How to Enable Proactive Facility Management

July 13, 2016

Facility managers have a tough but vital job. They need to catch issues and respond to them quickly, prioritizing as best they can with little to no visibility into the metrics that tell the bigger picture. With so much time focused on reactive tasks, there is very little time for proactive measures. The good news, though, is that new technology is making it possible for facility managers to not only handle the day-to-day tasks that come up, but to actually take a proactive stance on facility management.

Building automation systems are becoming increasingly open, paving the way for new software that can analyze building automation data and use it to drive operational savings while increasing efficiency and occupant satisfaction.

While it might sound like a pipe dream, with automated fault detection and diagnostics solutions that tap into these open building automation systems, facility managers can quickly identify problems and their causes, prioritize maintenance and repairs, and develop a plan for proactive action that will reduce costs, improve sustainability, and even help them reap utility incentives that can put hundreds of thousands of dollars back in the budget.

Proactive Facility Management Starts With AFDD

The first step in becoming more proactive as a facility manager is implementing the right tools. When it comes to building analytics, that means automated fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD.) That “A” (for “automated”) is key. Most FDD systems that facility managers are using today are, of course, able to pull in tons of data, but they don’t exactly help you parse that data. Automated FDD is the key to deciphering the underlying story of what’s really occurring across your building portfolio. This technology is able to correlate huge volumes of data across buildings to derive deep insights that drive impactful actions. Put simply, it handles all the tedious work and adds a layer of intelligence so that facility managers can take immediate action on the data.


With a building analytics solution like Clockworks, facility managers can quickly transition from a reactive to proactive facility management approach, focused on actionable insights from the platform that lay out exactly where operational inefficiencies and energy waste are taking place.


Even with the right data on hand, it’s not always clear how to prioritize repairs and maintenance. That’s why you need to have a system in place to help you get organized and avoid barking up the wrong tree.

For example, if you have hundreds of air handlers across dozens of buildings, you need a systematic way to balance comfort, efficiency, and cost reduction. No human can do this kind of complex calculation manually, but an automated FDD solution can help prioritize diagnostic findings based on cost and outcome. This can be applied to virtually every system in every building, so the benefits quickly multiply.

Measure, Report and Optimize

One of the best ways to step out of the “day to day” of facility management and adopt a proactive approach is to spend more time analyzing results and making data-driven decisions. A comprehensive AFDD solution will do much of the legwork for you, leaving you to make the decisions and adjustments that matter most for your facilities.

For example, reporting should help you determine:

  • How energy consumption changes year-to-year and month-to-month
  • Which operational changes make the biggest impact on cost and energy usage
  • How long building systems are lasting on average and how updates impact longevity
  • Whether changes are increasing comfort and satisfaction levels
  • How cost-to-run is changing for equipment and systems over time

The answer to these important concerns will help you continue to make strategic choices that enhance your facilities performance and keep your stakeholders—whether occupants, visitors or owners—satisfied. Best of all, with sophisticated reporting technology, you’ll be able to demonstrate to upper management, utility providers and others the cost savings and efficiency gains that result from proactive facility management.

Proactive Choices Lead to Positive Outcomes

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the world of facility management that adage couldn’t be more true. Uncovering and resolving an issue with one of your air handlers prior to a scorching summer day, for example, will save your team from a deluge of occupant complaints and allow your team focus on preventative, scheduled maintenance objectives. Ultimately, this course of action yields greater energy efficiency, cost-savings, and occupant satisfaction.

When automated fault detection and diagnostics are combined with building automation systems, such as in the Clockworks platform, the result is access to more data than ever before, as well as prioritized insights and streamlined reporting that puts you back in the driver’s seat. And that’s a good thing for everyone involved.

Want to put automated FDD to work in your facilities? Set up a demo and we’ll show you how Clockworks can help.


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