While there are defined frameworks for carbon footprint reduction in almost all large property portfolio operations, the question is how well equipped are O&M teams to innovatively manage energy emissions on a day-to-day basis. After all, the most critical links in the chain in the workforce are those who pace the floors performing routine schedules, altering system commands, responding to occupant requests, or taking up reactive or unplanned equipment servicing. But, here is the real deal – when it isn’t easy for them, the goals will not be met. Technology is a great enabler, but deploying the right platform can become a roadblock.
WHY THE TRADITIONAL MODEL CMMS WILL NOT WORK
First, let us take the case of the CMMS or CaFM platform, a crucial part of the property operations technology stack. It was designed to serve as a digital record of assets, create work orders or update maintenance schedules. However, even within that objective, teams worked with communication gaps and patched up workflows and systems data. This results in disjointed processes, leading to disparate data and lack of actionable insights; thereby it is bereft of any business value to the C-level executives, who rely on the data for effective decision-making to achieve sustainability goals.
More importantly, it leaves little or no space for O&M teams to derive efficiency from improved workflows and automation, and they continue to work with manual processes and outdated tools. So, how can a unified, Connected CMMS help meet sustainability goals? We know that buildings are interrelated systems – our tech platforms also need to be integrated to strengthen operations.
However, unless buildings systems (assets/equipment/ utilities), processes and people are unified into one single platform and the data is made accessible, it will lack the complete picture and purview to optimise resources for greater efficiency.
Here is how a Connected CMMS elevates building performance with the advantages of automation, IoT data and data accessibility…
- Frictionless operations with one unified portal: The Connected CMMS approach consolidates all functions into one single platform to deliver a simplified, collaborative experience – right from property maintenance, client engagement, vendor and workplace management, asset performance and IoT data, all workflows are brought together into one single solution. This means there are reduced gaps in operations & maintenance functions and among stakeholders.
- Create workflows for efficiency: Every building is unique, fabricated with different levels of contracting and tenanting, and comes with requisites, conditions, approvals, financing processes and a whole lot more. An intelligent workflow orchestration engine allows property teams to bend the tool to their will rather than shape processes around the tool. Let us take the example of how a workflow can be made more efficient during a breakdown: An occupant raises a complaint on the tenant portal. On cue, the facility managers create a work order on the CMMS. From there, it is moved for further approvals via emails and raised with a relevant vendor in another portal. In the case of a connected CMMS, the tenant, the facility managers and the vendors have custom access to the same application, reducing the need for manual intervention, multiple processes, and for accessing different systems. It saves time and brings various levels of efficiency into maintenance operations, thereby helping teams to be more productive, freeing up their time to create better experiences.
- Benefit from IoT-enabled centralised access to data insights: Tons of data are parked in the multiple systems (Building Automation Systems/ Building Management Systems/ Energy Management Systems) operating buildings. But as they are mostly siloed or underutilised and not validated, the data is inadequate and meaningless.
However, the IoT-enabled connected CMMS seamlessly fits into an existing ‘tech’ stack and easily integrates with appliances, devices, sensors, BMS, BIM, BAS, CRM, ERP, or any business software. It adopts an API-first (Application Programming Interface) approach and enables a smooth flow of information. This opens up the scope for automation of predictive and condition-based maintenance across the entire maintenance lifecycle for improving asset health. For example, it is possible to automate a workflow from the time an alarm is raised.
A trigger is fed into the system and a work order is auto-generated. Technicians resolve the issue, and the tenant is informed of the resolution. Timely interventions reduce breakdowns. Also, there is scope to develop proactive maintenance workflows, like correlating asset faults with energy anomalies to increase asset life cycle. Instead of condition-based or reactive maintenance, such predictive maintenance workflows reduce breakdowns, improve asset health and lower OPEX.
- Access real-time portfolio-wide visibility and reporting: For maintenance teams, access to information system performances, assets that require frequent checks or equipment that consume high energy can help direct efforts more precisely for continuous efficiency and improved building health condition. For top management, invaluable insights, such as energy usage across sites versus industry benchmarks, baseline performance against global standards, key friction points of discomfort amongst tenants, asset conditions, actual maintenance costs versus budgets that usually need to be sourced and analysed from different points of contact are made available in a single dashboard. This kind of data accessibility puts stakeholders in complete control and leads to sharper decision-making.
- Enable multi-stakeholder engagement with rich features: Intuitive interfaces for all your internal and external stakeholders means operations can get aligned and be data-led. For example, a mobile vendor app provides real-time communication to technicians with contextual information on breakdowns to help resolve issues faster. Also, agile platforms like this reduce the need for managing separate applications for vendor management, onboarding or compliance, as they can be rolled into one. Similarly, an interconnected tenant portal offering real-time maintenance updates reduces the hassle of communication and abates escalations. Better occupant experiences are increasingly becoming non-negotiable and lead to reduced churn over-rates and sustainability.
Simply put, a data-led and unified operations and maintenance strategy is what can extend asset lifecycles and meet sustainability goals. To make that happen, deploying a Connected CMMS approach becomes a no-brainer.
The writer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org