Celebrating World FM Day: Inspire, Integrate and Innovate

April 18, 2024

Katherine Sproles

World FM Day is the opportunity to celebrate the behind-the-scenes heroes of the built environment. We recently talked to leaders from around the industry about inspiration, integration and innovation in FM.

What do you find inspiring about FM?

“Facilities Management is so much more than the assets and infrastructure we touch and see. People are the third dimension. Our ability to impact the daily experiences of occupants and visitors — to provide solutions and services that enhance and optimize user health, business productivity, and workplace satisfaction — is more so the art as much as the science of FM. This is what I get out of bed for every day. This is what inspires me.”

—Shaun Levenson, VP Center of Excellence, ESFM 

“Facility managers are the heart and soul of a building! They are responsible for many critical functions: ensuring building health; operating efficiently; meeting tenant needs; ensuring occupant comfort; and implementing strategies to meet ESG initiatives. With their extensive knowledge of how buildings operate, they are in an ideal position to provide strategic and operational guidance—and engagement—among all stakeholders, from C-level management; to IT, human resources, legal and purchasing teams; and to tenants. They are considered our guides on the path to net zero!”

—Andre Marino, SVP Digital Buildings at Schneider Electric 

What is the one innovation facility managers should learn more about in 2024?

“The business value of reuse. We’ve seen customers reduce budgets by $5 million a year by committing to reuse for just half of their furniture needs. Other customers have made FF&E donations worth five figures, plus the tax benefits and community impact. For facility managers, having visibility into what assets you have, what’s in use, what’s in storage, and what’s surplus helps you make strategic decisions that save money, and that’s a huge lightbulb moment. Facility managers are guardians of the materials brought into the business each year and a key catalyst in the transition to the circular economy.”

—Sushma Kittali-Weidner, Rheaply’s Chief Product Officer 

“Artificial Intelligence in its various forms is set to become one of the most transformative forces in the lives of every human on the planet. As Facilities Management leaders, we must learn to harness the capabilities and potential of AI in delivering optimized operating performance, efficiencies, and insights for the sustainable benefit of property owners. occupants and visitors. AI is here and the speed of change is accelerating. Don’t get left behind.”

—Shaun Levenson, VP Center of Excellence, ESFM

How does data integration impact FM?

“Buildings are complex systems of systems. No aspect of building operations can function without an understanding of the terabytes of data that are being generated from those systems on a daily basis. And that can’t be done manually… it takes software to make sense of all the moving parts and all the information buildings generate. So, integration of building systems, software, and solutions is a critical component of running today’s highly complex buildings. In practical terms for facility managers, this means understanding of how different building systems – electrical, mechanical, controls, etc. – can connect to the real-time data coming out of the workplace itself.  Understanding occupancy, utilization, use of space, location of people, and the needs of the people are necessary for the successful management of a building or campus.  So, data integration provides a holistic view of the operation of the facility and allows for smarter, more automated buildings.”

—Darlene Pope President, North America at Planon 

“No one system does it all, nor should it. Find solutions to fit the needs, then pass relevant “source-of-truth” data to other systems or data lakes. If one solution is no longer relevant, it does not require a platform rip-out vs. an update of integration.”

David Kornegay, Solutions Consultant at FM Systems 

Editor’s Note: Thank you to leaders from some of IFMA’s Corporate Sustaining Partners for contributing to this post.

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