System Integrators (SIs) play an invaluable role in building projects, which is why they are a key partner to us at Schneider Electric. Unfortunately, we’ve observed countless examples throughout the industry of projects where SIs were brought into the fold too late in the timeline, resulting in delays and additional costs.
Our suggestion – bring SIs in during the design process, so they can lend their expertise from the very start of the process, ultimately guaranteeing major time and money savings and helping projects achieve sustainability goals.
The risks of lacking SI involvement in the design process
It is crucial to involve System Integrators in the earliest stages to ensure that your design process is as detailed as possible, otherwise there’s a greater risk of running into incompatibilities or other missteps.
To add fuel to the fire – if there are design incompatibilities, the integrator bears the brunt of those missteps in the final steps of the project, which can lead to costly delays and reflect poorly on all stakeholders involved.
The bottom line: SIs are a critical piece of the puzzle that brings a construction project together.
Why are SIs a necessary component of the design team?
System Integrators are responsible for a wide range of tasks to optimize building management – handling everything from designing and deploying systems to managing vendor requests.
There are various upsides to utilizing SIs, including:
- Maximized building usability
- Improved performance
- Ensuring a healthier, more productive smart building infrastructure
Take Aspiria, a 200-acre big, Campus of the Future in Overland Park, Kansas that partnered with Schneider Electric to optimize energy use and transform their environment into a net zero, live-work-play hub. In this case study, Schneider Electric’s Master-level Building Automation EcoXpert partner C&C Group implemented EcoStruxure solutions that allowed Aspiria to modernize its BMS and achieve the following:
- 16% annual energy consumption reduction
- $1.5 million annual energy cost savings
- 36% reduction in carbon footprint
Leveraging SI capabilities from the beginning is the only way to ensure that your building will perform up to industry standards and achieve sustainability target outcomes.
System Integrators can assist with the following:
1. Minimizing time-consuming and costly risks
SIs play an important role in preventing risks associated with rework and delays, which account for an average of 12% if building costs. If you don’t consider the electrical and mechanical systems you need from the start, the design may have to be altered later on – driving costs and delaying the project.
Through automation and monitoring capabilities, SIs can catch design issues early on. This reduces the probability of potential downtime, rework, and implementation risks, minimizing building costs.
SIs also provide insights on the specific technology needed to help the project meet its energy and sustainability goals. They help to ensure the right technology is chosen from the start and that unnecessary products are not purchased, helping to save time and money.
Overall, SIs are a cost-effective solution that will alleviate the burden of any time-consuming roadblocks.
2. Fostering a collaborative environment
Collaboration is a key factor in successfully operating a facility management system. Altering the traditional design-build process to be more collaborative across your facility management teams will enable them to operate more efficiently, improve facility performance, and create a healthier, more productive smart building infrastructure designed for maximum usability.
To that end, when designing and constructing a smart building, you must encourage collaboration between the designers, contractors, end users, and SIs to improve specifications and guarantee optimized design.
Involving all stakeholders throughout the design process ensures that everyone is aligned on goals and key objectives from end users. This in turn prevents potential risks from slipping through the cracks, maximizing efficiency and transparency across the board.
3. Increasing visibility
SIs can enhance your team’s visibility into the digital development process from end-to-end. By leveraging cutting-edge technological tools and providing in-depth digitized insights, SIs enable teams to easily identify any issues that may occur. This then decreases the likelihood of error, avoiding the risk of rework and delays.
Increased visibility allows teams to respond to challenges quickly and efficiently, achieved through simplified and actionable paths to success.
4. Prioritizing customer advocacy
System Integrators play an important role in building and maintaining a trusted relationship with the customer (end-user) as they prioritize customer advocacy. Customer feedback is a key indicator of how your building system is performing, as well as if it is living up to the standards of the end-users.
Given the constant digital transformation of the construction landscape, customer expectations are constantly evolving, as facility teams are facing rapidly changing demands including unprecedented labor shortages with the aging out of facility managers and new entrants. As a result, expectations are at an all-time high for technologies that are flawless. Putting SIs at the forefront of the design process ensures that your customers’ needs are always met and that all stakeholders are aligned.
Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program
The EcoXpert Partner Program is a worldwide network of Schneider Electric trained and certified partner companies who offer local expertise and support to resolve the challenges of our shared customers. EcoXperts are competent in the fields of building control, power management and energy efficiency. With a proven track record of delivering best-in-class services and solutions, EcoXperts are committed to delivering intelligent and sustainable solutions that add value and longevity to the success of our shared customers. EcoXpert partners are the implementation arms of EcoStruxure™ all over the world.
Schneider Electric takes pride in being a leading enterprise that delivers excellent system integration services.
Read more on Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program.
Locate Schneider Electric’s EcoXperts.
Learn more on Schneider Electric’s Aspiria Campus Case Study.
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Building Advisor.
Schneider Electric’s white paper on SI implementation: Designing for Facility Management 2.0: Changing how digital systems are specified to achieve smart building outcomes.