Associate Professor Vinay Khator writes about computer aided facilities management and its strategic and operational impact.

03 February 2017

Expert Talk

The scope of intelligent facilities management is increasing day by day. Technology is fast changing the face of facility management. Automation, which initially started in facility management with maintenance management, is now spreading to every sphere. 

Intelligent facility management applies in two ways. One, it improves the quality of service deliverables and ease of doing work to service providers as well as users, through systematic and work breakdown approach. Second, intelligent facility management provides vast information on real time basis, useful in optimisation of services. Data generation can be put to use for improving the infrastructure, processes, maintenances and procurement. 

The automation of technology-enabled services provides the control in user’s hand. Be it switching on/off of the services or optimising the space utilisation through workplace transformation. The increased use of smart phone and technology enabled services has brought control to one’s fingertips. The allocation of desk, cupboard, workplace, lighting, temperature can be controlled using mobile app. Intelligent facility management is empowering citizens for a techno-savvy future. 

Computer aided facilities management (CAFM) enables facility management to track, plan, control, manage and report its operation. It helps the facility manager to optimise the usage of assets and space with adequate security level at minimum cost. It provides support to strategic and operational planning of facility management including administrative, infrastructure and technical function. Integrated CAFM systems are intelligent interfaces utilising technologies like IT, CAD, BIM and integrate with facility management systems. Data is collected from sources through technologies, analysed, and information is provided for improving space utilisation, energy consumption, asset utilisation, infrastructure and maintenance. Most of the CAFM systems are now web based, and real time information is provided about the facilities. The system provides a number of features so as to schedule and analyse the data.

Technology has helped the facility manager to control the services more efficiently with less effort. The planning and organisation for activity such as planned maintenance system, customer complaint handling, procurement, visitor management, customer billing, security management, administration, document and drawing management, work order etc. can be carried out through automation and integration of building management services. Intelligent facility management provides the services in open and lively manner.