The Role of Technology in Facilities Management

Introduction

Facility management is a field involved with the provision of a suitable environment for working1. It also deals with the services that are necessary to ensure that the core businesses of an organization are running smoothly. It incorporates different fields to ensure that its functions are achieved in time. The importance of the quality of the facility management services cannot be overlooked in the operation of the business entity. This is because this area can result in profitability or losses in the company. Over the years, there has been great investment in this field to ensure that improvements are made in how the whole process is carried out. With the advancement in technology, this field has not been left behind. Incorporating technology in how facilities are managed has resulted in an increase in the efficiency of the service. The effectiveness of the service has also been on an upward trend since the inception of technology in this field.

This paper covers the role of technology in facilities management. The area in which facilities management covers is ever increasing and the need to come up with techniques to ensure that it is effectively conducted arise. This paper establishes how technology has revolutionized how facilities management is conducted. Technology has enhanced the facility management techniques by enabling communication through the use of connectivity technologies such as the use of the internet. Web based technologies have also played an important role in ensuring the revolution in this field2-4. The use of the connectivity to obtain real time data also acts as an important aspect in facility management. This ensures that a large geographical area can be managed from a central point and also communication between these areas is effective. Data collection and sharing within the organization improved and made more secure.

A real world industry example considered in this research is the SITEL UK Ltd5. The challenges the company faces included failing to meet its objectives in facilities management which included the cutting of operational costs, ensuring that the standards in the company are in line with the corporate guidelines, the ability to adapt to changes in the needs of the business among others. Another challenge that faces the company was to determine the best technique in carrying out the facilities management. This resulted in the company conducting an analysis of the two possible methods to find out the best between them. The company had not incorporated the use of technology in the running of its activities and the opportunities that arise include that of implementing technology in the running of its activities. The company also has a chance to increase its client base by adapting to the use of technology which will result in an increase in the amount of the clients that they can attend to. The company tends to favor the use of the manual facility management techniques as opposed to the technological methods because of the starting cost of implementing the technology. However, the company is keen to ensure that the implementation of the use of technology is done due to the exponential increase in its client base.

Background

There has been advancement in how the facility management is conducted. This is because the companies, organizations and business grow with the changing times. This means that the task of facilities management keeps on changing. The amount of work involved in this task increases over time due to the growth in the business sector6. Many corporations are expanding and especially in the field of hotels, hospitality and tourism where the facilities are distributed in different geographical locations. Therefore, adequate measures need to be taken to ensure that the quality of facilities management services do not deteriorate as a result of this. Technology is one of the areas that can be tapped to ensure that this problem is solved. The use of computer aided design and other technological inputs in how facilities management is carried out have gained a lot of insight during this time.

This paper is based on a regional perspective. The choice is made since the research will be effectively carried out and the data obtained can be explained to a greater depth. The research will also be conducted extensively as the geographical region covered is small. The collected data can be taken to be as a sample representing the entire population and therefore the choice of this sample is made to be as representative of the population. This means that the analysis that will be done on the data can be used as a representation of the population as a whole. The perspective is therefore chosen to ensure thorough research is carried out and the results that will be obtained will be of the highest possible accuracy.

Results

The research shows that most of the companies are incorporating technology in how their facilities management is done. However, it is established that these changes are mainly not done as a result of the company wanting to change hoe they are operating. They are enforced due to the increase in demand from the clients. The clients demand increase in the service delivery and the companies are forced to employ technology as one of the options. The success of the implemented technique is also not measured by the amount of money that has been invested but by the quality improvement in service delivery. The use of technology has played an important role in ensuring that the quality of service delivered to the clients is improved immensely. It is also established that before deploying a particular technology to be used by a company, research about the company needs to be conducted first. This will ensure that information about the company is obtained first. The technology that will then be deployed to the company will be fitting to its operations and will favor improvement of its service delivery. Failure to understand the company before deploying a technology may result in the deployment of a technology that doesn’t suit the running or structure of the company resulting in losses being incurred.

The changes in how facilities in the hospitality industry are managed are driven by many factors. The main factor that drives these changes is the expansion in the industry. The hospitality industry is a vibrant industry that is constantly on the increase in terms of the clients that are serviced. Their number keeps on increasing exponentially and the need to ensure that the service delivery is improved cannot be overlooked7-9. Technology serves as a tool so often used to make tasks that would otherwise be complicated easier. Technology is therefore used in this field to ensure that the needs of the clients are met effectively. The sensitivity of the industry also demands that consistent supervision needs to be carried out. Technology also serves to cater for these situations where real time data can be obtained. The use of closed circuit television is also a result of technology and is used in monitoring how service delivery is conducted.

The study of the role of technology in facilities management is important since it gives an insight on methods that may be used to improve service delivery to the hospitality industry. Its importance cannot be overlooked since this industry is client based and their needs are the most important part of the business. Ensuring that all the clients’ needs are met is of fundamental importance in terms of retaining the clients and even attracting new ones. This may be aided by the use of technology to ensure that there increased service delivery and consequently meeting the expectations of the clients. This increases the need to be conversant with technology and incorporating it in this industry. This is because just like automation, the use of technology in this industry will result in an increase in the quality of service delivery. It will also increase how effectively this is done.

The benefits of implementing technology in the hospitality industry are many. It results in the reduction of both the operating and the management costs of the company. This is because the use of technology centralizes all the activities of the company. Communication and data transfer is made more effective and easy. This flow of data makes it easy to monitor different points of the facility. Technology also increases the efficiency of service delivery10. The clients get flexibility in doing their transactions. The efficiency in the system also ensures that less time is wasted and therefore more is channeled to service delivery. Another advantage is that technology allows for a possibility of new services coming up through innovation. The additional of services that are offered to the clients are easily increased when the operations are run online.

Knowledge is important to be able to manage any company. The role played by technology in the field of hospitality is immense as has been established by the research. As a tourism manager of the future, it is important to understand the role that technology plays in this field. This is because it will give you an upper hand when it comes to implementation of technology in facilities management. It will also be easier to make changes in the areas that are not performing well since you will already have a background in the field. The knowledge also makes you more competent when it comes to managing the systems that may be in place.

Conclusion

The research shows clearly that technology plays a very important role in facilities management. The technology can be used to aid both the running of the company and also ensuring that the efficiency of all its activities is maintained at the highest possible level. The companies that have embraced the use of technology in their facilities management are getting more returns as opposed to those that do not. This clearly shows that after understanding the company demands and implementing a technology that suits its operations, the company can be driven to even more success.

The aim of all companies is making profit and as a future manager in the tourism industry, it is important to know the methods that can be used to improve the profitability and service delivery of a company. This includes the use of technology which proves to be one of the most important ingredients to the success of the company.

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