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Academy For Workplace Excellence

Top trends and challenges in Facility Management

The Indian Facility Management (FM) market is expected to increase by 14.1% per year until 2023. Countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom (projected increase of 12.5% per year), France (estimated annual increases of 16%), Russia, and Spain (13.2% per year) are already leading the way. But why is the growth of the Facility Management market so inevitable?  

Facility Management strives as a baseline, the expectation for FM is to manage costs without compromising workers’ experience. Response to companies needs to be increasingly efficient, both financially and energy and efficiency. Since the area of facility management has shown consistent growth, there are some of the major trends and challenges that Facility Managers will be facing in 2020. For eg, a trend to look forward to – A smart workplace that consists of multiple elements like Artificial Intelligence, digital building modeling, blockchain, etc. But there are other trends and challenges evolving the industry as well. 

1. Team monitoring and centralization of information.

Some of the biggest challenges for facility managers are tracking the tasks of each technician and dealing with the bureaucracy. The problem, in most cases, is common: the team does not use management software or uses inappropriate software. Even in a study made by Plant Engineering Dept by Statistica, it suggests that 53% of companies use a CMMS, which means that 47% use other means, such as Excel or paper.

 Facility Managers who do not use adequate management software are at risk of seeing their competitors gain ground by 2020.

2. Increased outsourcing in Facility Management. 

Another major trend in Facility Management is the increase in outsourcing. In other words, more and more companies are outsourcing – the outsourcing of FM tasks reached 50.5% of global turnover. Outsourcing is a way of dodging unexpected breakdowns, make up for labor shortages and cutting costs.

The maintenance of public buildings and infrastructure, hospitals and schools are increasingly dependent on external companies, as there is no resourcefulness to hire more full-time professionals. On the other hand, technological advances have also made it easier to control everything from a distance. You can access real-time data via the cloud, report malfunctions, and track the progress of each task. 


3. Big data and data analysis.

For years, big data has been one of the great buzzwords in the world of Facility Management. Finally, with the appearance of increasingly advanced technology and thanks to the Internet of Things, the promise has been fulfilled. 

Big data also brings added challenges to Facility Management. Having too much information requires knowing how to filter it, process it, and analyze it. It is necessary to distinguish what is “noise” from what brings us true insights on how to manage each asset. This is the first challenge to deal with big data in 2020. The second is to store all the data we collect securely to ensure customer privacy and comply with all data protection laws


4. Experience of the teams and clients.

One of the major trends of recent years is to privilege the user experience with more and more user-friendly and intuitive interfaces. Likewise, it is essential that your customers can easily report malfunctions and request assistance. Before you adopt any management system or other new tools, consider whether it only serves you or whether it really benefits the people whom you work with. Remember the watchwords: smart workplace and well-being. It’s no coincidence that the workplace of the future is one of the main topics for the Facility Management conferences in 2020.


5. Replace obsolete and/or poorly maintained equipment 

Begin by conducting a risk assessment to determine which assets you need to replace first. In the case of a building, facility managers should start thinking about major restorations when they reach the 20-year mark, particularly in terms of roofing, plumbing, lighting, lifts, heating and cooling systems, windows and smart systems.

6. BIM & Facility Management

BIM stands for “Building Information Modelling”. Simply put, we can describe BIM as a digital modeling tool that allows builders and architects to have a complete view of the project and collect all the information about the building – blueprints, areas, used materials, etc. It’s not something new, but it’s a technology that we’re only now putting into practice in the world of Facility Management.


In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, it is already mandatory to have BIM models for all public buildings since 2016. It’s in old buildings, which need more maintenance, that information modeling can be most useful for Facility Management tasks. A study of 32 large facilities found that linking BIM and FM improves the efficiency of maintenance teams because it’s faster to access information and detect the problem. 


7. Blockchain

Blockchain came with the first cryptocurrencies and, in essence, it is a “chain” of encrypted information that cannot be littered – that’s what ensures that the buying and selling of coins is reliable. For the time being, the use of Blockchain remains limited mainly to the world of cryptocurrencies, but there is no shortage of ideas to apply this technology in industry, retail, the hotel sector and, of course, in infrastructure management.

The goal is for everything to be traceable, from property transfers to system activities to the source of everything we buy. In other words, the entire service order process would be recorded in a transparent and effective way. It is possible that blockchain technology will integrate with maintenance software in the near future… perhaps as early as 2020.

8. Sustainability & Energy Efficiency 

Achieving greater energy efficiency is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges in the immediate future. On the one hand, energy losses contribute to waste and increase our ecological footprint. On the other hand, they raise the costs of companies for heating and cooling buildings.

Computer-aided Facilities Management, sensors and the Internet of Things enable the automation of the temperatures at which heating is switched on and off, the reduction of resources in rooms that are not being used, the decreasing of lighting costs and even defining the frequency indicated for maintenance and cleaning actions, according to the usual use of each asset. The aim is for all buildings to have a neutral carbon footprint. 

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