Unlock the secrets of your facility through reliable and quality data
Facility management encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology (IFMA.org). It covers a lot of area and discipline. It has a wide scope that covers the facility, or the built environment, and the people in the organisation. Most facility departments need to collect a wide spectrum of information properly, organise and analyse data in order for the facility to run smoothly.
“What gets measured, gets managed.” – Peter Drucker, management consultant, author.
The first challenge for the facility department is to set up and/or maintain a facility database. Data quality has always been a challenge within the facility management industry; thus a lot of thought and planning should be done in selecting the right tool to get the job done. There has never been an easy way to collect data or to update existing data. It is important to choose the tool that has a fast collection speed without jeopardising the quality and consistency of the data collected. It must also be easy to maintain or schedule.
After numerous years of experience in data collection for hundreds of clients in the built industry, we have found that it is very much possible to increase data quantity to over 50 percent while improving consistency and greatly reducing the time and cost in doing so. An example is a large fund manager that manages over $11 billion worth of properties. The company had an existing asset register for a 24-storey commercial property that contained 350 assets for base building. Within a day, our system collected 1750 assets for the same areas. It was a 500 percent increase in its seven-year old asset database!
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Data alone isn’t much use until it is analysed. Now that the data is made available to the facility manager, the manager can make informed choices based on the data received. A decision backed with data is more effective than a decision made without a basis. The beauty of analysing data is that the insight that you get is true to your own facility. You can see which areas your facility can improve and which practices can be continued. In time, due to simple, efficient and in-depth analysis, the facility can streamline its activities and develop action plans that will greatly benefit the facility and the people in it.
An example is a large university client that wanted to implement a new CMMS (computerised maintenance management system), but had no current asset register to populate its system. Our system gathered a total of 250,000 assets from the existing facilities. It has quickly identified over 40,000 maintenance issues, 1000 compliance issues and more than 30,000 inefficient light fittings throughout the portfolio.
Reliable data can do a lot in cost reduction. From the example above, it enabled the facility to reduce energy consumption in the facility. Armed with proper data, the facility was able to identify potential wastes and design strategies to improve energy consumption, greatly reducing these types of wastes, and helping the facility lower its expenditure. The insights gathered from the data led to better financial control of this facility.
“When we have all data online, it will be great for humanity. It is a prerequisite to solving many problems that humankind faces.” – Robert Cailliau, informatics engineer.
We are now in the internet era where information is just a click away. More and more applications and services utilise the cloud to store information. A piece of information or data can be retrieved wherever you are located, as long as there is an internet connection. You can pull up data anytime, increasing your control over your facility’s database. A facility management tool that is cloud-based increases efficiency and convenience. It is instrumental in maintaining data quality because asset data entered from the field is readily made available to facility managers for timely decision-making and management.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley, author.
The Aston-i system is faster and smarter than any facility management system tools currently available. It has a growing industry cost and life cycle database of over 2500 assets and can complement your current system – there is no need to change your system. The Aston-i system can update your old system or create a better asset register for improved data collection and analysis. It has numerous report options, from life cycle reports and graphs to maintenance schedules that will suit the needs of your facility.
Facility management can be a daunting task. With the right tool and adequate support, however, you can streamline your data collection and the analysis that is suitable for your facility. Make your data work for you, and we at Aston Industries will be there to provide the best professional help that you could get in this day and age. Contact us for a free demonstration.
This article also appears in the June/July issue of Facility Management magazine.
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