Skip to main content

From Cost Savings to Compliance: How Collecting Facilities Data Pays Off

March 23, 2023

Would you drive at night without turning on your car’s headlights? Sure hope not. Would you head into a cave without a flashlight? Not a good idea.

Yet many teams try to tackle facilities management with no way to see what’s in front of them. Without complete, accurate data, you’re groping around in the dark, unsure of what’s ahead.

Collecting (and maintaining) facilities data – such as asset condition, maintenance logs, inspection results, energy efficiency, and repair vs. replacement costs – gives you clear visibility into what’s happening in your buildings today and what you need to plan for tomorrow.

There are loads of advantages you get from good facilities data. In this post, we’re going to explore 8 of them.

Of course, knowing you need dependable data is one thing – actually gathering it all is something else entirely. So we’ll also introduce you to AkitaBox Capture, a tool that makes it super easy to collect and store all that information. 

But first, why invest time and money into gathering, organizing, and maintaining your facilities data?

Strategic Advantage 1: An Always-Current View of Your Facilities

Your facilities are constantly changing. A good data management approach gives you a constant stream of fresh information on what’s going on in your facilities. That way you always have the most up-to-date view of your assets and buildings. This is sometimes called “living data” or a “living facility condition assessment.”

Learn More: Stop Your Facility Condition Assessment Data from Dying

Strategic Advantage 2: Easy Access to Asset Information

Imagine having complete data on all of your building’s assets and organizing it all in one easy-to-navigate place. Maintenance staff and outside contractors can quickly find the necessary data to do their jobs, making them more efficient and able to respond to work orders faster. No more running back and forth to the plan room or shuffling through dusty papers trying to find a shut-off valve when a pipe is actively flooding a room.

Case Study: Ending the Confusion of Complex Asset Relationships with Innovative Mapping

Strategic Advantage 3: Facilities Data Lives in a System, Not People’s Heads

So much hard-earned institutional knowledge is walking around in the brains of your most experienced team members. What happens when those people leave or retire? They take that information with them – unless they add their knowledge into your facilities management system. Tapping into this often overlooked data source can reveal a treasure trove of operational data that the rest of your team can benefit from.

Explore Further: Facilities Professionals are Retiring: Here’s Why That Can be a Good Thing

Strategic Advantage 4: Proactive vs. Reactive Asset Management

No one wants to spend their day running from one emergency to the next. If you want to shift to a more proactive, preventive approach, you need accurate facilities data. Knowing what assets you have, their current condition, their maintenance history, their estimated remaining lifespan, etc. helps you identify where maintenance is needed and schedule appropriate preventive maintenance.

With dependable data on hand, you can better track your assets’ performance, reduce downtime, make informed decisions about repairing vs. replacing, and even extend the lifespans of your equipment.

Keep Reading: 4 Steps to Transforming Your Facilities Management Processes

Strategic Advantage 5: Improved Compliance & Safety

This one’s pretty obvious. Accurate, current data lets you monitor your compliance with all applicable regulations and standards. If you fall out of compliance, you’ll know it right away and can begin resolving any issues. In addition, you can more quickly identify potential safety hazards and risks before they cause problems.

Dig Deeper: Improving Compliance: How and Where to Start

New call-to-action

Strategic Advantage 6: More Accurate Capital Planning & Budgeting

There never seems to be enough money to go around. So you need to use your funds wisely. Trustworthy facilities data makes it easier to prioritize where to spend limited dollars and what upgrades, repairs, or expansions you need to plan for in future budget cycles. Plus, if leadership pushes back on your budget request, you can show exactly why you need that money with data that’s specific to your facilities.

Learn More: Capital Budgeting Process: Why Your Data Is Failing You

Strategic Advantage 7: Wise Resource Allocation & Maintenance Deferrals

Should you keep patching up your old chiller or is it time to replace it? Can you defer a major overhaul of your HVAC system for a while longer? With data, you don’t have to guess the answers. Instead, you can make informed decisions on where to spend time and money. You can also more confidently determine what items can safely sit on your deferred maintenance list.

Free Download: Deferred Maintenance Planning Guide

Strategic Advantage 8: Facility Optimization

Data can help you not just manage your facilities, but optimize them. From reducing costs and risks to boosting productivity and energy efficiency, you can use facilities data to monitor performance, identify areas to change, and measure the results of any improvements you make.

On-Demand Webinar: Use Data to More Effectively Manage Your Facility’s Lifecycle

The benefits of facilities data are undeniable.

But how do you actually collect and store all of that data?

How do you find the time to do it when you’re already busy with day-to-day facility operations?

And how do you ensure your team can continue updating the data over time?

In a nutshell, you use the right tool. We’d like to introduce you to one of them: AkitaBox Capture.

AkitaBox Capture: A Better Tool for Better Facilities Data Collection

What is it? A mobile app built into the AkitaBox facilities management platform (known as AkitaBox Pulse) that’s specifically designed to make facilities data collection as painless as possible.

What does it do? Provides a simple, streamlined way to collect any data you wish on any assets you want. With just a few clicks, easily input data such as location, manufacturer info, warranty details, current condition, photos, videos, and more.

Use it anytime you need to gather facilities data: energy audits, facility condition assessments, compliance audits, and the list goes on.

How does it work? Start by uploading or creating a digital floor plan. Click a spot on the floor plan to create a pin that shows the location of each asset. Click the pin and start inputting data for that asset. Fill in the provided fields (and add more fields if needed). Snap photos and upload them as you go – even if you’re offline.

Add complex chains of numbers in a snap thanks to Optical Character Recognition (OCR – also known as text recognition). It “reads” letters and numbers on photos of things like manufacturer tags and automatically inputs it into the system – no typing required.

AkitaBox text recognition in the Capture App

Once data is added into AkitaBox, simply click on an asset pin to call up all the data associated with that asset. You can also scan the AkitaBox QR code that’s placed on the asset during data collection.

What do you get? The ultimate data collection tool. It ensures greater accuracy during the data collection process. It’s much faster than pen and paper. Plus, it’s so simple, anyone can learn it. If you can type and take photos, you can use AkitaBox Capture.

After your initial data collection is complete, it’s easy to continue updating your data over time. Take Capture with you anywhere on a tablet to record changes to assets during routine maintenance or rounds.

Because it’s built in to the AkitaBox FM system, you can use the data from AkitaBox Capture to support maintenance management, asset management, inspections, and capital planning. Any time you do a work order, an inspection, or a condition assessment on an asset, the data generated from that activity is associated with that asset. Your data remains fresh, giving you a sustainable source of information for decision making.

Check out this video to see AkitaBox Capture in action.

It’s never too late to start gathering and organizing your facilities data. With tools like Capture and a partner like AkitaBox, you’ve got this. Contact us today to begin mapping out the future of your facilities data.

Betsy Francoeur

Betsy is AkitaBox's Content Manager. She loves to write blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, emails, and magazine articles about all things facilities management. She also enjoys traveling, running 5ks, and cuddling with her dog.

Subscribe to the AkitaBox Blog

Be the first to receive the latest in facility management information, trends, and thought leadership