Technology continues to drive big changes in every industry, and facility maintenance is no exception. With increasing focus on BMS/BAS programs and sensors, as well as more connected equipment, it can be hard to tell where engineers and operators – the people who actually make buildings work – fit in.
This is a huge problem.
The facility management market is forecasted to surpass $56 billion annually in the next five years, driven largely by an increase in asset and inventory management programs and efficiency initiatives. While technology certainly has an important role, any attempt to improve facility maintenance that ignores the boots on the ground will surely fail.
Tech companies tend to undervalue the “old-school” engineer. These are the people who get their hands dirty and have the experience to spot an issue in their facility based on a sound, reading, sight, or smell. Engineers are a building’s best monitoring tool, and they’re incredibly important.
Technology must not overlook the old-school engineer. Sensors and BMS systems are still no match for a seasoned engineer’s eyes and ears. Instead of over relying on computers and sensors, technology needs to provide tools to elevate and empower the facilities professionals who ultimately make the decisions and get the work done.
Engineers need to adapt as well
At the same time, engineers can’t ignore new technology either. We live in a data driven world. Jotting equipment readings down on a messy logsheet just won’t cut it anymore. Building management companies want data trends and instant communication of issues that affect their assets.
Advances in computing offer much opportunity:
- Data modeling can indicate potential issues (like leaks) before they become a major problem
- Computers can spot inefficiencies and poorly performing equipment before it becomes obvious
- Graphing readings out in the field can alert engineers to important trends so they can diagnose issues quickly
- Digitally capturing and automatically disseminating this information across an organization ensures that issues get the attention they deserve
We created LogCheck to bridge the gap between data in the written log and the data that can be used more effectively. Working the boiler rooms of New York City, we realized that data collected during recurring work like inspections, meter readings, and routine maintenance tasks could benefit tremendously by introducing some modern technology. A tool that could do powerful things with data, make sure important issues got addressed, and provide valuable feedback the engineers in the field could make a huge impact. Most of all, though, it had to be something uncomplicated that engineers would actually use as part of their busy routine.
So we built it.
LogCheck is the only digital logbook built by engineers, for engineers to get the most out of their routine maintenance tasks, inspections, and meter readings. We replaced the logbooks that engineers and maintenance staff use during their rounds with a powerful mobile app. We also made it simple, so even the most old-school engineer can use it.
Engineers now use LogCheck at thousands of buildings across the country, and many of them are old-school engineers who thought they could never go digital. Even the most skeptical of engineers come around when they realize that it isn’t much different than what they have been doing, but on a mobile device. When it’s done right, technology elevates the engineer’s status and shows how important the boots on the ground really are.