A glimpse into 2021 and beyond from
ARC Facilities CEO Suri Suriyakumar
We sat down with ARC Facilities CEO Suri Suriyakumar for a look into his facilities crystal ball for 2021. Without giving too much away, things are looking positive from his perspective with technology enabling facility managers to connect, collaborate and communicate in new and exciting ways.
What role will technology play in an increasingly chaotic and unpredictable workplace?
Technology will increasingly play an important role in the workplace. As the pandemic continues to linger on, people are using a variety of technology devices and software to stay connected, collaborate and communicate.
What are the best ways to transform the facilities space from one that’s “trapped” in paper to one that’s paper-free?
Yes, this is an important aspect. Up to now every facility’s building information is literally trapped in paper. In cases where information has been digitized, it is now trapped in a digital file and sitting in a folder someplace. The key is to extract the building intelligence from any file format whether it is in paper or as a digital file and then be able to deliver that information in a form that is easy to consume by the facilities professionals on the front lines! The best way of accomplishing that goal is through mobile device interfaces which are becoming very powerful, effective and more user friendly than ever before.
What are some techniques and technologies for improving facility team, subcontractor and general contractor communications during capital projects?
In the past, facilities teams were at the mercy of the general contractors (GCs) and sub-contractors to provide them with complete and accurate closeout documents at the end of projects. We can prevent this dilemma by having a system to track all project documents from the time the construction documents are issued and during every stage of the project, and finally incorporate the closeouts into the main facility drawings when the project is completed.
Given that many of our nation’s buildings are 50+ years, how can we help facilities teams and other stakeholders support each building’s changing needs throughout the full building lifecycle?
Well traditionally, in every facility, building plans and information of all types are stored together causing it to be disorganized and sometimes in complete disarray. Ironically, these rooms are frequently referred to as “the dungeon” by facilities professionals. The challenge is that the building information required by facilities staff for routing maintenance is different from the information required by design engineers for expansion or building upgrades. Therefore, often drawings get misplaced or misfiled causing more chaos when drawings are required for an emergency or routine maintenance. This is further exacerbated when new documents from expansions or upgrades are added.
What can we do minimize stress and maximize time management for our nation’s facilities teams?
The key is to organize all the building information in appropriate categories, extract intelligence from these documents and deliver info to the end users through a simple user interface.
Learn more about the ARC Facilities approach to innovative technology in this whitepaper, written by Suri himself: How Mobile and AI are Transforming Facilities Management