The Best Building Maintenance System Software For 2020

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Buildings aren’t eternal – what goes up will eventually come down without proper upkeep. From schools to skyscrapers to sawmills, every building needs regular maintenance to live a long and healthy life. Back when this was a manual process, it was often lengthy and difficult to perform properly. Luckily, facility management software automates and digitizes every step of the building maintenance process. Our analysts identified the best building maintenance system software to help facility managers optimize their maintenance tasks from start to finish.

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Best Building Maintenance System Software

What is Building Maintenance System Software?

First off: what exactly does building maintenance consist of? You may have heard it called facility management or computer-aided facility management. The software that manages maintenance is called computerized maintenance management system or CMMS software. If the solution focuses on managing physical assets, it’s enterprise asset management software. Although there are some key differences, there is significant crossover between all these categories, and most perform some element of building maintenance.

No matter what you call it, building maintenance encompasses all the factors involved in making a building operate at peak performance. This includes everything from quick fixes to large-scale preventive maintenance tasks.

You can break building management into two service categories: hard and soft. Hard services typically entail physical and structural elements such as fire alarms, door locks, windows, etc. Soft services include janitorial maintenance, landscaping and other tasks that contribute to the facility without being a physical part of the building.

Building maintenance software is software designed to manage your building maintenance. It’s a specialized CMMS solution that automates maintenance processes. It helps maintenance managers stay on top of their day-to-day operations and centralizes the many different steps of facility management including enterprise asset management, repair scheduling, preventive maintenance plans, maintenance work orders, managing costs and adhering to compliance standards.

CMMS and building maintenance software is used mostly by industrial businesses and those that rely on their facility to perform their services such as schools and hospitals. Other industries that commonly use this software include mining, commercial real estate, manufacturing, warehouses and energy production.

What Does a Building Maintenance System Do?

Luckily for facility managers everywhere, building maintenance software provides customized functionality specifically for building maintenance. Unfortunately, it can’t perform every inspection of every asset in your facility (full building automation is still a ways off). But it does automate the scheduling of inspections and repairs necessary for proper building maintenance.

While every system is different, you can expect these core capabilities from building maintenance tools:

Preventive Maintenance

The most important aspect in increasing a building’s longevity is preventive maintenance. Inspections of the foundation, structure and other components need to happen on a regular basis: if those projects aren’t scheduled in advance, they quickly slip through the cracks. Building maintenance management software lets facility managers schedule inspections and routine repairs so technicians can plan around them when performing reactive maintenance.
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General Maintenance

As much as we wish building systems would never fail, it happens occasionally. So when they do, they need to be fixed as quickly as possible. Building maintenance systems help managers assign general maintenance and repairs right after problems are discovered. This, in turn, helps workers fix the problem and avoid a long turnaround for the related work orders.

Better Compliance

Most maintenance workers want the facility they work in to meet and, hopefully, exceed its industry compliance standards. But to do so consistently requires regular internal inspections. Scheduling and recording this via building maintenance management software ensures that these inspections happen on time. In addition, they can record the results and track the progress from each inspection to see how assets are improving or identify areas that need adjustment.

Building Maintenance Management Features

Best Building Maintenance System Software

Building maintenance platforms generally optimize the maintenance process, making life easier for all involved. But which systems are the best?

Our analysts looked at many CMMS, CAFM, EAM and FM solutions on the market and used the building maintenance features mentioned above to identify the best of the best so you don’t have to. Here’s what they found:

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Netfacilities

Netfacilities offers cloud-based facility, asset and maintenance management features. It links access to all an organization’s buildings, managers, tenants, employees, vendors and suppliers in a convenient, unified platform. It offers cloud-based hosting for medium and large organizations in the education, property management, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, food and beverage industries.
Netfacilities

Preventive Maintenance Scheduling

Netfacilities keeps users on top of PM scheduling via a secure, centralized hub. Configurable tools including work order management, asset management, inventory management and vendor management to streamline facility management tasks inside and out.

Key and Lock Management

This platform promotes security on all sites with restricted key access. Managers can assign keys to specific doors or employees to ensure appropriate access to all sites. Extended functionality lets users track a variety of security paraphernalia including specified key types, key groups, cylinder cores, locks, hooks, cabinets, etc. for tampering, use and alerts.
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Tenant Services

Organizations managing real estate properties can utilize Netfacilities’ tenant portal to let tenants submit work order requests, track the progress of previous requests and provide service feedback through a centralized hub. Management can use this portal to publish handbooks, regulations, updates, safety protocols and other important information.

Easy Access Anywhere

Because it is cloud-hosted, users can access Netfacilities from any device in the field. A centralized hub of communication, work orders and asset management keeps everyone connected and improves visibility into every level of operations.

Limitations

Some limitations of Netfacilities include:

  • Closing work orders is tedious
  • Doesn’t offer robust customization for viewing reports or work order requests
  • Users are automatically logged out of the system intermittently
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

UpKeep

UpKeep provides entirely web-hosted CMMS and EAM capabilities that support reliability-focused maintenance. It is a lean, agile platform that operates entirely on a native app or desktop browser. It can serve businesses of all sizes and specializes in industries such as manufacturing, restaurants, government agencies, property management, education and transportation.
UpKeep

Maintenance Checklists

Users can create customized checklists and attach them to assets, buildings or work orders to ensure technicians know what is expected. Techs can use premade responses such as pass, flag and fail or enter their own responses to checklist line items based on management settings. Asset profiles store historical records of past checklist responses for increased visibility into asset issues.

Workflow Automation

Automated workflow processes streamline the work order process from beginning to end. Managers can create if-then rules for triggering work orders, assigning them to specific technicians and attaching checklists.

Time and Cost Tracking

UpKeep tracks and reports on the time spent on individual work orders, the costs associated with specific assets, labor effectiveness and other KPIs to help boost efficiency. Managers can drill down into project details to identify pain points and make more accurate budget forecasts for future projects.
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Meter Readings

UpKeep records and logs historical meter reading metrics and facilitates condition-based monitoring. The system can be set to trigger work orders based on user-specified conditions such as vibration, oil pressure, temperature and other metrics. It also logs runtime records to provide information on how long assets such as HVAC units run before they must be replaced.

Floor Plans

Users can easily design production line floor plans with asset-based map points to optimize space usage and flow. They can visualize boundaries, occupancy, asset placement and fire codes to build a best-fit workspace from their tablet or laptop.

Limitations

Some of UpKeep’s limitations include:

  • Isn’t customizable
  • Automatic email responses to work orders can be confusing
  • Cannot change the work order number unless it is saved
  • Cannot change future work orders
  • Drop-down lists are not alphabetical
  • QR code printing is not user-friendly
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

FMX

UpKeep provides entirely web-hosted CMMS and EAM capabilities that support reliability-focused maintenance. It is a lean, agile platform that operates entirely on a native app or desktop browser. It can serve businesses of all sizes and specializes in industries such as manufacturing, restaurants, government agencies, property management, education and transportation.
FMX

Work Order Management

Users of various types can request maintenance and FMX creates a new work order directly within the system and automatically route it to the appropriate team member. Management can configure these work orders to fit their specific needs and specify roles to determine who is allowed to request work orders.

Event Scheduling

FMX offers space and event scheduling features that make it easy for users to plan events days, weeks, months or even years in advance. A chain of approval for event creation can be created by each organization to ensure event requests go through proper channels before appearing on the schedule. Then FMX detects when spaces have already been booked, preventing double-bookings and other communication errors. Renters and tenants can easily request use of facilities through a user portal. Management can track cost estimates, allocate resources and set time limits to eliminate last-minute bookings.

Ticketing

Instead of routing IT tickets through a separate channel, users can submit them directly within FMX. All communication about those tickets takes place directly on the ticket, streamlining communication. IT technicians can request additional information, leave notes, explain reasons for rejecting a request and more. A history of all previous requests is stored in the system and accessible at any time.
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Asset and Parts Management

FMX offers an online parts inventory catalogue to keep inventory organized. It automatically adjusts inventory logs when new stock comes in and lets users attach parts to work orders to maintain a running log of use. They can label stock with QR codes to quickly retrieve information or set reminders as well as automate reorders.

Floor Plans

Users can easily design production line floor plans with asset-based map points to optimize space usage and flow. They can visualize boundaries, occupancy, asset placement and fire codes to build a best-fit workspace from their tablet or laptop.

Limitations

Some of FMX’s limitations include:

  • No mobile application
  • Each email notification for work orders sends a new email rather than updating the existing email thread
  • The reporting feature could use improvement
  • Can’t attach more than one invoice to a single work order request
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Fiix

Fiix is one of the most popular CMMS solutions on the market and offers SaaS facility management to organizations of all sizes in manufacturing, biotech, pharmaceuticals, textiles, mining, production, distribution, transportation, food and beverage industries. It comes with modules to manage fixed assets, work orders, reports, analytics and an integration hub.
Fiix

Nested Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance plans can be nested inside one another to allow for event-triggered work orders. Users can stack these PMs and set different triggers for each based on meter readings, time, etc.

Purchasing and Procurement

Fiix offers a purchase order module made of user-defined workflows that let project managers buy materials and log invoices directly in the CMMS. Users can create purchase orders, track stock levels, look up vendor and supplier information as well as send records of all the above through email.
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Business Intelligence

This system provides pre-built dashboards and customizable dashboard templates that give users a snapshot into their business. By selecting relevant information from the data repository, they can gain insights about performance, asset lifespans, utility usage and much more. Users can generate over 100 boxed reports or build their own then send or schedule them via email.

Limitations

Some of Fiix’s limitations include:

  • Cannot add known costs or associated vehicle information directly into the scheduled maintenance work order
  • Every maintenance worker must be added into the system with a separate license if managers want to assign work orders to them
  • No desktop version is available
  • Customized reports are challenging to build
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

eMaint

eMaint from Fluke is a robust web-hosted CMMS that provides inventory management, asset tracking, workflow optimization and both predictive and preventive maintenance plans. It caters to organizations of all sizes and specializes in healthcare, manufacturing, education, transportation, warehousing, distribution, government agencies and energy industries.
eMaint

Work Order Management

eMaint offers work order scheduling that lets managers assign work orders to specific technicians and sign off with digital signatures. The mobile app updates data in real time and lets maintenance workers respond immediately to emergencies throughout the facility. Users can also upload, store and edit work order permits in a built-in PDF editor.

Global Consolidation Accounts

High-level management can compare performance between sites, teams and facilities with enterprise-level reporting from all locations. They can also assign and track work orders to global sites at the same time. This makes it easy to gain insight and transparency into every level of the organization and maintain standards.

Planned Maintenance

Managers can create a maintenance task, associate it with a PM schedule or work order and then set the system to automatically generate repeats of the task on timed or triggered intervals. They can also access an overview of these planned tasks to track completion and upcoming expectations. Users can also schedule inspections and keep detailed records of maintenance history for audits to ensure compliance and safety.
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Interactive Floor Plans

eMaint’s interactive floor plans let users visualize occupancy, locate assets in space and track equipment visually. They can attach images to asset profiles, place pins to identify locations and communicate clearly with interactive maps.

IoT Integration

It is easy to integrate eMaint with IoT devices such as sensors, machine data systems, fuel analysis or card systems, etc. Users can monitor the conditions of their facilities remotely with SCADA and PLC solutions at all times from their mobile device. It can also integrate with a variety of third-party software offerings such as ERP or accounting platforms.

Limitations

Some of eMaint’s limitations include:

  • The option to upload email tickets into the system sometimes crashes when the software is updated
  • Graphs made in the report generator are not linkable
  • Dashboard does not include slicing capabilities
  • The list mode only displays the 100 most recent records
  • There are too many steps to create a PDF report and print it
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

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Final Word

Although our analysts identified Netfacilities, UpKeep, FMX, Fiix and eMaint as the best building maintenance software this year overall, they aren’t necessarily the best fit for your business. To find the perfect fit software for your unique needs, you need to identify which facility management features you will need to utilize. This requirements document will help you identify and prioritize which building maintenance requirements are most crucial to your organization.

To narrow down your shortlist, go to this comparison matrix and see how the industry leaders stack up in performance. To get a baseline idea of what you can expect to pay, check out our pricing guide. Now you should be well prepared to find the perfect building maintenance system for your business!

How has finding and integrating building maintenance management software helped or hurt your operations? Let us know with a comment below!

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Bergen AdairThe Best Building Maintenance System Software For 2020

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