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“Smart Automation” builds Smart Management



We have talked about the limits of automation in the world of facilities management in our last couple of posts about the topic. However, that doesn’t mean that automation doesn’t have a place in the world of facilities management. In fact, we believe that any automation, and similar technologies that utilize the internet of things, will improve the field of facilities management.


The case being that a symbiosis of tech and (human) touch will increase the overall improvement of facility managers’ work. Let’s dive in: 



“Systems that control such building functions as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); security; refrigeration; and lighting have historically operated as standalone entities. They have also, for the most part, occupied a proprietary niche, separated from mainstream IT systems and standards. This isolation, however, is beginning to give way to a more cohesive environment. Integrators and resellers focusing on building automation now look to bridge the gaps among their customers’ systems.”


What Moore describes is happening with other utilities such as lighting and energy management. When these utilities can work on specialized sensors, you eliminate several complexities and streamline operations. Costs, control, and confusion are all accessible from a web portal, or a digital portal of some sort. 


Automation cannot fix, solve, compute, analyze, or calculate the one of , if not the most important factor of facility management: occupant preferences and satisfaction. 


  • Facility Managers are more than just “temperature checkers” — The skill set of a facility manager encompasses more than understanding buildings. They have a key attribute that automation lacks: interpersonal communication and empathy. Facility managers can make inferences about building conditions that may not suit a small percentage of occupants. Those inferences can be turned into special accommodations that make all occupants happy in some way.


Automation will never have that ability, but it can be an excellent supplement to those human-made decisions. When the facility managers has a bulk of work set to sensors, robotics, pre-programmed functions, they can then focus on person to person comfort. More time can be delegated to improving the morale of those who use the buildings, and automation can be maximized to it’s fullest potential. 


What ways are you thinking about automation and how it can compliment facility management? Feel free to reach out, and explore more on our discussion on automated systems.

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