Optimizing Facilities Management Operations

Facilities managers responsible for multiple locations face many challenges, which have only grown in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety is more important than ever, for both employees and customers. Whether you’re an essential organization forced to adapt operations to remain up and running or a business planning to reopen, proper planning and precautions are key.  

These new obstacles have not eliminated the fundamental challenges of facilities management (FM). Instead, businesses must operate in an uncertain economic environment where even ordinary tasks can carry a much higher degree of difficulty. This necessitates a greater emphasis on efficiency, whether in terms of energy usage, maintenance, or just trying to do more with less.

To stay competitive, FM companies are increasingly exploring technologies, like Internet of Things (IoT), to help optimize resources and personnel. Recently, Bsquare VP of Engineering, Matthew Inglis, sat down with Symon Tomlinson, Head of Strategic Development for Arcus FM to discuss how the integration of intelligent devices and systems across facilities can help streamline FM operations. Takeaways include:

Energy Usage

The ability to remotely monitor and control devices that consume high volumes of energy – such as HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration equipment – can help businesses reduce both costs and their carbon footprint. Understanding how these systems are operating at a given time allows for adjustments based on factors like weather conditions and building occupancy.

Remote Maintenance

Access to live operational data across various sites and asset types, as well as the ability to send down asset commands from the cloud, enables remote diagnosis and repairs – which help reduce truck rolls and “no fault found” service calls while improving first-time fix rates. This can also help businesses adapt to COVID-19 by adjusting HVAC systems to maximize fresh air flow into facilities without deploying technicians.

Predictive Modeling

Analyzing historical operational data can help businesses better understand machine performance and identify when they might fail as well as the root cause. With a rules engine, engineers can apply their first-hand expertise to this information to build specific rules to enable preventative alerts and condition-based maintenance, which can reduce repair costs and downtime.

Ensuring Security

With any IoT solution, security must be a primary concern from the start, it can’t be bolted on later. There are strict guidelines for connecting equipment, InfoSec requirements can be very time consuming, and any insecure device can expose the entire corporate network. Microsoft Azure Sphere is a cost-effective option for connecting both new and legacy devices to the cloud.

For additional insights check out the full discussion.