Implementing IoT in Facilities Management is imminent, so you might as well Embrace it and Take Advantage of the Acquired Metrics, Increased Productivity and Reduced Labor Costs!
Technology is ubiquitous in our information age. We connect devices together into vast networks of data-driven tech. This includes the Internet of Things (IoT), which simply is the group of interlinked “sensors, meters, appliances and other devices that are capable of sending and receiving data.” They range from remote control HVAC systems to ‘smart’ floor cleaning equipment.
The Internet of Things in the context of facilities management means that FMs equip janitorial tools with smart sensors that give real-time feedback. It also means that buildings are ‘smarter’: They can provide data on maintenance needs, save energy, and employee productivity.
‘Smarter’ Buildings and Predictive Maintenance Through IoT
Building automation and smart buildings have been a part of facilities management for a while now, but not on the scale that IoT brings. The research firm Gartner predicts close to 70% of all companies will utilize IoT by year 2020. Sooner than later, mechanics will equip most commercial buildings with connected tech.
We could call these ‘smarter buildings’, where FMs can manage energy remotely, lighting is connected to the internet for smarter energy consumption, and mechanics can predict maintenance before costly repairs. According to Office Space, Boeing regularly saves 13% because of predictive maintenance.
In fact, as Service Futures puts it, IoT can turn your reactive maintenance habits to proactive habits. Instead of reacting to costly repairs, IoT can feed you information about a failing part before the whole system fails.
Improved Cleaning and Productivity
Utilizing IoT data through a management system, like Computer Aided Facilities Management software (CAFM), means taking advantage of vast amounts of information for increasing cleaning efficiency.
As Clean Link shows, IoT means that sensors can send alerts when dispensers are empty in bathrooms. They can also track cleaning equipment and employee productivity. This type of data mapping can a lot on labor costs.
Nicole Bowman of Clean Link also mentions IoT’s usefulness with floor cleaning equipment like autoscrubbers. Because autoscrubbers are often battery-powered, IoT prevents any mystery about the state of the scrubber’s battery: “The ability to ensure that the machine will be charged and properly maintained to last through an entire strip job, would avoid expensive delays, and recoup a return on investment swiftly.”
Expected ROI of Implementing IoT
Although prices for IoT are steep at first, you can get a huge ROI in a short period of time. Research done by McKinsey has forecasted that “energy monitoring could result in savings of 20%.” In addition to this, “IoT security applications could reduce labor costs by 20%-50%.”
The data produced by The Internet of Things gives you intimate snapshots of your ROI. Depending on how large scale your IoT plan is though, you may need to go into a partnership. Or collaborate with other facilities managers and share data.