In the digital age of creating a better building and facilities management team, a difference has grown between creating smart buildings and truly intelligent facilities management strategies. These strategies differ by being intuitive versus smart and self-managed versus manual activities. If you are not sure about your facility’s use of smart or intelligent facilities management practices, you need to ask yourself these questions.
“Are You Using the Internet of Things for Intelligent Facilities Management?”
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become commonplace in today’s facilities management conversations but is your operation actively using it. Have you installed sensors throughout your distributed portfolio? Are all HVAC units, lighting systems, electrical outlets, security systems and controls automated, using the IoT? Can you make adjustments to these systems remotely and in real-time?
These questions reflect how the IoT is used to create a smart building, but to be intelligent, the information relayed from IoT-enabled devices should be programmed to adjust controls or settings automatically, assets Kurt Karnatz, Robert Knight, and Rick Szcodronski of FacilitiesNet. Also, the system should learn from itself, resulting in less physical work for facilities management professionals.
“Are Work Orders Handled Using Technology and Automated Systems?”
As explained by Abigail Gray of FacilitiesNet, automation, and self-reporting of systems is key to understanding today’s intelligent facilities management operations. Most buildings use intelligent systems and have the capacity to automate systems and controls but to be truly intelligent, the system should be intuitive, submitting reports automatically, notifying facility managers and maintenance professionals of potential issues and documenting all activities.
“What Type of Maintenance Program Is in Place—Proactive, Preventative Maintenance or a Reactive-Only Maintenance Program?”
This question is the natural successor to how your operation handles work orders. If you have a backlog of work orders, chances are good you are using a reactive maintenance program. Even if you have automated reporting of malfunctions, can your system identify equipment before it fails? Also, can your system prioritize maintenance tasks to eliminate the backlog of work, while reducing operating costs associated with deferred maintenance?
For example, HPAC Engineering cites the use of the IoT to analyze energy-consumption rates and efficiency of HVAC systems to “anticipate problems and make necessary adjustments to avoid failures.” Necessary adjustments might include adjusting thermostat controls for units overworking due to increased traffic near the entrance of your facility.
“Does Your Organization Use Cloud-Based Software in Facilities Management Operations?”
Using the IoT and automated, intuitive control is an excellent start to implementing intelligent facility management processes, but where is the information stored? If you are still using internal servers and resources exclusively, you are falling behind. Plus, your system could be seriously outdated, using older software and algorithms. However, cloud-based software stays updated around-the-clock, and the information is stored off-site and with advanced security protocols in place, often via third-party smart building solution companies. This dramatically reduces risk and ensures the integrity of your IoT-enabled, automated systems.
“Does Your Facilities Management Program Actively Reduce Costs, and Is It Scalable?“
Building automation systems can be scalable, provided new systems are integrated with your existing system correctly. An intelligent building system must allow for integration with newer sensors and components, and it should continue to actively reduce costs associated with new construction, retrofits or other issues arising during periods of growth.
Transform Your Operation Into a Fine-Tuned, Cost-Saving Machine With Intelligent Facilities Management Systems and Technologies Now
These questions highlight the possibilities through cloud-computing technology and advanced, intelligent facilities management systems, and according to Casey Talon of RealComm, the level of sophistication in intelligent facilities management will continue to grow. For facility managers still working with manual processes and pen-and-paper tracking methods, the level of IT knowledge needed to transition to the newer breed of intelligent facilities management systems will be insurmountable at best.
Fortunately, facilities managers can work toward intelligent operations by implementing strong, smart building systems and relying on the expertise of proven system vendors and account management service providers, like ENTOUCH. Fill out this online contact form to find out how ENTOUCH can help you achieve your intelligent facility management goals today.