By Pablo E. Carvallo

Among the verticals we currently serve with Tobly, we find facilities management to be a very dynamic and ever-changing sector, where technology continues to increase efficiency and decrease the cost of building maintenance while helping buildings last longer.

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According to the Global FM Market Sizing Study, facilities management generated $1.15 trillion in 2017 globally. The market size isn’t surprising as buildings have a life cycle of between 50 to 60 years while they only take on average two years to be built.

Multi-site facilities management has historically been a paper-driven industry where management professionals handle thousands of maintenance work orders by sourcing vendors via telephone and placing work orders using fax machines.

In order to reduce costs and increase efficiency, companies started to outsource their non-core activities to facilities management service providers who offer services under a single management team and contract also known as Integrated Facilities Management (IFM).

According to BusinessWire JLL, CBRE, Sodexo, Compass and Cushman & Wakefield are the five leading IFM provider in the world. IMF penetration is currently less than 10% of the industry.

Source: BusinessWire.

In the late nineties, three companies were launched to tackle the facilities management work order process, categorized as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).

Corrigo: Born in Silicon Valley and grew to become one of the most powerful Facilities Management technology platforms with over 2.5 million users worldwide.

Dude Solutions: Was originally founded to fill the void in the way the school systems across the US where managing their facilities. Today it remains as a market leader surpassing $100 million in annual revenue in 2018.

Service Channel: Was formed to deliver work order management software for retailers, starting a new technology trend that has yielded billions of dollars in savings.

Today there are hundreds of other CMMS Technologies focusing on different verticals and leveraging new technologies to bring value to their users. For example, SMS Assist (Valued at $1 billion) and FacilitySource (a CBRE company) have implemented the IFM model acting as both the technology and national contractor for their customers, these companies are starting to look a lot more like a highly controlled, high-frequency, B2B, service marketplace servicing the urban envelope across the nation.

To stay competitive, real estate management companies started investing in CMMS technologies in order to extend their reach into facilities management. Some of the most notable acquisitions include JLL acquiring Corrigo in 2015, CBRE’s acquisition of FacilitySource in 2018 and Cushman and Winkfieldfinalized the takeover QSI Facilities management earlier this year.

Equipment Rental Integrated Solutions (IERS)

Equipment rentals are the largest expense in recurring facilities management work orders (outside of capital expenditures). Multi-site managers are in charge of ensuring their locations are well maintained and accessible for business, making them responsible for every task in the maintenance process.

For example, a retailer with 2,000+ stores has to perform 6,000 high dustings (four times per store per year). For this task, cleaning crews are required to rent scissor lifts that account for 75% of the cost of the work. Other jobs that require scissor lifts are LED lighting, HVAC, awnings, signs, window cleaning, paint and so on.

Facilities managers often deploy equipment to multiple locations processing purchase orders over the phone. For this reason, managers often outsource the task of renting the equipment to their national contractors who then pass the responsibility down to their subcontractors resulting in delays and monetary losses due to a decentralized procurement system.

Tobly is an Integrated Equipment Rental Solutions leveraging a network of thousands of equipment rental companies and manufacturers. Managers can easily find, quote, and book rentals online to be delivered on multiple locations within very short periods of time using its unmatched equipment rental expertise and reliability.

Integrated Equipment Rental Solutions significantly increase productivity and reduce the costs associated with equipment rentals. Using an integrated equipment rental solution allows facilities managers to gain control of the process, predict potential delays, and monitor the progress of national rollouts.

The Future of IFM

The future of Facilities Management lies in predictive maintenance, automation, and robotics. We anticipate a future where machines (or equipment) will replace humans in building maintenance.

In 2018, venture-backed CMMS software Upkeep secured $10M in Series A financing to expand their mobile technology powering FM technician in the field, while Fexa CMMS is leveraging Artificial Intelligence to aid decision making and preventive maintenance.

Other software companies that are breaking ground by helping the acceleration of Integrated Facilities Management include PPG’s Paintzenseamlessly integrates painting projects, iVueit providing on-demand images of their facilities across the nation, and Entouch Controls solving IoT challenges for facilities executives.

From a hardware perspective, we have recently seen NYC based Urban Umbrella design pedestrian friendly scaffolding bridges, Israeli based Skyline Robotics introduce an aerial robotic arm for window cleaning, at the same time that Canadian founded Avidbots, introduced a self-driving floor scrubber being deployed across North America.

These technologies not only provide facilities managers with lower cost and increased efficiency but also reduces insurance costs. Tobly is the first Integrated Equipment Rental Solution to pursue distribution of hardware-based facilities and building management solutions.

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