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In 2023, look out for these futuristic FM tech trends

Edward Dsouza, President, ServiceMASTER India

Edward Dsouza, President, ServiceMASTER India predicts the future of technology in facility management in the coming year.

Shift of FM partner from commodities supplier to problem solver

The FM industry is at an interesting crossroads. As technology advances, the FM industry will continue to evolve and become a fully data-driven sector. In the next five years, facilities managers across the country will see these trends transform their workplaces and optimise business processes.

FM suppliers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one common goal: to solve your problems. FM companies today need the expertise and knowledge to resolve any issue, big or small. The idea is to work closely with their clients to identify any areas of improvement and provide solutions that meet their specific needs. Therefore, in modern-day integrated facility management services, People and Technology are the key stakeholders for FM companies.

The implementation of technology-enabled interventions to optimise the workforce is essential for the efficient operation of the healthcare, retail, manufacturing, educational and corporate sectors.

Enabling workforce effectiveness using IoT

The use of affordable technology in FM is expected to become more common as businesses seek to drive operational efficiencies and lower costs. The cost of labor is one of the biggest factors affecting the bottom line in the facilities management industry. At the same time, finding and retaining good workers is becoming increasingly difficult. The use of IoT can help to make the workforce more efficient and effective, ultimately reducing costs.

IoT can be used in various ways to improve workforce efficiency, such as:

  • Monitoring employee productivity
  • Tracking employee whereabouts
  • Automating tasks
  • Communicating task assignments

All these applications can help improve the bottom line by reducing labour costs.

SSDP Program: Over the past few years, our client’s expectations of us as an FM service provider across various business segments have been to offer solutions and optimise tasks to increase productivity. In order to save water and reduce carbon footprint, the SSDP program primarily consists of a smart solution on wheels that is powered by cutting-edge technology (increasing productivity, reducing effort).

Mechanised cleaning methods developed with scientifically proven time and motion studies and the use of smart equipment are in great demand by most healthcare, retail, education, pharma and corporate units.

Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness is a top priority for companies of all sizes. This is why many organisations are taking steps to implement the OHSAS ISO 45001 standard, which is an international standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The standard ensures that the working environment is safe and hygienic and provides guidance on identifying and managing risks and implementing risk assessments systematically.

FM companies would be able to achieve the following through the ISO standard:

  • Foster management involvement & accountability
  • Reduce risk
  • Identify opportunities
  • Stand out as an industry leader
  • Gain a competitive advantage
  • Engage employees in safety
  • Shift from reactive to proactive
  • Demonstrate our commitment to safety

Another trend influencing the FM sector is the emphasis on employee recognition and reward and the development of an environment where appropriate effort is made to carry out employee engagement activities.

An FM vendor that is compliance-friendly and meticulously manages EPF, PF, salaries and other related issues is preferred due to the human element of business and the market’s competitive nature.

Monthly employee engagement programs that honour top performers and mark special occasions at work increase employee retention by fostering a positive work environment.

Managing Indoor Air Quality

The need to control the air quality at work has grown more urgent as the nation’s pollution levels have been on the rise for years. The air indoors is frequently dirtier and more polluted than the visible pollution outside.

Most organisations face issues of less ventilation, limited sunlight and high footfall levels, and in order to combat all these, it is imperative to use Commercial Ultraviolet Air Sanitiser, a solution for Indoor Air Quality which promises healthy indoors. This technology uses UV-C rays to alter the DNA of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms, limiting their spread and maintaining IAQ for any facility.

Cost saving through pro-active maintenance

According to some researchers, 20% of the cost of the operation is from maintenance. Regular inspections and troubleshooting equipment, as well as performing preventive maintenance on a regular basis, can save a lot of money.

The client-server relationship is highly dependent on the SLA agreements. Through discussions, the services expected can be drafted into measurable tasks. FM representatives play an important role in this by creating a clear document that ensures client expectations are met, as well as developing SOPs and resources in accordance with the contract.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Facilities management has evolved into a strategic business function as organisations look for ways to reduce operating costs, improve customer service and increase profits. At the heart of this transformation is data-driven decision-making, which enables facilities managers to use data in meaningful ways to drive value for their organisations.

Within a few years, the CMMS has gained a prominent role. It comes with a range of benefits for inventory management, easy audit and compliance with various regulatory standards, monitoring business, real-time report generation, enhanced workflow efficiency, improved productivity and less paperwork.

Healthcare management has become easier with the intervention of technology like IQMS which enables giving an overall MIS reporting of fair feedback systems, majorly nurse feedback, patient feedback, qualitative hygiene index, attendance monitoring, etc.

Corporate Responsibility through ESG and Green Buildings

Beyond current regulations, the proposed rule would require the following ESG reporting:

  • Disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, governance and financial impacts related to climate change
  • ESG addition to financial statements with metrics for climate disclosure
  • ESG-specific internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR)

Technological advancements such as the use of high-quality microfibre dusters help to reduce carbon footprints by having longer shelf lives and saving up to 60% of water and 40% of chemicals. Green chemicals are also in high demand.

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