As Australia’s population ages and transitions evermore to a service economy, the aged care industry will continue to employ more people and distinguish itself from the wider healthcare sector. As of 2016, aged care alone accounted for the direct employment of 350,000 Australians, making it already one of the biggest concentrations of service labour. Within 40 years, the industry is expected to double in size, overtaking key economic and societal bellwethers such as construction and agriculture. The revenue generated by the industry is estimated at $17bn a year.
There’s a parallel to be drawn with Facilities Management. Likewise, FM has been steadily growing in the last five years, and contributes an estimated $10bn to the economy and employs around 100,000 people. As the focus in the western world shifts from new builds to lifecycle maintenance, FM will continue to grow in relation to the wider construction and asset management sector. In both of these cases (aged care and FM) these adjunct industries will require more specialized tools that cater to the specific needs of their workforce and customer base, rather than trying to squeeze utility out of tools intended for their broader sectors.
In FM, this means workflow management software that meets the actual needs of facilities managers, co-ordinators and helpdesk staff. It means compliance management that keeps up with evolving regulatory standards.. And most importantly, it means a front-end for reporting jobs that is comfortable for non-FM tenants, residents and staff to use. Legacy FM software has typically been repurposed project management software that is focused on a final goal, and to be used between professionals.
Likewise in aged care, the growing relevance of the sector will require tools that meet the specific needs of clinicians, care workers, maintenance staff and administrators. Until now, the computer assistance supporting these roles has been a diffuse suite of spreadsheets, accounting software, checklists and email. At best, software for aged care has comprised of re-purposed health care systems. At worst, there’s little software help beyond email.
So the correlation between aged care and FM extends beyond any cynical parallel to taking care of ageing buildings and taking care of ageing people. Both of these industries have typically been overlooked for innovation because they’re seen as less frothy – they’re value-add, rather than true upstream enterprises. This misconception is being reversed, albeit slowly. Besides, one follows from the other- if economic productivity contributes to greater wealth and longer lives, this will mean more people requiring aged care, and for a longer post-retirement period. The same goes for FM – the more construction goes on, the more building stock in need of careful lifecycle management.
The final piece of the puzzle tying these two industries intimately together is the degree to which a ‘facility’ takes on primacy of importance as we age. Comfort, stimulation, safety and maintenance of our built environments become more crucial to quality of life as we get older, and synergies between FM and aged care will be to the benefit of all.
FMClarity has partnered with aged care providers seeking innovative and straightforward solutions to the problem of an aging population requiring more out of their facilities. With a user-friendly, uncluttered interface for end users, a chat function that mimics the best features of apps already widely in use, and a seamless mobile app, FMClarity offers a solution that’s easier to implement, more intuitive and more cost-effective than any of our competitors.
FMClarity creates simple, intuitive and powerful Facilities Management software that makes the job of managing facilities and compliance dramatically easier than anything else in the market. To find out how our cloud-based, easily implemented software can benefit your organization, contact us on 1300 111 FMC (362) or firstname.lastname@example.org