9 ways facility managers can leverage AI
| June 15, 2023
With an expected CAGR of 7.73% through 2030, the facilities management services market should reach a total value of more than $1,323 billion by decade's end. One of the driving factors for continued growth in the sector is artificial intelligence in facilities management.
Discover nine ways AI is impacting commercial real estate and facilities management below and how property managers can leverage these tools for business growth and success.
1. Align efforts with proactive, not reactive, maintenance
Preventative maintenance helps support the success of property and facility management firms by increasing tenant satisfaction and cutting operational costs without sacrificing quality outcomes. Smart building data and other AI tools can be used to:
- Gather ongoing data about building processes and equipment, including water, electrical, climate control, and security
- Analyze large data sets in real time and receive AI notifications about trends that indicate a potential issue
- Automatically assign work tasks for a proactive approach to maintaining buildings
In some sectors, using AI in preventative maintenance decreased breakdowns and downtime by 70% and cut maintenance labor hours by as much as 50% to 70%.
2. Decrease energy use to drive cost-savings
When implementing AI for facility management, you can easily create processes and policies to reduce energy use. This drives cost savings for the property management company, and those savings can be passed on to tenants to create more competitive pricing. Decreased energy use also helps you position a building as sustainable or eco-friendly.
Artificial intelligence can help you reduce energy consumption in a variety of ways, including:
- Automatically managing climate control inside facilities based on the presence of people, desired settings, and external temperatures
- Reducing chances that windows and doors will be left open
- Turning lights and other equipment off in spaces that aren't being used
3. Improve building security for additional peace of mind
From day-to-day security measures to safety checks following a natural disaster, AI in facility management can help you provide additional peace of mind for tenants and building owners. The integration of smart security at entry and exit points, for example, ensures that only authorized individuals can access the facility or specific locations within it. This can be helpful in industries ranging from manufacturing to health care and finance, as organizations can control who has access to specific equipment, patients or patient data, or valuable assets.
AI can also support safety with the ability to track how many people — or even which specific people — are in any part of the building at a given time. In an emergency, such as a fire, real-time tracking information makes it easier to get everyone out of the building safely.
4. Streamline workflows for the organization
Facility management automation can substantially reduce the time it takes for property management firms to oversee buildings. For example, with automated workflows and ticket systems, work orders can be routed to the first available resource with the right credentials and experience for the job. This facilitates a faster response time to tenant needs while removing administrative burdens from property management teams and supporting larger scale for the business.
5. Find underutilized spaces to maximize building use and profit
Yahoo! Finance's Integrated Facility Management Report for 2023 notes an increase in the adoption of AI in building management and points to a need for increasingly smarter use of space as a reason for that. The amount of data AI tools can capture and analyze positions them to uncover underutilized or incorrectly utilized spaces in all types of facilities. For example, AI analysis might indicate that an office building could house three more small-business tenants or that remodeling a factory could lead to double the output.
6. Monitor air quality for enhanced safety
With the right AI building management tools in place, you can monitor the air quality of any space in real time. Understanding the air inside buildings and facilities lets you support proactive maintenance and sound early alarms if data indicates dangers, such as gas leaks or fires are brewing.
Detailed data about air quality also helps you better control the environment in any space. This can lead to enhanced marketability of buildings and facilities, especially in sectors such as medicine, science, and electronics, where carefully controlled clean rooms may be necessary.
7. Support better water quality throughout facilities
AI facility management also helps property teams better manage water quality in their buildings. Everything that's true for air quality is true here: You can enhance the marketability of a space when potential tenants trust the quality of the water coming into it. Water quality is also important to protect and maintain indoor plumbing and certain types of equipment.
8. Use traffic data to proactively enhance indoor spaces
AI tools that capture building data can help you understand how spaces within a facility are used. That includes how traffic moves through the building, what areas may be congested on a regular basis, and which common spaces or amenities are used most often. All this data helps facilities management teams make decisions about how best to invest in a building in the future.
9. Monitor lease terms with AI building management
Facility management automation can help property managers understand whether tenants adhere to lease terms. Data such as water consumption, the ambient temperature in various parts of a building, foot traffic levels, and the quality of the air can all help you analyze whether a space is being used properly and for what you agreed to in the lease.
AI and facilities management go hand-in-hand today, and that won't change in the future. Property management companies and building owners who haven't already invested in such tools should consider doing so now to remain competitive in the future.
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