In our latest spotlight interview, we spoke to Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO of property operations software firm Facilio. Prabhu talks about Facilio’s mission and how they make buildings operationally efficient and sustainable with their IoT-led software solutions.“Rising energy costs and stringent government regulations have put pressure on the industry to prioritise decarbonisation projects. Yet many building owners and operators don’t know where to start or how to navigate the path to net zero. For such organisations, we advocate the “crawl, walk, run” approach – first monitor, then predict and finally optimize/control.”
Q1- Facilio acts as a connected operations platform for smart buildings, can you tell us what gaps/ pain points in the market Facilio aims to address?
Facilio was founded with a vision to drive operational efficiency and sustainability in the built environment, and free property operators from legacy systems. There was a significant gap in the built environment industry – facility managers were stuck in the past, still using clunky, on-prem systems to run their buildings. The last biggest disruption in buildings took place 20 years ago, with hardware advancements outpacing software development. What the real estate industry needed was a game-changing cloud solution that could supercharge building efficiencies and transform the way facilities were managed. The aim was to bring in the same kind of disruption that ServiceNow did to ITSM and Salesforce to CRM.
What we offer is a first-of-its-kind connected operations platform for real estate owners and operators to get a single-pane of glass view & control of operations across multi-site building portfolios. It meaningfully connects systems, processes and people to deliver incredible outcomes and value.
Our software platform is now a de-facto in many enterprise real estate companies globally. We deliver unmatched real-time visibility, control, and portfolio-level insights through a centralised cloud supervisory platform, resulting in increased efficiencies across the workforce & building portfolios. We offer an exceptional software stack that adds value to the environment and the bottomline.
Q2- At the recent UK PropTech Awards, Facilio won the Best Use of Data award with partners Equiem, can you give us an insight into your partnership and the associated project?
Our collaboration with British Land has been pivotal in achieving operational efficiency and optimizing energy consumption, aligning with their vision of transforming their portfolio into sustainable buildings.
Facilio has delivered a Connected Buildings platform to drive down energy consumption and effectively manage space utilisation for British Land. The objective is to provide real-time insights into energy consumption, visitor movement, and energy optimization opportunities and to identify the root cause of issues using Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD).
As part of this project, Equiem provided critical operational data through its helpdesk, visitor management, permits and meeting room booking tools. The data gets passed on to Facilio’s platform where British Land gets graphical representations of the data, they have detailed reporting and comparisons across the data sets to monitor number of people in the building, rooms booked, etc and how the data impacts operations in the building.
The data can be used to monitor usage of facilities and will ultimately allow them to know when action is required in the building to make it more efficient. Proactive steps like switching lights off when rooms are out of use, monitoring sound levels, turning heating or cooling systems on and off when required rather than having it heat/cool empty rooms are now possible. Together, we have contributed to a 33% year-on-year reduction in heating/cooling energy consumption for British Land.
Q3- There has been a rise in conversations recently surrounding the usage of tech in helping organisations achieve their sustainability and decarbonisation goals. Can you give us an insight into the benefits for a client adopting your ‘Continuous Sustainability’ solution and how it can lead them to achieve their decarbonisation goals?
Rising energy costs and stringent government regulations have put pressure on the industry to prioritise decarbonisation projects. Yet many building owners and operators don’t know where to start or how to navigate the path to net zero. For such organisations, we advocate the “crawl, walk, run” approach – first monitor, then predict and finally optimize/control.
Facilio’s Connected Buildings platform enables real-time monitoring and optimization of energy consumption, identifying areas for efficiency improvements. It provides actionable insights through data analytics, aiding clients in making informed decisions to minimise their carbon footprint. By fostering a proactive approach to sustainability, organisations can track progress, implement targeted interventions, and meet their decarbonization goals more effectively. It essentially empowers clients with the tools needed to drive continuous improvements in environmental performance.
Q4- How does Facilio assist clients in the implementation process? Are there any specific training/support programs in place?
Facilio’s solutions are ready-to-deploy and can be set up in a matter of days. Once a customer signs up with us, a Facilio project manager will serve as the customer’s point of contact, understanding their exact needs, and providing updates. Product implementation executives handle technical complexities and ensure the platform is set up to deliver on all the outcomes the client expects. They set up a portfolio command centre with two-way communication between Facilio and other existing systems on the client’s side.
Our cloud-based software platform is designed with user-friendly interfaces, but to ensure a smooth transition, Facilio provides hands-on training and demo sessions tailored to the client’s specific needs. Additionally, there are documentation resources and online support channels to assist users in navigating and maximising the benefits of the platform. The goal is to empower clients with the knowledge and tools necessary to seamlessly integrate and make the most of Facilio’s solutions for their building management needs.
Q5- Lastly, Facilio has grown and expanded successfully into several different markets over the years and are now working with large clients such as British Land, Cushman & Wakefield, Brookefield etc. Can you tell us briefly what the journey has been like and what is next in the pipeline for Facilio?
We manage over 25,000 buildings across the globe, with large enterprise companies such as Brookefield, British Land, Cushman & Wakefield, Investa, Tuten Labs, Robert Dyas, Danzas and Dalkia using our software platform.
Last year, we expanded into the ANZ region in response to high demand for smart building solutions. We also launched our Connected Retail offering, an innovative solution to digitise and automate store operations with a centralised remote monitoring system. We’ve already added 10,000 stores to our portfolio.
Overall, we are seeing two important trends emerge: first, cost optimisation is a top concern for property operators. Second, portfolio-level priorities have taken over and CRE operators now prefer integrated platform solutions rather than point solutions. This has resulted in a considerable uptick in demand for our platform since it directly impacts customer’s revenue by lowering operational and energy costs.
This year, Facilio’s Connected CMMS platform will be fortified with a new Field Service Management (FSM) solution. Designed for multi-site property operators, our FSM solution will provide facility management teams with a centralised dashboard to access data history and enable remote troubleshooting. The ready-to-deploy cloud-based solution will streamline dynamic service scheduling, optimize dispatch procedures and ensure task assignments are skill-matched for maximum efficiency.
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