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Technology is the driver of innovation for FM contractors.

Implementing digital operations across many FM and Cleaning businesses means the industries have become highly competitive. FM service providers have adapted their proposition to deliver enhanced efficiencies as clients seek suppliers who offer better value for money, digital innovations, and accurate management information and analytics.

In addition, the facilities management sector, by its nature, is extremely fragmented due to the variety of services offered such as security, building and grounds maintenance and cleaning. Since Covid, there's been a flurry of  SMEs entrants, mainly focused on cleaning, which has created even further pricing pressure.

Delivering site-based facilities contracts is costly and managing hundreds of remote workers on multiple sites can be a huge challenge. Workforce management software has been largely embraced by the UK FM sector as an essential aspect of business operations. Administration tasks such as payroll, budgeting, staff scheduling, and analytics are all made less cumbersome by understanding where staff are, and for how long they are there. Inevitable client questions about the timing of their cleanings can be easily answered as clients benefit from real-time analytics which provides vital contract compliance verification.

"Progression in technology is the driver of innovation that is facilitating a shift for FM contractors. The prevalence of new, cloud-based technologies such as workforce management software has made it significantly easier for service providers to manage teams of staff across multiple sites remotely whilst bringing cost savings, and adding to the bottom line."

Using cloud-based technologies such as workforce management software has made it significantly easier for FM service providers to manage teams of staff across multiple sites remotely whilst providing cost savings, and adding to the bottom line. Mobile technology is delivering added value and more and more in-app communication tools are now available for remote workforces to log completed tasks and even check their wages. This means that contract compliance checks can happen in real-time, remotely. 

There is a need for attendance verification and actual evidence of time spent at a client’s premises providing contracted services. The sector is also under increasing pressure to safeguard and provide accountability for remote workers. This, coupled with tighter service level agreements, means that ensuring that staff are on-site, as planned, is critical. Modern time and attendance technology enable operations' managers to verify attendance, and eliminate the need for paper timesheets thereby streamlining payroll reporting.

A massive reduction in the administrative burden of paper timesheets can result in substantial savings in payroll processing including the elimination of timesheet fraud, reduction in payroll overpayments, discrepancies, disputes, and time spent on supervision.

Exciting IoT technological innovations continue to emerge will allow the concept of ‘Smart Facilities Management’ to become the standard. FM service providers using workforce management software will drive the sector forward by streamlining processes, encouraging higher productivity levels, and boosting long-term profitability. This technology that sits behind the scenes can make cleaning businesses win more contracts, make the mundane tasks automated, and the complex issues simple.

An integrated Workforce Management System includes scheduling, payroll, and invoice reporting so that employees can be allocated, pay rates assigned and payroll extracts can be produced. Seamless integration to existing rostering and payroll systems means that tailored reports can be created quickly and easily. The technology significantly reduces the potential for fraud and time-keeping disputes as it enables Payroll Managers to compare actual hours worked against planned hours, therefore considerably reducing the chance of over-payments.

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