While it was once the case, that the headline tasks in facility management (FM) amounted to: “make sure things don’t break and fix them when they do break,” the role has become more multifaceted over the years. Nowadays facility management companies divide the discipline into two broad terms:
- Space & Infrastructure (hard FM)
- People & organisation (soft FM)
Part of the trick to facilities management is ensuring the soft part and the hard part don’t collide. Or, as the International Facilities Management Association puts it: Facility Managers “make sure the places in which people work, play, learn and live are safe, comfortable, productive and sustainable.”
As a Dublin facilities management recruitment agency we’re seeing increased demand for facilities managers and technicians familiar with indoor navigation systems and how they integrate with typical facilities tech stacks. These systems are also often referred to as indoor positioning systems.
It’s a Trending Knowledge Asset
Increasingly the facility manager jobs we, as recruiters, work on call for indoor mapping or indoor navigation knowledge. It’s a trend, so much so we’re considering an update to our (sample) Facilities Manager Job Description. This is a growing knowledge asset, and if you’re not already on top of it, then read on from more reasons.
In a prior post on facilities management careers I drew attention to, the increasing role the Internet of Things (IoT) is carving out for itself in the FM world. So isn’t it time to acknowledge the increasing importance of indoor mapping too? Yes! As facilities get larger and smarter (thanks IoT), the case for indoor mapping becomes irresistible.
The benefits of indoor mapping go far beyond mere visualisation. With a robust and reliable map of the built environment, the facilities manager benefits in several ways, without creating the nasty overhead of increased complexity. It’s time to envisage a new life of ease for you and your employees.
When the Time Comes…
Oh and speaking of a new life, whenever you get around to considering one for yourself, or a new facility management job at any rate, modesty aside, we’re probably the recruitment agency you should contact. Be sure to tell us all about your indoor mapping expertise, too.
Five Benefits to Indoor Mapping
Facility Updates & Info
Once you have bitten the bullet, and gone with third-party indoor navigation technology, one with an open API, maintenance of your system gets easier. In the past, a change to one part of your technology stack required manual updates to all the other components. If you missed one then your system became less trustworthy. And that’s a problem.
Thankfully with modern systems, with open interfaces, a change in one part of your FM system can is immediately reflected on your indoor mapping.
Health & Safety
You didn’t think that there wasn’t a health and safety benefit to this, did you? Just kidding, of course you did. In fact there are many, but, since we can’t think of them all, consider the possibilities of tying together indoor mapping and the Internet of Things (IoT).
What might such a combination look like? Well, if you were to put together indoor mapping with smart sensors, you instantly make both far more useful. When your facility is mapped, and your mapping is overlaid with real-time data from CO2 and air temperature sensors you can save yourself much trouble. Straight off the bat, instead of just getting real time alerts you can now see any problems pinpointed on your map.
You are only scratching the surface of what is possible. Once you have these technologies working together the fun begins. Why wouldn’t you add all blanket/extinguisher, and emergency exit locations, as points of interest to your map? Doing so is relatively trivial and yet it’s a game changer.
If you are in the business of managing meeting rooms consider the following scenario: you are regularly at 100% occupancy and yet silent cancellations are the norm, rather than the exception. This results in lower efficiency, higher costs and, even worse, lower earnings. Since we have overlaid our sensor locations onto our map, a solution is at hand. So what is it? Simple! Integrate your motion sensors with your room reservation system. Next couple this integration with your internal mapping/positioning system. So how would this work? Read on…
Let’s imagine you have 50 meeting rooms to manage. Your occupancy is a hundred percent, or so you think. Next thing, you or more likely, an employee, have a walk-in on your hands. They request a meeting room, but you are booked out. However, it is 2021 and you have a smart mapping and a smart booking system harnessed to your internal mapping and a large-scale deployment of motion sensors. As they say in Co. Louth, “now we’re motoring.”
Okay, let’s get back to those walk-ins. Now you have the option of asking them to take a seat while you see if you can find them a room. Fortunately for you, you don’t need to leave your desk. No, since you are at hundred percent occupancy, your motion sensors should pick up any activity in any, and all, of those rooms. Right?
So what do you find when you go to check, bingo, a room with no activity is detected by your motion sensors. Congratulate yourself, you’ve just created money from nothing. Pro tip: most systems can be configured to alert you to unused inventory ahead of time.
Those of you with large facilities to maintain know that these come with large headaches too. One of the largest is “proactive maintenance”. Some issues are easier to stay on top of than others, but, do you really want to “long walk” a technician all the way to a far-flung outpost of your building? Just to repair a sensor? No, you do not. That would be a waste of your valuable time. If your integrated tech stack includes indoor mapping you won’t have to waste any time. Since you have the precise location, you only need share a link to that precise location to your technician or contractor. Job done.
Record Keeping & Productivity Optimisation
Do you know how many hours “that contractor” put in to resolving that issue in your the boiler room? If you are on top of your game chances are good that you do, but it is a challenge, isn’t it? However help is at hand. When you combine indoor mapping with mass sensor deployment, staying on top of your game doesn’t require you to stay on top of your game. Your digital timestamps will tell you when they arrived at the repair location and when they left. Congrats, your reporting just got easier.