The ENTOUCH Blog

07. 17. 2017

5 Impacts of Artificial Intelligence in Facilities Management

Is artificial intelligence in facilities management the solution to climate change, and if so, what would its impact be on the systems of today and the near future?

The demand for energy-efficient facilities management systems is increasing at a remarkable pace. Carl Weinschenk of Energy Manager Today, quotes a Navigant Research report stating that demand for artificial intelligence in facilities management, including automation and machine-learning in energy management systems, will increase from $24.1 billion to $38.6 billion by 2025. This spike in demand is based on the increasing speed and capacity of today’s systems, and artificial intelligence is paving the way forward.

1. Artificial Intelligence Is Already a Part of Life, Including Energy Management

Artificial intelligence is not something resigned to Hollywood anymore. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) exists in every smartphone, home, and business in some form. Even computer assistants, like Cortana, Alexa, Google, and Siri, are types of artificial intelligence, and they have the potential to add a layer of sophistication and ease-of-access to modern energy management systems.

2. Optimized Services Enhance the Allure of AI

The second impact derives its value from the ease-of-access garnered through AI. Connecting a facilities management system to artificial intelligence allows for immediate help, notification, and action of issues without requiring anything more than a directive from a device’s user. Real-time alerts also build on the allure of AI.

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For example, Siri can read a phone’s notifications in real-time. For facilities managers using artificial intelligence and existing analytics and dashboarding tools, this means being able to “hear” the device announce a problem. Also, AI in facilities management can be used to make changes to the system through voice recognition or automated systems.

3. AI Propagates New Revenue Streams

AI in facilities management also includes the use of robotics to enhance and perfect existing facility management duties, like cleaning and repairs. As explained by Nick Barker of CSG Talent, one company, Sealed Air, has developed scrubber, vacuum and sweeper robots, comparable to Roomba, that can clean up to 10,000 Ft2 in an hour. This same space would require at least one hour for two or three staff members to clean. In other words, the costs are lowered, but it also holds the possibility of developing new revenue streams.

For example, the use of data in one building may be used to encourage spending by local, state, or federal governments for company expansion. Meanwhile, applying AI to existing facilities management needs could lead to better use of cleaners and supplies.

4. Timeline Predictability Will Increase With the Power of AI

Maintenance costs are a major drain on facilities management resources, but humans are limited in our ability to predict things. Even when looking at facts, people can only remember seven ± two things in short-term memory, reports Science Direct. This means a person looking at tickets for maintenance of a specific unit is still likely to result in an inaccurate conclusion about the unit’s probable issues and possible repairs in the future. However, AI can track thousands of independent and dependent variables, looking for correlations and patterns that emerge at a fraction of the time it would take a person to scan a maintenance report. As a result, the predictability of equipment timelines will increase and grow more accurate.

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5. Integration is the Next Step in the Progression Toward Artificial Intelligence in Facilities Management

Integration is the final piece of the puzzle. AI relies on a network, comparable to synapses between brain cells, and as more devices come online, the overall processing capacity and skill of AI increases. Thus, integrating all existing systems is essential to the success and continued deployment of AI in facilities management. This also becomes a self-propagating cycle as more devices demand a higher level of AI, resulting in additional devices and analytics streams connecting to the system.

The Big Picture

Artificial intelligence in facilities management is here to stay, and it will replace some jobs in the field. However, this replacement will enable your team to focus on quality-related demands, increasing the efficiency and profitability of your company. The five impacts stand for the breakthroughs of the next Industrial Revolution through artificial intelligence, and you owe it to yourself, your company and your staff to embrace AI before your competitors replace you.

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