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[box type=”shadow” ]Moving forward, Digitalisation of Facility Management seems mandatory for optimised operations says Dr Shakti Singh Chauhan, Member, Advisory Panel, Clean India Journal. [/box]

What are the progressive stages of Facility Management that you have experienced during your career in various organizations? And what do you see the future of FM?

Facility Management has gone through a lot of progression in the last three to four decades and today, it has been recognized as one of the key functions of any business operations. Organizations have started giving due importance and representation to FM in agreeing their objectives and overall strategies for their growth. Overall infrastructure growth in India has led to make educational institutes to have curriculum around this domain. This traction of FM is good for industry to ensure we have more skilled manpower available to manage the overall growth.

As an industry, FM has a bright future and is expected to grow around $ 100 billion in next five years from now. This is possible only due to huge growth in every segment of property, services, real estate, retail and e-commerce, even in tier 3 cities.

Though digitalization is ‘ON’, is India ready to take on this transition?

India is more than ready to take digital FM ‘ON’, as we have best of network and manpower to make this happen. We need to enhance overall visibility in corporate board rooms so that we don’t have kneejerk reaction here, but it is a thought through strategical implementation in respective Industry. Digitization of FM looks a mandatory requirement for any business as we add up to around 20 % of total operational expenses for mostly all businesses and to bring efficiency and value from the cost we spent, this tool is must. Most of the industry service partners have also invested in to digitization to ensure they aren’t left behind and equally transparent in how they operate.

What are prerequisites for any organization to get into the digital platform where FM is concerned?

First and foremost, prerequisite is the intent of the organization and passion of team driving the function. Perfect scenario from FM perspective for any organization will be, buildings to have optimized operations, energy to be consumed efficiently, occupant comfort to be at best, and repair emergencies are nonexistent , therefore following will be prerequisites before we get in to digitization of the function:

a) Identify systematically the process gaps and scope for digitization in the organization
b) Set and agree expectation with business / client
c) Create awareness of importance of facility management by business / client
d) Restructure policy and framework at ongoing basis wherever required
e) Focus on continual improvement to ascertain facility management is value add

What can be seen as immediate advantages of these technological upgrade in FM for an organization?

Using technology and a proven methodology for a comprehensive and proactive approach to facilities management provides numerous advantages, such as ensuring business continuity, promoting a consistent brand Image and increasing returns on facility investments. Following are some of advantages for mostly all organization driven from FM upgrade:

Call Management, Work Order, SLA Tracking: The automated call management system will support systematic call logging, Monitoring, SLA tracking, reopening of calls. repeated calls etc.

Project Management: During course of implementation of facility management services there are time team need to carry special projects within the facility that may related to electrical, mechanical, civil etc. These special projects can be tracked by using project management software for timely and effectively completion of projects, to calculate, payback period, return on investment etc.

Energy Management: Energy management at facilities is very important activity at stores for effective control and savings on consumption of electricity, diesel and water. Installation of sensors to communicate between the equipment and IP based system will facilitate real time monitoring of consumption.

Big Data Analytics: Using software and dedicated portals to collect the data and analyze. This will support in trend analysis, historical data and projections. This will give inputs for develop and implement action plans towards corrective actions.

Asset Management: Every organization should have visibility of assets available at facilities with their date of purchase, age, warranty, expenses done towards its maintenance. This will help forecast its life and ROI and facilitate the ‘Life Cycle Monitoring’ of an equipment.

Preventive Maintenance Scheduling and Tracking: Automated system for scheduling of preventive maintenance and its tracking is of immense help to increase the life of equipment’s installed at facility.

Training Module at Centralized Repository: All training modules and other associated documents like journals, catalogues, SOP’s can be stored at centralized server. These training material can be assessed through internet as and when required on laptop, palm top, mobile etc.

Portal surveys for customer satisfaction: In order to be aware of quality of service provided, customer satisfaction and online customer satisfaction survey will give insight for further actions on continual improvement.

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