News article

A digital building management system is the future

Facility management and digital building management
Building Automation
31 July 2020

Have you already digitalized your building maintenance?

Are you still managing your building manually? If you are, well, rest assured that you are not the only one. These days, there are still many Facilities Managers who oversee and maintain the energy efficiency of their building using manual controls and processes.

Research backs this up: Did you know that 58% of Facilities Managers consider operational and maintenance processes of their building to be a top business priority?(1) Let’s think about why that is. A digitalized maintenance system not only helps you work more efficiently and to be more productive; it can also significantly reduce energy costs. Let’s take a closer look at the various advantages.

Avoid unnecessary errors and miscommunication

One of the greatest benefits of a digitalized maintenance system is the elimination of paperwork and manual tracking activities. Quite simply, a digitized approach enables building management staff to work more efficiently and to be more productive. Let’s face it, when you rely on pen and paper, mistakes can occur all-too easily – it’s only human. But that typo, that particular piece of information you forgot to enter, or that lost document can soon (and swiftly) lead to much bigger problems. In fact, studies have shown that over 50% of all equipment fails prematurely after maintenance work has been performed on it, due to human errors. (2)(3) When you consider that, in most cases, the maintenance work performed was intended to prevent the very failures that occurred in the first place, this is a bit preposterous.

You cannot change the fact that people make mistakes, but you can change the conditions in which they work. Making one central, digital system available, enables all employees to follow the same process. This allows people to work more efficiently, sharply reducing miscommunication and the number of mistakes being made altogether.

Save money …

When you look at the complete lifecycle of a building, the largest chunk of expense is incurred during the operations and maintenance phase. In fact, this typically accounts for approximately 60% of the total cost. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to see the commercial case for a digitalized BMS: particularly when one considers that you can save 5% to 20% on energy bills.(4) And all this is achieved without the need for any significant capital investments. Simply by optimizing your equipment’s setpoints and setting timers, digitalized systems can help reduce downtime and operational and maintenance costs, all of which adds to the total energy savings. The difference between a manual and digital system lies in the difference that a digitalized system continuously optimizes.

Additionally, a centralized digital system contributes to a sharp reduction in travel costs – often up to 25% - simply because after a task is completed, it’s possible to update the status of a work order remotely, instead of having to travel to the office.(4) However, it’s more than often the case that different systems are made available, which each entail data about the building’s maintenance. However, manual practices do not integrate these systems and still manually process dispersed and unformatted data. This makes it difficult to make sense of all these different pieces of data, which again results in an often tedious and time-consuming task.

… and time

How long does it take you to assign work orders? How much time does it cost a field technician to receive these orders? And how long does it take for the status of a completed work order to be communicated to the back office and the requestor? If your answer to any of these questions is three minutes or longer, you would undoubtedly benefit from digitalizing your maintenance processes.

Filling out paperwork manually is an overly time-consuming task. Operations and maintenance archives used to be text sorted in binders. But, these days, we have the same documents available, only as PDF or Excel documents. This is good news – because research has shown that 36% of Facilities Managers cite optimizing their administration process as a top business priority.(3)

However, even though it has become easier to store, duplicate and retrieve data, it does not equate to much value over the previous paperwork. You still have to manually update the status of your work documents, which costs you a lot of time that could be better spent. Moreover, you are simply not working as efficient as you could be. Digitalizing maintenance processes enables you to work faster and more efficiently. Which in turn, could lead to an improvement of productivity by up to 40%.

Performing these processes digitally – and using a system that already contains all real-time detailed information about the assets of the building - makes the maintenance of a building less time-consuming. Because a centralized, digital system is being employed, all detailed information is accessible remotely, which in turn makes it easier to manage the building, anywhere, anytime and even via any device.

Better results, more reliable operation

What if you could predict when your HVAC installation needs maintenance? You could then plan maintenance activities in a way that minimizes downtime – and sometimes, it could be avoided altogether. The good news is all of this is possible if you’re using intelligent systems in your building.

The maintenance of a building is recognized as a strategic element for any organization.(2) Rather than reacting to failures ‘as and when’ they occur, there is a need for supporting more proactive and planned maintenance approaches. This is exactly what a digital system has to offer: A digitalized system automatically and continuously collects real-time process and operational data from the building without any effort on your part. Put simply, it allows you to predict when maintenance would be needed and what the optimal running time is.

Moreover, the functionality of a digitalized maintenance system lies in its ability to collect and store information in an easily retrievable format. It detects impending problems before a failure occurs resulting in fewer failures and customer complaints. Therefore, a digitalized BMS achieves a higher level of planned maintenance activities that enables a more efficient use of staff resources. The systems help to maintain optimal equipment performance -= thereby reducing downtime and resulting in longer equipment life, happier employees, and higher income.

Go digital today!

With Priva’s intelligent solutions for building automation, you ensure clear and reliable communication, save a lot on your energy bills, and ensure the work efficiency of your employees. Resulting in happier people, and a happier company. All of this is possible remotely: anywhere, anytime, and any device. What more does it need for you to digitize your maintenance processes?

Want to know more about digital building management systems and building automation services? Discover Priva Digital Services

(3) Verdantix
(7) HFRG/HSE 2000. Improving Maintenance - A Guide to Reducing Human Error

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