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Discover the Power of IoT in Streamlining Facility Management

Discover the Power of IoT in Streamlining Facility Management

The Internet of Things (IoT) is most recognizable in consumer smart home devices, but it also holds several promising applications for businesses. Utilizing IoT in facility management can streamline operations along multiple fronts, helping to conserve energy, save money, and extend equipment life.

As more consumers embrace IoT in their personal lives, facility managers should also implement this technology in their properties. Jumping on the IoT facility management opportunity now can save you from headaches down the road.

Facility managers can use IoT devices to automate systems, provide real-time data, and track maintenance needs. Across all facility management use cases, this technology yields similar efficiency and reliability benefits.

Automatic adjustments

One of the biggest benefits of IoT facility management is that it lets some systems automatically adapt to changing conditions. A common example is smart thermostats that adjust energy usage to maintain a constant temperature. As simple as these real-time adjustments may seem, they can reduce heating and cooling bills by 8% on average.

Similar applications can bring these same energy-saving benefits to other systems, from HVAC to water pumps. By responding to real-time data, which can change due to many uncontrollable factors, IoT controllers ensure equipment consumes as little power as necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

These automatic adjustments also produce savings by removing the need to manually change settings throughout a property. The resulting energy efficiency also makes facilities more environmentally friendly, which can boost business.

Real-time alerts

You can also leverage IoT in facility management to trigger automatic alerts for specific scenarios. IoT devices can warn you of issues such as leaking pipes, electrical hazards, or impending power outages, enabling you to act faster to minimize the damage.

Many other industries use IoT’s real-time alert capabilities for predictive maintenance. This strategy tracks equipment conditions to predict when they’ll need repair and notifies relevant workers. It can reduce facility downtime by up to 15% and extend equipment life spans by fixing problems earlier, thus avoiding the need for unnecessary inspections.

These IoT applications generate savings by improving operational efficiency on two fronts: they enable quick responses and cheaper fixes by averting emergencies, and they remove the need for regular in-person monitoring.

Ongoing improvements

Using IoT in facility management offers long term benefits as well. By nature, IoT devices collect data, producing a wealth of information over time. You can analyze it to discover trends that suggest areas to improve.

For example, repeated maintenance alerts for the same system could let you know it’s time to replace or upgrade certain components. Likewise, emergency warning patterns and injury reports could reveal which of your workflows are the most hazardous. Addressing these issues is key, as failing to uphold some safety standards can result in millions of dollars in damages.

Data-driven insights are crucial for ongoing improvements, whether in terms of safety, sustainability, or efficiency. The IoT provides the data managers need for this optimization.

IoT facility management best practices

These benefits are hard to ignore, but it’ll take careful planning and implementation to achieve them to their fullest extent. Here are three IoT facility management best practices to consider.

  1. Choose devices carefully: The first step is to identify which IoT devices will most benefit your facility. Start by determining which systems you hope to automate or monitor. These should be whichever will gain the most from IoT’s most common advantages. Once you know what types of IoT systems you need, compare specific features and prices. Ensure that all devices are interoperable and support the same communication standards. Remote access and automation features are always good to have, too.
  2. Ensure robust cybersecurity: IoT facility management also requires extensive cybersecurity measures, as IoT devices can create more targets for cybercriminals to attack. Implement multifactor authentication (MFA) on all IoT endpoints, encrypt data transmissions, replace default passwords with stronger, unique alternatives, and enable automatic updates to enhance security. The White House has announced a new cyber-labeling program that offers assurance about device security by requiring specific standards. Look for IoT systems with these labels, as they include more robust built-in protections that other hardware may lack.
  3. Start small and grow steadily: It’s important to recognize that implementing IoT in facility management can get expensive quickly. You’ll also likely need to adjust your approach as you discover which practices and systems work well and which don’t. Starting small and growing slowly can help to navigate  these challenges. Start by applying IoT to one area where you expect the biggest returns. Use facility management software to track and respond to your data, maximizing the benefits of this system. Document both challenges and successes, and utilize this information to extract insights that will guide future IoT projects as positive outcomes start to emerge.

Capitalize on IoT in facility management today

IoT facility management can significantly streamline and enhance many aspects of the job. While IoT is just a tool—and as such, its efficacy depends on its usage—it’s a powerful one.

Capitalizing on IoT starts with recognizing what it can do. By understanding these advantages and following best practices, you can utilize this technology to run your facility more efficiently, sustainably, and safely.

Emily Newton

Emily Newton is an industrial journalist. As Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, she regularly covers stories in construction and facilities management.

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