With the demand for modern commercial and residential buildings on the rise, there is a proportionate increase in the need for professional Facility Management services to ensure the utmost comfort, efficiency and functionality in these built environments. In a bid to maximize the human experience and optimize the use of resources, Facility Management firms are increasingly integrating technology solutions and unlocking further operational efficiencies.
Let us look at four key challenges that are being addressed using technological solutions in the Facility Management space today.
Improving productivity through a digitally supported workplace strategy
Balancing employee needs with facility-specific performance criteria can often be a challenging affair, especially for isolated facilities where regular communication can be a challenge. Moreover, ensuring that frontline employees are motivated and remain committed to consistently performing their tasks at a high level is pertinent to maintaining peerless operations. Recognizing these needs, Facility Management firms have started employing intuitive technology platforms like mobile applications that can manage employee attendance, perform work allocation and monitor their performance in real-time, thereby improving both employee satisfaction and real estate productivity.
Additionally, work profiles can be tweaked and upgraded by facility managers in consultation with each employee, with their performance being measured transparently against every fixed performance parameter. This introduces a ‘performance rating process’ that is tangible and more effective at spurring innovation amongst front-line employees. As a result, Facility Management firms can foster a more productive workforce, while using technology to create a workplace strategy that positively impacts real estate productivity.
Enhancing performance through integrated Digital Services
Rapid digitalisation and the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology has transformed how people work and reside within modern living spaces today. Increasing levels of automation are now possible by integrating smart sensors with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA), simultaneously improving workforce productivity and the comfort level of building occupants. What’s more, managing the entire suite of connected devices and facilities equipment is a simple affair by using tailor-made software solutions.
Facility Management firms are leveraging the use of these technological applications to automate critical tasks that were previously performed manually, eliminating any chances of human error and slashing the need for audits and other check mechanisms. As a consequence, they can ensure social distancing, monitor building occupancy levels, implement cloud-based visitor management and even share real-time checklists with front-line workers, all managed at the touch of a fingertip.
Implementing energy-efficient solutions for sustainable operations
Rising energy costs and increasing greenhouse emissions continue to underscore the need for greener office spaces that are kinder to the environment. To achieve this, new-age Facility Management firms are performing detailed energy analysis of each site, thereby understanding the quantum of energy consumed by every type of appliance and equipment. This is then followed by installing and implementing smart building systems, with regular monitoring, helping in further optimizing energy usage while maintaining peak performance.
By using these insights and recommending best-fit solutions that could slash energy consumption, real estate owners can see a tangible reduction in their energy expenses and reduce their net carbon footprint over the long haul. Moreover, the flexibility afforded by smart building technologies in responding to changing occupancy levels or workforce needs is an added advantage for real estate owners.
Managing Compliance through data-driven insights
One of the key aspects of Facility Management is ensuring compliance with local laws, government regulations and maintaining security standards that could ensure the safety of all building occupants. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done on account of the changing regulatory landscape and the additional challenge of reporting them to the concerned authorities on a timely basis.
To eliminate the need for traditional paperwork and manual processes, Facility Management firms are increasingly embedding digital tracking and monitoring tools into their proprietary mobile and web-based software solutions. As a result, tasks such as recording energy consumption, waste generation, performing safety audits and even generating consolidated reports for daily monitoring can be executed and recorded digitally by facility managers. Not only does this help with compliance management, but eventually translates into higher work efficiency and reduced operating expenses.
Contributed by Aniket Sheth, Vice President Operations, SILA