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Key Technology Trends Driving Facilities Management Industry

The technology is continuously improving such that drones can be used for security and inspection, holograms can be used for elevator maintenance and doors and electronic equipment can be accessed through microchip implants

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Facility Management

While facilities management companies are already deploying intelligent building management systems (IBMS), environment-friendly practices and more efficient controls and processes, there is more coming up with advanced automation in terms of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

At the same time, the space owners and tenants are keeping sustainability and user well-being high atop their list of priorities.

Now, whether a building is sustainable has to do with factors such as lighting and ventilation. These can directly impact the occupants' health and their ability to contribute to an organisation.

Therefore, the procurement function within facilities management companies is now more responsible for finding products and services that are better choices from the environmental perspective. This includes products and services related to efficient recycling of solid waste and water within the facility.

Clearly, the building's quality of maintenance can impact the employee productivity and user sentiment which in turn can potentially impact the financial viability of the businesses operating from the facility. Office spaces shouldn't be just mechanically-designed spaces but they should offer flexibility, for example, in terms of their furniture and breathing space.

In addition to office spaces and shared desks, to attract the millennial employees, non-traditional spaces are finding favour with facilities management such that they create a sense of community in a workspace. From workstations with sit or stand furniture to open-seated areas, unconventional spaces are becoming popular. There are also cafes, gyms, and other such facilities within the office space that are creating more employee satisfaction while improving their quality of life. These unique functionalities are challenges that many facilities management teams to have to put a thought to in the near future, feel experts.

Using Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS), organisations can track a large number of people and supplies, for instance, fleets of vehicles in real time. This enables continuous record and logs data that can be further analysed and used for efficient service. For facilities management responsible for multiple sites, location-based services can help provide a real-time inventory of supplies and raise an alert for supplies that need reordering.

The technology is continuously improving such that drones can be used for security and inspection, holograms can be used for elevator maintenance and doors and electronic equipment can be accessed through microchip implants.

Soon beacons will add another chapter to the story of smart-tech in facilities management. Presently the technology is mainly used to push advertising notifications into users' mobile devices available under a certain radius, through Wi-Fi networks. However, there is a latent potential to use this technology for indoor navigation, smarter meeting rooms, maintenance and security.

Beacons are a great tool to manage large crowds within places like shopping malls, hotels, auditoriums and stadiums. Stadiums in the United States, for instance, have already started using beacons to direct visitors towards their respective seats.  

These technological advancements can indeed help facilities management companies to perform efficiently and take user experience to an all new level.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Facilities Management technology

Aval Sethi

The author is Chief Executive, Protaiga

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