Just like any proactive facility manager, Henry had been managing a large commercial facility in UAE, over 2 years of his contracts he had managed to impress his client and delivered everything that was asked by the client. He had been planning to centralize all his data resources which would connect work order related data, asset specific parameters as well as tenant billing details. This initiative would have given the much needed push to his O&M teams to be able maintain assets and deliver exemplary customer satisfaction. However due to budget and contractual constraints he wasn't able to give time to work on this plan.
Then came the pandemic followed by a global lockdown. As there was no centralised platform available to remotely monitor and control the health of the assets, Henry had to rely on a limited number of technicians at the site. Despite his busy schedule If he could have been able to give some time on his digital transformation strategy he could have been in a better position to maintain his assets.
You might have come across a similar story after all this pandemic has introduced us to many of such stories about the people who procrastinated on digitalisation and now they have to double down their efforts on the same. This statement by Carlo Alloni, managing director of Mitie Technical Services (UK based one of the oldest and biggest facility management companies) , is so much similar to this story which explains:
“The real value of digital transformation is not collecting that data; it’s about analysing it and drawing out prioritised and actionable insights”
For those who haven't thought about facility-wide data strategy, it’s a high time to think about it rather start implementing it and if we want to pen down the specific drivers for digital transformation today then there would be following two of them:
For the optimum performance of the assets, it is important to have a predictable operating pattern but since the lockdown, facilities have been running on sub capacities which disturbed the preset conditions on BMS systems and with the limited workforce to monitor assets it became a difficult task to manage
This problem could have been solved with the help of an application that correlates occupancy data with the asset performance which could detect the slightest variation in occupancy and adjust the HVAC parameters automatically to deliver optimum performance or expected air quality while saving the energy cost.
Now, occupancy is just one factor that has changed here but if we look around there are other factors such as changing climate conditions, grid stability and distributed energy sources that can cause an adverse effect on the facilities if not prepared for them.
As cost-cutting measures will be implemented across the portfolio, productivity and operations excellence will see a sudden up-shoot. As performance-based contracts take over the conventional contracts, margins would get the hit as you can not rebid to deliver high asset performance targets with an old legacy technology. Constantly upgrading the way we share, analyse and interpret the asset data would be the only way to stay relevant in this fast paced world.
According to Mitie-Verdantix's research on digital transformation in facilities management, 84% of facility management companies are embracing new digital transformation technologies and solutions at various levels of maturity however only 7% of businesses are constantly taking trials of the promising solutions while others are implementing proven solutions only.
To stay on the cutting edge companies need to set a goal and start thinking beyond the data acquisition and BMS and connect the dots with the help of asset data strategy.
If you already have that in place and want to figure out how to select the right vendor for proof of value trials? Then our next blog will guide you through. Also if you like this article and found it insightful enough to share it with your peers then don’t hesitate a bit!
If you have any suggestions or want us to talk to our facility management team on what's inevitable in digital transformation then feel free to write to us at email@example.com.