FM and Information Systems
Surely because the relative youngness of the FM (not true for the different covered activities) form an IS standpoint is relevant to discuss the Solution Architecture that makes possible a successful FM implementation.
At the lower level, there is a layer of physical devices (sensors, PLCs, measurement devices, electric installation) .
These layer is managed (and sometimes its information is gathered) by highly specific systems (as Industrial Controls) that may be connected to Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) that support monitoring, log gathering, etc.
In a way not always integrated with the previous described layers, form IS standpoint the next layer is the traditional Maintenance Management System, oriented to the support of human activities (Work Orders) and material management (Material Consumption of Work Orders, for instance).
In a higher level, more much near to the management of economic aspects and direct higher value, there are some needs to be covered:
- Buildings Management (covering physical aspects but legal and assets management too)
- Projects Management (new buildings, changes of use, big scale repairs...)
- Space Management (including the Space use by the organization and economic attribution of costs)
- General Services Management, Internal Customer Care, SLA Management (internal and external), Service Agreements...
- Sustainability, including Waste Management, Energy Efficiency, Carbon Footprint, Health aspects of Labour, Security normative framework and so on.
These different aspects, specifics to Facility Management require 3 integration instances:
- Corporate ERP integration (usually in order to reflect at the economic level relevant transactions from the FM activities).
- Internal integration (within the FM environment) through common tools covering common needs as a Document Repository, Users definition and authorization, Access security, etc.
- Integration with non alphanumeric information, as plots and maps (or more recently BIM objects) in order to support geo-localization of assets, different layers of building installations, etc.
Finally, an emerging and new aspect that configures the more important current trend, is the accumulation of all the detailed information recollected at different levels, with the application of Big Data techniques of analytics, prediction and pattern recognition with a huge impact over the economics of the FM activities.