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The past few years have forced us to reinvent how we manage and serve our customers. Within Facilities Management, we’ve witnessed fundamental changes that will forever alter how we work.

In our recent paper, Facilities Management Insights: Top 4 Ways to Optimize Service Operations, we examine industry trends, including shrinking real estate footprints with fewer people in the office, predictive maintenance, and customer self-service initiatives.

This blog post examines the different technologies and systems we need to embrace the latest trends in facilities management.

Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor technology

The adoption of IoT technology was well underway before the pandemic. But once things locked down, the technology provided immeasurable value to facilities management teams. Operational and health status data from assets were delivered remotely, without human intervention.

This continuous stream of real-time data allows us to keep tabs on the state of the operation, often knowing in advance if a potential issue may arise so we can take action before disruptions occur.

Our reliance on IoT technology will continue to grow. As more equipment and assets are enabled, more data is generated, adding depth and detail to the working model of our operation and supporting the shift to predictive maintenance.

IFS customer Anticimex relies on a business connector to integrate IFS applications with its IoT platform, helping to analyze and understand ecosystem data.

Real-time data collection

The collection of real-time data extends beyond IoT devices to incorporate a range of assets and activities in the field. No longer reliant on technicians submitting reports at the end of the day, service and customer interactions flow seamlessly into existing administrative systems, helping us make informed business decisions.

Data movement is bi-directional, especially critical with the proliferation of IT and Smart Technologies. For example, access to back-office information such as up-to-date customer data, equipment repair records, recent service calls, and other details allows technicians and administrators to view the state of the customer’s operation in real-time.

Today facilities management teams are under significant pressure to increase property efficiencies while delivering personalized experiences to customers and employees. Real-time data is an essential contributor to these outcomes.

Data integration and analytics

With so much information from so many assets and systems, we must create a unified view of the operational data we generate.

Along with data collected from the cloud, facility management teams must also leverage enterprise data stored within existing systems such as CRM, ERP, Finance, and other solutions. By breaking down silos and integrating data from disparate systems, we create a single data store for deeper and more accurate analytics to help monitor the operation and guide business decisions.

To support our short- and long-term business goals, our infrastructure must be optimized to manage the load as our data stores increase in size and complexity.

Remote monitoring and assistance

A big trend during and since the pandemic has been the ability to monitor and assist our customers remotely. This is especially helpful given the ongoing skills shortage and new hybrid work-from-home model, with many clients and employees no longer in the office.

With a digital, data-rich business, facility management teams monitor the status of properties, equipment, and assets remotely and in real-time. When an incident arises, field technicians are assigned to attend in person or from afar. As we work to fill the skills shortage gap, senior technicians can support newer recruits, guiding them through complicated workflows for more first-time fixes and fewer truck rolls.

IFS customer Panasonic Heating and Cooling Systems relies on remote assistance technology to diagnose issues and significantly speed up repair rates.

Digital workplaces

The adoption of modern tools such as sensors, thermostats, interactive service request interfaces, and other advances continues to rise. To support the new digital service management model, we must ensure our infrastructure is optimized to accommodate these ongoing innovations. With the right technology and systems, we can easily leverage current and future trends within facilities management.

At IFS, we work with facilities management organizations worldwide, providing the latest technology and tools so they can deliver consistently outstanding service to their customers. Download our new industry paper, Facilities Management Insights: Top 4 Ways to Optimize Service Operations, to learn more.

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