By Lucian Anghel, Founder and CEO, Timepal Romania & Facilities Management Services
Why is it important to know the trends in the field of facilities management that will be accentuated in 2021? Because you will have to decide how to integrate them in the company’s strategy as well as in the operational tactics to align the objectives with the emerging elements in the market in order to implement new projects and programs on time.
Although not all trends are equally significant, their knowledge and awareness will increase the adequacy of facility management services to customer requirements and expectations. Therefore, in this article we review the most important trends in facility management.
Trend # 1 Integrated services
It is expected that in 2021, globally, the field of integrated facilities management services will exceed $ 152 billion. The reason is that an integrated approach allows for improved consistency in the quality of services and also provides a better perspective for companies’ management of developments and long-term vision. In contrast to integrated FM services, one-off services operate independently, which can create quality gaps, poor overall management and misuse or excessive use of resources. This is why companies move from individual contractors of FM services, separated by role, typology or function to a single partner or strategic provider of FM services.
Trend # 2 Customization
Following the trends in many other industries and facilities management becomes a more marked industry of customization in relation to space users. This trend means more flexibility in the use of space, customizable services and solutions, and more personalized products. The evolution and increase of the footprint given by technology in the delivery of services makes this easier to offer to both the building owner and the users. Online applications and tools play a greater role in the customer experience, helping them to receive real-time updates and knowledge about the contracted products or services.
Trend # 3 Collaboration
The relationship between the customer and the FM service provider changes from a well-completed single or recurring service sequence to a relationship that turns into a long-term partnership. Today, customers want to choose partners for FM services that not only can complete the necessary projects, but more importantly, manage to align with the values and culture of their company. This puts pressure on facility management companies to be able to understand the motivations of each generation in the labor market. Who are motivated by flexibility at work, wellbeing or environmental impact? All this counts for the long-term collaboration relationship. One thing is for sure: attracting, recruiting and retaining valuable partners becomes more complex as newer generations enter the workforce.
Trend # 4 Smart work
As technology continues to develop, it is becoming easier for companies to provide a connected, energy-efficient and comfortable workspace. Numerous studies show that globally, 20.4 billion connected devices will be used by 2021, up from 8.3 billion in 2017. Smart buildings with integrated lights, sensors, windows, HVAC units, doors and CCTV in a network they are becoming more common. An increased emphasis on energy efficiency is making LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification more and more sought after.
Trend # 5 Technological development
The evolution of technology not only helps to increase employee comfort, but also allows deeper analysis of the data collected. Building management systems (BMS) based on artificial intelligence and Machine Learning can use the series of data collected about work and workforce to make actionable decisions. Data analysis allows BMS systems to better understand the use of existing space to make more efficient decisions.
The technological impact does not end here. The market for robotics and software automation is growing. Robots are used for security monitoring, to guide visitors and to perform automated services. This reduces labor costs and increases efficiency.
Facility management companies need to align their business objectives and strategies with these trends. Of course, every business is different, and FM companies are no exception. That is why it is necessary to analyze the impact of the trends presented on the company’s activity and incorporate them in the plans for 2021 at the level of each company.