Technology Opens Opportunity to Make Strategic Decisions and Optimise Operational Decision Making
By Pieter Bronkhorst, Chief Technology Officer – Hamilton City Council
Property Management Research in 2017 by Facilitiesnet.com shows that median number of square meters per FTE for maintenance staff is 4,645, for custodians that median number of square meters per FTE is 2,600 and for grounds care, the median is 12,140 hectares per FTE.
This not only represents a significant cost to the organisational operating cost but also identify the low level of coverage using humans.
The last 12 months has seen a plethora of technology options become readily available to Asset Managers, especially around the areas of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
These technologies open endless opportunities when applied in a manner that enables meaningful insight to make strategic decisions and optimise operational decision making.
Research shows that the use of digital technologies as part of business transformations are making an impact in four areas and Enterprise asset management are no different, those areas being:
• Creation of Customer Centric digital services
• Empowering Employees
• Optimisation of operations
• Creating new product and services
There is a low uptake of the last two findings in the industry and greater value can be derived from these when focused on.
Over the last 5 years there has been a significant improvement in the development and adoption of technology that enable the work force through enhancements to major asset management systems around work order management and the evolution of field mobility offerings. This has narrowed the gap and made more information available to the property managers and teams in the field.
The optimisation of operations is the next domain that will be see changes through technology enabled business improvement.
Leveraging technology to provide meaningful insight, predictive analysis and automated work order management is the answer to optimise your operations and creation of new products and services
Asset management will be transformed by cross industry technologies and practices applied.
The research identified with 3 types of operating models which requires a significant amount of human centric decision making. How can this be changed to use people for optimum value?
Asset Managers can automate the inspection, decision making and communication of the decision by leveraging the work order, contact centre and rain sensors data with additional IoT saturation sensors and adding workflows. Bringing this together can be done through Cloud and Edge solutions. Doing this will directly reduce operating cost but more importantly benefits the community through a reduction in travel, congestion, reduced fees and increased customer satisfaction.
New services can be created by taking historical data, work orders, job sheets, cancellation data and predictive weather data and using Machine Learning and AI to create predictive analytics models that by midweek can automatically notify the community, furthermore the facilities can be unlocked and power on lights and services through automation.
What is essential to successful digital transformation of Enterprise Asset Management?
People, the key to all digital transformations is having the right people in the project. They should be the voice of the customer/recipient of the outcome, business leadership sponsor and subject matter experts and partners that have the technology know-how to bridge the gap between technology and idea.
Data, automation, optimisation, machine learning and AI are all fuelled by Data. The availability, span of the dataset, classification and understanding of the data will determine how fast you will be able to move. The better the data the faster the pace, good data should not slow you down simply adjust your scope and expectation of outcome.
Business Processes, knowing your business and being able to identify the steps in a process will make the digital transformation smoother and faster, be open to business process re-engineering through the journey as not all processes can be digitised. Keep in mind that technology does not fix inherent business process problems, it amplifies it.
AI and Machine learning relies on the fundamental principle that the business operations and its data are available and understood, however this should not preclude you from exploring the opportunities that comes with it.
It is truly an exciting and challenging time for technology leaders to support their Asset Managers in the changing landscape. Embrace the changes coming, it is not going to go away.