Facility management budget cuts threaten to undermine the success of your organization. Reactive facility management, limited visibility to a distributed portfolio and lackluster maintenance adversely affect the total cost of ownership, profitability and customer experiences. Facilities Professionals are scrambling for an answer. That answer lies within the enormous amount of facility data.
Challenges in Data Management Rival the Saints-Patriots Interference Call, or Lack Thereof
Facility management data and metrics are an immense opportunity to augment existing operations with data-driven insights and improve end-to-end visibility. The slightest missed fact could lead to poor data outcomes and lasting consequences, comparable to the outcome of the Saints-Rams NFL conference championship game these last playoffs. Overlooked data-points contribute to poor visibility and decisions made primarily on an assumption or worst yet – a hunch. Regardless of the opinion of the game, poor visibility into facility data is the principal challenge facility professionals face leveraging data. Additional challenges in effective data management include:
- Financial resources are unavailable. Shrinking maintenance budgets result in a misconception about investment versus maintaining the status quo, yet the status quo continues to lead to squared costs (cost of need * cost of need). The status quo is a raging fire burning out of control.
- Systems are exceedingly complex, leading to non-effective energy and maintenance metrics, disparate systems, poor performance visibility. Poor access to data for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) widens the playing field for companies trying to leverage data. However, applying SaaS-based smart building solutions will be a Hail Mary that will finally restore balance.
- Data security presents scalability challenges. As the facility management market accelerates to 12% CAGR between 2019 and 2023, reports Business Wire, data scalability, and therefore, data security, will become critical concerns and working with a proven and established partner – paramount.
- The convergence of “smart” architecture will generate more data and insights, straining existing systems and resources. Increased “smart” architecture provides added opportunities for descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics, but it also presents challenges of scaling such as “actionable” analytics.
- Employees will resist change. The terminology for analytics makes their use unappealing to a field already facing poor talent interest and stretching the limits of available professionals.
Solution: Real-Time Asset Visibility and Data-Driven Planning Creates Value
Like the missed pass, or not depending on whom you were rooting for, real-time asset visibility maximizes value in facility management decision making. Facility Professionals must implement repeatable strategies that leverage the immense power of data and follow these steps:
- Recommission critical assets. Recommission critical assets by collecting data on their health condition and applying wireless technology, unless already included within the asset control system.
- Proactive and efficient maintenance. Eliminating unnecessary maintenance by isolating problems through “actionable” data analytics to recognize patterns leading to such issues and proactively respond.
- Put the right data to use. Charles Reid via LinkedIn advises Facility Professionals to track meaningful data and apply it to maintenance, capital planning, use forecasting, and external influences.
- Inspect critical assets from a “virtual” standpoint. Visual facility inspections are essential, but it is impractical to visit all critical assets each day. Instead, let data inspect assets remotely.
- Develop transparency-based metrics for better facility optimization and energy management. Transparency-based metrics offer insight into asset health, energy use, runtime, and maintenance needs, and the data must be readily accessible and easy to share.
- Lead by example; encourage better facilities management behaviors. The final piece of the puzzle is taking maintenance and energy-use knowledge and encouraging occupants to maximize its potential. This includes encouraging energy-conservative behaviors, such as running assets only when facilities are occupied.
Reward: Improved Facilities Management Has Lasting Benefits to Customers, Partners, Team Members, and Shareholders
Using “actionable” data eliminates all uncertainty regarding decision making in facility management, expanding the capabilities of your team by allowing them to focus on work, not just data. The paradox creates a precarious situation, where capability defines success and vice versa. However, the benefits outweigh the costs of developing a high-quality data management plan for facilities management. They include:
- Better capital planning.
- Cost avoidance in energy use and maintenance.
- Disruption-free, high-quality customer experiences.
- Faster service increases retention/ repeat business.
- Increased positive feedback lends itself to better company forecasting.
- Repeating steps 1 to 5 builds a self-propagating cycle of success.
- Leveraging a single-pane of glass reduces strain on staff.
Summary: Actionable Data Will Be the Turf of the Facilities Management Superbowl
Data alone is meaningless. Its tremendous power lies in the application of analytics-driven or “actionable” insights and the use of advanced technologies, including smart building solutions. Data’s proper use empowers Facility Professionals to make informed decisions. Better facilities empower business leaders to attract and retain valued customers. Positive customer experiences lead to higher brand reputation, building value and increasing profitability. Facility Professionals have a simple choice to make. Build the business case for a single-pane of glass—a central “touchpoint” for all facility data—to dramatically reduce and avoid costs now, or face losing the Facility Management Superbowl. This game is one you must win.