Like so many areas of life, technology is having a massive impact on the way we manage and operate workplaces. Costs are tumbling and Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity and cloud technology are making intelligent buildings a reality.
So why, when so much is now possible, do organisations struggle to realise any measurable benefits from the workplace tech revolution?
Perhaps it’s because Property and FM companies have not sufficiently mastered the technology, or have misguidedly invested in the wrong CAFM and software solutions that can’t deliver?
Or maybe it’s because FM technology is directed at addressing efficiency and operability in building infrastructure, when really the focus needs to be on satisfying the needs of the people who occupy those buildings?
At Q3, the goal is to understand the desired outcomes we want for the people in our clients’ buildings and then to develop and implement the technology that works best to deliver those outcomes.
It’s obvious to us, that every client is different and although all systems and solutions are data-driven, we are always flexible about the choice of technology we implement. It’s our belief that technology should simply be an enabler, to drive a bespoke solution that perfectly matches the unique FM needs of our client.
Doing the right thing by our customers in this way, doesn’t necessarily mean investing in expensive technology or complex software platforms.
Often, deploying standard, out-of-the-box software will provide the perfect answer, such as simPRO, our reactive and PPM and supply chain compliance system, or our Q3 Check auditing system. Sometimes, there may need some development to work but we always adopt open-protocol systems that can be easily adapted, and frequently exploit a client’s existing infrastructure to create a solution. For example, something as simple as using Microsoft 365 Forms to submit helpdesk requests.
Since the Covid pandemic, technology has had the opportunity to play an even more important role in most workplaces, given the disruption that has occurred and the switch to hybrid working. We’ve already introduced solutions such as desk booking systems to facilitate agile working models as well as virtual receptions in offices, where visitor numbers are now so low as to not justify a full-time receptionist.
Through sensor-based occupancy measurement, we can flex the way we resource cleaning schedules to match different levels of demand, from day to day, even hour by hour. Then, via a mobile app used by cleaning operatives, we can deliver specific instructions for each workplace location, directing activity with proactive service alerts, powered by active data from the sensors.
The same philosophy applies in our approach to hard services, where we install sensors and remote measurement to determine when plant needs attention and when we need to deploy a field engineer to site. Technology enables us to shift the maintenance strategy from Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) to a Condition Based Maintenance regime, saving significant cost while not impacting comfort levels or risking business continuity.
On certain contracts like logistic distribution centres, where large open-plan floor cleaning justifies the investment, we have installed robotic cleaners to improve cleaning productivity and reduce cost. Check out this article from Alex Gavrilovic, on the pros and cons of using robots in FM.
With all these examples from across our contracts, we apply a methodology for predicting the likely return on investment of each technology and then go on to track it once it is live, to ensure that reality matches the modelling.
The resultant benefits for your organisation could be financial savings, improved productivity, waste reduction or eliminating CO2 emissions. In each case, it’s all about applying technology to improve the desired outcome, rather than applying technology for technology’s sake.
Because we create a technology infrastructure bespoke to you, it effectively becomes your data on your system, in perpetuity. So, even if you choose to move to another FM provider, there is history and continuity of information, based on the valuable data that’s been amassed. It’s your IT and your IP!
Q3 is a great business to work with and to work for. We were set up by a group of people motivated by experience to create a very different type of Facilities Management company. Here you’ll find out more about us and how we work. If that’s not enough, contact us
Here’s how Q3 works for other clients…