You hear it all the time: Analytics has evolved. Years ago, wasting hours with spreadsheets and calculators to find trends and do statistical analysis was the best you could get. Today you have analytics and BI platforms like Sisense seamlessly infusing actionable intelligence into workflows and evolving businesses.

While analytics has grown up, the benefits of this evolution are not evenly distributed across every industry. Take, for instance, facilities management (FM). FM guru Martin Pickard has spent more than 50 years in this industry and helped companies of all kinds get the most out of their physical spaces. Over a number of years, he has built a relationship with Sisense business partners Datore to use insights from analyzed data and combine that with his own knowledge and experience.

If you’ve ever asked questions like: “How can you use FM data to make a change in the industry?” or “Can FM companies use this data to deliver better services?” keep reading! During a virtual roundtable, Martin talked with two FM companies, Eric Wright FM Ltd. and TC Facilities Management, to see how they’re using data to make real change. Learn how these companies have transformed their businesses with data and analytics.

The full webinar is available on-demand and contains even more tips, implementation guidance, and future plans for AI from these companies. 

A poll during the event showed that 19% of facility management attendees were thinking about analytics, 38% were just getting started or in planning phases, and 19% had implemented analytics already.

A poll during the event showed that 19% of facility management attendees were thinking about analytics, 38% were just getting started or in planning phases, and 19% had implemented analytics already.

How Eric Wright FM uses data and analytics

When George Lilley joined Eric Wright FM Ltd. as Managing Director, he knew he wanted data to be a differentiator for the company’s products and services. The first challenge was finding a solution where all its disparate data sources could be aggregated to create a single source of truth. Company leaders approached analytics deployment as a business project, not an IT project, as it needed to deliver business benefits. IT had certain roles to play, including data security, but the project overall was addressed from a business perspective.  

The operations team took the lead and built the business case. Bren Peach, Head of Business Performance at Eric Wright FM Ltd., explained the process it took to reach a successful outcome: First, a clear business case had to be defined. Then teams had to make sure their proposal was well-structured and that it identified the scope of service, benefits, key stakeholders, end results, costs, etc. 

See the dashboards that Eric Wright FM uses to differentiate its services:
>>Watch the the full on-demand webinar 

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The team at Eric Wright FM Ltd. wanted to differentiate the business in a crowded market and improve customer advocacy levels. Starting with over 200 ideas for dashboards, they decided on two that would meet their defined business requirements: 

  1. A carbon management dashboard that combines electricity, gas, and site information and is a major talking point for the market today for compliance with government regulations
  2. A variation process tracker dashboard that brings together five stakeholders and over 35 PFI (Private Financial Initiative) processes for clients to see one source of truth 

Both of these dashboards integrated data from many locations, including outside sources such as the electric company. This became the single source of truth and allowed everyone, including customers, to eliminate spreadsheets altogether and work from one dashboard. 

“It was never about the bottom line,” said George. “It is a long-term investment, and it will continue to improve. The business case was around differentiation and customer advocates, and it has been invaluable for that. It has completely changed the tone of the relationship just by having a common challenge to solve and a solution they can see and work on. It gets everyone excited about working together.” 

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Users are already benefiting from their data and analytics. In a few years, the team wants to try adding AI features. But for now, the focus is on product differentiation and customer service so the business can grow. 

How TC Facilities Management (TCFM) uses data and analytics

When Paula Byrne joined TCFM as Transformation Director, she took a hard look at how people and processes worked. She quickly noticed that employees couldn’t access data quickly enough to be proactive in decision-making. Managers couldn’t decide which sites to visit first and what risks were involved. Paula decided that data and analytics would help TCFM improve efficiencies in the business. 

The second factor was customers. They were asking for more transparency into the services they were receiving, and TCFM wanted to become the trusted partner of choice for a long-term business relationship.  

The first dashboard TCFM created was an operational one for managers, designed with their KPIs in mind. Thanks to the help of Datore, an implementation partner that was crucial in getting all data sources together, managers now have one dashboard with real-time data drawn from many sources. Managers are more prepared when they walk onto a site or talk to customers, as they have mobile access to the dashboard’s real-time data from any location.  

When COVID-19 hit, TCFM was prepared to use its data for workforce planning purposes, both internally and externally for customers. With its COVID dashboard and data aggregated from many sources, TCFM was able to understand who was on furlough or self-isolation or where there were pinch points so leaders could work with workforce agencies and customers to get employees where they were needed most.

Customers were given dashboards that reflected these instances and appreciated the transparency of TCFM during these times. HR began using the dashboard to identify the employees who needed support and to understand the workforce dynamics in crisis situations. 

Hear about the dashboards TCFM uses for managers and COVID:
>>Watch the the full on-demand webinar 

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This dashboard allows TCFM to manage its operations from home and also gives visibility to customers on what’s going on and what work is being performed.

“Customers can see what we can see,” said Renato Marques, Central Operations Manager for TCFM. “We share what we can see, and customers have total access to it, which contributes to a high level of trust between ourselves and our clients.”

Before implementing data and analytics, Renato explained, managers were going to spreadsheets for all their analysis. Every Monday, teams lost at least a full day producing reports. Renato made the calculation: 8 hours a week multiplied by all managers was equal to 900 hours a week spent on the reports. Now managers use their dashboards for trends, forecasts, analysis, and reporting to managers for faster, better decisions. That’s about 46,000 hours a year of quality time put back into the business via new dashboards.

“We never started this project to improve the bottom line, rather, to give better service,” Paula added. “But with that said, we know that by being transparent and open with our data, it has definitely been a contributing factor to two other contract wins. Internally, we found that the culture has improved significantly and we work on the right things that drive the business forward, cooperating better together, and forming more trust with the field as the main office shares data openly with everyone.”

Trusted partner Datore helps get both companies started

Both Eric Wright and TCFM turned to trusted Sisense partner Datore to get their implementation up and running effectively. TCFM first spent a few months trying to combine data sources itself to create a management dashboard before deciding to bring in Datore, who helped the company launch its dashboard after only one day. For Eric Wright, Datore helped aggregate all of the data sources so that its dashboards contain the one source of truth for everyone looking at the dashboard. 

As well as training the new data team in both analytics and dashboard development, Datore has also provided data warehouses for supplier and third-party data to both Eric Wright and TCFM.

Watch the full on-demand webinar here: 

Former Sisenser Sharron Malaver has over 20 years of experience in B2B enterprise software. She is passionate about helping organizations understand how they can solve their most pressing challenges and deliver better business outcomes with cutting-edge products. 

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