Future now

Think AI is the future of FM? The reality is it’s already here says Regan Sparks, Operations Director at Integrated FM Services Provider, 14forty

While headlines often portray AI as a technology of tomorrow, the truth is it is already revolutionising businesses and FM service providers today. The opportunities are endless for those who embrace it.

AI is eliminating the monotony of repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on more strategic initiatives. It’s enabling service providers to work smarter and faster, and with its vast data-crunching abilities, it provides the kind of analytics that inspire true business transformation.

New technologies are already enhancing FM services. The use of cobots (collaborative robots) in various operations, particularly in
the realm of cleaning services has already demonstrated significant advantages, proving to be both cost-effective and efficient. This has garnered positive feedback from clients and employees.

The impact is real. The benefits are tangible. From streamlining operations to boosting productivity and profitability, artificial intelligence is already proving its worth as an invaluable asset for forward-thinking FMs and service providers.



AI is taking the reins in optimising energy usage by using rich data sources from sensors and building management systems. By identifying patterns and trends, AI empowers facilities managers to make informed decisions, resulting in significant cost reductions on energy bills. New systems being integrated into buildings require even more knowledge about facility operations, as well as the ability to understand the data coming in from so many sources.

At 14forty, we’ve been pioneering harnessing cutting-edge technology and data analytics. Our teams are always ahead of the curve, with ongoing training programmes that ensure we can squeeze every efficiency gain out of AI-powered energy management.


Leveraging its analytical prowess, AI empowers facilities managers to fine-tune space utilisation. By scrutinising data on occupancy, traffic patterns, and usage, AI enables smarter decisions that lead to more efficient workflows, improved space utilisation and, ultimately, enhanced employee productivity.


AI is also emerging as a valuable ally in security operations. By analysing data from security cameras, sensors, and other devices, AI can swiftly detect potential security breaches, both digital and physical. Furthermore, its real-time insights can significantly improve emergency response times, ensuring enhanced protection for facilities and their occupants.


Humans and robots working in collaboration is the future in almost all industries. In FM, ‘cobots’ are already being used for cleaning and polishing floors in office buildings and hospitals; and they work incredibly efficiently.

Floor-mopping by hand covers approximately 250 square metres per hour, while modern cobots can cover over 1,200 sq.m per hour – and their speed is expected to increase further with the use of AI for collision detection and enhanced performance.

Already, cobots are being designed to offer multiple services rather than just one. For instance, cobots that clean also include a camera to spot other hazards.


The way people work has changed since the rise of working from home, and more organisations are making flexible approaches permanent. In response, by partnering with tech innovators, we have been able to introduce data-driven insights to FM operations, using sensor technology, dashboarding and algorithmic analysis.

AI has emerged as a game-changer. By analysing data from sensors and equipment to foresee maintenance requirements and respond to actual facility usage, the predictive capability of AI not only reduces downtime but also extends equipment lifespan, ultimately resulting in significant cost savings on repairs and replacements.


Of course, the AI journey is only just starting – and there are many other areas in which it could develop in future.

So for those who are anxious about AI or fear the technology could lead to negative outcomes, it’s worth noting that AI is already here – and already making a positive impact. Think of the ubiquitous nature of Siri or Alexa in the home, the smartphone in your pocket, the ways in which the Spotify algorithm predicts what you want to listen to next.

Taking over manual tasks that free up employees to focus on more expert tasks is part of the benefit, but there is so much more to it than that. The growing use of data and the Internet of Things (IoT) in business has huge potential, too.

AI is here and it’s here to stay. We’ve already found that it can improve the customer experience by completing repetitive tasks to a high standard and in quick time. We also know this has a knock-on effect on our FM teams as they now have more time to focus on more complex tasks that allow them to utilise their skills. Can it be taken to another level?

The good news is that you won’t have to wait long to find the answer to this question. AI is already proving its potential in our daily lives and technology is improving all the time.


About Sarah OBeirne

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