Is Facility Management Going Virtual? (VR, AR and AI)

Facility management companies are going virtual, and for good reason. The adoption of technology across sectors like FM has changed how we work and streamlined various internal work processes. It’s in no small part thanks to the adoption of AI-driven technologies, alongside virtual reality and augmented reality. 

In today’s blog, Omnia360 explains why facility management is going virtual and what the benefits are.

What Does “Virtual” Mean in this Case?

Going “virtual” involves the adoption of technologies that allow FM companies to perform work tasks and internal processes without being in the same location in person. VR and AR technologies fall under the umbrella of “going virtual.”

Let’s define some terms:

  • Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment.
  • Augmented reality (AR) enhances the physical world through sensory media technologies.

Both AR & VR are key components to how the FM industry is evolving.

So what’s driving the push for facility management companies to be virtual? 

Rapid advances in AI technology, increased globalization, social invention, disruptive change, and market competition are drivers for why many facility management companies are “going virtual.”  

Three Ways Virtual Technologies are Enhancing Facility Solutions

1. Monitor “Unseen” Equipment

Using augmented reality technologies in a facility is like having X-Ray vision. Those hard-to-reach pipes, wiring or tunnels hidden within a building are far easy to spot, monitor and assess. Without AR enhancements, you’d likely have to take out the drywall or perform some other intensive task to access these areas. The sensors that collect data that can be exported to an FM software for review. This helps FM teams complete more accurate repair and maintenance work.

2. Create Smart 3D Renderings of Facilities

VR technologies allow one to be fully immersed in a building’s layout, seeing every facet of a facility, and making it easier to comprehensively plan, build and maintain a facility. Normally, when this is done in person, it’s time intensive and involves plenty of trial and error. VR devices also allow for multiple users to view a scalable 3D rendering of a facility simultaneously, thereby making collaboration easier and presenting ideas to stakeholders more engaging (you can show, instead of tell).

3. Remote Troubleshooting

Using VR to create 3D models for remote, virtual inspections require fewer resources and help managers determine better, strategic solutions for facilities. Using VR to troubleshoot equipment problems, schedule accurate work orders and direct contractors remotely saves enormous sums of time and makes FM managers more competent at their role.

Going Virtual Means Greater Labor Efficiency

Virtual technologies are forcing companies in facility management and other sectors to adapt their business practices. The advent of remote work, for instance, or “work from anywhere” jobs lowers the overall cost of maintaining a brick and mortar facility; and, at the very least, reduces various costs like a building’s monthly energy bill usage and cleaning services.

There are plenty of benefits to telework and adopting a virtual work method:

  • Improving team productivity 
  • Optimizing operations cost-efficiency
  • Leveraging decentralized labor resources

Virtual Technologies Streamline FM Work Processes

Omnia360 is among the many companies to incorporate virtual solutions to bolster internal work processes and workload efficiency.

This is specifically the case when it comes to assessing facility operations, organizing a maintenance task pipeline, and collaborating with clients on project management workflows.

  • Monitoring and Reporting: Technology allows for seamless updates on work order statuses, where an FM manager can be at work, receive an auto-generated work order that can be easily viewed by an on-site service technician.
  • Data Collection and Analytics: The integration of cloud networking and mobile infrastructure allows for FM managers to collect data for operations, equipment and work orders with a mobile phone app, making for faster decisions and more control over maintenance plans.
  • Streamlined Business Operations: Wifi-based mobile integration of the workplace allows for expedited work order processes, improved labor efficiency, and cost savings, where requested work orders can be sent directly to a technician through an app.

The instant connectivity over digital devices through apps allows for minuscule processes of information transfer between parties regarding work orders, repairs, and projects to be far quicker and easier than ever before. 

Mobile Vendors and Improved Turnaround Time

With the help of virtual meetings and improved data connectivity on the Cloud, mobile vendors can better share information about a project or work order before, during, and after it’s completed.

With more information through data, there’s increased accuracy and streamlined efficiency in completing on-site repairs and maintenance checks. 

Digital Workload Management (Integrating Asset Tracking)

AI technologies are becoming an integral part of running a facility management company. So much of the manual work of filing and organizing work orders, detailing project budgets and so much more is getting outsourced to a computer. 

This means companies can be more agile and direct resources towards other productive pursuits.

Here are some of the benefits of having asset-tracking technologies and digitized resources:

  • Easy management and transfer of work orders or project specs
  • Tracking complaints or internal changes to update business goals
  • Reporting and monitoring shifts in a business operations capacity
  • Accurate data collection and analytics to support smart business decisions

Related Post: Top 5 Facility Management Solutions Software for 2022

Adopting Virtual Technologies is a Net Benefit to Any Company

This streamlined efficiency not only benefits FM companies, but clients as well.

Businesses that need their landscaping spruced up, commercial HVAC systems repaired, or broken plumbing fixed can expedite the process of getting repairs completed on time and under budget with integrated virtual technologies.

Virtual tech improves transparency and allows for building owners and property managers to make informed decisions with their operations budget. 

At Omnia360, we pride ourselves on having well-organized internal processes and procedures, including thorough checks and balances on our repairs and maintenance work. Remote diagnostic technologies make inspecting, assessing and reporting on a building’s specific work projects far more streamlined and accessible to stakeholders.  

Virtual mobile technologies enhance interdepartmental communication, giving faster data transfer between parties and faster decisions.

At Omnia360, we make sure that our on-site vendor management is done in a timely, accurate, and efficient manner, so you can focus on doing what you do best: running your company. 

Hire a Cutting-Edge Facility Management Company Today

The team at Omnia360 utilizes the latest technologies and management practices in the industry. We have all of the tools to ensure your building stays well-maintained and cost-efficient throughout the whole year. Contact us today for a free assessment and more information about our service contracts.