How Facilities Managers Can Think ‘Strategic Asset’

Oct. 21, 2014
Facilities managers must sometimes step back, take a look at the big picture and ask, “How do I make this energy landscape into a strategic asset?”

Image by Norman Kuring

By Yaniv Vardi, Panoramic Power

As facilities managers, we are experts in managing the details. We manage buildings, we manage systems, we manage people, we manage regulations, we manage maintenance schedules and workloads. But to be effective FMs, we must take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

As it relates to energy efficiency solutions, of course, we can make some headway by assessing each system and each device. But to truly transform our facilities’ energy landscape, we must remember that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

We can look toward the high-tech sector for the excellent example set by the Internet of Things (IoT), the concept of the connected business and home, in which each hardware object has an accompanying virtual object in the cloud, which represents the current state of the end device and retains its operational history.

In much the same way, if we operate our facilities with a sort of Energy of Things methodology, we can use device level energy efficiency solutions to effectively transform our energy landscape into a strategic asset.

To assess your entire energy landscape, you must seek the big picture.

What is Your Energy Landscape?

To assess your entire energy landscape, you must seek the big picture. Step beyond your existing perspective; step outside the four walls of your company.

For example, a manufacturing company may have a warehouse, manufacturing plant, corporate and maybe retail. Each of these has its own systems that require energy (HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, IT infrastructure, machinery, etc.) and each system may have multiple devices. All of these comprise the energy landscape of the company. When the energy and operational productivity of each is managed, tracked and reported on, then there are enormous business benefits.

Energy Efficiency Solutions and Your Energy Landscape

As long as there have been facilities which consume energy, there have been energy efficiency solutions to reduce their consumption levels. In the past decade, energy efficiency innovations have taken the form of intelligent smart meters and submeters. Millions of these have been deployed in plants and facilities around the globe to track consumption.

While these intelligent sensors truly were a revolutionary innovation, on their own, they are not enough.

The new generation of wireless sensors are interconnected. They enable you to effectively monitor, control, and optimize the entire energy landscape as they communicate over the internet (or Ethernet networks) and can be reported on and assessed in real-time, as a whole.

Your Newest Strategic Asset

By utilizing the latest in energy efficiency solutions and innovations, your energy landscape becomes your newest strategic asset. That is, your energy ecosystem becomes a trackable asset that, when properly optimized, enables your company to achieve its goals. You can now contribute measurably to these corporate initiatives:

  • Profits: By reducing costs associated with your energy landscape and optimizing the operational productivity of your facilities, you have a direct impact on increasing the company’s profit margins.
  • Sustainability: With measured reductions in energy consumption and a reduced carbon footprint made possible by your interconnected energy efficiency solutions, you become a major stakeholder in corporate sustainability efforts.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Efficiency Programs: By providing management total visibility into energy insights and analytics about the entire energy landscape, you enable them to maintain regulatory compliance and participate in efficiency programs including those with rebates or other incentives.
  • PR and Customer Loyalty: Becoming more energy efficient and sustainable opens doors for public relations campaigns that invoke brand loyalty with end users.

Energy Efficiency Solutions Increase Effectiveness

Your energy landscape is large (and, most likely, so is your carbon footprint). By installing device level energy efficient solutions, you transform your entire ecosystem into a manageable strategic asset, a profit center, a source of sustainability, and a catalyst of brand loyalty.

Yaniv Vardi is CEO at Panoramic Power.

About the Author

Kevin Normandeau | Publisher

Kevin is a veteran of the publishing industry having worked for brands like PC World, AOL, Network World, Data Center Knowledge and other business to business sites. He focuses on industry trends in the energy efficiency industry.

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