This is the fourth post in the Better Buildings Challenge Blog Series.
Anyone who has ever worked with a facility manager in a commercial building knows the number of tasks they need to juggle on any given day. They’re typically responsible for everything from dealing with maintenance requests to ensuring compliance standards and regulations are being met.
With the introduction of IT tools such as building management system (BMS) software to building management processes, the facility manager role has become even more complex. While these systems are intended to make tasks easier to execute for the facility manager and his or her maintenance staff by giving them the power to automate day-to-day processes, the opposite can sometimes occur.
According to Pike Research, only about 20 percent of facility managers use 80 percent of the available capabilities in their BMS. The remaining 80 percent of these building owners use a very limited amount (20 percent) of the potential functionality in their system. This may sound alarming, but considering the complexity of many BMS offerings, it is understandable.
Further compounding the issue is that information and data generated by a BMS is valuable only when facility teams are properly trained on utilizing building management tools, and if they have the time and resources to leverage the information to benefit their organization. In many cases, this training is not provided for several reasons: understaffed facility management teams are often very lean and stretched, leaving little to no time for training and data analysis. Turnover is also a common issue, for teams both large and small, and inevitably creates a divide between staff who have and have not been properly trained on analyzing BMS data. Finally, there can be a broader knowledge gap associated with staff turnover and training, as well as with facility managers or staff that may not be proficient in IT systems or data analysis.
These factors combine to present a significant challenge; however, the data provided by a BMS is too valuable to overlook. These systems not only cut down on energy use, but also save valuable resources which can be reinvested into an organization’s bottom line.
One option to help lessen the burden on facility managers and staff is to bring in an outside expert with proven experience in building data analysis. The expert can help facility departments transform BMS data into actionable information, reducing the number of responsibilities facility departments have to focus on while optimizing the data generated by the BMS. This also cuts down on the time commitment and cost needed for training multiple employees, eliminating the issues with staff knowledge and turnover.
With the assistance of an energy expert, facility departments can maximize performance over their building’s entire lifecycle. These experts can glean additional insight to help make fact-based decisions on building investments.
By partnering with an energy expert, facility managers, staff, and their organization will benefit from reduced energy expenses, a lower carbon footprint, higher levels of occupancy comfort, and more.