Digital transformation is nothing new, and companies across the globe are looking toward digital technology to gain new insights and improve profitability. In facilities management, the idea of digital energy management or digitized facilities management holds equally promising potential. Unfortunately, digital energy management may be seen as overwhelming and approached with some level of trepidation to those with limited, if any, experience in using connected systems and analytics. Fortunately, you do not have to be a data scientist to deploy these technologies in your organization. Let’s take a closer look at how your organization can take part.
What Does Digital Energy Management Mean?
Before getting into the details of implementing digital energy management and transformation within your operation, it is essential to understand the definition of digital energy management. As the name implies, it involves the use of technology to track activities within energy management including the amount of energy consumed by all devices on your premise, the actions of building occupants and events that influence energy costs and consumption and the effect of improvements on building occupants. This bidirectional relationship extends to non-energy activities within your company as well, such as quality control, inventory management, customer service and more.
The Digital Energy Management Quadrant
Digital energy management is a broad topic, and it is equally complex to understand. Implementing digital capabilities will require significant devotion of resources. Someone will need to install sensors, ensure the system functions as expected, attract data, make sense of data and apply data. Ultimately, digital energy management is about moving away from traditional processes and toward data-driven decision-making. As a result, all activities in energy management in the process of digital transformation can be categorized within this quadrant:
Eliminate Paper-Based Processes Where Possible
Paper-based processes are a significant drain on resources, and they are inefficient. Writing things down might sound good on paper, pardon the pun, but what happens when the document is lost? Document management is where digital systems are far more effective. Collecting data alone is not enough to achieve savings, and this is the part where most companies get stuck. Implementing hardware to gather data is essential to success, but the savings potential lies in applying the data correctly – making it actionable, explains Marius Buchmann via Energy Manager Today.
Yes, today’s platforms can track and catalog data in any form or fashion. However, such data needs to be accessible to everyone in the company giving Facilities Managers a way to understand the activities occurring and how these activities influence energy and facilities management. In this part of the quadrant, Facilities Managers should use analytics to make sense of data and deploy mobile-based technologies and platforms, including those connected to cloud-based services, to optimize operations.
Make Meaningful Improvements
Now, it is time to apply actionable data. Applying actionable data means making improvements that will have a positive result on asset or overall condition of the facility. In other words, Facilities Managers must apply actionable data to better understand what improvements will lead to the best possible outcome. For example, the use of prescriptive analytics defines the process for achieving the best outcome, and predictive analytics can help Facilities Managers understand how a given set of activities would contribute to different what-if scenarios. Ultimately, during this phase, Facilities Managers will begin to implement a preventive, predictive maintenance program and ensure data-driven processes.
The final section of the quadrant is about data validation. After making improvements, including maintenance or asset repair and replacement, it is vital to use data for its final purpose, validating activities and results which includes validating work performed. Further, this validation is useful in tracking field service vendor activities, hours billed, maintenance logs and more.
With So Many Opportunities to Improve, Why Wait? Act Now!
It is not a step in the quadrant, but the final play of Facilities Managers to embrace digital energy management lies in working with a third-party solutions partner, such as ENTOUCH whose managed or advisory services is an excellent way for Facilities Managers to realize the benefits of digital energy management without the hassle. Find out how to get started by visiting ENTOUCH online.