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Five Pillars of Government Facility Management Software

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

At its core, managing government facilities is very similar to managing commercial facilities. While there are differences across the various aspects of facility function and expectations, the core areas of focus are largely the same. It’s why more and more municipal building managers have turned to government facility management software as a way of overseeing facility operations.

In the same way commercial facilities management software provides a top-down look at buildings and everything they touch, government FM software does the same. Facility management software for government agencies provides insight into the core areas of focus for running a building that’s efficient, welcoming, sustainable, and cost-conscious.

Here’s a look at the five pillars of municipal facility management, and how government facilities management solutions help direct them.

1. Space management

Government buildings vary tremendously. Consider the simplicity of a suburban police station vs. the complexity of a federal courthouse in a major city. Despite the broad difference in size and complexity, these spaces all demand the same astute oversight. Facility management software helps level the playing field.

For smaller, less complex buildings, it’s about making the most of limited space. For larger, more diverse buildings, the focus is on accommodating many different people, needs, and expectations. Space management software assists on both fronts and bridges all gaps between—from emergency preparedness planning to room booking and space reservations.

2. Energy management (sustainability)

As we push into a greener future, governments need to lead the charge. From new LEED Certified government complexes to old buildings with sustainability initiatives in place, facility management software provides a top-down view for managing building sustainability. And, combined with BIM data, there’s ample opportunity to turn government facilities into stewards of environmental sustainability.

In this realm, facility software can help monitor energy usage and costs, deliver insights on green improvement projects, monitor sustainable benchmarks, and more. The most important thing to remember is that it quantifies this data, which allows government facility managers to contextualize and report on these figures in a public way.

3. Maintenance management

According to research conducted in 2018, the average age of federal government buildings in the United States is 60 years old—and growing older with each passing year. Upkeep is paramount, alongside modernization and improvements. To identify and undertake cost-efficient, necessary projects like these, facility managers need digital tools. Facility management software is key in facilitating internal upkeep, managing contracted services, and planning future refurbishments.

Some of the crucial features available to municipal building facility managers include service and support ticketing, digital twins for asset management, vendor management tools, and more. Digital insights allow for more specific reporting of building maintenance needs, which informed everything from better budgeting to bidding and capital expense planning.

4. Capital project management

Speaking of capital projects, facility software is instrumental in overseeing these value-add initiatives. Whether it’s building improvements, sustainable projects, or a transition to new operational practices, capital projects demand critical oversight. Specifically, managers need data and phase planning capabilities to facilitate and report on them.

Software consolidates the most important aspects of capital project management into a single resource. FMs can manage the design, funding, bidding, procurement, resource management, and reporting of projects through a system designed to deliver insights against benchmarks for budget, timeline, ROI, and more.

5. Real estate management

Government-operated facilities span a broad scope. It’s vital to see each and every property under a municipal umbrella as its own cost center. Management software provides the high-level figures for each facility, so local and federal entities can accurately budget, report, and make decisions about how to occupy and manage various buildings.

Because real estate and leasing costs are taxpayer funded, it’s critical to have transparent data about each facility. Using this data, portfolio managers and other decision-makers have the insights necessary to act accordingly—whether that means improving utilization of certain facilities or divesting others that may be too heavily subsidized.

Great software makes it easy to manage each pillar

While distinct, each pillar of government facilities management plays an important role in the function of the building at a high level. The best government facility management software makes it easy for FMs to focus on each individual pillar, while still understanding how it contributes to the whole of the building.

For municipal buildings especially, there’s emphasis on cohesion. Constituents expect governments to run a tight ship, and to make use of government facilities in a cost-efficient, sustainable way. Facility management software isn’t just key in providing these results—it’s imperative in proving them.

Keep reading: Government IWMS Software: 10 Must-Have Features

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How to Use Relocation Management Software

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Planning on moving to new facilities? Need to coordinate better mobility between departments? Relocation management software is the answer. But it’s not enough to have the software. Facility managers and move stakeholders need to understand how to use it effectively. Software can guide you through all phases of a move, and it needs to offer cohesion from start to finish—whether it takes a few minutes or a few weeks to complete. Supportive software makes moves easier, and it is enabled by stakeholders who know how to use it.

Start with formalized training

The best relocation management software will come with training opportunities from the developer. This is vital to understanding the software, its features, and the capabilities it offers during different relocation scenarios. There’s no better opportunity than learning from the organization that designed the software.

Start with tutorials and modules. These are often designed to cover specific features and scenarios, and serve as a fundamental tour of the software. Then, move into more advanced training, if offered. This might take the form of a YouTube series, live training exercises, webinars, and more. These more immersive sessions are ideal for drilling down into more complex uses and capabilities.

If offered, these training opportunities need to be the first course of action. Facility managers and anyone else using the software to facilitate relocation should prioritize formalized training.

Familiarize yourself (and stakeholders) with features

Beyond formal training, it’s smart for FMs to poke around and get to know the software—it’s interface, features, menus, integrations, and more. Familiarity beyond the formalities breeds a deeper understanding of how to use the software effectively for specific purposes.

Stakeholders should also get familiar with the software—especially if they’re involved in the relocation. This is much less intimidating in software that offers user permissions groups and usership tiers. For example, distant stakeholders might have access to read-only floor plans and checklists, which are easy to explore and get familiar with. Other groups, like department heads, may need to get accustomed to using different features to execute a move.

Set usership tiers and permissions, and encourage anyone using the software to get comfortable with the UI. This will make using it second-nature and less intimidating.

Optimize the potential of integrations

Integrations are the foundation for optimization. Move management software that connects to other common workplace technologies makes it more useful and accessible in an everyday setting.

For instance, the ability to send employee desk assignments through Slack saves the hassle of orchestrating an email chain. Likewise, directory integration makes it easy for employees to find each other, even after a major workplace shakeup. The simplicity of many integrations is what makes them powerful. The workplace touches every facet of work; move software needs to integrate with as many of those facets as possible.

Identify uses-cases and scenarios

Why did you invest in relocation software? Chances are, it’s because your workplace is either getting ready to move, is constantly in flux, or recently went through a move that caused major disruption. In any case, it’s important to identify opportunities to use it in the future.

This means looking at how specific software features link up with certain situations. For example, you might create pre-made checklists for departmental moves. These checklists ensure every move follows due processes, so as to not forget anything that might creep up later. It might also mean establishing rules for employee relocations. Every time an employee moves, X, Y, and Z triggers ensure a smooth transition. Break it down into as many scenarios as possible. Examples include:

  • Employee-specific moves
  • Group moves
  • Departmental moves
  • Temporary moves
  • Location-based moves

The more applicable move scenarios you identify and plan for, the better-equipped you’ll be when the time arises. Then, it’s easy to pick up relocation software and oversee the process.

Create processes and automate

The final way to capitalize on relocation software is to automate—which blends into identifying use-case scenarios. When you understand the challenges of a specific move, you can automate efforts to avoid them.

Consider something like a workplace mobility program. As employees hop from desk to desk, facility managers need a way to keep tabs on them—and automate the process. These types of simple moves benefit from rules-based governance. Employees from Group A can only book desks in Zones 1-4. Slack room requests validate against the hoteling schedule before returning an “occupied” or “vacant” status. Simple rules like these and dozens of others put bumpers on relocations, to make them seamless.

FMs and software operators should explore process standardization and automation wherever possible. This becomes even more important as you explore integrations.

Relocation software makes moving easier

Whether it’s a departmental shuffle or the relocation of the entire company to new facilities, moving is disruptive. Inherently so. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it quicker, easier, and more organized. Controlling these variables limits the disruption and any aftershocks that come from relocation. The best way to minimize the negatives of a move is to maximize control over it.

Relocation management software is the answer. But like all software, it needs a qualified, competent operator at the helm. Facility managers who take the time to learn and get familiar with move management software will find themselves with more control over the variables that dictate relocation—and the power to make it smoother.

Keep reading: How to Implement Move Management Software

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Digital Twin Use Cases

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Digital twins are an exciting piece of technology that’s becoming ubiquitous across industries. It’s easy to see why as they take their place alongside proliferating IoT and other tech such as machine learning. There are a bevy of digital twin use cases out there to showcase the power of digital asset monitoring. The interesting thing is that despite the same technological framework, almost every industry has found new and exciting ways to utilize digital twin technology.

What are digital twins used for? That depends on the industry. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent functions and features of digital twins across a diverse array of industries and applications.

Energy

Energy production and management are a huge market for digital twins. They’re already established technologies in the oil and gas sector, utilized by multinational companies such as British Petroleum (BP) and Shell. The reason? Digital twins aggregate the abundance of data that comes with downhole drilling operations—everything from visualizing well production to condition monitoring for the equipment extracting resources.

Fossil fuel producers aren’t the only ones using digital twins. Solar and wind farms also rely heavily on digital twins to monitor the performance of critical generators: solar panels and wind turbines. Smart technologies make it easy to monitor equipment off site and get real-time insights that enable proactive service. And, of course, digital twins make it easier to visualize the flow of power into a traditional grid.

Healthcare

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are filled with critical assets. In this sector, digital twins serve the role of integrated asset management and life cycle maintenance. From ultrasound machines to radiography equipment, these are investments totaling between tens of thousands and millions of dollars. Facility managers and maintenance professionals need to know where they are, what condition they’re in, their service records, and more to ensure they remain fully operational.

Healthcare facilities are also increasingly intelligent environments. Everything from access control, to networked devices, to patient wearables, and more all generate data—and that data needs to go somewhere. Digital twins embrace and route data from these many signals to help coordinate care within the cloud, at a digital level. Moreover, they provide relevant data to stakeholders that need it most: the individuals responsible for orchestrating a healing environment.

Manufacturing

Digital twins were born in the world of manufacturing. They’re used for everything from asset maintenance and monitoring, to predictive maintenance and shop floor improvements. They tie into many Lean manufacturing initiatives because the focus is on using data to drive solutions. Manufacturers rely on digital twins to show them where bottlenecks are in their production lines or what machinery is due for preventive maintenance based on real-time performance.

The growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has made digital twins even more robust. Manufacturing is inching closer and closer to an era of dark factories, where off-site monitoring and a skeleton crew are all it takes to keep major production lines running. With digital twins serving as the backdrop for production insights and a strong IIoT to support it, factories will soon run in the cloud.

Retail

Retail is a fast-paced environment that requires no small amount of coordination. From feature displays and fixtures to stockroom management and inventory, digital twins have a role in retail. Where they really shine is in efforts to improve customer experience—especially in the post-COVID-19 world. Digital twins are also instrumental in coordinating inventories during the rise of omni-channel fulfillment. As businesses pivot to meet changing shopper habits, digital twins serve as a constant to support new operations.

Commercial

This list of digital twin use-cases wouldn’t be complete without a mention of commercial office buildings. In an age where remote work, flex work, and distributed teams are the new norm, digital twins help businesses reevaluate the physical workplace and understand its capacity for change. Digital twins serve as the great integrator for intelligent sensors and beacons, and interface with critical IWMS software to provide meaningful insights to decision-makers. Roll in asset management and digital twins become a must-have tool for businesses striving to make the most of their overhead.

Digital twins are becoming must-have tech

Digital twin industry use is on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. From energy to healthcare, manufacturing to retail and commercial applications, this tech offers critical support for operational excellence. And it’ll only continue to get better. As the IoT expands and more integrations come online, businesses will find digital twins instrumental in maximizing their efforts.

The beauty of digital twins is that they’re a transcendent technology. No matter the industry, no matter the application, so long as they’re configured and maintained accordingly they provide value.

Keep reading: Digital Twins – A Revolution in Workplace Management

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Government IWMS Software: 10 Must-Have Features

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

There’s been a prolific rise of government IWMS software over the last decade. It’s because, like other types of workplaces, government facilities have undergone major change. These facilities have become more complex and agile, and the expectations for them are more diverse than ever. Government IWMS solutions help marry form and function to meet these expectations.

From facility maintenance and space planning, to access control and wayfinding, the capabilities of IWMS for government agencies dictates their usefulness. While not every facility needs the same level of oversight, it’s nonetheless important for municipal building managers to have robust tools available to them. Here’s a look at 10 of the must-have features of an IWMS for municipal building management.

  1. Space management. Every square foot of space in government facilities is important. Facility managers need a top-down view that allows them to see which spaces are static, which are dynamic, and which offer flex potential, so they can manage the sum of facilities appropriately.
  2. Emergency preparedness. Government facilities are beholden to strict emergency preparedness. IWMS software enables emergency planning for everything from inclement weather, to threats of violence, to facility failures, and beyond. Moreover, it makes these plans accessible to everyone who needs them. It’s easy to update, disseminate, and train against these materials when they live alongside floor plans and other facility data.
  3. Lease management. Government facilities are taxpayer funded, which means maximizing ROI and value. Lease management tools help ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that the facilities they’re funding deliver value to the communities they serve. At a higher level, IWMS brings broad perspective to portfolio management across all government buildings within a certain jurisdiction.
  4. Fleet and asset management. Here again, government assets are the result of taxpayer dollars. It’s in the best interest of municipal building managers to keep track of assets and fleets in a way that shows upkeep, cost, ROI, utilization, and other important metrics that justify continued investment or new investments. This is important for everything from budgeting to cost-benefit analyses that may eventually become public information.
  5. Sustainability tools. Sustainability is paramount in government facility management. From energy conservation to recycling programs and waste management, IWMS platforms provide tools to ensure efficiency. They’re also instrumental in providing evidence-based insights into the efficacy of such programs. Combined with BIM and other modeling tools, sustainability metrics are part of next-gen building governance.
  6. Wayfinding tools. There’s an indisputable need for wayfinding in government buildings. An IWMS is central to a myriad of wayfinding integrations—everything from interactive facility maps, to employee directories, to point-by-point directional apps. IWMS lends facility context to wayfinding, to make it more robust and versatile. This is vital for municipal facilities large and small alike.
  7. Move management. Government facilities aren’t as static as they’ve historically been. In fact, the shift to more dynamic spaces has resulted in no small amount of relocation within buildings. Then move management tools within an IWMS help bring fluidity to agility, and unlock the utility of spaces that might otherwise remain closed-off or static. It’s also an important consideration during periods of remodeling or improvement to facilities.
  8. Hoteling and room booking. Private space is essential in a municipal setting. Employees need an opportunity to book space and reserve rooms they can use uninterrupted. Hoteling and room booking are a fundamental part of IWMS usage in government buildings, and the gateway to maintaining privacy and confidentiality when people are on the move.
  9. Access control systems. Most municipal facilities already have some form of access control. IWMS brings that control into a single system that makes managing it simpler. Whether it’s badging and ID passes or more advanced biometrics, IWMS is instrumental in creating accessibility for those who need to and restrictions against unwanted access.
  10. Maintenance management. Government buildings face significant need for maintenance, upkeep, and restoration given their age and rate of use. Orchestrating maintenance tickets and service logs is a fundamental must-have from an IWMS, and an important part of keeping facilities safe, accessible, useful, and clean.

The best government IWMS software will include a majority of these features—if not all of them. And even if you don’t need or use them all, it’s still vital to have them. Municipal buildings are still evolving, and will continue to evolve alongside other traditional workplaces. As they do, more and more of these features will become relevant to facility managers. It’s best to get familiar with them now.

Keep reading: Five Uses for Government Move Management Software

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Five Uses for Government Move Management Software

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

It’s easy to think of government buildings as static. Courtrooms, elected officials’ offices, cafeterias, and various other spaces seemingly have one purpose. But in the modern world, these spaces are more than meets the eye. Government buildings are adapting—or built for adaptability. As they increasingly gain new purpose, government move management software plays a vital role in managing them.

Whether it’s a brand-new government facility designed for agility or an old building getting a new lease through remodeling, there’s movement to consider. Everyday movement inherent to agile facilities. Temporary relocation during remodeling. Data-backed movement to show space utilization. Whatever the need, government relocation management software is imperative.

Here’s a look at five practical uses for move management software for government agencies and why feature-rich software is imperative.

1. Construction planning and relocation

Government buildings are the epitome of neoclassical architecture. But while the façade may be timeless, the interiors of courthouses, police stations, embassies and other municipal buildings are often in need of revitalization. Interior improvements are often far-ranging and invasive, disruptive to operations within these budlings.

Move management software can help plan around lengthy construction and remodeling projects. As rooms, corridors, and entire sections of a government building become work sites, movement management software assists in temporarily relocating employees, re-routing foot traffic, and maintaining safety standards in peripheral areas.

2. Optimize space utilization

Government buildings often feature multifaceted spaces. Take a town hall, for example. It’s available for assembly meetings, traffic court hearings, chamber of commerce events, and dozens of other events. And while the configuration for the space many be similar across these uses, the space itself requires oversight to ensure gatherings have what they need to run smoothly.

Whether it’s orchestrating tables and chairs or establishing the room arrangement for speakers and audiences, government move management software plays an instrumental role in unlocking the utility of multifaceted spaces. This, in turn, improves space ROI and maximizes taxpayer return on funding for government facilities.

3. Implement new workstation concepts

Larger government facilities often mimic the layout and function of commercial offices. Such is the case with the shift to new desking concepts. As commercial workplaces become more agile, so too are government buildings; this means planning for and adapting to new workstation concepts. Move management software is often at the helm of such a transition, including to hoteling, hot desks, room booking, and breakout spaces.

Government buildings shouldn’t be restricted to the rigidity of assigned spaces for specific purposes. While some destinations inside these buildings will remain static, many spaces have newfound flexibility. Managing moves between these spaces allows government facility managers to tap into new opportunities to provide employees and visitors with the spaces they need.

4. Meet BIM deliverable requirements

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requires the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for all major federal building projects. This helps ensure they’re meeting certain efficiency standards and quality control measures, as well as accessibility standards. With BIM data comes a unique opportunity to understand space in government facilities like never before—and to optimize it.

Using move management software in accordance with space utilization metrics allows facility managers to see which spaces are a drag on facilities vs. which ones are in high demand. This then allows them to reinvent those spaces or find ways to use them better. In some cases, it could mean turning them into a flex workspace. In other situations, it might mean temporary uses as certain needs arise. In either case, move management software is key in tapping into these areas and delivering on BIM requirements.

5. Map and utilize overflow spaces

Government facilities are often subject to influx. One day, a courthouse might be empty; the next, it’s packed with trials, jurors, and legal teams. The same goes for just about any other type of municipal facility. As occupancy numbers tick up, people need space. Move management software helps them find and utilize space in the event of overflow.

Move management software also helps facility managers plan for the unexpected. They’re able to create floor plans for general occupancy, as well as contingency floor plans to map overflow. As occupancy ramps up and space becomes scarce, it’s a matter of pulling levers to finesse people into spaces according to plan. This forward-thinking approach eliminates friction and improves productivity.

Government facilities are constantly in flux

While a courtroom might always be a courtroom and not every elected official will give up their office, it doesn’t change the fact that agility is important in government facilities. Move management for government is slowly becoming part of normal facility operations. As space utilization becomes dynamic and new desking concepts rise in popularity, municipal buildings face many of the same challenges as traditional offices. Move management software offers a helping hand in addressing them.

Keep reading: Government IWMS Software: 10 Must-Have Features

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Getting the Most Out of Your Sensor Data with an IWMS

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
SpaceIQ

The landscape for smart buildings is bigger than ever and growing larger by the day. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to walk into a major corporate office and not interact with some sort of integrated smart technology that fundamentally improves your relationship with the workplace.

In the most advanced offices, technology isn’t just a feature—it’s a cornerstone of everyday operations. The question for many companies isn’t if they need smart workplace sensors; it’s how to manage them once they’ve made the investment.

The answer is, thankfully, a simple one: a smart Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). IWMS technology serves as the fundamental backbone for a growing office leveraging Internet of Things (IoT). With each new sensor and the data it generates, an IWMS is key in translating ones and zeroes into smarter workplace insights.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how an IWMS, paired with an expanding office IoT, creates actionable insights for better facility management.

Step 1: Smart sensor integration

We’re in a golden age for workplace technologies, and IoT sensors are no exception. The problem is, for the dozens of brands and hundreds of sensor options out there, each seemingly runs in its own ecosystem. Depending on the type of sensor, communication protocol, firmware, and other factors, these sensors don’t always play well together.

An IWMS is the solution to sensor integration—an all-important first step. Whether it’s a motion sensor or a seat sensor, an IWMS acts as a welcoming recipient for streaming data. With the ability to accept incoming data streams over Wi-Fi and other IP communication modes, an IWMS makes it easy to integrate an office full of IoT sensors—and collect the data they provide.

Step 2: Orchestration and organization

Accepting incoming data from workplace sensors is only the first step. To actually use that data, facility managers need to orchestrate it within the IWMS. What’s the purpose of the motion sensor in Conference Room 302? When triggered, what action needs to happen? Facility managers need to map out a purposeful journey for data, to connect the dots between sensor function and workplace action.

This becomes a cumbersome task as more devices come into play. It’s invaluable to have software that keeps incoming IoT streams organized and accessible. A vivid image of a fine-woven spiderweb comes to mind, and it’s an apt comparison. A facility manager sitting at the center of an IoT web needs to know which threads pull on which workplace services—and who’s tugging on them. An IWMS keeps the local web of sensors, beacons, and other network-enabled technologies in order.

Step 3: Data aggregation and reporting

IoT data triggers action and reaction. Motion sensors trigger lights. Floor pressure sensors trigger occupancy in a room booking system. An ID badge unlocks an access-controlled door. These are valuable functions, certainly, but the raw data that accompanies them is of equal value. How often does motion trigger the lights in Meeting Room 412? How long, on average, do groups occupy conference rooms? Who last accessed the Server Room with their ID badge? Workplace sensors capture every data point and change, and there’s value in deciphering it.

An IWMS doesn’t just connect sensor data to triggers and functions. It also aggregates raw data into useful reporting metrics to provide granular information about how people use their workplace. Facility managers can use this data in infinite ways—from simple benchmarking to understanding space utilization and data-driven capital improvements. Dashboards provide at-a-glance insights that bring value to numerous aspects of facilities management.

Step 4: Optimization for ROI

Even companies with broad IoT networks are still in an experimental phase. We haven’t quite reached the sci-fi future of total building automation. That said, it’s no longer a far-fetched future as facility managers continue to find more advanced use-cases for IoT sensors. Using data from their IWMS and increasingly robust sensor functions, companies are able to deploy more articulated workflows. For example, sensor data can go beyond telling employees if a room is occupied—it can recommend an alternative meeting place that’s equidistant to all invited participants.

Every new optimization made through IWMS data and sensor integration becomes a driver of bottom-line savings and data-driven decision making. The more companies can make real estate work for them and their employees, the more the balance shifts from workplace as a cost center to workplace as an innovation hub. Not only does that spur bottom-line savings, it can even generate top-line growth through enablement.

The modern era of real-time reporting

Following the above steps and building a powerful IoT on the back of a smart IWMS is a recipe for real-time insights. Today, these systems move as fast as the workplaces they support. The access control system logs an ID badge the moment it’s swiped. The desk booking system is updated as soon as someone sits down. This instantaneous relationship is what allows workplaces to remain agile. When everything is real-time, everyone is on the same page.

IWMS is essential for the number of growing IoT sensors

From heat maps of workspace utilization across the workplace, to trigger-based automations from the sensors themselves, IWMS and IoT are a dynamic duo. As it becomes easier and easier to cultivate and expand an IoT network, businesses need to make sure they have the IWMS component behind it. Not only is it key in organizing and orchestrating sensors, it’s a value tool in deciphering and applying the valuable data that comes with them.

Keep Reading: What is a Smart IWMS and What are its Features?

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Government Digital Signage is Vital in Public Buildings

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

A visit to a local government building is enough to put anyone on edge—for good and bad reasons alike. It’s a joyous occasion to pick up your marriage certificate at city hall. Conversely, it’s not a happy moment if you need to visit a police station to file a theft report. In either case, people want to get to where they’re going as quickly as possible. Enter: government digital signage.

Whether they’re occupied by happy thoughts or nervous anxiety, municipal buildings can be confusing places. Most people visit these locations only sparingly, and aren’t always sure of where they’re headed once inside. Wayfinding signage simplifies every visit by pointing a clear path to the destination. Moreover, it does this no matter how large, complex, or confusing the facilities are. From a police station, to city hall, to courthouses, and beyond, it’s a comfort for people to have directions.

Here’s a look at how to make government digital signage work, and why it’s an important part of the visitor experience in municipal buildings.

Examples of government digital signage

There’s a broad gamut of digital signage to consider for wayfinding. The presence of these different types of signage usually depends on the size and complexity of the building. Here are a few examples:

  • Kiosks. For large facilities, entryway kiosks can be extremely helpful in easing the stress of navigation to a particular point within the building. Federal buildings, for example, may house hundreds of offices and rooms over several floors, which necessitates wayfinding the moment someone steps in the door.
  • LED signage. Common corridor signage overhead can give instant context to visitors to tell them where they are. This works in small and large facilities alike. Whether static or scrolling, it’s helpful to visitors to be able to look up and get context for their location.
  • Wall screens. Similar to kiosks, wall screens are informative points in larger buildings where visitors can pull up a map, search for amenities, see their location, or ask common questions.

Digital signage serves a variety of purposes: from showing people the way to their destination to informing them about their surroundings. In government facilities, this is instrumental in easing the stress of a visit.

Government wayfinder software is a low-cost convenience

The beauty of digital wayfinding solutions for government buildings is that they’re a universal investment. Anyone can use them—and, in fact, most visitors are likely to. This can cut down on confusion, misunderstanding, questions, and inconveniences for both visitors and the people who work within these buildings.

Consider someone visiting the court house for jury duty. They know they’re supposed to check in with the clerk in Room 233F. They can reasonably decipher that it’s on the second floor, but if they’ve never been there before, they’ll likely need to ask for directions. If the first thing they see when they enter the courthouse is an information kiosk, they no longer need to bother someone. More important, they’ll feel more empowered to find their own way, instilling confidence.

The cost savings of this convenience in similar situations is immeasurable. There’s savings in not interrupting workers, not needing to staff full-time greeters, and, of course, savings from time not spent wandering around. Everyone is able to get to where they need to go without delay, interruption, or incident.

Examples of interactive wayfinding software for government buildings

While there are plenty of digital wayfinding software options to consider for municipal buildings, interactivity is truly the modern standard. Visitors need the ability to interact with maps, directories, and information hubs to become confident with their surroundings.

Take something simple, like a map of the current floor. The ability to rotate it helps a user get their bearings, instead of trying to reimagine themselves within the context of the map. Zoom in and zoom out improve perception. Clicking on different amenities and rooms brings up information, to provide context for surroundings. There’s no end to the capabilities and conveniences of interactive wayfinding features; even something like point-to-point directions can instantly transform the situation from an uncertain one, to an informed one.

The power of digital signage for government agencies

The core purpose of government is to serve constituents. And while we tend to think of this as policy decisions and referendums, it’s also a matter of simple, everyday conveniences. When they visit the courthouse for jury duty or go to city hall to pick up a building permit, people need to know where they’re going. Wayfinding can tell them, and make sure they arrive at their destination with minimal stress involved.

It’s not every day people need to visit government buildings. When they do, it should feel comfortable, familiar, and accessible to them. All they’ll need to do is follow the signs.

Keep reading: The Five Major Pillars of a Wayfinding Program

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Facilities Management Software in Australia: Must-Have Features

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

CRE costs in Australia face turbulence from the fallout of COVID-19. Nevertheless, they remain relatively high, which means tenants and occupants need to stretch their investment over every square inch carefully. The best way to do this is through facilities management software in Australia. That means using software that’s feature-rich, rife with the capabilities Australian businesses need to operate with efficiency.

There’s a strong market for facility management software for Australian companies. That said, not all software is equal, and not every program offers the same level of opportunity when it comes to features. Here’s what to look for when choosing facility management software to govern your business’ facilities and operations.

Floor planning and stack plans

At its core, a successful facilities management program needs space visualization features. The two most-used and most important are floor plan and stack plan features. In the quest to maximize space as an investment, these tools are essential. They enable facility managers to coordinate, plan, and optimize space in any setting, no matter the variables involved.

The best software will not only offer space visualization tools, it will support these tools with value-add features. For example, a stack plan might come with the ability to see cost center data alongside space allocations. Or, a floor plan might feature programmable parameters to ensure new floor plan designs don’t violate building codes. The more features within floor plan and stack plan capabilities, the more useful they are.

Move management tools

Now is a period of flux for many Australian businesses. They’re reconsidering space and using this opportunity to relocate to new facilities that better-support operations. To do this efficiently takes a robust suite of move management tools.

Look for facilities management software that simplifies relocations of all types and complexities. This includes everything from checklists and task delegations, to messaging integrations and asset management features. While moves may not be a routine part of your operations, many of these features lend themselves to agile workplaces. It’s important for companies to evaluate these tools and understand how they apply to any shuffling or relocation opportunities ahead.

Asset management resources

Facility management software in Australia needs to include asset management resources. As they strive to maximize their space, Aussie companies need to also consider the assets within that space. From copy machines and break room appliances to capital systems and high-value equipment, mindful asset management improves both top- and bottom-line prospects.

The biggest opportunity for companies to optimize facilities is through preventive and proactive maintenance. This also necessitates a CMMS component, which many broader facilities management platforms offer or integrate with. Digital twins are also an important factor here, since they’re digital representations of assets, from the building itself to the systems within it. Software that offers these features enables Australian companies to maximize their management of high-value assets and their contribution to the business.

Wayfinding and directories

For companies occupying larger facilities or broad campuses, wayfinding is vital. It’s important that employees and guests are able to navigate to specific areas quickly. But wayfinding and directories offer so many more opportunities beyond navigability. They’re also instrumental in visitor experience, safety, convenience, and collaboration.

Look for software with a strong emphasis on wayfinding and directory capabilities. It’s not enough to have a lookup system that helps people find each other. Wayfinding also needs to bridge into space booking, access control, and everyday operations. Implemented correctly, wayfinding helps employees and visitors alike make the most of the space available to them—a factor that can improve space utilization and ROI.

Room booking and space reservations

More and more Australian businesses have embraced agile workplaces. To govern them accordingly takes hoteling software and room booking systems. You’ll find both in the top facilities management software. This includes features that make it easy to search and book workspaces, whether on-site or off-site. Moreover, these systems are also instrumental in providing statistical data about space efficiency. This enables further optimization and cost-efficiency.

Whether your business has shifted to flex work or wants to promote a more dynamic workplace, room booking and reservation software is essential. It’s quickly making the “must-have” list of demands for Australian companies embracing space flexibility.

Look for features that support your business

The best Australian facilities management software is the one with the features and capabilities to match your operations. Even if you don’t need a specific feature, it’s nice to have it available as your business grows and your needs evolve.

If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that workplaces will continue to adapt as the workforce does. The Australian commercial real estate market is proof of this right now. With new expectations from employees and shifts in workplace regulations, facility managers need plentiful tools to adapt facilities in a way that meets these new expectations. Facilities management software is the key to not only weathering change, but continuing to adapt to it.

Keep reading: Selecting the Right Facility Management Software

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Geospatial Digital Twin Explained

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Geographic Information System (GIS) data is becoming more and more a pillar of building architecture and life cycle maintenance. Unsurprisingly, it’s led to the rise of geospatial digital twins as part of building governance. These systems represent the pinnacle of a data-driven approach to building oversight and bring broad context to virtually any quantifiable physical attribute someone might want to know.

From the numbers of floors to the year it was built, geospatial twins take a bevy of contextual data about a building and combine it all into one comprehensive representation. And, because that representation is digital, the possibilities for integration are infinite. Maintenance teams can review deep insights about the building itself, while portfolio managers can evaluate the building as part of a portfolio—each for the purpose of making data-driven decisions about building management.

While extremely insightful, geospatial digital twins and the GIS data that populates them are equally as complex. Here’s a quick primer on what they are, how they work, and why they’re growing in importance.

What is geospatial digital twin?

A geospatial digital twin is a digital model of a building extrapolated from many different data fields—specifically, GIS data. Where a digital twin is a virtual mirror of a building and its systems, adding GIS brings quantifiable elements into the fold. For example, you’re not just looking at a floor plan; you’re looking at a floor plan in context with the measurements of the space and the position of its unique elements in space.

GIS data goes beyond the building itself. A geospatial twin represents the building within the context of its surroundings. How many meters from the road is the front door? How tall is the building compared to the closest nearby structure? How far above sea level is the building located? The sheer abundance of GIS data informs a geospatial model that bring far-ranging context to the digital twin.

What does geospatial digital twin do?

There are endless possibilities for what geospatial twins are capable of. But what are they practical for? According to Esri, the global leader in geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications:

Geospatial technology interconnects information, systems, models, and behaviors with spatial context, creating holistic digital representations of environments, assets, networks, and cities.

In simpler terms: geospatial twins harness GIS data into usable information. Why does it matter how far above sea level the building is? Well, it could inform how an HVAC tech services your building’s heating system—or the type of system best-suited to replace an aging one. Who cares about the building’s distance from the road? You might, if it impedes your plans to expand the atrium outwards. GIS data offers practical insights; the geospatial twin brings this data into context.

How geospatial digital twin can help a company

From a practical standpoint, there are an abundance of opportunities for using geospatial twins to harness broad data. Many vital business plans and operational aspects are predicated on GIS data in some way, shape, or form.

  • Emergency planning. The fastest and safest escape plan comes from understanding the layout of a building from a fundamental standpoint. Likewise, GIS can inform interoffice emergency planning in the event a threat is external—like inclement weather.
  • Risk management. GIS data allows for incident modeling and risk management. If you understand the variables of your building and its surroundings, it becomes easier to plan for avoidable situations or for unwanted eventualities.
  • Utility optimization. Are solar panels a conducive investment for your building? How much is inclement weather affecting your power systems, i.e. outages? GIS information can correlate variables to show a clearer picture of utilities and how to optimize them.
  • Health and wellness. Environmental factors have a huge effect on people’s health. Employers can use GIS data to create new workplace initiatives that improve health—everything from workplace design to amenities offered. On-site gym, anyone?
  • Digital transformation. A geospatial twin builds out the bedrock for an expanding IoT network within your building and beyond. The more devices incorporated, the more information available and the broader the insights about a building and its surroundings.

Above all, GIS data and geospatial digital twins unlock better decision-making opportunities. Building managers with access to these data systems and the broad insights they offer stand poised to make better, more informed decisions about everything from the building itself to the operations within it.

GIS data unlocks smart building potential

As buildings become smarter, the systems that govern them need to get smarter. GIS data and the digital twins they inform represent a trend in the right direction. While the IoT and other networked systems pave the way for office operational insights, GIS and geospatial twins provide a backdrop for these insights within the context of a digitally proportionate building. Together, stakeholders have a clear representation of facilities and everything within them.

With so much data and the broad context that follows it, companies can unlock amazing potential for improvements—to both buildings and the operations within them. It’s all part of the continuum of smart building technology.

Keep reading: How to Use Digital Twin Software

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Digital Twin Manufacturing Examples

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Digital twins have become a staple in workplace governance across many sectors, but they’re rooted firmly in manufacturing. There’s an abundance of digital twin manufacturing examples that paved the way for the rise of digital asset management in other aspects. For example, a company might use a digital twin to monitor the condition of its HVAC system—a practice rooted in factory machine monitoring and maintenance.

As facility managers get familiar with digital twins, it’s important for them to look at the roots of this technology. Not only are there lessons in manufacturing that translate across industries, there are also clues about how to maximize the effectiveness of a digital twin in the face of an ever-expanding IoT.

Here’s a brief look at digital twins in manufacturing and why they broke sector barriers to become relevant far outside the factory environment.

What is digital twin in manufacturing?

A digital twin is a digital mirror of a real-world asset. In manufacturing, it’s a virtual replica of a specific machine, informed by data. This data can come from networked sensors or manual input, and when combined, provides a clear picture of the condition and history of the machine.

More than a representation of equipment, a manufacturing digital twin is vital for the opportunities it offers. According to Digitalist, the manufacturing roots of digital twins set the stage for their exponential potential:

Digital twins represent an enormous opportunity for manufacturers, including engineering, design customization, production, and operations. Digital twins are vital to improving situational awareness and allowing CIOs to test future scenarios that can enhance asset performance and proactively anticipate maintenance faults.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement, in the world of manufacturing, digital twins provide the decision-making insights factories need to run Lean. As they seek to eliminate waste, manufacturers turn to quantitative insights from digital twins. These systems are increasingly essential as part of the Kaizen philosophy.

What is an example of digital twin in manufacturing?

The best example of a digital twin in manufacturing is a piece of equipment that’s outfitted with sensors. For the sake of example, let’s say it’s a machine with an electric motor and a driveshaft, outfitted with a vibration sensor, temperature sensor, and rpm meter. These devices all feed real-time data into a digital twin of the machine. There are several ways this digital twin becomes useful.

  • Real-time observation. A trigger programmed into the digital twin alerts maintenance techs if the vibration level, temperature, or rpms exceed a specific threshold. This incites real-time action to prevent long-term damage.
  • Historical data. The motor suddenly fails. During a root cause analysis, the maintenance tech reviews digital twin data and sees that rpms spiked several times prior to the failure, and the temperature rose dramatically moments before failure.
  • Preventive maintenance. Maintenance techs integrate the digital twin data with a CMMS platform. The CMMS schedules routine service based on average component lifespans and manufacturer-recommended service schedules.

These are just simple, practical examples of digital twins in manufacturing. Modern factories have much broader, more complex integrations that range from better machine maintenance practices to value stream monitoring.

Examples of digital twin in manufacturing

The more sensors and other data inputs there are to feed a digital twin, the more accessible insights become. In the factory environment, they lead to a bevy of lean manufacturing advantages:

  • Reduced waste. More insight into machine operation helps to create initiatives that reduce total machine waste, as well as peripheral waste in the value stream.
  • Improved throughput. The ability to keep a machine up and running at peak efficiency improves the total throughput of a line.
  • Better uptime. Stronger insight into equipment function and potential catalysts for failure allow maintenance teams to subvert them for more reliable uptime.
  • Equipment longevity. Better-maintained equipment lasts longer and performs more reliably, lowering the total cost of ownership.
  • Preventive maintenance. Instead of reactive maintenance, manufacturers can move toward preventive approaches that improve predictability.
  • Better asset ROI. Fewer problems and longer lifespan establish a better ROI for equipment as it continues to contribute to operational excellence.

The true purpose of manufacturing digital twins is to realize Lean philosophies. That means less waste, better equipment availability, proactive action, and better efficiency across the value stream.

Digital twins manage manufacturing’s complex environment

Step into any modern factory and it’s easy to see how digital twins got their start. There are so many intelligent systems running continuously, relaying data about everything from machine condition to throughput. All this data needs to go somewhere. Digital twins arose out of necessity and quickly became the foundation for smart factory operations.

Manufacturing is the original case study for digital twins, and it paved the way for broader application across other sectors. In the same way factories became smarter and generated more data, so too have office buildings. And, with the prospect of smart cities rising each year, it’s a safe bet that digital twins will continue to gain traction. As they do, professionals can look to manufacturing to see just how powerful these systems are.

Keep reading: Digital Twins: A Revolution in Workplace Management