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IWMS Implementation: Why Your Finance Department is Essential

By Glenn Adams

During an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) implementation, it’s critical to lay the groundwork for success for both your department and your organization as a whole. When you follow best practices, you build a strong foundation for the launch of your new software system. An often overlooked, but critical best practice for IWMS implementation is the inclusion of your finance department. Neglecting to include the finance team results in both short and long-term roadblocks for your department.

Let’s take a look at five reasons it’s essential to include your finance department during an IWMS implementation.

It breaks down silos:

During the IWMS implementation process, silos can wreak havoc on your organization – in both the short and long term. (An IT silo is a software system that does not operate or interface with any other infrastructure.)

Organizations don’t work efficiently when operations are hidden in a black box. Silos create interdepartmental frustration and headaches, as well as risk data integrity.

Unfortunately, information silos are particularly prevalent within facilities management departments.

By including your finance department in your IWMS implementation, you ensure clear communication between all departments and establish an open channel of communication.

(To learn more about the issues incurred with information silos, check out this article on knocking down facilities management information silos here.)

It reduces duplication of effort.

Within facilities departments (and especially during an IWMS implementation), duplication of effort is an all too common problem.

In one instance, a temporary worker was hired to enter the same data into four different systems. When discussing the process, the frustration of the work nearly brought her to tears.

When project management teams revisit customers who have implemented an IWMS solution in a vacuum, they often find significant opportunities for improvement in productivity and time management.

If you’re not getting the Finance Department on board, you’re just scratching the surface of what your IWMS can deliver.

It provides better data.

Your data is only going to be as good as the source. The adage: “Garbage in. Garbage Out.” rings especially true when it comes to data at your facility.

When departments operate in a silo, data integrity often plummets.

In one institution, a work control user had five plumbing related problem codes to select from when filling out a request. Rather than choosing the correct code for the particular issue, he’d choose a code at random because they “didn’t have time”.

Naturally, this had significant impact on the business office and Finance Department downstream when reconciling accounts.

Better Organizational Decision Making.

Diving into account reconciliation, when the Finance Department is integrated into your IWMS, most of the account reconciliation process can be standardized and automated – freeing your Finance employees to perform more value-added work, such as manage by exception reporting and bench-marking.

It will save money in the long run.

Without the Finance Department on board, you run a severe risk for your organization.

Often, neglecting to include the Finance Department in the early stages of IWMS implementation leads to rework in the future. This rework can include anything from inaccurate reporting to the frequent use of journal entries and audits. The result is not only massive frustration but significant expense from the work hours required to perform the work.

By including your organization’s Finance Department in your IWMS implementation, you’ll not only experience a successful implementation, but you will equip your facilities department for long term success.

Justin Husted is a Project Manager on Assetworks’ Professional Services team, specializing in O&M and CPPM projects. He has experience in the Healthcare, Education and Business Intelligence sectors. Justin is a travel junkie, when he’s not on the road for AssetWorks, he’s typically on the road cycling. His longest ride to date has been a month-long trip month spanning over 1300 miles.

Tags: IWMS, Implementation