A 10-point valuation of continuous monitoring and maintenance - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Finance  -  February 20, 2017 - By Jamie Daubenspeck

A 10-point valuation of continuous monitoring and maintenance

Facilities managers who spend their workdays "in the weeds" of site-level operations are generally content to accept the anecdotal value of smart asset management. When things go right — an equipment performance anomaly is caught before it requires expensive mechanical remediation and downtime, for instance — the benefits of their good fortune is easily measured. The value of this "ounce of prevention" typically goes unseen, however, by the front office.

Facilities managers are also the first to feel the sting—and tally the expense—of missed opportunities to prevent capital equipment failure, excessive resource consumption, and downtime. Contrary to the “ounce of prevention, the cost of the "pound of cure" is laid bare to the front office when things go wrong.

These truths support the case for a proactive and holistic operational efficiency and resource conservation initiative. More specifically, they make the case for a well-documented approach to the value of continuous facilities monitoring and maintenance. But while many companies leverage system-specific monitoring services to assess the performance of their capital investments, few possess the internal technology and resources required to enable a comprehensive, proactive approach that addresses energy, operational and maintenance costs. Neither can they accurately convey the value of that approach to stakeholders.

Here, we've compiled the ten most valuable benefits of continuous monitoring and managed maintenance services, complete with demonstrable savings realized by companies who have implemented our services

1. Optimized asset performance. Continuously monitoring equipment ensures they're running efficiently and providing you with the level of service you expect. For a major women's apparel retailer, this resulted in the identification of 45 faulty HVAC systems running 80% of the time, rather than the standard 20% to 30%.

2. Enforcement of corporate standards. Maintaining consistent corporate set points and schedules across your portfolio allows you to standardize energy usage and costs. By ensuring a 73-degree set point at each facility, one quick service restaurant is saving $140,000 annually.

3. Reduction in recalled work orders. Centralized processes for dispatching vendors and reviewing work order histories ensure that service providers fix problems on their first visit. In one case, cutting back on recalled orders saved a national convenience store $480,000 in a single year.

4. Costly service call avoidance. Continuous monitoring leverages data from your Energy Management System (EMS), allowing for remote troubleshooting and resolution of identified issues. Through reducing service calls, a major retailer of agricultural and livestock products saved more than $300,000 yearly.

5. Intelligent dispatch of service providers. Ensuring that service providers have the right information at the right time helps resolve issues more quickly and cost-effectively. Intelligent dispatch capabilities reduced one national convenience store's issue resolution time by more than an hour.

6. Optimization of capital investments. Access to standardized data about system performance helps prioritize underperforming assets for replacement to drive the greatest ROI. More strategic capital expenditures saved another large convenience store $150,000 in one year.

7. Reduction in product loss. Seeing system failures when they happen—or catching a problem before the failure occurs—allows an urgent response to critical issues to prevent loss. A major retailer of agricultural and livestock products (with an average cost of $3,400 per loss) has experienced only a single food loss in three years.

8. Enhanced customer experience. Constant settings across all facilities means customers enjoy the same familiar experience whether they're in Minneapolis or San Diego and allows staff to spend more time with customers. A too-warm retail store requires a manager to coordinate with HVAC contractors an average of four times—time that can now be freed up for customer sales.

9. Increased employee productivity. Less time spent troubleshooting equipment issues or dealing with service providers means more time to serve customers. On Black Friday, cross-portfolio set point changes at a major retailer reduced temperature complaints by 70%, allowing staff to better respond to the high sales volume.

10. Site-level visibility. A centralized dashboard displaying site-level data helps you understand your portfolio at a single glance and manage overrides and variances by exception. Facilities teams can immediately flag emergency issues requiring approval, so critical issues don't get hidden under nuisance alarms.

The value of your facilities optimization initiatives shouldn't simply be assumed, much less go unnoticed. While you might know the value of increased operational efficiency and resource conservation, conveying that value throughout the organization requires a holistic and measurable approach to energy savings, maintenance savings, and operational efficiency. That, in turn, requires proactive and continuous monitoring and maintenance.

Jamie Daubenspeck Jamie Daubenspeck is Ecova's expert of anything relating to "the Internet of Things" – including meter interval data, trend and telemetry data, and big data and advanced analytics. He is also the product manager over Ecova's continuous monitoring and managed maintenance solutions and is an expert at integrating a variety of building monitoring systems so that data can be seamlessly collected on Ecova's end. This data, from building automation and control systems and energy management systems, helps our commercial clients detect site-level issues before they become expensive problems.

Tags: Ecova

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