Why is digital transformation important for apartment maintenance?
Though majority of management committee claims or believe that the apartment maintenance cannot afford digital transformation, modern technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Mobile and Automation are helping them to adopt digital technologies to control the escalating monthly costs.
Below is a typical monthly expense for apartment with 500 units and bigger the size, bigger the scale:
The number of apartments is increasing and they manage the cost escalations in 2 ways:
Some apartments follows traditional cost reduction approach by cheaper labours through low cost FMS by suffering the pain points such as inefficiencies in responding to residential issues, potential pilferages or other illicit arrangements between staffs and the vendors and the quality. These new technologies can help the traditional way of managing the apartment maintenance to improve those inefficiencies and gain cost savings.
Other apartments, follows a direct engagement with FMS to provide those tools to achieve their goals. They force traditional FMS to adopt digital technologies and try to control the cost.
What are digital transformation use cases in apartment maintenance?
Complete Water Management
According to TrackBot research, more than 30% of the maintenance cost for an apartment is associated with the water – Water intake (purchase through tanker, municipality, bore wells, Rain Water Harvesting systems, etc.), it’s consumption (Domestic purposes, Swimming Pool, Gardening, Clubhouses, Common area cleaning, etc.) and its treatment processes (Sewage Treatment Plant).
The fact is that, majority of the apartments ignores the regular maintenance required for those equipments to ensure the best results achieved with the original spending for Rain Water Harvesting, Bore wells, etc.
It’s really encouraging to see that more than 40% apartments automated the process of running bore wells, pumping overhead tanks, operating the common area lighting, etc. Though many of those activities are automated, still the challenges continues with inefficient utilization with lacking measurement of bore well outputs, frequent replacement of analogue sensors installed or constant failures due to lack of close monitoring with historic data.
There are different market leading ERP solutions companies who are providing a mechanism to collate the equipment information (Pumps, Motors, Transformer, DG, Lifts, Common Area Lights, Filters, etc.) apart from Maintenance Fees Management, Gate management, Communication, etc. But these systems lacks effective tracking of the equipment with near real-time history for respective repair or purchase which makes large number of Management Committee members to take ad-hoc decision on emergency situations and finally end up in losing money.
More than 50% of the maintenance cost is on the salary – Estate Manager, Plumber, Electrician, Housekeeping, Security, STP Operator and Swimming Pool operator. The study also shows that, less than 30% of the resources are utilized and they do not complete the routine tasks (checking of equipment working condition, regular cleaning, timely replacements, etc.), which results in spending enormous amount of money as lump-sum, when the system gets damaged and in irrecoverable stage.
Interestingly, almost all ERP products are providing a solution for residents to raise tickets – either by calling the Estate Office directly or through the app. But large amount of data is getting lost when the ERP solution doesn’t provide a dashboard with insights. Are they resolving the tickets on time, how is the trend, all resources are utilized effectively?
Reports and Analytics
Finally, the reports and analytics to derive some insights - Is the money collected from the residents are spending judiciously? Is the maintenance hike justified with the actual expenses? Are the investments in projects like Rain Water Harvesting yielding the results as expected? As pointed out earlier, the traditional way to answer these questions by blaming aging building, deteriorating quality, not yielding bore wells and poor infrastructure provided by the builder but the facts are hiding behind as there’s no data in hand.
Monitoring the status
Yes, all apartments are recording the daily status (Tanker purchase, meter readings, bore well inflow, Water Quality, Energy consumption, pH/Chlorine of swimming pool, MLSS for STP, etc.) but in the book which is kept inside the WTP or STP rooms or even share it over WhatsApp group. The challenge is for analyzing this information and gets some insights. But the moderns smart monitoring technologies (like TrackBot) are equipped to bring the status of all amenities into single pane of glass with visual indicators and alert you when there is a deviation from the regular pattern to take pro-active measures.
When the technologies are matured and available at an affordable price, adopting those digital transformations are always beneficial for everyone. Digital transformation is a journey and it is an individual choice to decide, when to start and TrackBot will be a good platform to start with.