Increase Efficiency and Optimize FM Performance with Data Analytics

In the many years we’ve had the privilege of hosting our user conferences, we have seen remarkable advancements in how facilities managers approach their profession. FMs that we interact with today are taking a more strategic, analytical approach to their day-to-day tasks. They are no longer content as simply the “fixer-uppers” of the business when problems crop up with buildings or equipment. Instead, they see themselves as the hub of the business operations by ensuring stores, restaurants, and facilities are performing at peak capacity. 

We’d like to think that our Service Automation platform has played a role in this new confidence level among FMs. One key capability of the platform is the access it provides to facilities data and advanced analytic, revealing a wealth of actionable, cost-saving insights. Data-driven decision making is now an option for FMs, with some very avante garde use cases such as integrating predictive analytics into their strategy. Done correctly, facilities data analytics can help FMs gauge asset condition and predict upcoming maintenance spend – yielding up to a tenfold ROI with savings of 30 to 40 percent. 

When ServiceChannel launched as a company in 1999, most FM departments were still operating on a pen and paper basis; phone calls were the primary mode of communication out to contractors. With a lack of access to data, decisions were made according to “gut feel,” cobbled together based on a combination of experience and instinct. 

Today, with the benefit of Service Automation, those same decisions are powered by a wealth of historical and real-time data around spend, performance, and efficiency. Plus, artificial intelligence (AI) is now available to further streamline and optimize the work order and invoice approval process – as evidenced by ServiceChannel’s Decision Engine technology. The fact that we’ll be featuring these advanced technologies in so many of our sessions at ServiceX 2019 shows just how far we’ve come in helping FMs drive improvements in efficiency, spend, and overall performance. 

Excited to learn more about how to leverage facilities data analytics in your day-to-day? Attend our session, Turn Facilities into a Bunch of Know-it-Alls with Analytics and Decision Engine, at ServiceX 2019. In the meantime, let’s take a look at a few key areas of FM operations that you should be using data to support:

Vendor Performance

In the Pre-Service Automation dark ages, establishing consistent standards for contractor performance across multiple locations was nearly impossible. Factors such as regional availability, facility age, and local economic variables all influenced the kind of performance you could expect from – and the amount you were willing to pay – your contractors. Without a comprehensive data analytics platform, these factors limited facility professionals’ ability to create benchmarks around performance and spend. 

Today, we have technology that changes all that. We’ll be announcing a new and exciting ServiceChannel feature at ServiceX that simplifies vendor management for multi-location businesses. This feature will make it easier for FMs to understand and address the often-convoluted work order link chain that forms when a single task or repair is passed off multiple times. As we all know, these handoffs between internal and external service providers greatly impact time to resolution, cost, and other KPIs. Simply being able to identify the problem and single out underperforming service providers will have a substantial impact on your bottom line.  

Furthermore, using data to craft objective, productive vendor performance reviews is arguably the most critical step to successful company-to-contractor relationships. Without carefully tracking and analyzing data such as check-in and check-out times, subsequent asset performance, cost, and total time to resolution (measured against KPIs), contractor performance reviews can fall into dangerously subjective territory. A centralized dashboard with data-driven vendor scorecards will solve a myriad of business problems, making it easier for FMs to ensure consistent, high-quality service across all locations. 

Spend and Workflow Management

 While it can be tempting to avoid data out of fear that you’ll be overwhelmed by what you find, it’s critical that FMs check in regularly on the status of their program. “Out of sight, out of mind” might have worked for FMs decades ago but it’s not a viable excuse today – nor should it be. After all, maintaining a bird’s eye view over your program’s performance opens the door for creative problem solving and speedy resolutions. Daily, weekly, and monthly email or subscription-based reports from your Service Automation Analytics Dashboard will keep you up-to-date with urgent priorities, spending trends, and important outliers.

Attend our ServiceX session, Turn Facilities into a Bunch of Know-it-Alls with Analytics and Decision Engine, to find out how often you should be checking up on facilities data, how to set up automated reporting, how to quickly locate the insights you need to power your day-to-day workflow. For example – have you ever wondered how to check up on recently submitted emergency work orders to make sure they were successfully resolved? We’ll walk you through the steps to create an email subscription report detailing all Open and In-Progress work orders with an Emergency Priority, helping you easily identify outliers to your expected daily workflow. 

When it comes to yearly or quarterly budgeting and CapEx planning, many FMs find themselves digging through piles of disorganized invoices, spreadsheets, and emails to prepare their findings for their business’ finance leaders. By implementing a Service Automation platform with powerful analytics, spend and budgetary forecasting becomes an ongoing process. With Discovery Dashboard, for instance, visualizations illustrate YoY or MoM trends in spending across time, location, category, and trade so FMs can keep an eye on any concerning patterns and address them early on. 

AI-Powered Prescriptive Analytics

Accessing and interpreting data is important, but it can also be time consuming – especially when it comes to repetitive tasks such as the approval of proposals, work orders, and invoices. Particularly when complex or high-cost, these types of approval processes can take several days and tend to be based on a subjective, ‘gut feeling’ as opposed to hard facts. This is not because the facts are impossible to come by – rather, it’s because it could take hours to manually sift through years of historical data to uncover, for instance, the benchmark cost for HVAC filter replacement at a specific location. 

Decision Engine solves this problem by introducing machine learning (ML) capabilities to the ServiceChannel platform. Using prescriptive analytics, Decision Engine transforms the FM’s decision-making processes by drawing on 15 years of historical data. The system uses sophisticated models to recommend and even automate decisions, such as the acceptance or denial of a vendor proposal. This leads to an increase in both consistency and efficiency across the organization, turning ‘gut-feeling’ decisions into data-backed ones. 

For facilities professionals who are new to the role or taking over for a former colleague, Decision Engine’s machine learning technology also makes it easier to pick up where the former FM left off. The technology will take into account past user behavior and preferences while offering up prescriptive insights for best next steps – so FMs can make quick, data-driven decisions, freeing up spare time for more important projects. 

If you’re thinking about incorporating prescriptive analytics into your facilities program, don’t miss our session at ServiceX 2019. We’ll take a deep dive into a few practical use cases, including how to manage rate discrepancies, automate the approval of invoices, and get a better handle on spend and negotiated rates using Decision Engine technology. 

Ready to Learn More? Join us at ServiceX 2019

Join us from September 22 to 24 in Scottsdale, AZ for ServiceChannel’s exclusive 3-day conference, ServiceX. A must-attend event for anyone interested in improving customer experience, attendees will have the chance to discover industry trends, attend product education sessions, and network with like-minded peers in their industry. 

Turn Facilities into a Bunch of Know-it-Alls with Analytics and Decision Engine

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

10:45 – 11:30 AM

See how our customers are using Analytics to manage vendor performance, limit invoice errors, track budgets, and manage asset spend. And learn how Decision Engine helps you evaluate proposals and invoice approvals to streamline operations and increase your productivity.

 Find out how to activate the power of the #1 Facilities Management Platform to transform your business at this premier, no-cost event. Space is limited.

Some important details to mark on your calendars: 

    • Where: Scottsdale, AZ – Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
    • When: September 22nd-24th. On-site registration begins at 3:00 p.m. on the 22nd. 
    • What: An exclusive 3 days of learning, networking, innovation, sharing, and fun.
    • Who: Anyone who is involved in ensuring their business maintains a consistent customer experience.
    • Extras: Expert speakers, product training, networking sessions, innovation showcase, a chance to meet the ServiceChannel staff.