Facilities produce huge amounts of data every day, but it’s not always properly captured or utilized. Organizations with the right plan to track facilities and equipment data can leverage it to better monitor and manage performance while preventing issues from arising.
Data to Prioritize
To understand the data that will provide the most value for your organization, start by defining clear goals that benefit stakeholders. Since there may be a sizeable amount of data to sift through, prioritize key metrics. Managers can use Gartner's definitions of business analytics to determine which type of information is needed:
- Descriptive analytics: Give stakeholders deep insight into past occurrences.
- Diagnostic analytics: Help maintenance leaders understand the reason for equipment failure.
- Predictive analytics: Use historical data and machine learning to forecast future asset failures.
- Prescriptive analytics: Provide insights into the best course of action for a given scenario.
Enable your team to avoid and solve the most common maintenance challenges by properly forecasting facilities performance. Data visibility supports the functions of an effective preventative maintenance model. For example:
- Equipment performance: By analyzing equipment data, SLA’s and financial metrics together, stakeholders can gain insight into the overall facilities performance of each location. Likewise, deploying data-driven management systems across sites can give leaders the actionable insights they need to improve service quality and provide a consistent customer experience across locations.
- Failure forecasting: Equipment downtime will, at the very least, reduce production and can also halt operations altogether. If Integrated data systems and active management strategies work together to predict failures, maintenance can plan proactively and improve asset uptime.
- Energy consumption benchmarks: A robust source of information can help stakeholders compare energy consumption levels across multiple sites. With this visibility, managers can identify waste and plan for optimizing efficiency and reducing energy issues.
Proper lifecycle management can help you get the best value out of your assets across all locations. When it comes time to repair, upgrade, or replace equipment, you’ll be prepared with the cost of retaining or replacing based on: age, condition, frequency of breakdowns and the cost of breakdowns (direct and indirect). With this information, you can confidently recommend solutions and show the long term value in your buying decisions.
A centralized source of facility data keeps stakeholders informed and aligned, which can be a challenge for large organizations to achieve. This challenge can be exacerbated by technician turnover, which can reduce continuity of equipment tracking and history.
Integrated systems, however, give everyone real-time access to the same data, making coordination between stakeholders possible. Centralized data supports quality assurance strategies by reducing the need for transfers of knowledge.
Additionally, a centralized source of facility data can provide the visibility facility managers need to:
- Predict when equipment is likely to fail or fall below acceptable performance rates
- Plan maintenance schedules that extend equipment reliability while controlling costs
Leadership Buy-In For Quality Assurance
According to a BARC survey of business decision-makers, roughly 50% reported that information is highly valued at their organization. However, only one-third of respondents actually leverage information systems to identify new business opportunities and forecast trends.
This paradigm represents an opportunity to empower facility management and maintenance teams with actionable insights. Buy-in from leadership is needed to ensure that teams have the information necessary to create meaningful improvements.
The BARC survey also found that the majority of businesses delegate the responsibility of data management to Finance or Information Technology departments. While these departments certainly belong in the decision-making process, operational departments need to be involved as well.
Operational leaders need data visibility to optimize processes and enable their teams with meaningful insights. In addition, it can allow leadership to gain visibility into ground-level operations.
Improving Operational Efficiency Through Actionable Data
A data-driven approach to facilities and equipment management can bring several key benefits, including:
- Energy efficiency: Analytics can identify waste and help stakeholders understand when it's the right time to upgrade equipment or make an operational change.
- Asset uptime: Improved preventative maintenance schedules will reduce reactive repairs and downtime.
- Resource optimization: Repair data can establish best practices that reduce resource waste.
The goal of a data analysis program is to gain actionable insights that lead to cost control, optimized productivity and improved facilities and equipment performance.