Over the past two years, the facility management (FM) sector has demonstrated immense resilience and adaptability in a post-Covid world. In this era of disruptive technologies, businesses have leveraged new capabilities to drive innovation. Facility management has been at the forefront of leveraging the power and precision of new and emerging technologies that are changing the course of industries. According to a report, the industrial and warehousing sectors in India reported a 9% rise thanks to growing consumption-based demands this year. Optimizing functionality, sustainability, and safety with industry-first practises through FM has emboldened this sector’s growth. Similarly, a survey has reported that the co-working market has registered 64% growth this year, which is anticipated to continue. The FM sector has been able to revolutionise and tailor scalable services that render operational efficiency to achieve business goals.
The interplay of technology, people, and processes has accelerated the exponential growth of FM, enabling it to deliver turnkey projects seamlessly. Some of the key trends that will continue to drive its growth include:
Smart integration of operational technologies
The FM sector has undergone a significant transformation due to the convergence of digital and physical work environments. Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and analytics, FM has evolved into playing a robust strategic role, moving past its traditional housekeeping, technical pest control, landscaping, and business support services.
As organisations continue to scale, maintenance becomes a proactive rather than preventative approach. A predictive maintenance programme provides a better understanding of the health of the systems and is more cost-effective. Thereby, organisations are able to reduce costs in areas such as energy, HVAC, security, and other critical systems. The advancement of technology is at the core of FM services and is expected to continue contributing towards the growth of this industry well into the future.
Using data in a more quantitative way
Creating a data-driven approach lays the groundwork for efficient facility management practices. Digital logbooks and inventory management tools automate and track data on machine performance, such as power and water consumption, diesel stock, housekeeping, and consumables. Continuous monitoring and reporting of data pertaining to equipment uptime enables streamlined and analytically-based predictive maintenance that improves the lifecycle of equipment and infrastructure.
Building holistic sustainability policies
The FM sector contributes to the larger ESG agenda through its dedicated suite of tech-powered services. With developments during the recently concluded COP27 summit underscoring the global need to mitigate the climate crisis, India’s efforts will play an active role in empowering more resilient sustainability frameworks. This will further delineate the industry’s commitment towards enabling carbon neutrality and achieving a net-zero future. With the industry transforming its services to be on par with global standards, these efforts will be critical in addressing the policy, regulatory, and sustainability requirements of stakeholders across diverse business ecosystems.
Sustainability will continue to be the pivotal focus area for industrial operations, which in turn will catalyse transformative change across sectors. The facility management sector will bolster its growth trajectory with the aid of state-of-the-art technology, subject expertise, proficiency in skilling, and optimised specialist services as the industry moves into the next decade of technological innovation. This will mark the future of the sector as a disruptive enabler for business growth and success.
(The author is Ms. Shareen Bhatia, Country Head – Business Solutions, Embassy Services Private Limited and the views expressed in this article are her own)