The FM Professional

What is request management?

Darin Herle
July 20th, 2021

What is request management? Request management (or service request management) is a business process by which employees can make facilities work order requests and maintenance requests to the facilities management team, or requests to the IT service management team. For example, if several employees request a new type of office chair or if a new employee wants to change their work shift, the facilities team acts as a service desk and is typically responsible for approving that request. 

Facility managers receive all kinds of requests. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a request management system that can handle an influx of requests, and helps you prioritize. 

An excellent request management system will offer real-time collaborative tools. This should accommodate your most demanding workflows, track your team’s performance, forecast requirements, deal with procurement issues, and increase customer satisfaction. This system should make your life easier, not more complicated. 

Before you find the right request management solution, it’s crucial to establish a system for employees to submit requests and for your team to field the requests and deal with potential escalation. Keep the following in mind when creating this system:

simplify requests

Simplify how you receive requests

While it may sound convenient for others to submit requests through various channels, like the phone, email, or formal ticketing system, this can quickly turn into a nightmare for both the IT support team and the facility team. 

Instead, keep it simple. Offer just one or two channels for requesters to make requests. This way, your team only has to monitor and process requests through a few channels rather than configure processes through many. Plus, offering only a few avenues to submit requests makes things easy for employees, too. Instead of overwhelming them with options, give them a clear path to submit requests. 

delegate requests

Solidify how your team delegates requests

You’ve received a request! Now what? What’s the request status? It’s important to establish a system for delegating each request ahead of time. This way you aren’t drinking from a firehose as the requests start to roll through. 

It helps to create a process around each type of request. For example, if you receive several requests around seating arrangements or adjustments to the shift work schedule, establish a process around handling those types of requests. That way, once a team member is assigned that task, they will know exactly how to proceed. Problem management should be top priority when dealing with service requests that have multiple dependencies. It’s essential that the service request management process is streamlined for a variety of types of service.

Pro Tip: Look for request management software that automatically delegates requests. This can be based on their workload and request preference. Automation can help with incident management, more efficient request fulfillment, and tracking metrics or KPIs. 

close requests

Establish how your team will close the loop on open requests

Lastly, it’s critical to have a process in place for closing out requests. Once a request is complete, it must be closed. This prevents duplicate efforts from the facilities team and ensures tasks are complete. 

If you’re fielding multiple requests simultaneously, it can be challenging to remember when to check in and make sure the request is complete. Opt for a system that automates these follow-ups and makes it easy to communicate with your team and other employees regarding open tickets. 

A request management system with Slack or Microsoft Teams integrations is a great way to monitor the progress of these requests and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. 

What should you look for in request management software?

Now that you know how your request management process works, the next step is to find software that will optimize and align with that process. The goal is to find software that makes your system and lifecycle even more efficient. 

Facility managers should keep in mind the following when looking for the right request management software:  

  • Confirm that the software integrates with your existing systems for seamless adoption and sync—does it work on a mobile device? 
  • Select a user-friendly platform that is easy for both facility managers and other employees to use 
  • Treat your employees as your customers
  • Keep customer experience top of mind when introducing new elements like automation or self-service options
  • Choose a request management platform that streamlines communication between the facilities team, IT team, additional stakeholders, and the rest of the organization, streamlining relevant information to the appropriate parties

We recommend demonstrating a few request management tools to see which is the best fit for your company’s needs. 

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Photos: Christina @ wocintechchat.com, LinkedIn Sales Solutions, NeONBRAND, Mimi Thian