The Internet of Things’ (IoT) use in facilities management is not a new concept, and its impact on predictive maintenance is undisputed. The IoT is growing smarter, and Facilities Managers are using the IoT to understand maintenance needs, predictive failures before they occur, and much more. The scope of using the IoT and connected maintenance to reduce facilities spend is extensive, so Facilities Managers must consider its challenges, possibilities, and the best ways to use it.
The Challenge to Getting Executive-Level Support for the IoT and Predictive Maintenance
There is a common problem when trying to implement IoT-based technology and predictive maintenance—invest costs.
By definition, predictive maintenance requires the maintenance work on facility assets before they fail. This increases maintenance spend. For companies with little to no use of predictive maintenance, the initial investment to implement a predictive maintenance program, as well as address the ongoing maintenance backlog can be steep. However, the key to getting shareholder support lies in focusing on the potential savings and impact to guest experiences.
Why Predictive Maintenance and IoT-Enabled Devices Are the “Smart” Choice
Predictive maintenance relies on the use of data to identify trends and patterns within a set of conditions. In maintenance, this means identifying performance issues, their likely causes, and how to correct the problem. As a result, the amount of money spent in making repairs after catastrophic failures decreases. According to Facility Executive, linking building systems together through the IoT and smart systems enables a positive ROI within 12 to 18 months.
How to Use the IoT to Reduce Facility Spend
The IoT brings systems together by giving Facility Managers a means to track the performance of facility assets and their overarching impact on guest experiences. For example, knowing more about HVAC system function can improve the indoor environment by reducing temperatures, eliminating the spread of allergens, and more. Unfortunately, the amount of information available for how to use the IoT is vast, so Facility Managers should follow these best practices:
- Get executive-level support for use of IoT technologies. This may include a business review of existing maintenance spend, broken into reactive maintenance costs versus proactive maintenance, as well as potential savings through IoT retrofitting.
- Follow industry trends by investing in IoT-enabled devices and systems. For example, up to 60 percent of facilities managers expect IoT-connected systems to affect their buildings within the year, says Jamie Morgan of Health Facilities Management. Meanwhile, 65 percent are planning to increase investments into IoT technologies in the same period.
- Retrofit facility assets with smart sensors and controls. For example, HVAC systems should be outfitted with smart thermostats.
- Use analytics to identify patterns indicative of an imminent failure to the subpar operation of facility assets. Analytics may also be used to improve existing business practices, like monitoring occupancy hours, common reasons for delayed maintenance repairs, verification of repairs, and quality of work performed by field service vendors.
- Make your company’s use of sustainable practices visible to the community. This increases brand value by building brand loyalty. Customers are more willing to shop with companies focused on reducing their impact on the environment and the use of limited resources.
Let the IoT and Predictive Maintenance Macro and Micromanage Your Facility
Implementing a preventative maintenance program is great, but its value is exponentially increased when using the Internet of Things to trance performance and endure maximum life expectancy of facility assets.