Futuristic FM Trends to Watch in 2023 and Beyond
Since 2020, either soft or hard technologies have been taking over the stage of our lives as disruptive forces shaping and reshaping the way we live, work, play, learn and, above all, interact with the build environment. Almost 90% of our life is spent inside buildings that must be managed efficiently and safely. Let's go through the hot trend for soft/hard technologies applied to building management in 2023 and beyond!
In 2021, the global facility management industry was valued at above USD1 trillion and was expected to grow to USD1.9 trillion by the end of this decade. This impressive growth can be related to facilities management (FM) becoming a core and strategic part of business models across all industries.
Facility management brings people and process efficiency, workplace productivity, and safety while adding sustainability along the way by easing the approach and consequent compliance with the ESG framework.
The new paradigms of businesses' digitalisation, IoT, and data-driven operations and decisions are leading new ways to manage and operate buildings. Thus, facility managers must use these new possibilities to improve performance, reduce cost, and enhance service quality and user experience!
However, as the new normal has brought in the need to adapt to continuous changes, processes must harmonize too far beyond the simple leverage on technology! Latest industry trends towards digitalisation of the facility management ecosystem are unfolding daily, and many have already started penetrating the industry, only to dominate, in our view, in forthcoming years. 2023 is, for sure, going to be the year of FM trends and the following are the main ones to get ready for!
"We need to tie sustainability to economic outcomes and put a dollar value on the high-impact actions a company takes to sustainable solutions…" notes Terence Mauri, a leading business thinker, and author.
Sustainability, once applied to businesses, should be looked at from two different angles:
- In today's ESG-driven world, how businesses help minimizing the impact on the environment is a must-have strategy
- ESG compliance, though, cannot take away the vital "sustainability" of every business. This relates to product, business & revenue models, and people as the most valuable asset of every business.
Facility management makes these sustainability goals achievable with buildings becoming the playground.
Unfortunately, most FM players still need to become fully sustainable. The reason for this "back-log" in action comes from a misconception about digitalized solutions that many still see as a threat instead of a "helping hand."
Digitalized FM solutions transform manual or only digitized and "disconnected" processes into a fully integrated and interconnected solution where everything is available at once and, if cloud-based, accessible at any time and from anywhere.
Once studied and understood, Digital Twin technology has immense potential when applied to Facility Management.
Facility managers struggle to constantly deal with ever-changing demands and rising stakeholder expectations. As an example, to ensure a consistently positive and enjoyable tenant experience, a facility manager needs to be able to constantly communicate with all building occupants, in a seamless and not "intrusive" manner. The digital twin has emerged as an ideal solution to obtain a holistic view of the facility.
When time is of the essence, digital twin could help managers with better space and maintenance planning when addressing unprecedented challenges such as the need for social distancing or hybrid work shifts.
Energy efficiency is nowadays becoming a must for CRE. A digital twin can definitely offer a helping hand in achieving facilities' net-zero targets by identifying areas for lowering building emissions and reducing energy consumption. As a matter of fact, if the digital twin is combined with IoT, the cost reduction impact could be of up to 20%.
The world as we knew it in 2019 has been dramatically disrupted by the pandemic, and the business world is still struggling in the aftermath. Facilities have been totally revolutionized in the way users interact with them. Lesson learned, and we can say, we are now better prepared for lockdowns, remote or hybrid working, and all the safety measures that go with it.
However, the world is now facing a climate catastrophe, where timeframes given only two years ago have been totally revised towards much shorter ones!
Climate change has made summer heat many times more severe, fuelling blazes everywhere, scarcity of water a survival issue for many as well as floods dramatically disruptive for others.
In China and other areas of the world, scorching heat waves forced factories, offices, and schools to shut down their operations for more than a week.
In reply to all these new challenges, facilities must be "disaster ready" with plans to manage worst-case scenarios and climate change-resilient actions.
Some ideas of where facility managers should increase their readiness include:
Operations: Going contactless via biometric visitor management and easy & fast contact tracing in emergency situations.
Communication: Having fast and efficient communication channels with all stakeholders enables Facility managers to be constantly aware of their expectations and manage them in case of emergencies.
Climate Control: Leveraging on sensors for auto emergency lighting and auto climate control (automatic cooling systems to regulate temperatures).
Use of space: A recent PWC survey showed that 31% of business leaders plan to reduce their office space by optimizing workstations, office space design, and layout.
Safety: Remote working with careful consideration of whom is eligible and capable and who is not. Facility managers will need to define new SOP and get ready for any contingencies (i.e., contain the spread of infection).
As Facility Management stakeholders are realising, the power of data collection is humongous, and it is taking the lead towards fault detection, chiller optimization to sustainability reporting, energy efficiency, and much more. Each data set, brought under a specific data analytics framework, could enable the adoption of just-in-time strategies to improve tenant and visitor experience in their managed facilities.
Data-driven facilities management is becoming a great creator of business value, and its implementation’s ROI makes the "adoption decision" simple to take!
Data analytics in facility management is now shifting from simple and basic implementations to applications of sophisticated tools, enabling a profound use of data.
Integrated facilities management (IFM) has finally become the new way to achieve operational efficiencies in FM. Focusing on bringing vendors, processes, and software systems towards a common "playground," IFM aims to simplify work life and seamlessly streamline operations.
Facilities management can no longer use the old siloed operational framework, where different functions operate in a non-connected manner. Integration helps overcome these limitations by providing a common ground to manage all the extra levels of operations within one building. The integration allows businesses to bring oversight and coordination to a totally new level while cutting costs.
Facility managers can no longer afford to react only after encountering damages and emergencies. They must implement a smart maintenance process to prevent equipment breakdown and optimize downtime.
In this way, facilities will continue to operate seamlessly in optimal conditions providing the best possible experience to all users. From reactive to planned, preventive and predictive maintenance, this evolution has genuinely improved the old maintenance playbook!
The trends above highlight the significance of facility management in today's organizations' overall effectiveness. These trends, however, cannot be seen in isolation, and facility managers will need to adopt a holistic approach and streamline them.
With the tough competition and less time to experiment, cloud-based and fully integrated facility management software with strong analytics and mobile support can be a boon. Businesses are realizing this, as shown by the global facility management software market size, which is predicted to reach USD 3,585.8M by the end of this decade.
How to apply all the above to an existing FM business? We are here to help. An email is all we need to organise a demo session and get total clarity over DOs and DONTs. Follow this link to reach out to us.
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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