Sudhakar Murthy is the Head of Specialist Services Group (SSG) at ESPL. He leads the organization’s efforts to deliver exceptional value to clients through a combination of operational efficiencies and resource optimization strategies.
Sudhakar oversees the end-to-end functioning of various SSG verticals including engineering, energy management, environment health & safety, technology & innovation, sustainability, labor compliance and new project design.
He collaborates with leading subject matter experts, functional specialists and experienced leaders to perform his role effectively.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” – Peter Drucker.
Swerving through a time of transformation and venturing into various modules of work and business, the most integral contributor to our sustenance is technology integration; From keeping us people connected to helping us derive deeper insights to delve into decision making.
The Facility Management sector, in particular, has seen rapid growth over the past few years. With the roles of an FM partner evolving from just housekeeping and asset management into much deeper criteria such as ESG, Risk Management, etc., facility managers have a pivotal role in pursuing their operations with a more data-centric and analytical-based approach. Here, the implementation of digitization and automation mechanisms contribute to a better understanding of operational deliverables. Right from the CXO level involved with decision making and forecasting to the janitor and ground staff level who are required to complete tasks, technology tools available with us today foster an informed approach that brings about overall excellence in facility management.
While the plethora of FM deliverables range beyond multiple segments and verticals, let us take a brief look at some of the areas that represent the bigger picture of FM. To ease your understanding, we shall look at the example of ‘E-Spectrum,’ an array of tech tools for efficient and transparent Facility Management.
Data collation and analytics:
FM operations require constant monitoring and reporting of data pertaining to equipment uptime. When done manually, there is room for errors and a lack of transparency. Both of which can be an obstacle to compliant Facility Management. Through digital logbooks and inventory management tools, data on machine performance such as power consumption, water consumption, diesel stock, housekeeping, and consumables can be automated and tracked in real-time, thus fostering a predictive and preventive facility management model. When the FM notices patterns of fluctuation with permissive readings, it eases the practice of maintaining uptime and allows for improvisation plans with an informed method. Digitizing and automating this process also gives the workforce on the ground more time on actual site operations instead of wasting time collating data. These result in significant cost and time savings for the FM and stakeholders involved.
Feedback and audits:
Another important part of FM is easing complaint/incident management and practices for TAT improvement. Through digital ticketing tools that allow ticket raising and incident reporting from anywhere using just a phone, the end-user can track the status and get live updates on the go. It also helps the FM deploy immediate measures through a pre-set escalation matrix, track the TAT, and access ready data for a time of audit and scrutiny.
Remote management of people and assets:
A game-changer with these tools is remote workability. Specifically for organizations with a centralized model of asset management, tracking their operations across multiple locations around the globe can be quite challenging. Through these tools though, the stakeholders involved can track performance, deployments, consumables, etc., in real-time from any location they are in. These infer more efficiency, thus cost and time savings. With the pandemic creating more distance and making travel a hindrance for people, these tools have surpassed these obstacles and ensure seamless operations critical to business continuity.
Security and surveillance:
The demands of the pandemic have also boosted the need for technology to the front end of the facility. As norms seek higher security and surveillance of people for numerous reasons, the use of AI has become paramount. An example is the use of AI-driven thermal screening devices. In order to check the body temperature of personnel entering a facility, the method of using hand-guns by security personnel can pose various challenges. Crowding, time consumption, and safety of security personnel are among a few. AI surveillance systems overcome this issue by automating the process and storing the data on the cloud. These will come to use for contact tracing and other risk mitigation procedures at a time of need. Also, better control to avoid the crowding of people at a facility.
IoT, Sensors, and Cloud technology:
IoT and Cloud technology are the ultimate contributors to transforming facility management. Using sensors and integrating them to the cloud using IoT, we can deploy better measures to monitor areas such as IAQ (Indoor air quality), temperature and humidity of critical rooms, occupancy levels, energy consumption, etc. Since ESG and Net Zero are among the key focus areas for businesses, the need for data is crucial to understanding and deploying measures in sync with their goals.
With the changing work models moving towards a hybrid/flexible setup, the need for better planning is more crucial than ever. Not having a set plan of action for fluctuating occupancy can be a disaster if not looked at critically. It is like hosting an event without surety on the number of attendees. It can get chaotic! The space management tools provide solutions to this hardship. Allowing people to prebook workstations, meals, transportation, and amenities ensures the FM have a clear plan of action, resulting in a good user experience. Moreover, assets like STPs, WTPs, HVACs, etc., function on pre-set parameters directly dependent on occupancy. Therefore, by deriving a pattern and establishing an approximation on occupancy, the FM can plan their resources and checklists with more clarity.
The possibilities and advantages of technology are endless, constantly evolving to make our lives easier and help us work more efficiently. On this transformation though, it is important to weigh the consequences too. Especially in the facility management sector, technology integration can strike a rise in fear of being replaced at the ground level. At this juncture, integrating technology must be focused only on better efficiency in human effort, and not to replace the human being as such. After all, facility management is all about giving life to spaces, an act impossible without people.