Facility Management

10 Data-Driven Approaches To Make Facilities Management Easier

With ever shifting landscapes, technology and data-driven insights are transforming the facilities management industry.

December 14, 2021
Last Updated On:
May 7, 2022
Last Updated On:
May 7, 2022

Priorities in facility management usually focus on managing people, processes and ensuring health and safety. However, facility managers (FMs), maintenance, and engineering managers should also improve efficiency and use technology to optimize their duties. As an FM, there is a lot on your plate—the shifting landscapes of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a new set of challenges for management roles. The introduction of safety guidelines and new COVID variants has dominated how FMs do their job for the last two years. 

To navigate these changes, you need technology, data-driven insights, and strategies to make your job easier. Not only will this improve the workflow, but it will also allow you to maintain the facility properly, making for happier workers and building tenants. Here are ten data-driven approaches to facilities management to make your job easier:

#1: Improve Decision Confidence

FMs often have many moving parts to consider when making any decision. They must account for compliance factors, human factors, health, and safety. Without industry-leading technologies, building managers could struggle to navigate this complex world. When your decisions are based on data and science, it becomes far easier to create more efficient facility management practices that save your company and the lives of its workers.

A great example of a data-driven facilities management solution is ActivePure® Technology. Designed with commercial use in mind, this active air purifier technology is a scalable solution to rapidly improve any facility's indoor air quality (IAQ). ActivePure® is a proven viral mitigation strategy to keep your building's tenants safe, healthy, and protected from airborne and surface pathogens.

#2: Generate Insightful Reports

Data-based building management and engineering approaches do not require learning statistics or understanding complicated algorithms. The best systems will present their data in a clear, easy-to-understand report. With each piece, you'll glean important insights to take action quickly and to use this insight to invest in the right software and management platforms.

You can even set up systems to take action quickly when using innovative technology. When it comes to maintaining indoor air quality, something that has become extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need science-based reports and speedy operations to ensure that your facility continues to function. With swift action, you could be keeping your facility operational when so many businesses are being shut down due to poor air quality and COVID-19 spread.

Data-based reports improve decision-making processes and overall company culture. With facility management software, innovative technology, and a willingness to work with evidence-based approaches, FMs can optimize their daily operations with more efficient facility management practices and keep their facilities operational during the COVID pandemic.

#3: Improve Safety, Accountability, and Compliance

Indoor air quality is becoming equally important to physical personnel safety. Regulators in the U.S., Europe, and globally are encouraged by bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor air quality safety, especially during the COVID pandemic. Moreover, through radon testing, CO2 monitoring, and pollutant filtration, FMs will steadily need to improve indoor air quality safety and accountability. Data can help here too. With intelligent technologies monitoring indoor air quality, you will have a history of data that can inform future decision-making, help improve indoor air quality in a hurry, and provide data to prove compliance. 

This type of on-decision-making is critical when FMs need to monitor occupant safety for the COVID pandemic. For budgetary purposes or applications for government grant opportunities, intelligent monitoring technologies can help justify the need for facility upgrades. Since the onset of the pandemic, facility managers have been using these technologies to demonstrate the need for portable HEPA or HVAC Induct air purifier systems. It can also be applicable as a use case when you justify implementing portable or HVAC Induct air purifier systems. 

#4: Collaboration When Working in the Cloud

Most smart technologies are interconnected within cloud-based systems. This interconnectivity will allow you and your team access to critical data via your mobile phone, app, tablet, or computer, giving everyone who needs it instant access to your facility's data. This interconnectivity is necessary for extensive facilities that cannot afford an operational malfunction, even for a few minutes. With an interdepartmental connection in the cloud, your team can collaborate and efficiently adjust building-wide ecosystems such as; electrical grids, lighting, IT infrastructure, water quality, and HVAC air quality systems.

Cloud-based systems became necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic since safety and cleanliness requirements would shift daily, if not hourly. This data-driven approach can give building engineers the power to change operations to meet shifting conditions and regulations instantly. If you have intelligent technologies with cloud connectivity, like the Smart Dispense Pro, you can quickly isolate triggered COVID-19 cases to keep your building operational. This will allow your entire team to connect online, change systems online, and make quick, informed decisions. 

#5: Systems Become Interconnected

Data-driven approaches are necessary for efficient facility management practices and keeping up with public health and safety changes during the COVID pandemic. Your systems need to be linked to the cloud, control consoles and provide data for expediency. This is also crucial for overall operational efficiency and cost savings.

For example, systems like your building management systems (BMS) and Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) can be integrated with indoor air monitoring solutions so you can see how each aspect of your facility is interacting with each other. 

Monitor significant appliances to ensure that your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems operate efficiently. You can also place indoor air quality sensors in strategic locations to better understand employee performance and detect poor air quality. Perhaps your indoor air quality readings are worse around specific machinery. By isolating these triggered responses, you can adjust your systems accordingly and balance your facility. 

#6: Relieve Overworked Personnel

Innovative technologies are increasingly becoming a critical data-driven approach to FM work. Intelligent technologies like the UV-C robot can help relieve your personnel from overwork, improve your facility's cleanliness, and keep your company safer through cleaner air and surfaces. UV-C robots operate through WIFI and can be programmed remotely to sanitize spaces automatically. 

This means that your workers don't have to go throughout the buildings to manually clean areas and risk exposing the SARS-CoV-2 virus, effectively reducing COVID-19 exposures. Set to cover up to 150,000 square feet of disinfection area, these robots are highly versatile and come with a range of technological features for a streamlined disinfection process. 

#7: Information Access Through a Central Hub

A data-driven approach would mean using a central hub to access system technologies. Through a central hub, you'll be able to see key metrics to make quick and informed decisions. These hubs can connect all your engineering devices, including indoor air quality sensors, which monitor harmful pollutants like radon, VOCs, and carbon dioxide, as well as indoor conditions like humidity, temperature, and atmospheric pressure. Build-ups of deleterious gases can affect building users' productivity, damage health, and affect cognition. 

Additionally, with contact tracing systems connected to central FM hubs, viral transmission such as SARS-CoV-2 can be stifled in the facilities you manage. Contact tracing systems enable companies to detect points of viral transmission and determine individuals that may have been exposed. For facilities, these systems can help reduce shutdowns and mitigate issues presented by global pandemics.

If contact tracing is not an option, cloud-based temperature scanning systems can also help track potential COVID-19 cases amongst your building's tenants. Sanalife's Smart Dispense Pro hand sanitizing station combines hand hygiene with discreet cloud-based wrist temperature scanning. These intelligent sanitization stations give FMs direct access to occupant temperature readings and alert them to above-average temperatures.

#8: Systems Can Alert FMs to Potential Problems

A lot of the FMs' roles and responsibilities are problem-solving. So FMs need to welcome data-based approaches to solving potential problems. With data at your fingertips, you can future-proof your building and get ahead of issues before they start (or get worse). Your internet-connected HVAC systems could alert you to leaks, energy inefficiencies, and low air filtration

In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, you could implement specific solutions while you're trying to fix bigger ones. For example, if your business wants to reopen quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic but the air filtration system is not strong enough, you can quickly implement portable air purifiers in key, high-density areas while you await HVAC upgrades.  

By collecting this data, you can solve problems for your organization and be more in line with strategic financial and management decisions. Innovative technology and analytics in digital solutions can enable FMs to work smarter and identify possible problems before they arise.

#9: Smart Technologies Can Modify Energy Consumption and Reduce Costs

A data-based approach would also look at improving energy consumption to save your business money and save labor. Innovative technology can also help you cut costs by maximizing efficiency in buildings. For example, if your system collects radon data as part of real estate laws, you might save your company thousands of dollars in testing. You might also be able to provide data around building code compliance for ventilation or, as part of your facility, obtaining the BREEAM certification.

Leading indoor air quality solutions can help you analyze energy usage and monitor occupancy. You can begin to monitor energy output, for example, and optimize it with your HVAC systems. Additionally, if you have older systems, like an older HVAC system, you can detect rises in energy consumption. Your ventilation system could be leaking air and pumping out way more energy than is necessary. This provides you with yet another use case for upgrading your HVAC systems. 

#10: Evidence-based Decision Making On-the-go

Clever use of data allows for more efficient facility management practices. It helps FMs do better air quality data gives you evidence for work orders, machine maintenance, occupational safety, and upgrades. You can have access to this data on your mobile device too. Even still, you can be thinking about your data as you make decisions in your day-to-day tasks. 

Specific solutions trigger notifications to pop up when indoor air quality is terrible. You can begin to implement solutions right away, like the portable Beyond Guardian Air purifier systems which can clean space at 240 cubic feet per minute, or use other devices with more excellent cleaning rates. 

Monitoring indoor air data, like VOC and CO2 data, can help you analyze occupancy rates, assess energy costs, and adjust staffing costs too. Whether you need to improve your facility, data-based approaches will help you put your best foot forward and make decisions that drastically improve your operations!

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