Introducing The OpenWorks Portal

As we roll into 2023 together, we all know that risk in facility management is inevitable, and at some point, anything—absolutely anything—can go wrong. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that dangers come out of nowhere, and some are out of our control. But that was three years ago. Ancient history, right? Wrong.

Viruses are still around, COVID-19 has mutated several times, and folks still get sick. Almost half of all fully remote workers have had to return to the office, and even more, are working a hybrid schedule. Offices need to be free of germs and viruses for these employees.

Aside from illness, risk lurks everywhere when you oversee a building—no matter the size. For those in FM, our job is to reduce risk everywhere. From turnover, injury claims, regulatory exposure, and increasing costs – when you are responsible for a building and its maintenance, being on top of these forces is paramount.

When things go wrong, fixing the situation lands directly on your shoulders.

OpenWorks knows there’s a better way. Especially as we step a bit deeper into the 21st Century, there are proactive ways to get—and stay—ahead of risk. One way is with data. OpenWorks is using data to help our customers make proactive decisions that reduce uncertainty and risk.

The OpenWorks Model: Ripe for Disruptive Innovation

OpenWorks has a unique business model that allows us to cater to the specific needs of each location we service. While OpenWorks provides expertise, oversight, and facilitation of your services, local providers understand your building, so they can concentrate on their work to tailor their services.

Creating Service Provider Transparency

Welcome to the OpenWorks Portal. Customers and service providers can see all their administrative data, including recent and historical payments, work orders, and comments.

The OpenWorks Portal will serve as a place where communication between OpenWorks corporation and customers will occur as well as OpenWorks and its franchisees.

“Our vision is to step into the 21st Century by allowing access to systems that provide transparency through portals,” explains Victoria Murray, Executive VP, OpenWorks. “If I have a portal as a franchisee or a customer, I have a more effective way to interact with headquarters. In addition, it gives me a repository of relevant information to what I am doing and to the people I serve.”

When accessing the portal, customers and service providers will have access to their personalized dashboard which gives an at-a-glance view of their accounts. There they can access invoice details, see and track service tickets, and even get information on each building/site/location associated with a contract. There is even access to a supplies portal featuring direct shipping.

When partners work together in real-time, the value of any working relationship becomes more substantial and efficient.

Delivering on Data-Driven Decisions

The OpenWorks operations team is also looking forward to expanding business through the use of the portals. “The portals will help us collaborate and do so quickly, especially when time is of the essence,” explains Murray. “With certain emergencies, like HVAC or emergency clean up, no one has time to wait for phone calls," she continues to explain.  The portals will help manage these types of reactive services.

Janitorial: The Toughest Job

Janitorial service is among the most challenging jobs in the world. Not just because of the manual labor involved but because managing and maintaining sites is a logistical challenge.

Traditionally, facility management companies focus on spot-checking the work of local service providers. But some sites are in rural regions and have miles of distance between them. In the future, the portal technology will allow all parties to confirm what services are completed to satisfaction. This is another way the portals will help OpenWorks go above and beyond.

“These quality checks must occur with video and imagery through portals,” says Murray. “These portals will help us expand coverage to large, widespread customers in remote places across the United States.”

Another challenge is building up service provider morale through sharing the bigger picture and the ultimate goal of the company they are servicing.

“The only incentive for most janitorial professionals is to show up, so you get paid,” explains Murray. The only way you can genuinely change something is from within, through individuals,” she says. Portals will help give service providers a sense of purpose and unity through communication and data.

In the future, the portal will help quantify quality work, visualize improved time spent on tasks, and find ways to improve efficiency. “We can then reward an organization or a worker based on those numbers,” explains Murray. The technology can help OpenWorks and its franchisees rally workers around shared KPIs, whether time on task, time on site, or completion of projects.

In all jobs, a good leader reminds workers of the bigger picture and the role they play in it. for example, if cleaners work in a dialysis center, they aren’t just cleaning a room. They are helping sick patients on their journey to feel better, and experience improved health for a better life.

Customers and service providers can access the portal on the company’s website on February 1st. Read the official press release here.

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