Energy Management/Energy Efficiency

6 Industry Trends Impacting Facility Operations

Schneider Electric ServicesKeeping facility operations at optimal levels can sometimes be a juggling act for facility managers, who are tasked with meeting high productivity demands and keeping operating costs low. The infrastructure of a typical commercial or industrial facility is a complex network of electrical, electronic, process and control, automation and building-management systems. And when something goes wrong, there’s typically one go-to person … the facility manager. From a strategic viewpoint, a facility manager should also be aware of the following external trends that may impact decisions about future facility operations.

Trend #1:  Aging facilities and budget gaps are forcing organizations to operate and maintain with fewer resources. At the heart of any business is the electrical system. The age and condition of the existing electrical equipment must routinely be addressed to ensure electrical reliability. The cost of ongoing maintenance can be a burden relative to budget planning since aging equipment can be prone to higher maintenance requirements. An increasing number of facilities are  modernizing and upgrading existing equipment to bridge this gap.

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Trend #2:  The number of retirement-eligible skilled workers is growing, making it increasingly difficult to hire develop, and retain qualified staff.

Trend #3:  Businesses are choosing to outsource services and engage in strategic partnerships. Part of this could be due to Trend #2, but many companies want to focus on their core offers. Third-party service providers can provide the skilled expertise needed to enable companies to do so.

Trend #4:  Risk management must be addressed for issues related to worker safety. With regards to the electrical system, OSHA cites to the requirements of NFPA 70E. Electrical equipment must be maintained to avoid unplanned outages where an elevated risk for an arc flash event exists.

Trend #5:  Technology continues to impact how facility managers do their jobs and buildings operate. Emerging technologies and Cloud-based software are changing the way companies manage their facility’s systems. Smart technology can be incorporated into the building’s infrastructure for enhanced communications and monitoring.

Trend #6:  There is an escalating demand for sustainable solutions. Energy efficiency is a crucial in helping companies maximize their existing assets. Upgrading to modern technology enables facility management to ultimately reduce operating costs.

Granted, not all companies may be feeling the effects of these trends. Facility manages should pay keen attention to those that would impact safety, cost and uptime. Want to learn how you can reduce the impact of these trends to your facility?  – Just ask our experts!


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