Guest Post

How IoT technology drives data-driven facility management

How IoT technology drives data-driven facility management

Data-driven facilities maintenance (DDFM) is a growing digital transformation trend in the industry as organizations strive to improve efficiency and accuracy in their operations.

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is key in driving DDFM, providing businesses with real-time insights into their facilities.

Let’s look closer at how IoT technology is leveraged for efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) for facilities.

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Common examples of IoT devices in commercial buildings

IoT devices have varied applications depending on industry and use cases. While this is not a comprehensive list, here are some of the most common IoT devices used in facility management:

  • IoT sensors for condition monitoring
  • Beacons for asset monitoring and security management
  • RFID trackers for asset tracking, inventory management, and location tracking
  • NFC (Near Field Connectivity) or QR codes for stock monitoring
  • Occupancy sensors for room scheduling and reservations

IoT technology combined with robust facility management software give facility managers the real-time operational insights they need optimize operations and maintenance (O&M) remotely

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If you're responsible for managing a facility, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry. We’ve collected the latest trends that have helped facility managers across the globe drive data-driven facilities.

Let’s dive right in.

Data Analytics

Data analytics are a powerful tool used in facility management to deliver high performing buildings.

For example, data analytics record operational data for equipment and study their maintenance/repair patterns, alerting managers to potential issues before they become problems.

Additionally, data analytics help optimize energy consumption, allowing businesses to identify areas where conservation efforts can be made.

Remote Monitoring

By using technology to monitor building systems and equipment remotely, facility managers save time and money while improving operational efficiency.

Perhaps the most common example of remote monitoring technology is a CMMS software.

It collects real-time data from building automation systems (BAS) and monitors them continuously to identify any anomalies and automatically create work orders for maintenance and repairs.

This way, facility managers (FMs) are always on top of their building performance, and optimize continually for maintenance efficiency.

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Interoperability using third-party integrations

Building automation systems collect real-time operational data from equipment and buildings that supervisory software need for data analysis.

However, most BAS usually come with a data-lock in problem that prevents data from flowing freely between tools and systems.

Often, minor changes like revising normal operational parameters and creation of maintenance work orders have to go through the BAS vendor, which creates delays and inefficiencies, and is not scalable for portfolio operations.

Fortunately, there is a better alternative to this painful process - deploying a cloud-supervisory platform like Facilio for O&M management.

Platforms bypass the data lock-in problem, connecting site-level systems and cloud supervisory systems to enable portfolio operations.

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IoT and machine learning for predictive analytics

The internet of things (IoT) and machine learning are two powerful technologies used in predictive analytics for facility management.

IoT devices like occupancy sensors, vibration analysis, oil analysis, and many more, collect real-time operational data that is then analyzed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide insights into how facilities are being used and how they can be improved.

AI-powered facility management software uses pre-determined parameters to identify potential issues ahead of time, determines the root cause, and makes recommendations on how to fix it.

Predictive and prescriptive analytics help almost eliminate unplanned downtimes and optimize maintenance work for assets while supercharging your preventive maintenance programs.

Suggested read: #5Questions With Building IoT Expert

Cloud capabilities for facility management

Cloud supervisory platforms like Facilio help bring data from people, processes, and systems in a meaningful way to unlock real-time portfolio-wide optimization, data-driven decision-making, and maintenance efficiency that boosts productivity, improves safety, and reduces costs.

With a cloud supervisory platform, facility managers have access to performance data across buildings in one place. If a building is performing better than the rest, a cloud supervisory platform analyzes why that is, and how to apply learnings to create a high-performing portfolio.

Suggested read: The Future of Buildings and Real-time Facilities Experience

Applications of IoT technology in facility management solutions

  • Fault detection and diagnostic (FDD)
  • Data-driven repair or replacement decisions
  • Optimization of preventive and predictive maintenance programs
  • Reduce carbon footprint with automated energy consumption management
  • Reduce operating and maintenance costs
  • Efficient resource utilization and boosting productivity
  • Increased safety for field professionals and technicians
  • Delightful occupant experiences

Benefits of IoT in facility management

One key area where IoT has the potential to help improve facilities management systems (FMS) is in the area of optimization.

There are several ways in which IoT can be used to improve FMS:

Reduction in Energy Expenditure

By using occupancy sensors and other devices that can relay information through the internet, IoT can detect when energy-consuming equipment is running low on power or when it has stopped functioning altogether. This allows for quick action before energy costs become unmanageable.

Improved Quality of Service

With access to real-time data from all over a facility, managers can identify trouble spots and make changes to ensure quality field service management at all times.

For example, if sensors placed in different parts of a restaurant show that the microwave oven is not working in one area but functioning normally in another, an alert can be sent to the staff member on duty so that he or she can replace the unit quickly.

Reduction in Waste

With remote monitoring systems, managers can identify when equipment has stopped working and order repairs before complete breakdowns.

In addition, by tracking how much energy various devices use over time, facility managers can take steps to reduce the amount of waste produced by their organization.

Improved Security

For example, suppose sensors detect an unexpected spike in temperature or other signs of a security breach, such as vibration or sound levels that are too high.

In that case, systems can be implemented to ensure unauthorized individuals do not enter the premises and cause harm.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

While there are many ways that IoT can improve facility management systems, it is important to note that the best benefits will only be realized when all components of a system are working together.

IoT and facility management software like Facilio enables interoperability to connect people, processes, and systems and deliver high-performance buildings, energy efficiency, and delightful occupant experiences.

Suggested read: How to perform Facilities Condition Assessment?

Step by step guide to deploying IoT and AI technology in your facility

Real estate hasn’t traditionally been an early adopter of new technology, but data-driven facility management is no longer optional, with a rising focus on compliance and sustainability regulations.

Here are some tips for facility managers to create IoT ecosystems for their use cases:

Identify critical equipment/processes for automation

IoT and AI together show the maximum RoI for critical equipment that are expensive to replace. Picking such equipment for your pilot program can help you make a strong case for facility management automation with your management.

Set goals for automation and create a framework for the same

Start with a clear visualization of goals for your IoT project. What problems are you trying to solve? What benefits do you want from the data that will be collected by these objects? Who is going to use the information, and how?

Run a pilot to iron out the kinks

If you plan to install IoT devices for HVAC monitoring, conduct a pilot program at a one, or a few locations before installing it across portfolio.

By running a pilot on critical equipment that’s essential for day to day operations, you can show the maximum RoI and make a case for portfolio-wide deployment.

As an option, you can hire software developers and expert engineers to create, test, and optimize IoT applications for your use case.

Predict and prevent, don’t wait for breakdowns!

IoT sensors can be installed throughout the facility to monitor and predict problems before they occur.

For example, temperature and humidity devices placed in server rooms or other areas prone to overheating can detect when temperatures rise so that the system can automatically adjust before damage occurs.

Closing thoughts

IoT technology is everywhere these days, and for a good reason. In fact, technology can provide real-time information about various aspects of smart buildings, such as temperature and air quality, which can then be used to make informed decisions to make spaces comfortable for occupants, and save energy as well as costs for businesses.

Furthermore, IoT technology can also help automate repetitive processes, such as maintenance inspections, which can save time and resources.

If you're looking to improve the efficiency of your facility maintenance operations, then you should definitely jump on the bandwagon and consider using IoT technology.