Betting Big on Connected CaFM

The CEO & Co-Founder of Facilio, Prabhu Ramachandran, talks to REM Times in this Exclusive Interview on the brand’s journey in changing the landscape of building operations and why he bets big on connected CaFM
MEGHA S ANTHONY | UAE | PropTech

Imagine this: You are managing a commercial property that still uses legacy systems & technology from the 90s. Suddenly you experience a loss of data, along with a loss of time, efficiency, and productivity. Frustrating right? That’s why time and again there has been an emphasis on how connected CaFM platforms will enable properties to not only manage their data better but also create efficiencies in real-time.

Having been a front-runner in transforming the ways buildings are being operated and providing the management sector with the right tools to stay connected with their properties is Facilio.

The CEO & Co-Founder, Prabhu Ramachandran, talks to REM Times in this exclusive interview on the brand’s journey in changing the landscape of building operations and why he bets big on connected CaFM. 

1. Facilio embarked on an ambitious mission to change the landscape of building operations. How has the journey been so far?

The future belongs to buildings that become operationally digital-native. This is the vision with which we started Facilio. We are on a mission to help real estate portfolios make sense out of operational data and create efficiencies in real-time — and the response so far has been overwhelming.

Most commercial real estate owners are still using legacy systems & technology from the 90s to maintain & operate their building portfolios. Data gets lost in these siloes, along with loss of time, efficiency, and productivity.

Last year, we launched our connected CMMS platform as a unified O&M solution suite. The platform connects systems, people, and processes seamlessly. It frees up locked-in operational data across multiple building systems, business software, and workflows, into a single comprehensive platform

We already have enterprise customers in North America, Europe, the UK, the Middle East, Australia, and the Asia Pacific regions and are managing 150 million sq ft. globally.

We doubled our employee strength in the last 6 months alone, and today we are 160 employees strong. So, I must say, the journey has been extremely rewarding.

2. What are the top challenges that property operations teams face now, and how do you address them?

Buildings are a powerhouse of data. But most often, due to the usage of disparate systems & tools for each use case, there is no visibility for owners into how their buildings are performing. O&M teams currently rely on multiple-point solutions to manage jobs beyond maintenance, email for communication, spreadsheets for reporting, and more. This is one of the biggest challenges.

Technology has evolved to an extent that it can today put us in complete control of the most important aspect of facilities management - It’s not about monitoring what is right, it’s about knowing what is going wrong, preferably as early as possible. And, this is where advanced analytics can help turn available data into useful information that you can act on.

Access to centralized building data gives a complete view of the scope of the entire operation for real estate owners- be it a single building or a large portfolio of buildings. This holistic view allows them to understand, and eventually influence the ‘why’ behind what’s happening in their properties. And once they gain this understanding, they will be able to empower their tenants to make meaningful real-time changes to optimize energy costs, employee comfort, and productivity.

Facilio provides a unified operations platform that brings together data from building systems, human factors, and external conditions, transforms it into 360* operational insights, and makes it actionable for operators, owners, and tenants.

3. What are some of the benefits your customers have derived from using your platform?

Our connected CMMS platform gives real estate owners a complete real-time view of how their buildings are performing. Once every building function is consolidated into our connected CMMS platform, it becomes much easier to automate processes too. For example, a large building portfolio in the UAE was able to automate workflows and power a mobile workforce, thus increasing their workforce productivity by 13%.

Some of the other benefits our customers have realized are a reduction in operating costs by 20% and asset downtime by 50%; a decrease in energy spending by 15% and much smoother tenant experiences.

In short, it allows the industry to control costs a lot easier, realize faster ROI, and achieve energy goals more effectively.

4.  What are your future plans for the region?

In the past year, we have made significant strides as a progressive and innovative technology leader in the commercial real estate industry, and are proud to have global brands such as ICD Brookfield, Investa, Aster DM Healthcare, Mercatus, and British Land UK, among others as our customers. We are in the process of completing key pilot projects for a few large real estate portfolios in the UAE and we look forward to onboarding them in the coming months.

We will continue to educate both Facility management (FM) & real estate owners about modernizing their still outdated CMMS and help them to minimize their spending on property O&M with a unified platform approach.

In the region, we are committed to helping real estate owners to improve energy efficiencies in line with UAE’s vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

We already have 8 strategic partners in the UAE region and are looking to onboard more by the end of 2022.