Dinosaur Processes That You Should Retire & Replace

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Enertiv's Head of Client Success, Mark Pando, shares the outdated and inefficient processes that even the best run real estate portfolios in the world are still relying on daily, and the specific ways in which technology can help.


Dinosaur Building Operations Processes You Should Retire and Replace Click on the whiteboard image to open a high-resolution version in a new tab.

Video Transcription


Hi, I’m Mark Pando, Head of Client Success here at Enertiv.

Everyday, I get to work with some of the best run real estate portfolios in the world. But even those portfolios are using outdated, inefficient processes that we like to call “dinosaur” processes.

It’s 2018, it’s time to retire these inefficient and ineffective processes that are only in place because that’s how it’s always been done.

So, first let’s start with binders on shelves. Anytime you go into a chief engineer’s office, there’s generally a mountain of paperwork sitting on shelves collecting dust. Binders filled with PM schedules, O&M manuals, electrical drawings, mechanical drawings, whatever it may be.

All of that information is extremely inaccessible and is very static, it rarely gets updated, if at all.

So how do we improve? Move to a digital system. Digital, cloud-based storage allows your chief engineer, your regional asset manager, anyone working in leasing, really anyone in your organization to pull up the information they need on demand wherever they are, for whatever building they manage.

If you’re a regional asset manager, you may have 10 buildings your operating. You don’t want to go to each building to access the information specific to the equipment in that building. So, let’s get everything in the cloud so everyone can access it wherever and whenever they want.

Next, calendar-based preventative maintenance. The idea here is that most portfolios complete preventative maintenance tasks on a scheduled basis, every month, every 6 months, whatever it may be. All of this is pretty generic and really based on estimates and rules of thumb.

If you have two A/C units, where one runs 24/7 and one runs a couple hours a day, a calendar-based approach means you’re going to invest the same amount of time and effort to complete these preventative maintenance tasks for each of these units.

Instead, if you move to a runtime-based system, you can devote more resources to the unit that is working harder and really requires more maintenance instead of the one that needs less attention because it isn’t working as hard.

Next up is energy management dashboards and energy data. I work with energy data all the time with our clients. The truth is that energy data really isn’t actionable in and of itself. In order to drive action and drive decisions, there’s a lot of additional metadata and context that’s needed in order to leverage that data.

So, how do we do better? Instead of saying building X or building Y used 20% more energy than last week or last month, with more targeted insights and recommendations, we can transition to delivering insights such as: A/C 5 turned on today when it was 55 degrees outside when it usually doesn’t turn on until the temperature reaches 70 or 80 degrees.

If we can target the recommendations instead of just reporting on energy consumption, it’s a lot more valuable and actionable.

Next up we have manual tenant submetering. You may be submetering tenants for electrical or water usage. If you’re using manual processes, this is extremely error-prone. Often times, you have someone walking around a building with a clipboard, reading meters, writing it down measurements, transcribing this data into a spreadsheet... you can see how this is inefficient.

So how do we do better? Leverage remotely readable meters that are connected to some kind of cloud-based or BMS-type system where you can read the meters on demand and run bills right away, instead of relying on such a manual, error-prone process.

And last on our list, but my personal favorite is HIPPO decisions, which are based on the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion.

Why is this flawed and ineffective? Simply put, it’s an opinion, which may change.

Worse, a lot of times, people that are operating in this kind of process have to play office politics to get a decision made that they are lobbying for. Instead, if we can shift the paradigm to a data-based decision-making framework, you can make an important decision, such as an equipment replacement, based on actual performance data.

There’s one example I like to tell of a chief engineer at a building we work with that was trying to get a new heat exchanger to replace one that wasn’t working. In order to do so, he had to rip some insulation off and make the heat exchanger look in worse shape than it was so that when the HIPPO in the organization who was going to approve the replacement saw a picture, they were more likely to approve it. The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t working and should’ve been replaced anyway based on the data.

In summary, a lot of fantastic real estate organizations are using some, if not all of these processes, and similar manual, ineffective, inefficient processes like these. It’s 2018, it’s time to get better, there’s a lot of technology out there that can help streamline your building operations.

If you have any questions, we’re always a phone call away. We can point you in the right direction, whether that’s us or another company. Thanks for your time and have a great day.

Is there anything that Mark missed? We want to hear from you, leave a comment below!