22 Mar 2024

AI in Facilities management


Facilities management has traditionally been plagued by outdated, manual processes and paperwork, setting management teams and their facilities back in terms of productivity and performance. In the wake of the growing trend of digitization with the continued development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT devices and more, facilities management has an opportunity to streamline processes, automate workflows and overall improve performance. Historically, process management apps have worked to resolve these issues, providing templated formats for specific workflows. But, like the data inputs, most facilities have unique requirements, processes and operational needs, requiring a customizable and flexible process management app that can integrate facility data and AI to maximize their resources, visualize their data and maintain compliance across all operations. 


How can AI be used in facilities management?

Every facility has data at their fingertips. However, having the ability to integrate and visualize the data, as well as automate workflows based on information identified from the data, is another story. By leveraging technology such as AI, IoT smart sensors, automation and more, facilities managers can make their data work harder for them, improving operational efficiency, performance, and productivity. In addition to streamlining workflows and improving processes, integrated systems that leverage AI can also support compliance, helping facilities managers evidence against all compliance requirements and maintain compliant practices at all times. 



How Al Can Improve Operational Efficiency in Facilities

Forty-eight percent of businesses are optimizing the use of artificial intelligence to improve productivity, demonstrating AI’s advantages to operational success and energy efficiency. Without the tedious practices such as traditional filing of paperwork or manual scheduling, facilities managers can drive success for their facility, while having their data, combined with AI, work harder for them. By using a flexible and customizable process management app to measure, filter and visualize a facility’s data, workflows and tasks can be automated based on insights from the data, reducing costs and maximizing resources. 


Streamlining Facilities Management with AI

By implementing a process management app with AI, facilities management can ensure resources are being used at their full potential. For example, cleaning crews traditionally follow rigid and recurring schedules for cleaning facilities. While this may keep areas clean, it often wastes resources by assuming all areas are used the same amount and require the same cleaning frequencies. By utilizing IoT smart sensors, facilities management can get a clear understanding of room usage through automated data analysis of door openings, foot traffic and more. Tracking environmental inputs such as temperature or motion, IoT sensors provide real-time and accurate data that can inform operational decision making.  In addition to smart sensors, technology such as Near Field Communication (NFC) or QR tags can help managers oversee and manage scheduling by tracking and providing a real-time view of their workforce. This visibility allows management to accommodate absences quicker and properly staff their teams, which can be critical in industries such as security patrolling, cleaning and maintenance. 


Cost Savings and Performance Enhancements

When utilizing process management apps such as mpro5, facilities managers are granted insurmountable cost savings and performance enhancements, through reduced need for physical labor, enhanced preventative maintenance, less paperwork and room for error, and more. So much so, as per American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), smart buildings with integrated systems can help realize 30 to 50 percent savings. With smart facilities management software, employees can cut time on unnecessary manual labor and tasks, and focus instead on what matters most - the data. Process management apps enhance overall operational efficiencies through correctly funneled live data that instantly triggers notifications and proper workflows for reporting results instantly. 



AI-Driven Data Tracking & Visualization

Digital transformation has made it possible for facilities operators to obtain real-time dynamic data with intelligent insights and accurate analytics. Through AI’s live data interpretation, facilities management can visualize and extract valuable information to optimize facility operations that lay the foundation for preventive maintenance strategies. The importance of AI-driven data tracking and visualization in facilities management can not be understated. 

Enhancing Client Transparency

With manual processes and paperwork, transparency has traditionally been unavailable to facilities management teams, prompting time-consuming reporting practices to understand productivity and performance. To streamline this process and provide enhanced visibility, mpro5’s process management app offers easily digestible reports via live dashboards, making it easy for management to identify top needs and anticipate future problem areas. This easily accessible transparency not only offers management with real-time updates on the status of their operations, but also benefits clients, instilling trust for a deep-rooted, smooth partnership. According to MIT Sloan’s research, customers will pay 2-to 10-percent more to companies that provide greater visibility into operations. 


Compliance Management with AI

Compliance is a crucial aspect of facilities management, as it underscores the ability for business’ reputation, performance and profitability to soar. AI-assisted process management apps are revolutionizing this, providing facilities managers real time, 24/7 access to smart data that can drastically help operations effectively implement, prove and maintain compliance. 


Ensuring Facility Compliance

Manually checking data, such as timestamps or form submissions, for accuracy can make compliance management slow, while wasting valuable time and resources. In addition, for facilities to maintain compliance standards, the data must be accurate, as it determines key decisions, updates and reports. Despite best efforts, accuracy isn’t always guaranteed, as human error can create inaccuracy when the data is inputted into a system or quickly backdated to save time. That said, by leveraging a process management app, facilities can implement safeguards that ensure proper data entry and corresponding workflows to meet compliance every step of the way. For example, by requiring specific questions and timestamping every input within a workflow, the process management app can track and ensure compliance, while providing facilities managers with the opportunity to quickly review and identify the issue if an incident occurs. With accurate data at their fingertips, facilities management can make decisions in a timely manner, saving time and resources, while also cutting costs and maintaining compliance. 


AI in Preventative and Predictive Maintenance

In addition to ensuring compliance, AI can also support in automating compliance-related tasks for a more streamlined and efficient approach. For operational focuses like maintenance, a process management app can automatically trigger tasks related to compliance. For example, if a routine compliance check identifies a missing fire extinguisher in the facility, the process management app will read that data and create a request to order a new one. This request is then visible to the manager, who can track the progress from start to finish and receive notifications every step of the way for full transparency.  



Future of AI in Facilities Management

As facilities evolve and new technology emerges, AI will only continue to grow and improve - offering new insights and intel beneficial to operations and overall successes. With that in mind, it’s vital to strategically prepare for what’s ahead and have discussions about AI advancements, as facility managers should strive for a more efficient, digitized approach in the future. 


Emerging AI Technologies and Their Impacts

As the complexity of managing facilities increases, it’s clear to see the profound impacts emerging AI technologies have on operations. The integration of innovative solutions to streamline operations nowadays is imperative. Looking ahead, facilities managers can prepare now for a future where smart buildings, heavier reliance on AI and IoT technologies, and sustainability all reign king. Impacts across the board will include labor optimization, streamlined resource allocation and scheduling, reduced environmental impacts and cost savings; however, it’s important to consider challenges with potential ethical concerns and data privacy. By prioritizing education around the latest technologies, managers can reap the benefits of automating their facilities while keeping data privacy and ethics top of mind. 


Preparing for an AI-Driven Future

As AI continues to reinvent business processes and manage machinery, inventory, and infrastructure, facility managers should continue to strive for growth. By staying ahead of the curve and embracing innovation in this way, facility managers can physically take action and benefit from an AI-driven future. 

If properly implemented with a process management application such as mpo5, AI has the potential to transform operational efficiency, data tracking, visualization, and compliance management in facility management. As facility managers look to grow and continuously innovate their respective organizations, it’s more important now than ever to adopt AI technologies to remain competitive. 




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