Before we address this question, let’s first of all look at what the ‘majority’ of service providers deliver in the way of a bureau service to their customers today. The primary function for most bureau services delivered by BMS systems integrators is that of reacting to ‘HVAC and Building Services Alarms’ via the BMS. This is the underlying core functionality, on top of this some may offer an engineering function that will drill down into the BMS and attempt to resolve issues remotely where possible. The next level of functionality is then (although on many occasions delivered by another part of the business) energy monitoring. Although the dots are rarely joined up between BMS Alarms, Engineering and Energy. This can then lead to managing remotely deployed engineers to the site if problems and issues cannot be resolved remotely as part of reactive call out service.
Optimised Buildings was set-up 5½ years ago to deliver energy efficient buildings and facilities without compromising the comfort levels of the occupants. The whole premise of what we do revolves around having core infrastructure in place (typically BMS and Metering). Unfortunately, in most cases clients, FM’s and service providers do not maximise the value from this infrastructure and struggle to exploit the maximum value from this investment. This is where Optimised Buildings is different. We combine technology and expertise through our Optimised Bureau service to ensure that this business objective is met. Delivering energy savings, maintenance savings, carbon reduction, increased life of assets and an improved environment for staff and customers alike.
We certainly provide the core service identified above, in a similar way to others in our market however, we add more value to the offering than this. Below are some of the value add’s that we provide that differentiates not only the service we provide but also the financial benefits that you as a client take away from the service:
Optimised Analytics – we have partnered with the leading BMS analytics company globally to deliver a service that is retail focused. In doing so we have now built a specific set of analytical business rules that are designed to drive down operating costs for retail clients when acted upon. We can instigate new rules to meet clients needs, but typically drive this strategy for our clients. This enables our clients to stay focused on the business outcomes that are being delivered to drive their business goals rather than focusing on the technology. The focus will be on turning these insights into business outcomes that will result in (a) generating energy savings through optimisation of BMS, HVAC and Lighting (b) reduction in other operational costs e.g. maintenance and lifecycle of assets (c) an improved environment for occupants.
Optimised aM&T – Our enterprise energy monitoring software is another global platform that we have been delivering since the company was formed. We don’t use this data in isolation but in conjunction with the BMS systems data and analytics to build a picture of where problems are occurring and monitor, manage and then maintain savings. The platform has full IPMVP tracking so any store or program can be effectively tracked. We take a proactive approach to energy management and are continually optimising the worst performing stores for our clients.
Optimised DSM – Following optimisation of the core infrastructure, many of our clients look for the next level of savings by avoiding peak time electricity costs (Red Zone DUoS charges) and Triads (TNUoS charges). Through strategies deployed in the BMS we are able to minimise some of these pass-through charges via enterprise level control strategies with significant financial impact.
BMS Platforms / Alarm Management – While every BMS has some form of supervisor head-end. We have where possible tried to bring everything back to a Niagara based platform (N4 or IQVision). This has enabled us to develop specific applications to aid our Bureau engineers in resolving problems quickly and efficiently, for both us and our clients benefit. Alarm management when possible is done at this level, unless the BMS vendor does not adopt open standards and we are forced to use their proprietary supervisor.
Meta Tagging – As we move into a world where software applications, analytical tools, AI and IoT are being launched on a daily basis the one thing that these solutions rely on is a common data set to ingest. We have adopted Project Haystack as the open source initiative to streamline working with data from the Internet of Things. We standardise semantic data models and web services with the goal of making it easier to unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by smart devices.
Enterprise level KPI dashboards – Our clients typically have very little resource to be able to manage their supply chain, as a result we try to address this through our enterprise level dashboards that wrap up real-time KPI data on performance, from energy, alarms, calls, targets, work orders and anything else that matters to them. We try to avoid weekly and monthly reports and automate the KPI’s so they are always up to through the enterprise dashboards.
IoT – We are not limiting our Bureau services to BMS data, the industry is moving at an incredible pace that will impact the commercials results of businesses that operate real estate portfolios. Whatever the technology, we want to be able to adopt sensors, AI, IoT and applications that will benefit our clients without them having to adopt the operation of these technologies directly. We have already partnered with some amazing sensing technology from Disruptive Technologies along with an IoT platform.
24/7 Service – Our bureau service operates 24/7, with a team of highly educated engineers, that is not just a call centre and/or BMS alarm management service.
Integration of CAFM with BMS Alarms – While some BMS Alarms may warrant remote investigation before an engineer is dispatched, others are pass through alarms that no matter what, an engineer is required to attend e.g. boiler lockout, pump trip, etc. These alarms can generate a Work Order directly if integrated with Verisae, saving time and enabling the work order to be completed more efficiently.
Integration / Expertise / Technical knowledge & the Business Case – We are continually challenged with how to run retail estates more effectively and through the expertise of our team and some very forward-thinking development engineers we help our clients think outside the box when it comes to solutions and technologies that make business sense. However, it is not simply the technology or service, it always comes down to compelling business model that stacks up and where possible all our solutions come with a business model to support them.
Hosting in the cloud & disaster recovery – We have made considerable investment in our Bureau services such that everything is hosted in the cloud, with full back-up resilience. Should (heaven forbid) our building burn down, our engineers could be back up and running undertaking the services we provide within the hour from their home location.
Enterprise level control – Through the power of Niagara, enterprise level control is now viable for a group or all of the stores connected. Provide simple mechanisms to manage a DSM strategy, night setback change, trading hours’ time change or BST time adjustment.
Ticketing / Case Management – We have adopted Salesforce Service Application for our internal ticketing solution. This is used when we have identified an issue, yet no WO or call has been received from the client. An example of this might be high energy consumption in one particular building, so a ticket will be generated to capture this to ensure this is looked into proactively.
Call Logging – All our calls are logged and the KPI’s made visible to our clients through their enterprise portal. This provides data such as number of calls that day, week, month, etc, average number of rings before calls are answered, store with most calls.
Process – It is critical for us that a defined process is mapped out as to how the Bureau is to operate, we work with our clients to ensure that this is a full-proof as possible. A flow chart is defined for each of our clients to map the different scenarios and the action and response that is adopted.
Account Management – We work with our clients to drive a successful and efficient strategy across their portfolio. Many look to us as their trusted advisor for new savings, efficiencies and smarter ways of working. We sit in on energy committees, attend weekly operational meetings or simply act as a consultant, dependent upon our clients’ needs and wishes.
All of the above wrapped up into a single managed service offering…
We are confident that our ‘Optimised Bureau’ service will as a minimum pay for itself through additional energy savings and with the right client support we could multiply this saving 2-3 fold!