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5 Steps to Implement a Centralized Facility Management (CFM) Platform
Author: Tom Willie, CEO, Blue Pillar

There are a host of issues facing today's facility managers. The pressures to ensure that facility-based operations are managed reliably and economically are challenged by budget reductions, rising energy prices, and an aging infrastructure. In addition to aging electrical and mechanical facilities, more than 50 percent of facilities management personnel are expected to retire within the next 10 years, and their extensive knowledge base will be lost.

Coupling an aging infrastructure with the large number of vendors and equipment to manage underscores the breadth of challenges and affirms the necessity for Centralized Facility Management (CFM) to improve resiliency and energy reliability. CFM provides the answers to many of the problems facing facility managers today and is critical for ensuring systems don't fail, money isn't wasted, and lives are not at risk.

The Best Candidates for CFM

Any multi-site facility can benefit from centralizing their facility management. However, large, geographically distributed facilities—such as universities, hospital systems, and military institutions—are typically the leaders in adopting CFM technology. The facilities and organizations that benefit the most from CFM are the critical and complex facilities that depend most on maintaining continuous operations.

Implementing a CFM Platform

Step 1

It is critical for an organization to define what it wants from a CFM strategy for both the company and its facilities. A reputable CFM provider will work with a company to identify and rank CFM platform benefits during the initial stages of the conversation. Important elements to discuss include, but are not limited to, facility capital budgeting, energy efficiency planning, site score-carding, and standardization of corporate best practices.

Step 2

Once the benefits of a CFM strategy are determined, organizations can then shift budget decisions from the local facilities to the corporate level, allowing for enterprise-wide capital prioritization based on critical need.

Step 3

The next step is technology implementation, including deployment of a secure, vendor-neutral software-based platform for data visualization, monitoring, and control. The most critical element to consider in selecting a CFM platform making sure it is vendor-neutral. Most of the vendor-specific technologies prohibit the ability to integrate data from multiple systems and solutions, thereby reducing the economic benefits of a universal CFM.

Step 4

Once connected, corporate management uses the CFM platform to run analytics to reveal operational data that can improve best practices and enable more efficient deployment of resources across sites. The ideal platform will be able to aggregate and analyze facility energy and operational information into a single, centralized dashboard and control interface, including: health, state and readiness; compliance status and reporting; and other facility operating conditions.

Step 5

Lastly, organizations can use CFM to "virtualize" certain aspects of energy management, such as enacting remote facilities management, automating load shaping, and supporting genset dispatch. Having a centralized CFM also supports site score-carding, tracking of best practices, and corporate standardization to deliver a more proactive and more efficient facility management strategy.

In addition to selecting a provider that has a vendor-neutral technology application, it is also important to consider how much time it takes to implement a program. A platform that allows you to ubiquitously connect facility energy equipment, regardless of asset type or vendor, is also better equipped to implement the program more quickly. By ensuring these capabilities are offered in a CFM platform, organizations can centralize decision-making, enable system-wide operational oversight and compliance, execute energy efficiency programs, and support budgeting and asset planning processes.

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2015 Summit Highlights: Session D2 - Strategies and Solutions for Enterprise Energy Management

Advanced technologies and operational data are valuable tools facility managers can use to maintain tenant comfort and satisfaction, improve performance, streamline maintenance and operations, and lower costs. But what strategies and solutions provide the greatest benefits for corporate and enterprise energy management? How do intelligent building technologies support your energy management and sustainability programs? This session will discuss some of the most common energy management "myths" and provide action plans that facility management teams can use today - and build on tomorrow - to increase efficiency, improve occupant comfort, and reduce energy costs.

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About Our Sponsor: Blue Pillar is a leading provider of facility Internet of Things (IoT) and energy management solutions for complex single site and centralized multisite facilities. The Aurora, Avise Insite and Avise Foresite platforms connect, control, and manage data to help organizations improve energy resiliency, efficiency and overall facility operations. Today, over 255 of the most critical, complex and geographically dispersed facilities – across healthcare, government, higher education, and other industries – use Blue Pillar to manage their energy and power systems.

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