The Human Equation of Facility Management
|Michael Newman | Director, Human Centered Design
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
With growing industry interests in facility management and how building automation can benefit facility managers, we decided to shed a spotlight on the topic at our 2017 E360 Annual Conference. To hear more about today’s trends and how you can apply them to your facility, click here.
In the past, facility management was often a service that companies would handle in-house. As many companies have ever-expanding footprints, they’ve found it more challenging to manage the facility aspects — which has resulted in more outsourced facility management. Studies show that approximately 14 percent growth is expected in residential and commercial building population, meaning more buildings need to be managed. And let’s not forget that as outsourced facility management is in the upswing, there is a requirement to manage more contracts on a much broader scale with ever-decreasing resources, compounding the situation. The market is growing increasingly complex, and facility managers are facing an array of new issues. These include:
- Generating more cost savings
- Managing environmental concerns
- A shrinking amount of necessary resources
- The growing technician shortage
Building automation can help alleviate these problems. With the goal of efficient response, operators need to build the abilities to recognize problems, sensory processing, perception, decision-making and response capabilities into systems. If buildings can gather all of this information and feed it back to facility managers, these managers will have a more holistic understanding of the performance across their entire operation.
However, this data and information are useless if they can’t be interpreted or used correctly. As facility management becomes more complex, it’s important to focus designs and algorithms that are user-friendly, easy to understand and logical. One way to keep facility managers from experiencing information overload is to work toward automating management systems, allowing the technology to fully interpret the situation before setting off an alarm or alerting an operator.
The goal of building and system automation is not to replace humans. As technology evolves, so do our jobs. Automation simply allows operators to interact with new systems and gain access to extensive data. Automation allows for predictive and preventative maintenance, enabling the system to analyze data and predict exactly when and where it will need maintenance.
This kind of software allows us to more efficiently concentrate our efforts on problems and helps eliminate complexity, surfacing what’s important when it matters. For a more comprehensive look into facility management and building automation and what trends could be on the horizon, be sure to watch the full presentation here