Facilities Friday: Cultural shift for Facilities Managers ...... Smarter Building Technology makes it happen
Mary Gorczynski 1100006B54 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  service-management ibmsmarterplanet software reso ibmsoftware facilities-management maximo ibmeam ibmontwitter eam assetmgmt ibmsmarterbldgs tivoli asset-management
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Last week I attended the Energy Council Open Forum on Smart Grid and Smarter Buildings hosted by North Carolina State University. During this event we heard from a panel of local business leaders in the Smart Grid/Smarter Buildings field. As Dennis Kekas, Assoc. Vice Chancellor at Centennial Campus, NCSU hosted the panel including David Davidson from Eaton, Steve Cole from IBM, Dr. Jing Xu from ABB, Glenn Lampley from Progress Energy and Phil Davis from Schneider Electric, one thing was clear, everyone in the room was excited about smarter buildings. Just like with any new technology, excitement is always there, but people usually just want the solution to be complete! Is it ready yet? Are we there yet?
An undertaking to create a "demonstration prototype" at NCSU that will showcase smarter energy technologies for a Smarter City is the end goal and would be the first in the southern U.S. Quite a daunting goal!
A common thread we heard was that the main obstacle with getting started with the facilities maintenance team is the resistance to change. Understandably, for experienced facilities managers who have maintained facilities for any length of time, they have established processes that ensure reliability and keep their tenants happy! They are very reluctant to upset the apple cart with change that could impact happy tenants!
I decided to research this further and went to interview two facilities professionals from IBM's Real Estate Site Operations (RESO), Greg Peterson, Manager Global Energy and John Lepper, Research Triangle Park (RTP) Site Energy Coordinator. IBM RTP is IBM's 4th largest energy consuming site, with 4M square feet. Before we dove into their current processes, I wanted to know how the RESO team in Research Triangle Park, NC first accepted the transformation proposal and what the psychology was around it. How did facilities engineers, many with over 20 years on the RTP campus, accept the new tools & the changes to their jobs?
John explained that the transformation at RTP, NC came because of the results seen at IBM Rochester, MN RESO. It's hard to argue with 9% reduction in energy utilization! Soon, the facilities engineers were using IBM Intelligent Building Management, which is integrated with IBM Maximo Asset Management and runs on top of their Building Management System and seeing results. They went from saying "leave me alone" to "wow, this is really cool"! Huge cultural shift & hard to argue not only with the energy utilization reduction & cost reductions, but also the productivity improvements. Their jobs are easier!
Greg and John summarized the benefits of combining a bottoms up approach (aka input from the workers) with a tops down approach (aka management directive focused on cost savings) to achieve optimum productivity and ROI. Currently at IBM RTP, NC they have seen $100K in savings since implementing 4 months ago.
For more information about the Rochester RESO success, check out: