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SWG joins Facilities Show panel to discuss the future of FM

In five years’ time, there will be smarter devices, increased self-service, and more assets talking to one another without human interaction to improve the way our workplaces work. Those were just some of the predictions from a panel debate at this year’s Facilities Show, which took place at London’s ExCel in June.

Mark Kirkham, director at Service Works Group, was joined by Erik Jaspers, director at Planon, and Jon Clark, sales manager at FSI, to discuss the future of the sector – and the results of the recent FM software survey conducted by the Facilities Show, in association with Service Works Group.

Kirkham predicted that businesses will see the increasing convergence and integration of data, better use of management information and increased automation. “Connectivity will be ubiquitous, enabling people to access data everywhere,” he said.

Jaspers talked about the growing ability of devices, such as soap dispensers, to be automated and alert the FM team when they are running low. “Technology will increasingly remove waste from our processes,” he said.

Clark, meanwhile, discussed the internet of things and predicted that the industry will see assets increasingly talking to one another to create ever more efficient processes.

While welcoming the forecast changes, one audience member asked whether the FM sector was ready to embrace this level of change. “Maybe and not yet” were the honest answers from the panel.

The debate also touched on the increasing use of self service and mobile, together with the need to cut through the jargon and help people to understand what FM software could do for their business.