Digital transformation
  • 14 May.2021
  • 3 min read
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3 aspects to consider while choosing an O&M application for your facility

by Meghna Vasudevan

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Every abled facility manager has to go through one of the most daunting tasks of the digital age. And it’s not just a one-time affaire, he is supposed to perform it daily and emerge successfully to grow in his career and the firm he works for.

When we all strive to collect more and more data from the facilities, we create more options for us to draw inferences. We create numerous ways for all sorts of building management solutions to fit into our exact expectations. Thus ultimately land into a selector’s dilemma – a paradox of choice.     

It might sound counter-intuitive but the applications and systems that we look out for to make the FM team’s life easier and help them make the right decisions are often hard and confusing to zeroth down. Considering the new challenges and expectations today’s facility managers are facing this job becomes even more difficult. 

Hence to simplify those options and help you decide the ideal facility management application for your team we have come up with this three-point framework to reduce the intelligent guesswork and make it real data & evidence-backed decision. 

Enable remote management:

Around a decade ago when CAFM / CMMS applications started coming in the form of mobile apps, everyone wanted to grab that opportunity to try that out first. Although the apps were not compatible enough for data entry and reporting features, they did provide an option to check the status of your work order or critical assets anywhere in the facility. We saw the same level of excitement when existing CAFM applications started adopting cloud-based delivery mechanisms.

This pandemic has introduced an old term in new packaging and in a much larger scale – Remote working. Yes, in the last 1 year if anything that is more prominent in nature in the office environment then it has to be the concept of hybrid work. Although it is meant for the employees and tenants of the facility it has direct connections with the staff and facility management teams. 

Facility management isn’t a desk job anymore. Choose solutions and devices that don’t require you to be in a dedicated location (right from the data collection, processing to the final reporting tools) go for the internet-connected smart sensors, temperature controls and other devices that connect to the cloud, and mobile FM apps that allow you to submit, access, and complete work orders from anywhere.  

Digital or operational twins whichever is feasible to your needs, just explore it. At least start a couple of trials at multiple sites. Anything that helps your team to move from physical inspection of the assets will be beneficial to your team in the long run.

Data with no boundaries

There is no point in purchasing an application that only shares raw data or insights with selected mediums. (often with proprietary applications) again it becomes an apple vs android comparison. Both the ecosystems have their own advantages but when it comes to scalability and building analytics, open data protocols always triumph over closed ones.

Data is the key component of every successful FM team. The best way to make the right decisions for your property is to be able to see the big picture of all departments of your property at the same time. This is possible when every part of the solution communicates freely with each other (integration-friendly) When choosing an asset performance management solution, make sure that it integrates information from all aspects of your property or properties.  

Look for a Technology partner, not the vendor 

In one of our previous articles, we have discussed the build vs buy argument in detail. In this hyper-competitive age of business, one can not depend on price as a differentiator, at least not for the solutions that are higher in the insights hierarchy (as explained in Gartner’s Pace-Layered Strategy), FM applications that required continuous up-gradation or customization according to the client’s needs can not be soured from the 3rd party vendor. It may create strategic as well as logistical issues.  

When considering new technologies, you must consider the company that envisions your expectation from the product. Partner with you not just for the support but also for the co-development of the new features. Create something unique and exclusive for your (yes exclusivity has to be there in the product offering)  

Even for medium to large scale FM firms, it makes sense to partner with a startup that has deep expertise in both the asset management domain and data analytics to help them with:

  • Assess FM’s current technology status
  • Suggest ways to achieve the targets.
  • Create data and business intelligence roadmaps

We hope that these three aspects can guide you to select the right applications for your O&M teams. If you need any help on making successful trials of new FM application then please reach out to us at sumit.nawathe@xempla.io    

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