What is Digital Transformation in Facility Management?
There is an eagerness, and sometimes pressure, felt by businesses in any industry to find ways of improving their daily operations. Since we live in the digital age that eagerness or pressure often manifests in the form of using new technological advancements. One such advancement is the process of digital transformation, a buzzword of increasing popularity.
Digital Transformation Defined
Digital transformation, sometimes shortened to DT or DX, refers to the adoption of digital technological innovations to replace non-digital processes or outdated digital technology; this transformation occurs in the context of a business or service. More specifically, it is done with the intention of solving a problem, increasing productivity, or offering more value to customers and clients.
It is seen in a multitude of industries and sectors such as healthcare, education, and e-commerce. A common, well-known example of digital transformation is when a business decides to ‘go paperless’ in favor of email, voicemail, or text messages for all correspondence. Despite the benefits, it can be disruptive, as businesses may be abandoning processes on which they have long relied and are now experimenting with alternatives. It requires flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changes and new patterns. Many businesses are reluctant to use digital transformation without having a clear understanding of the big picture.
General Benefits of Digital Transformation
As mentioned above digital transformation is used to solve a problem, increase productivity, or offer more value to customers and clients. However these benefits, while being some of the more commonly cited factors, are very vague statements. Problems can happen anywhere, productivity can be improved everywhere, and there is no shortage of reasons to improve customer satisfaction. Some of the more specific benefits include:
Collaboration between departments is a challenge whenever there is a delay or miscommunication. Not only is this a reason to use digital transformation in the workplace, but the general improvement in communication also makes that transition easier. This is especially important whenever a business needs to try multiple different strategies before finding the best fit for everyone.
Specific projects can be prioritized and completed quicker when the workflow has been digitized. No more time is wasted on writing and organizing paperwork as everything is kept in a centralized location that is easily accessible to anyone.
If the customer service experience goes up it is not unreasonable to anticipate that revenue and profit margins will do the same. Digital transformation is also very cost-effective due to automation and data analysis. Automation saves money on time and resources while data analysis allows for more informed decisions that are less likely to carry major financial risks.
Digital Transformation in Facility Management
Facility management is the goliath of data generation and data collection. Gathering, analyzing, consolidating, and sharing that data can be an extremely difficult task. There is also a high risk of human error any step of the way. This brings everything to a halt and time must be spent finding and fixing the mistake, perhaps even starting all over again. Digital transformation leads to automation, preventing these errors from occurring and making all data more easily accessible whenever it is needed.
One of the most attractive features of FM is the ability to monitor tools and resources. It identifies patterns, predicts potential failures, and offers solutions. With predictive maintenance on your side, the chances of being caught off guard by malfunctions will reduce significantly. Some have the added benefit of placing the work order should a repair or replacement be necessary.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are responsible for a large portion of energy consumption. When applied to the HVAC system digital transformation has both financial and environmental benefits, as both energy consumption and the energy bill are reduced. This is made possible through remote control, self-regulation, and notifications.
The Internet of Things
More commonly referred to as ‘IoT’, the internet of things refers to a network made up of tangible objects (the ‘things’ in the name) which are exchanging data over the internet. These things are equipped with technology that make the connection and exchange possible, such as sensors or specialized software. Much like digital transformation, the IoT is gaining significant popularity in essentially any and every industry that benefits from the solutions it offers, such as reducing energy consumption and the associated expenses.
The Future of Digital Transformation in Facility Management
The desired changes that digital transformation has to offer will not happen overnight. Digital transformation is the result of achieving overlapping goals through cohesive strategies. Creating and implementing those strategies may be an arduous task but there is no doubt that the payoff is worth the effort invested, time spent, and resources used.
SimpleFM’s facility maintenance software and experienced team help organizations manage, monitor, and control maintenance including: equipment, resources, and regulatory compliance. Let us handle your property and job management needs and help your organization save time and money. Interested to see how easy property management can be? Sign up for a Demo or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.