6 Reasons To Have A Facility Management Strategy & Elements Of An Effective Plan

6 Reasons To Have A Facilities Management Strategy & Elements Of An Effective Plan

For commercial building owners and managers, regardless of industry, maintaining a bird’s-eye view is a part of everyday life. This view not only helps you keep tabs on everything, it also prevents you from getting lost in the minute details of all the activity going on. But, without a facility management strategy, a bird’s-eye view can also keep you from looking ahead and averting disaster.

Whether you have one or a one-hundred facilities, a facility management strategy is critical to your long-term success. And with modern digital twin technology, you can make your facility management strategy more useful — and more accessible — than ever before.

What is a facility management strategy?

A facility management strategy is a comprehensive plan that helps you manage a facility and all that happens inside it. What a facility management strategy includes can vary depending on the building and industry, but typically they encompass:

  • A definition of the company's mission and goals

  • Expected outcomes or goals for the strategy

  • Facility management roles and what they entail

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks of facility management success

  • Facility maintenance, risk, and security practices and objectives

  • Long-term business continuity planning

Ultimately, a facility management plan should act as a north star for your organization when it comes to managing your various structures. It should help you better manage your facility, streamline communications and processes, and set yourself up for a sustainable future.

6 reasons to have a facility management strategy

A facilities management strategy delivers a number of benefits that can extend into nearly every facet of your business.

1. Access to your facility from anywhere and at any time

You might find yourself overwhelmed trying to coordinate and communicate effectively, whether you have a big portfolio of buildings or you’re in charge of a large, complex facility with numerous moving pieces. An effective facilities management strategy can help you establish communication practices that allow you to be everywhere at once.

Because facility management strategies are living documents, you can assess your current situation and revise them to meet whatever challenge you’re facing. Did you acquire another location? Reassess your communication strategy and include more streamlined digital comms and a chain of command for any issues that arise. For instance, SEACOMP, a business in the manufacturing division, is a believer in an open-door policy. But, when the pandemic hit in January of 2020, they could no longer invite customers to tour their production space. This posed a business development risk bypassing the important step of building customer trust through on-site tours.

They revisited their facility management strategy and realized they needed to update their approach to be more innovative. With Matterport's digital twin platform, they could deliver a lifelike virtual tour of their space. This allowed clients to explore the space and build trust in SEACOMP, despite the global situation. 

They were also able to use the digital twins to give their client-side engineers better information during assembly trials, improving their quality assurance program. Not only this, they could easily collaborate within the digital twin models and communicate issues. This reduced the need for employees and clients to travel to the manufacturing sites, saving them roughly $250,000 per-year on travel.

2. Cut down unplanned maintenance costs

It’s impossible to plan for everything, but with a strategic facilities management approach you can improve physical asset management and ultimately stay on top of potential maintenance needs better. 

When you’re managing facilities, it’s often difficult to have full visibility into everything happening inside. A fleshed out facilities strategy should go beyond a maintenance schedule, listing out stakeholders for various elements of the structure, details on equipment use, notes on energy efficiency, and more. And most importantly, a facility management strategy should examine any potential tech use cases that can help you wrangle in all the moving parts and processes to stay on top of preventative maintenance.

For example, Northumbrian Water, a UK-based water company, turned to digital twin technology to streamline asset management and delivery of service. Northumbrian Water is responsible for the water of roughly 2.7 million people. Water delivery is incredibly complex, requiring scrutinous maintenance and a high attention to detail.

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Using digital twins, Northumbrian Water is able to capture sites ahead of time and share the scans with crews. This allows them to cut down on repeat visits, and helps them plan for potential maintenance needs ahead of time. And, this has helped them accelerate the startup phase of new project development.

3. Integrate sensors and trackers for IIOT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is gaining traction beyond household appliance connectivity, across numerous industries and nearly every facet of facility operations. And for good reason: the IoT delivers more insight and data than previously possible and opens the door to true remote monitoring.

A facilities management strategy can provide both the high-level view you need to identify areas of opportunity for IoT devices, and the in-depth detail and strategy required to implement sensors and trackers effectively.

Say you have a large retail building or complex. Using your facilities management docs, you can assess what kind of safety concerns you have, where the greatest maintenance needs are, and where ideal spots for trackers and sensors are. Then, you can source and integrate these IoT devices and get in-depth use information and data, from HVAC performance to foot traffic patterns and more. These same IoT devices can even help you automate workflows.

Siemens, the global manufacturing business based out of Munich, has an in-house incubator group that looks for ways to better utilize technology, reduce risk, and drive productivity. Using Matterport’s scanning technology, they captured and created an Experience Center, allowing enterprises from all over the world to explore a showroom of their most innovative products and solutions. 

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See the Siemens experience center

They also captured a 4,000 m² production plant in Asia.This digital twin, coupled with IoT sensors and trackers, allows them to stay on top of everything from equipment performance to the flow of foot traffic. And, using the virtual tours powered by the digital twins, their team can virtually survey the plant without travel costs or interrupting production.

4. Improve staff training

Staff training, while important, often results in seasoned staff being pulled away from their work. On top of this, training is especially difficult if you have a distributed team, as it can result in costly travel.

Efficient facilities management that incorporates modern solutions can help you streamline training across your sites. When you have streamlined and accessible communication in place, along with outlets for your strongest employees to share their knowledge, you’re setting your new hires up for a better onboarding experience and ultimately investing in the future of your company.

Treedis is a technology provider and Matterport Platform Partner that looks to improve a number of industries by using immersive AR to enhance elements of facilities management.

For instance, they helped ICL, a leading global minerals company, develop photo-realistic virtual tours of their spaces. They included sound effects and gamification elements, making the training more entertaining for new hires. In one week of training, the ICL training experiences logged more than 13,000 visits from employees across 13 countries. Not only did this help the employees learn what they needed to know, it reduced travel costs and allowed the more seasoned employees to save time by sharing their knowledge during the creation of training — not every single training session.

5. Streamline planning and workflows

A comprehensive facilities strategy can help you examine all your various workflows, whether you have one or multiple structures. And, it can even help you streamline operations when dealing with any kind of capital project, be it a new build or renovation.

Central Lincoln People's Utility District, an electric utility in Oregon, was tasked with modernizing their power transport system. With 32 substations and 45 sites across 750 square miles, the project would be costly no matter what. They worked with the design team at Burns & McDonnell to guide the utility district through this project and refine the scope, starting with four test sites.

The team at Burns & McDonnell revamped the facility strategy of the Central Lincoln People's Utility District, using the Matterport Pro2 3D camera to capture digital twins of four sites. The time the utility district saved by using virtual tours to review substations has saved them more than 250 site visits across four years.

6. Improve space planning and utilization

When you’re thinking holistically about your facilities, you can identify areas of opportunity to improve your space planning and overall utilization of sites.

For instance, without a facilities management strategy, you could be missing current design documentation and have no idea your current space has an issue with foot traffic congestion, or is wasting valuable retail space. Whereas if you have something like digital twins incorporated into your day-to-day facility strategy, you can quickly assess accurate floor plans of your spaces in no time. And if you’re using IoT devices, you can even see where congested spots are. From there, you can streamline the flow of traffic, reorganize spaces, and ultimately get more out of your facilities. 

Improved space utilization helps your bottom line, and it can help improve customer satisfaction when the spaces are more pleasant to be in.

4 elements of an effective facilities management strategy

It’s clear that an effective facilities management strategy can help you make decisions, stay on top of facility projects, and even forecast facility needs. But, in order for this to happen, you need all the right data in an accessible place, a way to handle repairs and maintenance, and the ability to use all these insights in a way that impacts your bottom line.

To make this vision a reality, there are a number of elements that go into a successful facilities management strategy.

1. Company goals and vision

First and foremost, your company’s goals and vision should be at the heart of your facilities management strategy. Think short-term and long-term.

  • What are the KPIs for your company?

  • What’s most important right now?

  • What’s the future look like for your company?

  • What challenges can you solve with facilities management?

  • Does your facilities plan align with the org’s core values?

When mapping out your plan for communication, maintenance, roles and responsibilities, tech, and so on, think about whether or not each element aligns with the values of your company. Is each decision moving the company toward its goals?

2. Safety, risk, and maintenance

One of the biggest values of a facilities management strategy is the ability to mitigate risk and support preventative maintenance. Your strategy needs to include a comprehensive plan for safety, risk, and maintenance.

Think about your site or sites and who you have on the ground. What kind of maintenance schedule makes the most sense? Do you have the information you need to fully assess the safety of the location? Who should take ownership or safety, risk, and maintenance and what are the protocols when an issue arises?

3. Actionable insights (and a plan to use them)

Your strategy shouldn’t just streamline facilities management, it should lend itself to improved management over time by way of actionable insights. The world isn’t static and your plan will have to evolve as the market and occupant needs change. To do this, you need real-time data and a way to leverage it.

Within your strategy, include details on how you’re going to get the actionable insights you need. Does this mean using IoT devices? What kind of devices and who will be responsible for them? What analytical tools will you need to extract insights from the data?

4. Forward-thinking approach to tech

To get the most out of your facilities strategy, and your business, you need to be willing to embrace new technology. You need the ability to pivot on a dime, support a potentially distributed staff, prevent — rather than react to — maintenance and disaster, and quickly deliver information to your team members.

As exemplified by the numerous aforementioned companies, digital twins are one piece of technology that can make a drastic difference in your facilities management strategy. The Matterport platform supports facilities management by allowing for the quick creation of digital twins, giving you a unified view of your spaces and data, and fostering collaboration through a number of tools.

Using AWS IoT TwinMaker you can even combine live data from multiple sources and IoT devices into the visual replica of the space, giving data immediate physical context. This makes it possible to inspect virtual spaces with real-time information from on-site IoT sensors and trackers, allowing for unprecedented access to sites without actually being at the workspace.

See how Matterport can help you with our facility management solution today.

Facilities management strategies are in-depth and detailed. If you have further questions, we’ve got answers.


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