Streams of yellow lights in a tunnel.

3 Use Cases to realise the value of hyperautomation for FM service providers

By 2027, UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) estimates that up to 40% of facility managers will begin to retire. That’s only six years from now. Meanwhile, contractual agreements are becoming more complex through integrated services demands, new digital-first competitors are coming on the scene, worker skill gaps are growing, and many existing service provider processes are slow and expensive. The list could go on. Let’s not forget about the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. Times are tough.

But, it is not all doom and gloom. As firms begin to consider office re-openings, wouldn’t it be great if your services firm could tackle many of the challenges you face while delivering the increased services your clients will demand? The strategy of hyperautomation might just be a service provider’s new best competitive advantage. Hyperautomation is identified by Gartner in its 2020 Predictions for 2021 as an emerging business process trend. It’s best described as a strategy to automate and optimise end-to-end business processes through the use of various technologies.

Hyperautomation doesn’t remove people from the process, but it does help them to be more efficient, while reducing error-related risks. It also increases opportunities to improve margins and deliver new services. Hyperautomation removes data siloes from within a service provider to help employees transform data into intelligent information to make processes more efficient and productive. Through the use of tools such as business intelligence software, machine learning, and robotic process automation, raw data can be transformed to enhance processes efficiency and drive business growth.

For facility management service providers, this intelligent information has the added benefit of supporting new business models, creating new services and increasing revenue. Let’s take a look at some possible scenarios.

Use case 1: Financial Management

It can be difficult to accurately determine the appropriate fees for service contracts, especially contracts that include newly offered services. Often contract fee and project scope are mismatched leaving service providers to do more with less.

Data to more accurately forecast contract fees is within reach of most service providers. It’s just spread across multiple databases, some digital and some paper-based, in different formats and possibly has quality issues. A data management strategy, based around hyperautomation, provides service providers with centrally located and validated historical data. This enables contract negotiators to better understand the context and true cost of prior activities when responding to a request for proposal. This helps service providers to meet customer expectations while maintaining or growing revenue.

Use case 2: Operational services

The second use case for hyperautomation is the identification of opportunities to generate additional revenue from being a strategic partner.

Service providers can use business intelligence tools and real-time data management to predict the value of maintenance activities or replacing assets. Are there greater savings if an organisation replaces certain assets now or waits a little longer? Should they advise their client to continue renting a certain building, when data about the building’s occupancy rate, environmental factors and maintenance status is combined together? Questions like these can be categorised under sustainable asset management, a strategy to optimise the total cost of ownership of real estate portfolios.

In addition, having access to real-time data and business intelligence enables service providers to more easily identify the extra projects that truly benefit their clients. This can either be additional work on top of an existing contract or an arrangement where the service provider receives a bonus for projects that save the client money in the long-term. In both scenarios, the service provider increases profit and the client sees cost savings.

This use case is based on the idea that the service provider can commercialise data and information back to their clients, instead of delivering just operational services.

Use case 3: Additional services for the end user

The third business model focuses on the end-user. Many service providers consider themselves to have two clients: the business that signed a contract and the users of that client’s buildings and assets. Because the satisfaction of both will influence renewing a contract, service providers need to consider the wishes of this end consumer. Hyperautomation strategies that integrate sentiment analysis with consumer engagement applications enable service providers to adjust services based on individual behaviour to ensure customer retention and expansion. Business to Business (B2B) transitions to Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C).

The underlying technology to implement a hyperautomation strategy, whether its OCR, robotic process automation (for data capture) or a central enterprise platform to support business intelligence, is already available today. However, it takes effort to incorporate and reap the benefits of these and other business use cases. Service providers are often busy with their daily activities, and even the most innovative service providers can use an external partner to give them a push in the right direction.

Which hyperautomation use cases are you investigating? Which are the most appealing? To learn more about how a hyperautomation strategy might benefit your business, take our Interactive Assessment.

Derrek Clarke, Solution Marketeer at Planon.

Derrek Clarke

Senior Solution Marketer

Derrek Clarke has over 15 years of experience in the building industry. Currently, he is a senior solution marketer at Planon responsible for the positioning of solutions for the facility service provider market.

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