How To Ensure A Successful Smart Building Initiative

Management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured, gets managed”. As technology keeps developing and becomes more affordable, the amount of data produced by buildings is increasing exponentially. Technology and data are the two key enablers for anyone in Corporate Real Estate aiming to make giant leaps towards meeting sustainability goals, improving the employee experience, and especially, increasing overall efficiency. Efficient space utilization will lead to substantial cost savings, as a result of decommissioning of square meters. The larger the portfolio, the larger the potential, is the simple rationale that follows.

Igniting Vendor Landscape

There are a lot of reasons to investigate how one can make a Building, and eventually an entire portfolio, more efficient. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Memoori recently reported that there have been huge growth numbers in total investments, number of funding rounds and acquisitions in the Smart Building market in recent years. With growing interest from investors and Corporate Real Estate Managers, the vendor landscape has taken a jump ahead, or better, ignited. This leads to interesting challenges for anyone in Corporate Real Estate. With such a vast amount of new vendors it is quite hard to select which ones are relevant. It may be tempting, to just select a few, do a POC – and easy to forget what is at the basis of any successful strategy.

Build a Business Case

If you want to make your buildings more efficient, you will need to measure what happens in those buildings. The most efficient way to achieve seizable jumps forward in efficiency, sustainability and user experience, is by using real time data. In order to validate your workplace strategies, you will get optimal results assessing real time data over longer periods of time, also using this data for predictive analysis and to generate actionable insights. The most pragmatic way to rapidly gather relevant and correct data, is perhaps not by doing a global roll out of sensor technology. And still, before jumping into technology and data, fields of expertise that are still relatively new to Corporate Real Estate leaders, one should keep in mind to always have a clear business objective when building a case for a Smart Building initiative, or else, it won’t fly. The data sources you need, to make your business case successful, will logically follow.

Transform From Cost Centre To Value Centre

A good example of a client that built a strong business case, is ABN AMRO. The Dutch Bank has gone through a process of change in many ways. This has also affected the Real Estate & Facilities services that the bank provides. A strong focus on the collection and application of data has made it possible for the Real Estate & Facilities department to transform itself from a cost centre to a value centre. “Bank accommodations have grown a great deal more complex,” confirms Mark van Rijt, Managing Director of Facility Management at ABN AMRO. “By now, we have twice the number of people working than the office was originally intended for!

Discover how ABN Amro uses a data-driven approach in their Smart Building strategy.

Read the case