How Has Facilities Management Evolved in 25 Years? It’s On-Demand, Strategic, and Tech Infused

Eric Crabb • 10/24/2019
Digital transformation swept through the world, and facilities management evolved to reflect the growing capabilities through technology.

Evolution of Facilities Management Article

As explained by Facility Executive, recent technological advancements have the most significant impact on efficient systems and processes. From cloud-computing technologies to the ongoing demand for more preventive maintenance strategies, today’s facilities managers have an excellent view of all operations and data-driven decisions. Facility managers that are uncertain of their careers should think about how facilities management has evolved in 25 years and its focus on not repeating the mistakes of the past.

What’s Holding Facilities Managers Back?

The biggest problem facing facilities managers today lies within the C-suite. Shareholders within the company and portfolio managers may fail to understand the actual value within preventive maintenance. Implementing a preventive, predictive maintenance program requires an upfront investment. For organization struggling with an extensive maintenance backlog, justifying the costs of a preventative maintenance program are challenging at best. Furthermore, the exact time to return on investment (ROI) remains uncertain. Experts disagree on the specific timeline and cost, but others suggest a failure to implement a preventative maintenance program will result in a 545% increase in facilities spend. In other words, the rate of inflation in conjunction with the squared rate of costs for making reactive repairs demonstrates the value of a preventive maintenance program. Until facility managers convince shareholders of its true value, advancement will not be possible.

Why Facilities Management Evolved

Facilities management evolved in response to a continuing delay in an increased cost associated with maintaining the status quote. Facilities operations continued, and despite the rising cost of components, raw materials, and energy, the maintenance backlog never grow smaller. At the same time, a host of new technologies and capabilities, ranging from artificial intelligence to advanced analytics, have transformed the primary way facility managers approach their duties.

Best Practices in Modern Facilities Management

Finding the right balance of technology and process can be difficult in today’s world. Facilities Managers have an excellent opportunity to take advantage of on-demand, strategic, and technology-infused services and capabilities. To reach such goals, follow these best practices:

  1. Use business information modeling. Business information modeling refers to the use of new systems to track information and make data-driven decisions.
  2. Leverage connected, smart systems. Connected, integrated systems continuously pour data into the business information modeling platform, allowing for the continuous refinement of such recommendations.
  3. Use advanced, energy-efficient systems. Energy-efficient systems, including those that adhere to ENERGY STAR ratings, help facility managers reduce their reliance on energy resources and avoid unnecessary costs.
  4. Take advantage of automated maintenance reduces downtime and planning. Automated maintenance capabilities, driven by connected systems, enable the refinement and prioritization of maintenance needs, as well as the preemptive identification of potential asset malfunctions before such malfunctions contribute to cascading equipment failure.
  5. Deploy drones and new technology, including artificial intelligence, to reduce demand on your team. Facility managers should also deploy drones and new technologies as they become available to lessen the risks associated with facilities management, as well as reduce the costs, including labor costs, associated with maintaining your facilities.
  6. Software continues to move further out of the facility through SaaS vendors and more.

Deploy the Best-in-Class, Data-Driven Software for Improved Management

The state of facilities management today reflects the ongoing technological development of the industry, as well as the world. When facilities managers have access to more information, they can make informed decisions, and informed decision-making is the first step to eliminating the high costs of reactive maintenance by implementing preventive maintenance strategies. Instead of merely waiting until something breaks, facility managers can take proactive steps to prevent it and reduce the impact of such malfunctions on the asset system as a whole or other assets within your facility.

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