The Top 5 FM Software Apps – As Rated by Users

One of the most eye-opening changes the Internet has brought about for those of us who can remember what life was like before it is the sheer volume of information and opinion it brings us. Right there to our desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and even smartwatch.

When Amazon launched in the mid-90s, it quickly grew to dominate the publishing industry here and in America. Do you know what the most controversial thing (of many) it did to authors and publishers was, though? This may come as a surprise but Amazon started to allow its customers to rate the books out of ten and leave feedback. The industry was not happy – not one little bit.

It was the start of something though. Now, the plumber we get around to show us where the stopcock actually is gets rated. I love a good Balti and I know I can go online and read hundreds of people’s opinions about a certain restaurant’s Balti dishes before I spent my hard-earned money. Even high school teachers are “rated and compared” by pupils. Craziness! Which one of us can’t deny that it’s useful though.

The same applies to facilities management software applications, or “apps”. Given that FM is such a varied job, there is no “one size fits all” app. Rather, they are fighting for domination over various different elements – maintenance, climate control, energy, property management and so on.

So, what are the top 5 FM software apps as rated for by you – the FM professional. For that, we can turn to an amazing comparison site called “Software Advice”. This lists and rates 60 (yes, 60) different FM apps from over 200 different vendors.

For the purposes of this article, “apps” refers primarily to FM programs that can be run on Windows, Apple or Linux computers. They may or may not have mobile phone support. More on mobile phone apps later…

Taylor Short, Software Advice’s market research associate, does a great job of summarising this part of the apps world. In his piece, he states that the software on offer is designed to perform the following functions:

  • Mange assets and track important equipment information
  • Manage maintenance costs
  • Automate maintenance workflows
  • Create and manage recurring tasks
  • Increase asset efficiency
  • Streamline work order processes (e.g., repair requests, completion tracking)
  • Reduce space and maintenance costs”

The common features of facility management apps and software are:

  • Maintenance management
  • Asset management
  • Space management
  • Move management
  • Capital project & program management
  • Lease administration
  • Real estate portfolio management
  • Environmental sustainability & energy performance analysis”

Taylor cites the main benefits of these applications as reducing the churn rate and the expenses associated with managing space, extending asset lifespans and reducing energy-related expenses.

The top two-rated software apps are Axxerion and Avantis. Both are pricey systems targeted towards larger businesses with versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux. They both score 100% in user ratings. Axxerion allows operation of the system on the cloud whereas Avantis does not.

Axxerion is there for property managers and owners with portfolios ranging from fifty to thousands of units. This can be scaled up or down depending on the performance of the business. It automates property-management and -maintenance functions from lease management to accounting. Axxerion is described as “truly comprehensive” in its write-up by Software Advice and the feedback from the (named with job position) users on the site is glowing.

Avantis scores 100% however that’s on the back of only one written user recommendation, as opposed to Axxerion’s three user reviews. Avantis positions itself as a maintenance management leader with a focus on maximising asset profitability. It seeks to enable decision-making across multiple levels of a business through its highly flexible and adaptable deployment.

Next on the list with 11 reviews and a score of 97% is OfficeSpace. OfficeSpace is pitched at companies of all sizes, ranging from large to small. Its main selling points are an efficient and user-friendly way of streamlining workflow with the production of on-demand or auto-generated reports that give administrators the information they need to make decisions.

OfficeSpace is at the top of the price bracket. Slightly less expensive is package number four, AwareManager. This makes a great play of its mobile capabilities with the ability to work in offline mode is a WiFi connection is lost. The range of suites AwareManager has to offer include asset management, inventory management, preventative maintenance, and work-order management.

In at number five with 80 reviews and a score of 93% is Facilities Management eXpress. When the software was being built, the company wanted to overcome what it perceived were the difficulties of coordinating resources, planning maintenance and satisfying FM-related requests. The program centralised this into one single cloud-based system so users can access it anywhere with an Internet connection.

If your company is looking for a new FM software system and you’re part of the steering team helping to choose it, Maxwell Stephens recommends this site as a great starting point.

Coming soon, a review of mobile phone based apps. How can they help with an FM’s workload?

Peter Forshaw – Managing Director – Maxwell Stephens