The Noggin Blog

Five Integrated Safety and Security Software Capabilities Facilities Managers Need

Posted by The Brain on Jan 8, 2020 6:00:00 AM

When surveyed, senior facilities managers admit that their respective organizations are unprepared to deal with the security risk to the built environment. That is even as risk, including threats like workplace violence, environmental incidents, and active shooter incidents, continues to grow.

How can this be? Well, facilities staff put it plainly: they lack the tools and information to do the job. The data backs them up. There’s a stark gap between what facilities management professionals want (digital tools for finding, capturing, storing, and sharing relevant information) and what they have, which are largely manual processes and systems, such as spreadsheets, shared drives, and even filing cabinets.

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According to Oracle, only 40 percent of facilities management information is stored electronically. A paltry ten percent of facilities managers can locate information quickly; more than half usually take over ten minutes to retrieve information.

These figures are alarming. Facilities staff that can’t access the right information when it matters most can’t guarantee that buildings and other physical assets meet the needs of the people that use them. And that’s not all. Poor information management can put companies at loggerheads with insurers and regulators who require firms to maintain an actionable audit trail.

What can be done? Integrated safety and security management technology provides facilities managers and facilities-centric industries the tools and information needed to tackle all threats and hazards classified as probable (based on risk-based planning) to cause property damage, environmental impact, or simply disrupt the built environment. Here’s a sampling of the software capabilities teams will need to protect facilities from threats and keep people happy and productive in the built environment.

  1. Maintain duty of care. By dint of their role, facilities managers play an important role in helping businesses maintain duty of care obligations to employees and customers. Of course, safety and physical security threats compromise the maintenance of those obligations. And that’s why an integrated safety and security management tool should offer safety (and safety risk) functionality as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing mass notification tools (another component of duty of care). Features to consider, here, include best-practice safety forms for the most common incident types that happen in facilities, e.g. active shooter, bomb threat, fire/explosion, hazardous materials, and industrial action.
  2.  Better risk management with more transparent view across the portfolio. To get the job done, facilities managers need more effective risk management to come up with policies, processes, and procedures that control identified hazards. But effective facilities risk management (and better-informed decision making) depends on facilities teams having a transparent view across the portfolio (doubly important in facilities-centric sectors where the physical asset portfolio is extensive). That level of visibility is simply not possible with manual processes, whereas integrated safety and security technology lets facilities teams visualize the location of incidents and physical assets, using fully integrated mapping features; situational awareness dashboards also help, here, too, monitoring operations, facilities, and people.
  3. Efficient incident response. Risk management is important to facilities management but so too is incident response. And integrated safety and security management platforms provide incident response and reporting functionality in the same flexible solution.
    What does that look like? Integrated safety and security management technology eases the  incident management burden on frontline managers, by enabling planned, controlled, and  automated incident response to property-affecting incidents. Further, the technology  facilitates  team collaboration (during the response) with in-built communications for email,  SMS, broadcasts, alerts, reminders, and app notifications.
  4. Control and distribute up-to-date documents. Leave an auditable trail. As facilities managers know all too well, documentation must be carefully tracked: tasks, checklists, and corrective actions must be set against it. Otherwise, the evidentiary (and potential audit) trail goes fallow. What’s more, management won’t be made aware of organizational performance; and teams can’t effectively demonstrate continuous improvement.

Keeping effective track of safety and security management information isn’t enough, though. The integrated system should also display that information when and where it’s needed, via flexible dashboards, analytics, and reporting that meets the needs of all relevant stakeholders.

From the data, it’s clear physical assets like facilities remain incredibly vulnerable to high-impact, safety and security threats, all the while new mobile risks continue to ripen into full-bore incidents causing staggering levels of material damage, disrupting the built environment, and eroding worker productivity. Integrated safety and security management software can help. But only the right capabilities will make the difference.

To learn more, download our guide to understanding the benefits of integrated safety and security management. 

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Topics: Safety Management, Safety Newsletter, Integrated Safety and Security

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