Commercial property owners and facilities managers can now have real-time, actionable intelligence at hand, and gain a competitive edge over rivals in achieving a swift return on investment, energy-efficiency, and preventive and predictive maintenance of their real estate. Thanks to facility management.
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Building construction involves a significant investment of capital, energy and time, but maintaining them needs exponentially more resources. Research indicates that nearly five to six times more money is spent on maintaining buildings through their lifecycle than what is spent on building them. Therefore, there is a tremendous opportunity to generate savings by enabling even small efficiencies by managing facilities better. As the real estate market gets increasingly competitive, commercial real estate (CRE) owners are under higher pressure to make a return on investment (RoI) as well as differentiate their buildings to create a competitive edge. And they are looking towards technology to help them leapfrog to the era of modern, service-led buildings.
Gain Real-Time, Unified Visibility
While most industrial processes have improved the efficiency of their operations tremendously in recent years, facility management has lagged. Though automation and mechanised solutions for building services and maintenance have existed for a few decades now, they have been mainly hardware-centric, disparate, siloed systems, making it difficult to get a unified view of building operations and performance. Legacy solutions have been time consuming and cost-intensive as well as inflexible, preventing CRE owners from keeping pace with changing market needs and trends. Thus the market is ripe for transformation, with both facility managers (FMs) and CRE owners feeling the need for flexible solutions that provide real-time, unified, portfolio-wide visibility into building performance.
Achieve Energy Savings
With urban populations skyrocketing globally, the need for smarter use and management of buildings will only become more critical with time. Operating built spaces efficiently is becoming crucial, and central, to sustainability goals. Thus there is massive scope for improvements and generating energy savings by embedding sustainability as a habit in daily operations by harnessing technology.
Enable Predictive Operations
Predictive asset management and integrated analytics empower building automation systems (BAS), enhancing the performance of critical assets, which translates into lower capital costs and better sustainability metrics. Data gathered from meters, heat map analysis and in-depth performance monitoring of mechanised systems – such as HVAC solutions – can be used to make predictive diagnostics, detect anomalies and validate smart processes. Also, integrated workflows and real-time insights help deliver smart workforce benefits. Facility management can give efficient workforce management and higher productivity as technology empowered teams offer measurable value for both real estate owners and end-users.
Reactive to Pro-active Management
Most importantly, with customer experience becoming critical to creating a competitive edge, FMs and CRE owners are looking for ways to become value players by crafting optimal facilities experience for occupants. For this, they need to move beyond daily fire-fighting and reactive maintenance into the era of real-time, predictive facility management that is service-led.
Smart Devices Get Smarter
IoT technology enables distributed smart devices and sensors to gain real-time data on operations. AI analytics can then leverage this information to generate actionable insights that allow excellent control of processes. Putting it simply, IoT connects the dots between the assets, people and sustainability in a building, capturing a wealth of data. This provides CREs and FMs with a unified, portfolio-wide view of facilities performance. Further, AI analytics puts CRE owners and FMs in the driver’s seat by empowering them with real-time data and insight-led decision making. The eventual aim is to enable a shift towards a smarter and predictive facilities experience.
IoT and AI-based facilities management software will give a much-needed leg up to property owners and facilities managers, as these systems optimise outcomes for people, sustainability goals and mechanical infrastructure, with the help of real-time process efficiencies.