Improving UX leads to organizations getting more value from operations and maintenance tools

Reduce operations and maintenance headaches with better asset management UX

The value of strong user experience (UX) is widely acknowledged for apps and platforms designed to support customers in workplace environments.

Far less attention has been paid to the enterprise-level applications meant to support corporate real estate asset management, especially in the realm of operations and maintenance.

I appreciate how Lynn Wu, a professor of operations and information management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, captured the status quo with this blunt assessment:

“A lot of in-house interfaces are terrible to use. People have to go through multiple layers of interfaces in order to get to what they are looking for,” said Wu. “It sometimes feels like submitting a reimbursement needs a Ph.D.”

Consistent with my previous post, the solution to asset management being hindered by ineffective UX is one that many enterprise-level organizations already have at their disposal: IWMS.

Because the tool is already connected to how organizations manage operations and maintenance (O&M) for their real estate, IWMS a natural candidate for improving the experience of technicians who perform those asset management tasks daily.

Better UX makes using asset maintenance apps faster and less tedious

Improving the UX of asset management apps through IWMS is an effective means of revamping O&M processes that have become time-consuming and tedious. Doing so realigns those processes with new best practices and helps recover lost productivity all at once. Here are a few examples:

  • Digitizing data input so technicians can troubleshoot and perform analysis in the field
  • Configuring form inputs to leverage touch screen input and voice-to-text
  • Establishing data standards to remove barriers when maintenance staff compares data from different apps
  • Updating asset categories and service requests so users can find what they need in the field
  • Integrating new critical applications into the optimized dashboards already connected to IWMS

When UX introduces less complexity to the workflow of the user, adoption of asset management apps and productivity naturally improve.

Better UX makes asset management data more trustworthy and accessible

One reason that O&M processes around asset management processes become less effective over time is because they no longer capture all the relevant data needed to inform business decision-making. Organizations can address this data governance issue through their IWMS in two ways, both revolving around UX.

The first way that IWMS can improve the reliability of asset management data is by serving as a reliable “source of truth” for the increasing amounts of data that are being created as O&M processes becomes digitized. UX improves dramatically when users can easily access all of their relevant data, and no longer feel forced to do their best with an incomplete picture.

As a recognized leader in IWMS implementation, we at JLLT have helped many clients build user-friendly dashboards that capture every data point passing through IWMS that is needed to inform O&M decisions. The ability to access this data in one place rather than hunting it down across multiple apps is crucial.

The second way that IWMS can improve the reliability of asset management data is by making it easier to collect and submit the data at the scene.

Consider the UX of a user who must collect data by hand with a paper form, then upload that information manually at their desk. Then consider the UX of a technician who can simply scan a QR code, update the data, and identify a solution while the asset is still in front of them.

Which user is more prone to experience frustration with the process or make an unintentional error? Which user is more likely to perform analysis and find solutions without having to return to their desks?

Better UX makes asset management operations more future-friendly

The UX issues that burden O&M processes (confusing data streams, tedious inputs, disconnected apps) don’t get any easier for organizations as they add new tools and capabilities. Unfortunately, incomplete integrations lead to O&M processes becoming further removed from how users do their work, hurting adoption and productivity in the long-term.

Thankfully, market-leading IWMS like IBM TRIRIGA are equipped with numerous built-in integrations that make it simple to connect new third-party applications to the organization’s “source of truth” from the start.

By taking an iterative approach, organizations can rack up wins around productivity and user adoption as they perfect their operations as they build upon what they already have.

What happens when asset management UX gets the attention it deserves?

As UX improves and barriers to usage fade away, the timeliness of the data reporting improves, and information becomes more actionable. As a result, maintenance activities are that much more effective extending an asset’s health and longevity.

The standards for UX, however, continue to grow more demanding.

A trusted partner like JLLT can help your organization navigate these changes in a way that reduces time to delivery in the short-term and builds up user satisfaction in the long-term. Connect with our IWMS experts today to learn more about how we’ve helped organizations like yours reshape their approach to O&M.