A survey from property services specialist DMA Group has found that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of those working in the industry class themselves as tech-savvy.
However, the same survey also found that 60 per cent still need additional information / knowledge to know where and how to incorporate smart technology into their role and business processes, pointing to a lack of knowledge on how it can specifically support them.
This knowledge gap is also reflected in terms of internal training. Less than half (46 per cent) said that if they were a team leader, they’d be confident training and helping their team to consider how smart technology could be incorporated into their day-to-day roles.
The survey also suggests that tech talent shouldn’t be restricted to just those working in the IT dept. A significant 95 per cent of respondents believe that every business department, including FM, needs to embrace smart technology.
The survey asked both in-house and outsourced FMs about their knowledge of and experience with technology within the built environment. Respondents were also asked about the extent to which such systems are understood and in use within their organisations. The findings suggest that whilst much of the FM workforce may understand the potential benefits of smart technology, many are unaware how to take full advantage of those opportunities.
Steve McGregor, DMA’s Group MD commented: “Most innovation deployed within our industry has come via equipment manufacturers, but digitalisation now empowers service providers to bring further added value too. By connecting our stakeholders and data into a completely transparent and real-time environment, we can automate our transactional business processes and interfaces to drive better communication, greater efficiency, cost reduction and materially improved customer satisfaction. The FM industry must seize this tech dividend because we cannot keep doing the same old things yet expect better results.
“The UK has developed some of the smartest and most technologically advanced buildings in the world, yet they’re still serviced by engineers running around with screwdrivers and spanners. There’s an awful lot of transactional steps and process workflows to making buildings work efficiently and effectively, but technology is the only sustainable enabler for giving customers the convenience, choice, control and certainty they expect.”
“Customer engagement” has become a buzzword in the facilities management sector. Typically, it’s talked about as something radical and transformative – which can make it sound expensive, intimidating and overwhelming.
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