The UK Facilities market is currently worth £111billlion a year to the UK economy and is set to grow considerably.
Technology is changing the way we do everything, from communicating, to working to making payments. The need for technology innovations in facilities management is becoming increasingly more apparent as we watch the sector develop and the opportunities rise. CAFM software provider, Service Works Group conducted research earlier this year and found 27% of facilities management professionals identify technology as a challenge for future success for a variety of reasons.
With the terror threats we are experiencing today, it is imperative security strategies are implemented seamlessly and accurately. Technology developments are constantly equipping facilitates management professionals with more opportunities to implement secure procedures to ensure their asset is safe. The Benchmark innovation awards are just one example of the amount of quality new advancements in the security sector. Tyco won the Access Control (Software) category this year for their powerful, flexible security management system, linking an array of security platforms together in one integrated platform. Awards like these are encouraging developers to make further advancements to security platforms, integrating and utilising the evolution of technology to improve the security of properties.
Improvements in mobile technology and apps have allowed facility and building management professionals to be more flexible and productive with their time, the cloud has made it possible to access data anywhere, anytime. For example if there is a problem or accident it can be communicated quickly and the best team member can be referred, free space and room bookings can be dealt with easily, and technology offers the opportunity for better control and reporting so analysis of the current performance can be undertaken, and areas to be improved can be actioned directly.
Developments in technology have allowed sensors to be implemented across many areas of assets. Sensors are a great way to monitor aspects of properties quickly, and gain a clear performance insight. A great example of this is carpark sensors; you can instantly see how many spaces are available, allowing you to inform visitors where to go so they can find a space efficiently. As customer experience is becoming increasingly more important, this is a great way to ensure individuals are satisfied as soon as they arrive.
Considering sustainable environment factors is becoming progressively more significant in the facilities management sector. Conscious efforts can be seen to invest in green approaches, for example utilising technology in waste management strategies. Technology allows facilities management professionals to monitor their waste daily, and respond to any negative trends quickly. The developments in building information technology have also enabled the design and construction of buildings to factor in environmental issues, ensuring it can be maintained efficiently and cost effectively.
Facilities management is becoming an increasingly more diverse and innovative sector – looking forward to seeing what the next developments will be!
Sebastian Osborne, Consultant, Facilities and Shopping Centre Management, Foundation Recruitment