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COMMENT | Maximising value with a reimagined CaFM system

Multiple challenges have evolved over the past two years, raising the need to look to disruptive technology that can help meet our new goals for the future writes Prabhu Ramachandran of Facilio.

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Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO and co-founder of Facilio

Looking at the current tech infrastructure, computer-aided facilities management systems (CaFM or CMMS) have been the go-to solution to organise and optimise asset maintenance efforts, conduct cost analysis, and carry out inventory and vendor management. CaFM adopters have moved away from paper-based systems, to cloud-based digital applications, besides optimising response times, increasing asset life span, as well as avoiding downtime and backlogs, as much as possible.

However, does this hold good for the future that we are seeing now? The success of commercial real estate is defined by the kind of occupant experiences we offer, the scope of intelligent operational insights we can derive for further optimisation, and the cost efficiency we can derive to impact the bottom line.

Why would CaFM adopters now need to evolve their current software into a single unified data-driven platform?

  • Much more flexibility and interoperability are desired

The new reality of property operations demands solutions that are more flexible, scalable, and interoperable. Progressive portfolio operators are increasingly turning to enterprise-grade modern operations and maintenance platforms, maximising efficiencies, prolonged asset life, and steady return on investment.

  • Easier access to real-time systems is needed

Any O&M software is only as good as the data it can access and process. Emerging solutions are now connecting real-time building data enabled by internet of things, with core O&M functions, optimising them for maximum performance and uncompromised occupant experiences. Innovators believe that this will address multifaceted challenges for the sector, particularly since the data available in these systems has been siloed and unusable for decades.

  • A holistic integrated unified approach to modern CaFM lifecycle is now sought after

While the industry is collectively vying to become ‘data-driven’, emphasis needs to be laid on collating data across vendor systems, multiple parties, and layered O&M processes, and then leveraging that data contextually, for improved workflows and outcomes. The benefits of this data-centric approach to innovation includes eliminating the need to switch between tools, following up with people for information exchange through emails, dealing with multiple contractors and subcontractors and receiving outdated reports. On the other hand, the cost of leaving this issue unaddressed is that O&M leaders are left dealing with blind spots, reactive firefighting and limited ammunition for innovation.

What can a modern, unified data-driven CaFM platform do for you?

  • Give you the flexibility to set up new processes easily

It will enable you to easily set up unique workflows to align with any of your O&M processes, such as mobility, service desk, visitor management, contractor management, budget, stakeholder portals, real-time executive insights, and more.

  • Unlocks multi-fold value

CaFM platforms work like a foundational software layer that connects all aspects of O&M functions today as well as for future needs. Its value is multiplied when integrated and contextualised with building systems such as energy management, building automation system, fault detection and diagnostics solutions, and modern sensors/device data. Other third party business software such as enterprise resource planning, tenant and occupant management and capital planning software, can help you make the most informed and timely decisions.For example, consider the case when building managers must process tenant requests from a work order system, notify the building technicians or contractors to modify or address a heating ventilation or air conditioning concern, recheck its validity, and then call or email the tenant regarding the status. A regular CaFM cannot cater to these needs because it’s meant to serve the purpose of a single persona and function. The ensuing timely rectification averts potential downtime and associated repair costs. O&M software platforms like Facilio have gone a step further, by enabling capabilities to orchestrate unique workflows and adding machine learning-driven predictive analytics into the mix.

  • It sets the stage for smart building success

You are also setting yourself up for smart building success when you choose a connected approach to CaFM operations. In its current form, CaFM is vastly underutilised and at the risk of becoming redundant. It provides a hardware-agnostic approach to connect real-time building data, with core O&M functions for maximum performance.

Why do you need to switch to a modern unified CaFM? Failure to do this will relegate CaFM to its most basic version – keeping maintenance-related logs. If we need to generate value out of our technology, it must be able to access all systems, devices and generate valuable data insights, such as asset health, vendor accountability budget versus cost analysis, resource utilisation, and overall gaps in operations, paving the way for fundamentally improving property operations. The data quality, or the lack thereof, will have a direct bearing on your operations and maintenance strategy, and therefore on service quality and associated costs. Such transparency in building operations favours multiple stakeholders, and O&M leaders most of all.

The consensus around adopting integrated, data-driven O&M software has now crossed the tipping point within the industry and the impact on operational bottom lines, asset performance, and end-user experiences will be profound.

Facilio’s AI-driven property operations platform allows real estate owners to aggregate building data, optimise performance, and control portfolio operations – all from one place. Learn more about Facilio O&M platform: https://facilio.com

Prabhu Ramachandran is CEO and co-founder of Facilio.

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