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Remote control

John Roe, Sales Director at Promptus explains the use of remote monitoring in helping FMs manage sites

There are constant advancements in how FMs can use Remote Monitoring (RM) services for their site(s) by offering users the ability to gain insight into a machine and / or equipment health status, performance, and behaviour patterns. This is typically achieved through a combination of Internet of Things (IoT) technology and cloud-based computing, all done from a considerable distance, hence the “remote”.

RM services can be broken into a series of steps, the first being Data Collection, where devices periodically capture the required information, streaming this data instantly. Access and management of data is where users can visit an online cloud-based portal to analyse information and alter elements of site alerts, as well as control site systems and reports. The user can access the portal from anywhere via internet connection.


The emergence of RM for FMs has accelerated in the past few years, with 67 per cent of UK FM businesses increasing their IoT and technology investments to boost efficiency. This in turn enables the responsible individuals to monitor assets and spaces through sensors that transmit information for real-time, remote management.

The need to manage various scales of facilities brings several responsibilities, such as stock management and access control. Services can be made completely bespoke to a specific workplace depending on the requirements.

There are a multitude of ways FMs can use RM. For example, a popular service over the past couple of years has been sensors that can monitor air quality, which allows the responsible facility management individual to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their spaces.

FMs can obtain constant and transparent data through RM sensors and therefore better understand the condition of their managed assets. When data is clearly displayed in an online portal, this allows for analysis of the facility environment, and in turn higher operational efficiency through condition-based maintenance.

RM can bring a number of benefits for facility managers;

1. Cost savings with predictable pay-back in saved labour time

RM of assets is a key requirement for the implementation of condition-based maintenance. Through RM, you can analyse data and information of assets and receive maintenance works recommendations without even having to visit the building or consult anyone. Investment in IoT is likely to bring returns on investment in less than two years.

Furthermore, the data obtained, from a couple of devices to thousands, allows for an effective predictive maintenance approach. This in turn means equipment quality is optimised and the downtime of assets is limited.

2. Systems monitored 24/7

FMs often own or manage assets that are sensitive to environmental conditions, such as temperature-sensitive products like food fridges. The 24/7 aspect allows managers to maintain excellent conditions or enhance security, with services such as CCTV monitoring providing alerts.

3. ‘No Touch’ Management supports infection control

RM allows FMs to monitor and analyse indoor and outdoor air quality, or use UV light to detect issues. Improving the health and wellbeing of spaces directly impacts productivity and energy efficiency. An online cloud can provide alerts, advanced analytics, and reporting. Furthermore, the FM can compare and export data and receive tips to reduce indoor air hazards, optimise ventilation and save on energy costs.

4. Enhanced environmental benefits including energy savings and improved asset life cycle

RM of spaces is key to optimising energy consumption and efficiency. Remote data collection can be used to ensure systems such as air conditioning, emergency lights or auto flushing units are operating to their maximum capability.

This reduces the likelihood of equipment wear and sudden need for replacement, as well as lowering energy bills. RM boosts the environmental performance of buildings and enables FMs to implement effective sustainability programs.

5. Minimises disruption to staff, visitors and building users

RM significantly reduces the number of personnel that must be deployed in physical locations, for means such as testing and inspections. This reduction of labour allows managers to maximise the site for other uses. FMs can also have more flexibility in planning future processes.

6. Varying solutions depending on facility type and size

RM allows FMs to monitor the use of different areas more effectively. Managers can take advantage of a wide range of data on space usage, and ensure these areas are utilised to their maximum potential and wastage is reduced.

7. System automated pro-active compliance recommendations, suggestions and alerts

Monitoring enables FMs to combine information about various assets and processes, regardless of time due to the 24/7 feature, and regardless of the location of the assets as users can access from anywhere. This gives the responsible person a transparent view of their operations from top to bottom. The FM can gain real-time visibility on the status of assets and services.

It is important that users can quickly detect and respond to issues that require attention and apply mitigation plans without delay. By using RM, FMs can react fast to any problems, often reducing costs by preventing complications from escalating.


About Sarah OBeirne

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