Facility Management 2023: Making a Real Difference!
On May 10th, 2023, the entire world has been celebrating World FM Day with a wide range of activities. In Malaysia, ServeDeck and the Malaysia Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) have co-organized a two hours webinar where local and internationally recognized FM leaders have shared their ideas and comments on how to Make a Real Difference in Facility Management in the years to come.
“Making a Real Difference” is the theme launched by Global FM, a US-based organization that has pulled together Facility Management Associations from all around the world; how to make a real difference has been the discussion thread during the webinar and, below are the great ideas and comments that the speakers’ line-up has shared with more than 200 registrants.
Interestingly, all speakers have mentioned two common key components of future strategies, people and technology.
People, who have been managing properties and facilities for hundreds of years (e.g. property managers have been key players since the Roman Empire times), have been under immense pressure during the past few years with challenges such as raising the bar of transparency and trust, managing documentation in an efficient and safe way, and being able to track and know what is actually happening in the managed property.
Technology, on the other hand, appeared only recently and being initially misunderstood and looked on as a job terminator, has now gained a strategic priority in terms of adoption and adaptation to the current needs of the Facility Management industry.
The past few years, darkened by a never seen global pandemic, have totally changed the negative perception of how technology could be of significant help in raising the bar of efficient property and facility management. The speed of adoption and implementation of digitalization has opened a new way of managing buildings, collecting, and analyzing information and data in real-time, to predict emergencies, health threats and equipment performance.
The main success factors to enable a real change in how property and facility will be managed in the future are summarized below and to watch the whole webinar and listen to the recommendations and tips directly from the invited speakers, follow this link to the video recording in ServeDeck’s YouTube channel.
Why should we apply predictive analysis only to maintenance?
Mr Ali Al Suwaidi has been emphasizing the fact that data should be used to predict much more than simple equipment maintenance and be applied to all the distinct functions and risk areas within a given property. The future is data-driven, but we need to learn how to use data in a forward-looking manner.
Engaging in Data-Driven Decision-Making processes implies learning how to leverage data analytics and facility management software to gather insights, make informed decisions and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs). Finally, data-driven decision-making optimizes operations and resource allocation through real-time monitoring.
Is up-skilling a must in the Facility Management digitalisation process?
Technology adoption carries the need for learning and up-skilling for all involved in its use. It is a normal and logical process which does not mean becoming an IT expert! We just need to learn how to use technology to ease and perfect our daily work.
All Facility Management businesses should invest in the Training and Development of their teams’ members. Providing regular training and professional development opportunities for facility management staff will allow them to stay updated with industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies and use them to manage facilities while enabling their adaptability to fast-changing needs and new digital tools.
Is adapting to continuous change the new normal for FM?
Change has become the new norm. From hybrid work to new needs for security and safety, energy efficiency and more, the professional performance of a FM manager needs to be highly adaptive.
Digitalized platforms helping FM managers to keep track of everything under their watch have become an indispensable tool not only for daily management but, when effectively used, to enhance the overall performance of the building. Nowadays, talking about building performance automatically spells sustainability and ESG framework.
Incorporating sustainable practices into facility management by reducing energy consumption, optimizing water usage, promoting waste reduction, recommending recycling practices, and implementing renewable energy sources have become part of a change that must happen!
This will not only benefit the environment but also reduces overall management costs, enhances the reputation of the facility, and raise the users’ satisfaction by making their “experience” within the premise special.
What are the challenges and future opportunities for Facility Management businesses?
Ts. Maziah, an officer from JKR (Malaysian Ministry of Public Works), has highlighted a sharp analysis of the current challenges that the facility management industry needs to face and the opportunities hidden behind them.
Digital Transformation adoption, on a global scale, implies a lightening of the bureaucratic practices' weight, with both government and local authorities lagging in aligning their SOPs to a digitalized present!
Speaking from the public sector side of Facility Management, the speaker has also highlighted how people in the public sector must change their mindset and up-skill competencies while a higher budget shall be allocated to bring knowledge and new soft/hard resources.
Opportunities reside within an increased ability to see the bigger picture and use digitalized solutions to streamline processes to increase efficiency.
Keeping abreast of evolving regulations and standards related to facility management, such as building standards, energy efficiency requirements, and environmental certifications, will demonstrate the commitment of Facility Management professionals and ensures the facilities they manage operate in a responsible and sustainable way.
Can we choose to be sustainable?
All speakers and panellists emphasized the urgency for all property and facility management practitioners to prioritize sustainable practices as a critical strategy. Complying with the ESG framework is no longer a choice, as asset owners are already evaluating and rating their facility management service providers’ ESG performance.
Adopting smart digital solutions and technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, energy efficiency practices and more will contribute to enhancing the building’s ESG performance while guaranteeing a safe and enjoyable experience to all users.
The need to transform plans into sustainable and measurable actions is the only way to move forward. Making a Real Difference also means applying this to property and facility management, and it can be realized at reasonable costs with impactful outcomes.
Digitalization of Property & Facility Management is the transformation of manual processes and SOPs into automated flows and cycles often regulated by data reading points within the building. Energy efficiency, indoor air quality and water consumption are three areas where improvement can be achieved with:
- Preventive maintenance of HVAC systems, investment in air filtration systems, and monitoring CO2 levels. Good indoor air quality contributes to the well-being and productivity of occupants, reducing health risks and absenteeism.
- Ample use of smart technology devices to manage light and temperature accordingly to levels of building occupancy.
- Continuously monitoring the health status of the building and looking for areas of improvement.
Is fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration a good strategy?
Installing regular evaluation of processes and always seeking innovative solutions with all team members will help reduce reactive practices, costly and often ineffective, and introduce predictive and preventive protocols instead.
Implementing feedback mechanisms will highlight areas for improvement or optimization and, finally, being ready to embrace innovative technologies and industry trends to be always ahead of the curve towards a consistent enhancement of Property & Facilities Management (P&FM) practices.
Datuk Sr Hj. Kamarulzaman bin Mat Salleh, Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, has graced the opening of the World FM Day webinar with longsighted remarks. He underlined that technology is offering a unique and fantastic opportunity that all property and facility practitioners should embrace, starting by deepening their knowledge about its application and implications in Property & Facility Management best practices.
He also mentioned that not only Property & Facilities Management professionals but all stakeholders in the ecosystem should understand the importance of this move. As Datuk Sr Hj. Kamarulzaman is also the president of the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM). He remarked that professional associations need to encourage and create opportunities for their members to learn and apply technology in their daily professional work!
Property and facility management future must be driven by technology adoption, and adopted solutions, such as ServeDeck, a leading CMMS software in Malaysia, need to be all-in-one, fully integrated, and cloud-based, allowing real-time updates and easy accessibility from anywhere at any time.
ServeDeck's commitment to the Property & Facility Management industry is to keep developing easy-to-use and innovative digital tools to “Making a Real Difference by Enabling Real Change” towards building management excellence!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author, Dr Daniele Gambero.
Dr Gambero has been an expatriate to Malaysia from Italy, since 1998 and has more than 35 years of real estate experience. He is the co-founder and group CEO of REI Group of Companies, the Co-founder of Propenomy.com and the president of the Malaysia Proptech Association.
In the past 10 years Daniele, as international and TEDX speaker, has engaged several hundreds thousand people talking about Property, Economy, Propenomy, Digital Marketing and Motivation. He is also a bestselling author and columnist on several magazines and main stream media. You can reach him directly through his LinkedIn page here.
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