We have all come across incidents/mishaps, big or small, at places where we work or live. I work in fin-tech sector, the building where my business is based has all the regular amenities as we can expect in any commercial buildings (i.e. each floor has a reception area, meeting rooms, toilets, kitchen etc). This building is not a brand new one and sometimes things do breakdown or not work properly..
My real epiphany, where it all changed, happened in an instant. Not long ago, there I was in toilets and noticed one of the urinals has its flush system broken and the water just flowing freely and getting wasted down the drain. I left, as most of us would do, thinking it is someone else’s problem. However, this incident was still there the next day and the day after. Now it was really starting to bother me (I am sure other occupiers in the building as well) however not to an extent that I will go out of the way and find the building manager’s contact details and have the patience to call them to explain what/where and report this incident. More so, I had no idea if someone has already reported. Notwithstanding, I wanted this to be fixed.
Moment of Truth…
There in that instant, I pictured how many other people are in my position who want to do the right thing but have no way of knowing how to make the difference. In addition, the running water was costing the building and the environment and how this one malfunction can further deteriorate the facility which probably will end up in bigger maintenance cost. Not to mention the inconvenience caused for occupants.
There it occurred to me why there is no mobile application where all I have to do was tap a few buttons to report the incident, not only I would have been helping and contributing, this app can allow the building management to send the incident to the right person and extend the communication to the trade expert if required. All without anyone needing to call anyone or their personal involvement. The updates about the incident can be communicated back to the reporting person. And more importantly if someone else faces the same incident and tries to report, app can tell them this is already reported and actioned upon. Happy days for all involved:).
I could instantly see building management becoming tremendously efficient – no need to field multiple calls; allocating timely resources. Further evaluation confirmed that incidents do not need to be dramatic for reporting purposes – even running out of tea bags in the kitchen or paper in the photocopier needs timely resolution preferably without anyone needing to go through the loops! To my amazement, I could not find any application which was addressing this problem directly. Of course there were plethora of enterprise facilities management applications.
Apart from this basic efficiency there is a great deal of additional value which can be made possible through this application.
What else is possible?
- Announce or send notification regarding regular maintenance, fire drills, malfunction of any major equipment (i.e. elevator 2 will be under maintenance from 6pm to 9pm on 15th November)
- Connection between the occupants through a single app can make possible exchange of information between the occupants i.e. buy/sell office furniture, share a ride!
- Allow occupants to order stuff from preferred suppliers (restaurants, bottle shops, florists etc) who know the building and exactly know the occupants’ location within the building.
- Allow businesses in and around the buildings to provide special deals to occupants i.e. café in the foyer.
- Given all occupiers and sub occupiers are now part of the same eco-system, technologies, such as, NFC can be incorporated as part of the app for secure building access.
- Organising social activities among occupiers and sub occupiers
- Provide an easy way to book common facilities in the building, i.e. meeting rooms, recreational hall, etc.
- And the list can go on…
Why this data is important?
The data collected about the buildings is invaluable and can be utilised to measure or rate…
- Type and state of amenities in the building (based on number of breakdowns)
- Quality of occupants (active, technology savvy, showing responsibility…)
- Building manager efficiency/reliability (allocation of resources)
- Trade Expert efficiency/reliability (timely response, satisfaction of job)
- and of course more…