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Role of technology in FM for best practices

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“Technology used in isolation, is bound to fail,” said Sreedhar Saraswathi, Business Head – South Asia, ARCHIBUS during his presentation at the IFM Summit organized by Buildotech in Mumbai. According to him, the emphasis should be on 5-Cs: Continuity, Consolidation, Control, Collaboration, and Citizenship.

Disruptive technologies can be utilized to maximize the real estate, space and building assets, offering cost savings and value. These technologies include.

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) that provides building data in digital format to operators and planners and helps improve the performance and costs of the project. Integrating BIM data with other building systems allows data to be continuously updated over the life of the building improving data visibility and efficiency. The latest BIM version available is 8.0
  • Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) that uses IT-based systems in the built environment, combines ComputerAided Design (CAD) and database with specific facility management abilities such as, identifying departments and staff, space access rights and security level, as well as space planning and forecasting etc. When multiple data is integrated on one platform, the same is known as Computer-Integrated Facilities Management (CIFM). It provides a single, comprehensive repository of information that tracks the organization’s people, places and physical assets.
  • Facility managers can use the BIM model to scenario plan and configure spaces more efficiently. When integrated with engineering, the same software is termed as Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management (TIFM). These systems are comprehensive, integrated solutions that tie together the people, processes, places, and physical assets which form the core of productive organizations
  • The latest software platform for FM is an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) that helps organizations optimize the use of workplace resources, including the management of a company’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure and facilities assets. On the other hand, Ubiquitous Infrastructure and Facilities Management (UIFM) can collate data in any shape and form like SQL, Excel, Oracle etc. in the framework to generate reports for facility managers. UIFM connects over 10,000 touch points to and from real estate, infrastructure and facilities management activities.

A platform encompassing -property management, asset management, facility management, building operations & sustainability is called Enterprise information modelling EIM.

Enterprise Information Modeling, an industry standard scheme, models the organization’s infrastructure, supports the workflows, processes, and activities within the four disciplines – Infrastructure Management: Properties, Facilities, Technology, and Operations Management. It provides a holistic approach to Facilities and Infrastructure lifecycle management.

While BIM focuses on technologies and models, EIM emphasis is on workflow and processes. It covers building’s entire lifecycle by helping allocate, optimize, enable and preserve the resources i.e. addressing the five Cs for personal and organizational benefits. EIM correlates design data and finance and master planning data with the rest of the enterprise.

Using BIM with FM

Typically, data is lost as each stakeholder adds and edits data. The FM wastes time trying to recreate that data. Facility managers and owners don’t look at facilities one building at a time.  They look at 10, 100 or even 100’s of building and try to gain efficiencies across portfolios.  By storing BIM-generated data an owner can gain efficiencies across the entire portfolio rather than one building at a time.

BIM can model physical relationships and capture data and when used with FM platform can analyze, manage and manipulate the data for its consumers which can be anyone from the CEO making strategic decisions to the office employee need the heat turned down in his office. With BIM an organization can save 2-3% but by combining BIM with FM, it can save up to 34%. by ensuring:

  • Robust Data/Information Connectivity and Quality Assurance
  • Improved Building and Asset Lifecycle Management
  • Enterprise-Wide Scalability and Accessibility
  • Automatic Financial System Updates
  • Improved On-going Collaboration
  • Increased Productivity and Profitability

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is now becoming prevalent for both businesses and consumers, whether through Apple’s iCloud, use of social networks or shared software such as that available from Google. It allows organizations to benefit from reduced costs and increased productivity. The various modes of deployment are:

  • On-Premise: Traditional Sales Model where the customer owns software and deploys on-Site.
  • Off-Premise Hosted: Known as “Condo” Model where the customer owns Software and is hosted by 3rd Party Off-Site..
  • On Demand: “Software as a Service” (SaaS) Model where the customer does not own software.
  • On Demand –Dedicated Server:  SaaS Model where the customer does not own software.

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