests, nothing for sustainability, and for capital projects…post-it notes, chewing gum, duct tape…”

In a nutshell, the Company’s service request process was manual and inefficient.  Employees submitted a service request via a single, fixed form, and that form was manually emailed to a group leader, who was, at that point, responsible for the ticket.  Periodically, the form would be viewed by the maintenance technician on the group leader’s computer, or emailed to the technician’s desktop.  The technician read the request and proceeded to the asset to complete the service.  Using this largely manual process, the MTTC – mean time to completion – of a work order was 4.5 days.  That MTTC decreased to 2.6 days – a 45% reduction - after the Company deployed Nuvolo’s ServiceNow-native Facilities Management solution that automated a significant portion of the Company’s work order management process.

I’ll spare the reader the deployment details here (the customer will be at our booth 1013 at Knowledge, so please feel free to stop by to learn more), but suffice to say that the efficiency improvement of nearly half is a game-changer.  Moreover, deploying a non-ServiceNow-native facilities solution was considered by the Company, but they quickly concluded that extending their ServiceNow investment via a native solution made sense for a number of reasons, and its unlikely the Company would have achieved the results they have with an API-based integration of a different facilities software product.

So, what does the Company do with all that extra technician time?  Certainly, it doesn’t mean that they can now reduce their technician staff by 50%, but it does allow the facilities leadership team to re-deploy resources to more value-added activities that could 1) reduce the need for expensive vendors, 2) improve preventative maintenance performance, 3) or allow staff to undertake long-delayed projects.  As an example, from a different Nuvolo customer, eliminating the need to manually enter work orders into spreadsheets freed existing staff to assemble part kits for equipment repair, transferring efficiency gains to the equipment repair team.

It’s difficult to argue that efficiency gains nearing 50% aren’t significant. So, in the case of this customer, the facilities team might just get that elusive compliment from management for a job well done.

About the Author

Jeff Hill, Nuvolo’s Director of Product Marketing, brings nearly 30 years of experience in product management and high-tech marketing to the Nuvolo team.  His diverse technology background includes space qualified spectrophotometers, active noise-cancelling equipment, telephony-based voice recognition, VOIP, SaaS-based scheduling and communication applications, and real-time threat analytics software.  Most recently, Jeff ran the Product Management team for Prevalent’s enterprise third party risk suite of products.  Jeff holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA from Seton Hall University.

Jeff can be reached at jeff.hill@nuvolo.com.

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