A Note from the ENTOUCH CEO: Knowing your How, What, and Why

Smart Facilities Management: Integrated Facilities Management & Smart Buildings

Oct 30, 2023

Smart facilities management and integrated systems are among the top buzzwords in facilities management circles. Powered by a host of new technologies, including the Internet of Things, big data analytics, cloud-based systems, and advanced computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), Facilities Managers have an opportunity to do more with less and realize the value in areas not previously possible. Let's take a closer look at the value of integrated facilities management.

Disparate Systems Lead to Risk and Lost Opportunities

Take a moment to think about what constitutes good business. Chances are good that guest experiences and efficient staff members are two of the top responses, and creating better guest experiences, regardless of industry, is essential to success. In the corporate real estate (CRE) sector, smart facilities management can reduce leasing costs, improve energy efficiency, and automate the process of handling guest needs or requests, such as payment management, not to mention customer service, reports ENTOUCH. This is not possible with traditional systems and processes. Disparate systems result in greater use of energy.

Integrated, Smart Facilities Management Uses Technology to Sow Seeds of Success

Smart facilities management is about using the tools and resources available today to get more done and at a lower cost. This is the primary goal of all Facilities Managers. Even those with will achieve support from stakeholders as budgeting becomes more reliant and accurate. Integrated platforms allow for data analysis, linking both related and unrelated information to uncover actionable insights.

As an example, according to FacilitiesNet, implementing a smart facilities management program, including a data-based, energy management system, can achieve 5-percent savings within one year. The value does not end at energy consumption. For instance, it can include the precursor steps to developing a predictive maintenance program. Integrated systems are a prerequisite to building automation, which allows Facilities Managers to do more with less. Meanwhile, the potential applications of integrated systems include remote management, automated work order processing, and much more.

How to Deploy Smart Facilities Management Systems and Practices

Figuring out the best way to deploy Smart facilities management principles can be complicated. Instead of getting lost in vendor options and possibilities, Facilities Managers should follow these steps:

  • Conduct a facility condition assessment (FCA), which allows Facilities Managers to review all assets, consider the lifespan of such assets, inspect buildings for damage, and identify areas in need of maintenance, reports Facility Executive.
  • Review the severity and length of the maintenance backlog. The maintenance backlog is often reviewed as part of the FCA, but details may go unnoticed to the naked eye. Facilities Managers should review the backlog before implementing smart solutions. Some issues, like wiring problems, may need to be corrected prior to installing new systems.
  • Explain why smart facilities management systems and processes are necessary to staff members and shareholders. This will be the cornerstone of making the business case for smart, integrated systems.
  • Retrofit facilities with new systems, devices, and equipment. Retrofitting facilities includes automated lighting systems, using LEDs, tracking airflow, managing HVAC runtime and more. A retrofit is made easier through wireless technology too, such as Wi-Fi connectivity on system controls. Even systems using the IOT and mobile devices can be added with little need for major renovation, incorporating all systems into a cohesive platform, reports Rita Tatum of FacilitiesNet.
  • Apply Big Data analytics to identify trends in energy use and asset function. Insights gleaned from analytics can also be applied to identify ways of managing facilities with fewer resources, such as relocating workers or prioritizing maintenance needs based on short-term and long-term costs.
  • Standardize processes. This may include moving to a new, computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that connects with other facility controls, such as the energy management system, lighting systems, HVAC monitoring platforms and more. As noted by ENTOUCH, standardized processes are essential to integrating systems. After all, platforms that communicate need to have a reliable, easy-to-understand method of communication. This is where cloud-based technology comes into play. In fact, moving systems under one roof is also known as smart facilities management via a single pane of glass. It’s a one-stop solution for managing facilities.

Bring Your Systems Under One Roof by Partnering With QSI Today

The challenges of traditional facilities management vary widely. Facilities Managers may oversee multiple locations, and the average size of businesses is expanding. In the modern world, working with outdated, paper-based processes are inefficient, but smart facilities management can take a lesson from the experts in energy management. Facilities Managers need to bring systems together to achieve marked results.

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