By this point, facility managers know that data is the future of facilities administration. However, up to 73% of all data collected still goes unused. The true cost of letting all this data go to waste cannot be tracked, but in an increasingly competitive smart building market, facility managers know that the more data they have and use, the better.
Many buildings — both new and existing — are introducing smart building technologies to their infrastructure. With smart building tech, facility managers are able to perform their tasks more efficiently than ever. The more efficient your facilities are, the easier it is to meet the bottom line.
What Is Data Management Software?
Smart building tech tracks data, and that data is best used through data management software. This is an all-in-one location for data, and the software is proving to be superior to alternative ways of conducting facility management.
Most data management software interacts with the cloud, meaning that all data is stored in a remote location. This is a safer and more efficient way to store and access data, as we’ll explain later.
Many types of data management software are available, and some integrate with each other. For example, SmartCSM is designed to interact with other software to maximize the use of your electrical data.
Why Pay for Data Management Software?
Yes, paying for data management software to reduce costs may seem counterintuitive. However, the real costs saved can easily outweigh the costs of using the software. Many facility managers have already realized this, which is part of the reason smart building investments are hitting new highs.
Here are some of the ways data management software can reduce your operating costs.
Reduce Energy Costs
Specific to industries such as facility administration, the use of data management software can lead to reduced energy costs.
Software such as SmartCSM tracks electricity use for lighting, HVAC, and plumbing throughout a building. Through data management software, facility managers can then analyze the use of electricity at all hours.
Oftentimes, facility managers find that they are not using electricity efficiently.
Increased energy efficiency is one of the biggest reasons facility managers implement smart building tech. After analyzing data, facility managers can make better decisions in regard to energy use. Smart tech can automatically adjust energy allocation and use, all with no negative impact on buildings and the environment they provide for workers.
In fact, some buildings could see up to a 20% reduction in energy use through the use of data management software.
Go Green to Save Green
Not only does going green help reduce your building’s carbon footprint, but it can lead to significant savings in the form of reduced taxes.
Energy efficiency is one of the most important steps in creating a green building, and it’s an incredibly popular trend among facility managers right now. Cities also like green buildings that put less of a strain on their current electrical infrastructure while polluting less than nongreen buildings.
Businesses that are looking for a new office also place a premium on buildings that go green. In an increasingly competitive space, buildings that embrace green technology may have a higher chance of attracting some of the top businesses.
Save Time With an All-in-One Location
Everyone has experienced the time-wasting and frustrating task of parsing through stacks of paper to find one specific piece of information. For years, this was the only way to safely store and access data.
Thanks to the rapid development of cloud solutions, facility managers can make paper records a thing of the past.
Data management software, such as SmartCSM, provides an all-in-one digital location to create, store, and edit files. So, instead of searching for a piece of paper that has notes on your building’s electrical infrastructure, you can use any platform with internet access to quickly find the information.
[ Related: Save 30-40% of Your Time with SmartCSM ]
Saving time has clear benefits for reducing costs. For starters, cutting the time it takes to find information increases the overall efficiency of your team. Less time spent searching for information means more time spent elsewhere.
Also, by speeding up access to information, workers can implement fixes more quickly. So, in the event of imminent electrical failure — or after it has already occurred — any long-term costs associated with fixing the equipment are reduced, or potentially avoided entirely.
To ensure that all necessary records have been digitized, your provider should facilitate the process. For example, SmartCSM works rapidly to digitize your information. This shortens the onboarding process and allows you and your team to focus on your work, not the software, while changes are implemented.
From repetitive actions to unnecessary personnel, facility administration is often rife with redundancies.
How many times have you had a worker check on a potential electrical issue only to learn that someone else checked it just hours ago? Even one hiccup like this can eat up hours of productivity from multiple workers.
Data management software provides a location where everyone can log what they’ve done and when they’ve done it. Because this information is stored in the cloud, anyone can access the information from any device. Keeping all data stored and up to date, or achieving data consistency, means no second-guessing what tasks have been completed and what needs to be addressed.
When you achieve data consistency, you and your employees will be able to track everything that needs to be addressed. Instead of wasting time trying to find issues, workers can find problems with ease.
Not only does increased efficiency mean faster and better reactions, but it can also reduce the required man hours to keep a facility running. For facilities stretched thin, this means cutting the number of overtime hours logged. Overstaffed facilities can use this information to find unnecessary personnel to reduce long-term costs.
Make Real-Time Decisions
One of the most overlooked parts of using data management software is that facility managers and workers are provided with real-time updates. This means making real-time decisions.
Beyond saving time, quicker decision making could avoid potential costs. For example, an electrical issue or mechanical failure could easily cause long-term damage to equipment. With real-time information, facility managers can address the issue in just a matter of minutes, reducing the damage done to the machinery and increasing the lifespan of the equipment.
You can also avoid the costs associated with failed equipment. If the lighting in a building is failing, people in the building may be forced to go home. This can critically cut into the productivity of a large business. Data management software mitigates the risk of this happening.
[ Case Study: How Tormed Is Saving Thousands Each Year With Digital Mapping ]
Scale at Will
Scalability is a huge buzz word within many circles right now. When something is scalable, it can efficiently change sizes at will to meet your needs.
Cloud storage is scalable, so you only need to pay for as much as you need. When you need more, it will be available to you, and you can seamlessly move your information. Scalability is essentially a cost-effective way to adjust your services as your business changes.
For facility managers, information is critical. You need to know what’s going on at any given moment to make informed decisions. As a result, many facility managers have memorized huge amounts of information about their facilities.
But what happens when a facility manager retires? How does the next facility manager step in? By digitizing information, the transition from one facility manager to another becomes smoother than ever.
But this isn’t the only way that data management software can help you reduce costs by protecting your information.
One obvious drawback of digitizing information is that information stored online is at risk of being stolen or compromised. Poor data security can lead to huge costs, so facility managers need to address the security of their online information.
But that’s one of the biggest benefits of the cloud. Cloud-stored information is actually incredibly safe, in part because the information is stored in a remote location.
While storing your information in the cloud doesn’t cut costs, you greatly reduce the chance of incurring huge costs due to lost or stolen information.
Learn From the Data
While collecting, analyzing, and using data sounds simple enough, it’s easier said than done. Companies aren’t always sure what to do with the data they’ve collected.
Data that shows electrical use has obvious applications, such as reducing energy use at times of day when it isn’t needed.But other data that may seem useless could save your business a significant amount of money in the future.
Here are a few ways that data can reduce your future costs.
Data management software does more than just provide you with a snapshot of your building; it continuously analyzes your building and constantly collects data.
With this data, you and your team can start to formulate a better strategy for addressing issues — including those that haven’t happened yet.
Most buildings have likely generated a plan for responding to disasters. However, these plans tend to rely on paper data, and floor plans for buildings are rarely generated online unless through data management software.
Through your software, you can generate digital files that are accessible from anywhere and that address what to do in the event of a specific disaster. Beyond the physical, you can store pertinent information, such as insurance documents, in the cloud through the software. Emergency contact information for a specific disaster can also live in the cloud, reducing the time it takes to respond.
As facility managers become more adept with data management software, strategic planning will only become better and more efficient, further reducing long-term costs and mitigating potential future costs.
Once you’ve started tracking your building, you’ll likely be making smart changes to your budget in order to save money. However, facility managers shouldn’t stop there.
After you adjust your budget, continue to track data. Your new budget is likely going to have an impact on your building’s procedures, and depending on the results, you may want to assess your budget again.
By following this process multiple times, you can find the most efficient way to allocate resources while staying within your budget. The long-term cost-saving potential of a move like this is significant.
Cut Indirect Costs
How do you measure costs that aren’t directly related to, but are heavily influenced by, facility management? Of course, this is nearly impossible, but better facility management has clear benefits for other sectors.
Take the average worker in your building. They may be more productive when the temperature is ideal, and any electrical faults may distract them. It’s impossible to measure how much money is saved (or made) by keeping the environment ideal for everyone; however, better facility management can provide obvious efficiency benefits.
Switching to a data management software such as SmartCSM can also cut the costs of printing data records. Also, because physical records will no longer be required, you’ll be saving additional space and cutting down on storage costs.
By keeping records in the cloud, you can also easily share information with people outside of facility management, if that’s ever necessary. Moving information quickly and accurately saves time and money.
Many More Savings to Come
As smart tech starts to become the new norm for buildings, facility managers who have adopted the tech will already be well ahead of the curve. This will make it easier to introduce new tech as it comes out, reducing the time and costs of updates.
By collecting data, facility managers may also be able to find new ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality or efficiency. We’re still in the early stages of smart buildings, but the future of the industry looks bright — as does the future of facility management. Now is the time to prepare for it.