Facility management has come a long way in recent years, with digital technology playing a crucial role in transforming the industry. From automation to real-time monitoring, digital solutions are offering new ways to streamline facility management processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall performance of facilities.
In this article, we’ll explore four key benefits of going digital in facility management and how it’s shaping the future of the industry. Whether you’re looking to minimize costs, increase productivity, increase sustainability practices or improve the overall performance of your facilities, digital technology is offering new and exciting solutions that can help you achieve your goals.
From green building to facility management: picking up where construction leaves off
Green building refers to the design, construction, and operation of buildings with a minimal environmental impact and promote sustainability. With its scope encompassing a building’s operation, it is clear that green building is inherently linked with facility management. While green building focuses on ensuring the structure operates sustainably, facility management focuses on the structure’s day-to-day operation and maintenance.
The scope of facility management is also expanding, thanks to the tightening construction regulations, based mainly on climate change mitigation campaigns and the incorporation of new techniques and gears in construction processes. This includes monitoring energy and water usage, maintaining indoor air quality, and implementing waste reduction and recycling programs.
What’s missing from current building management systems?
Many facility and building managers are already using some form of facility management software. But with limited data and analytical capacity, they can produce few insights that offer stakeholders value. Lack of system integration, stemming from the autonomy of the individual aspects of facility management and the preservation of legacy systems, is among the major obstacles facility managers face.
Additionally, some facility management systems need more automation capabilities. Either their systems are too complex for AI to configure, or they are using outdated technology. There’s also the issue of limited user experience, which can only be remedied with lengthy and costly specialised training. Lastly, limited analytics and visualisation due to multiple data silos keep facility managers from making comprehensive and dependable projections.
How digital solutions help facility managers meet green building and ESG criteria
Managing a construction site or a facility comes with environmental and social responsibility. Data-driven technology solutions help fulfill this responsibility by enabling facility and building operations managers to integrate sustainable practices at any stage of the building operations + maintenance lifecycle. This helps reduce carbon footprint and increase productivity.
This ideology materialises through a set of standards called ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. Green building is one of the fruits of ESG adoption, and now it’s impacting facility management as well. But to achieve full implementation, digital solutions such as facility management software must be utilised to fill the gaps that impede the delivery of high-quality services the stakeholders demand. Here’s how digital solutions can improve a facility management system.
1. Integrated reporting and data gathering
Managed facilities are functionally multi-divisional structures, and it has its pros and cons. While it ensures that each essential aspect of the facility operation is handled with precision, it also builds walls around each system, complicating communication and bureaucracy. This leads to limited visibility into building performance and a lack of actionable insights.
By using digital facility management software, a company can integrate disparate systems into a single dashboard, allowing facility managers to make fact-based decisions. They can quickly identify trends and spot potential problems with real-time, comprehensive reports and data analyses. Integrated reporting and data gathering also provide a transparent view of the facility’s economic, environmental, and social performance, promoting accountability in the organisation and increasing stakeholder trust.
2. Smoother facility maintenance tracking
Maintenance is at the core of facility management. Its scope and complexity depend on the building’s size and unique features. Some property management companies even maintain multiple buildings at different locations, which makes inventory tracking, service request monitoring, reporting, and other relevant tasks extremely difficult.
Keeping track of maintenance activities and ensuring all tasks are completed on time and within budget constraints are easier with digital building management. Facility management software such as PlanRadar, offer flexibility through work order and scheduling automation, real-time asset monitoring, and maintenance history tracking. It also allows mobile data access, quick command issuance, and straightforward transactions.
3. Data analytics improves compliance
Meeting environmental and social criteria at the workplace requires continuous gathering and analysis of high-quality data. It’s the only way to generate valuable insights into the daily operation and assess the company’s compliance with green building and ESG standards. The days of lengthy, convoluted excels and spreadsheets are far behind us – streamlined facility management software can run complex data analytics to help solve this problem.
Digital building operations with facility management software integration enable managers to gather, view, and analyse data in real time. Results are shown on a single dashboard accessible through all devices. Managers can view the status and recommended actions for various building systems, such as energy consumption, HVAC performance, and occupancy patterns. The software can even run predictive analytics to analyse historical data and identify patterns and trends that can inform future decision-making.
4. Automation through IoT and smart building tech
Another way data-driven digital technology helps facility management companies meet ESG criteria is through automation. The software analyses the data gathered from reports and the network of devices and sensors integrated into the building’s structure. These devices and sensors can be programmed to detect and collect specific data, from foot traffic and load changes to water and power usage.
Buildings with this sophisticated technology are called smart buildings for apparent reasons. Manual inspection is no longer required in some aspects of their maintenance, eliminating workers’ need to do high-risk tasks. The software can also be programmed to automatically shut off electricity or water supply when rooms are empty or during an accident, reducing energy consumption and preventing potential disasters.
Facility management software provides the data integration, automation, and data analytics facility managers need to manage day-to-day operations efficiently. It also enables them to create comprehensive strategies based on valuable insights and data-driven projections. In addition, using a single platform for communication saves time and money by allowing site managers and personnel to communicate and send reports in real time.
Overall, upgrading a facility management system by investing in the right facility management software is vital in complying with ESG and providing top-notch services. Adapting to the developments that start in the construction industry enables a facility management company to take on any project, no matter the scope.