New technologies and innovative ideas would become very critical to the execution strategy of Facility Management (FM) firms in the near future, if they must meet the ever increasing expectations of their clients, recent industry trends have shown.

The new technologies which should hover around the application of scientific knowledge (methods, systems, and devices) to optimize business process would increase cost visibility, improve process efficiency and also aid decision making process for clients.

The lack of cost visibility on a Real Estate asset have become a growing concern for Property investors and users in recent time. They say the impact of poor costing on a facility is not only limited to slow decision making process by management, but also shrinks revenue and net operating income, increase vacancy rate and paves the way for less favourable lease terms amongst others.

However, Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead – one of Africa’s leading Total Real Estate solutions believes that these limitations can be surmounted if FM firms become tech-savvy by automating their process, operational plan and execution strategy.

During a recent presentation on “Facilities Management & the Application of Technology” at a forum organized by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State, Engr. Akintunde explained that among the numerous benefit of technology to the FM market is the ability to enable FM firms save operational cost, deliver superior customer service and eventually grow their client base.

“As clients demand continues to evolve, we must respond accordingly by developing technologies and management systems that speak to critical elements of our service offerings such as; Health, Safety, Environment (HSE), Security and other key business areas,” he added.

Some applications which FMs can explore include to enhance their service delivery are; Microsoft productivity tools which include; PowerBI, Yammer, Planner, One drive etc. Other specialized tools include; Computer aided design and Video management system.

Engr. Akintunde believes that for FMs to effectively manage complex and sophisticated projects, a Building Management System (BMS) should be a prerequisite. A BMS is a computer-based control system that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment including Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

In an earlier publication, Wale Odufalu, Chair, BIFM Nigeria region, had noted that the use of technology by FMs is a welcome development which would makes service delivery faster, easier and richer; and where properly deployed, adding that the growing trend will benefit both the clients and the service provider.

As the FM industry increasingly looks to become automated, experts opines that the internet and web enabled FM applications will continue to grow, both in terms of popularity and product functionality offering; affirming that mobile computing will also continue to accelerate through the use of smart phones, tablet devices and other web technology and delivery mechanism for mobile devices.