The Future of Facilities Management
Digital transformation in commercial buildings is enabling people, processes, and technology to work together. This is transforming facilities management from an asset or plant-centered activity to one which focuses on end-user experiences and outcomes.
According to research findings by Statista, leading facilities management service providers are taking advantage of modern trends and making millions of dollars from the services that they provide. Thus, a majority of current conversations around facilities management involve trends that will help future-proof our business operations.
- Sustainable Building Practices
A majority of companies are keen on engaging with facilities management partners who provide sustainable equipment and solutions, thereby helping to reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, these partners may recommend the use of sustainable practices like banning the use of non-biodegradable materials to make buildings more eco-friendly.
Remember, functions of facility management include determining areas such as utility performance, energy provision, building maintenance, and identifying recycling practices that are associated with waste management. Nowadays, facilities management has strong ties to the sustainability agenda.
While the emphasis has recently shifted to modern, environment-friendly buildings, older buildings can achieve energy efficiency through the proper adoption of modern infrastructure.
Additionally, facility managers can ensure that the workforce is well-conversant with positive environmental practices.
- Flex Work and Distributed Teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it significant life and work changes, the most common being the introduction of office flex spaces. Businesses with office workers are starting to embrace these spaces, as well as working from home. According to a research article by Workplace Insight, coworking could arguably be classed as a ‘new normal’ for many workplaces.
Facility managers are learning how to adapt as they downsize existing building space and operations and help workers transition to remote modes of work. When considering factors like the cost of leased space, the lifetime of equipment, energy consumption, and technical maintenance, flex workspaces and remote work seems like quite the tempting option for many businesses.
- Data-Driven Facility Management
While those outside the industry may think of facilities management as a simple process, facility managers understand that they have to spend a large portion of their day just navigating the system. It is not surprising that they now have access to many different software solutions that are useful as they aid managers in the decision-making process.
Some of the more popular and useful solutions include:
- Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)/Facility Management Software for asset and inventory management.
- Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) Software for operation teams looking to utilize spaces within their buildings, alongside asset and inventory management.
- Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) for organizations that are looking to optimize their resources within a single software platform.
- BMS/BAS/BEMS for those who want to simplify and automate building control and put a lot of focus on energy-efficiency.
Ultimately, they help facility managers cut operational costs and create an efficient working environment.
- Integrated Facilities Management
Forward-thinking managers are taking things a step further by bringing all of their services together under a single supplier.
However, it’s about much more than reducing the number of suppliers. It is about maintaining a single point of accountability and control: a single team connecting transaction and advisory services, facilities management, and project management.
The most important benefit that facility managers will enjoy out of this is greater consistency in the quality of service and simplification of the decision-making process because key decisions are made by those who understand “all the pieces of the puzzle”.
As the service provider has full visibility of corporate goals and operations, then they can make properly informed recommendations. This can be anything from lease renewals to change in location and workplace strategies that will drive better performance.
Facilities management is coming of age. As in almost every industry, technology is the driver of transformation. Today, facility managers combine an eye for innovation, expertise, strategic thinking, and continuous improvement.
This more accurately reflects a manager’s role as a key driver of performance and an enabler of change. Change is inevitable – but these facility management trends are here to stay!
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.