The impact of digitalization on Property Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
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The research topic of this master thesis is; “How can digitalization help increase productivity in property Operations and Maintenance (O&M)?” The research topic focuses on the challenges and opportunities in utilizing Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) system regarding the operative function in Operations and Maintenance (O&M). The purpose of this research work is to analyze relevant literature and empirical data on how digitalization affects the O&M process and how the O&M personnel adapt towards a digital organization. Three research questions (RQ) were asked to answer the research topic; RQ1 - How does organization develop CAFM-system to support O&M process? RQ2 - How does organization adapt to the development and implementation of CAFMsystem to support O&M? RQ3 - How can digitalization contribute to best practice in O&M? The hypothesis for this research is; Digitalization increase productivity in property Operations and Maintenance (O&M). Right ICT tool, organization and best practice are the keys to successful digitalization of O&M process. This master thesis has six chapters divided into four main parts. The three research questions is the framework of the entire research work. A triangulated research method was carried out for this master thesis. Theory and literature study was used to answer the first research question (RQ1). Both qualitative (interview) and quantitative approach (survey) were used to answer research questions 2 and 3. The investigation is limited to Statsbygg east regional office. The empirical study focuses on the use of CAFM-system. Statsbygg is currently utilizing “SESAM” as a comprehensive CAFM-system, modified to support its FM process including O&M. To test the hypothesis in finding the right ICT tool, it was necessary to investigate briefly how BIM and mobile “app” solutions influenced the development and implementation of CAFM-system. CAFM-system may include Building Information Models (BIM) to provide object-oriented building iv information. Mobile “app” solution was developed to support SESAM, to effectively and efficiently access work orders and accomplish tasks. The development of CAFM-system to support O&M process The examination and investigation of relevant internal documents in Statsbygg have provided this research work, theory and concept on the development of its CAFM-system. A large organization like Statsbygg was representative to answer the research questions in this research study. The results of the investigation shows that correct development of ICT tools depends on business strategy and objectives. Providing the best ICT solution alone does not ensure the success of O&M process. There are important aspects on the development and implementation of CAFM-system as a tool to support and increase production in O&M process. • Appropriate process architecture with overview of interrelated processes • Effective management of legal requirements and standards • Overview of relevant technological solutions • Resources planning • Open and neutral interface Adapting to the digital O&M process and tools The qualitative and quantitative investigation have produced different results that are both useful in providing empirical data. The interview results showed optimism and positive feedback about the development and use of CAFM-system in Statsbygg O&M organization. The respondents in the survey investigation were skeptical. The research study has revealed some important aspects to successfully adapt to the digital process; • Access to O&M information • Transparency in business plans and objectives • Maintaining the quality of policy and standards • Involvement and support • Continuous training and skills development • Intuitiveness of digital solutions A total overview of FM process and sufficient skills of human resources are essential to the digital transformation of O&M organization and increase productivity. Digitalization of O&M process and best practice The context of this research study has given a clearer perspective and understanding about the impact of digitalization on O&M. Digitalization of O&M process contributes to best practice by; • Supporting a standardized process and activity workflow • Better cooperation on all level of responsibilities • Improved client and customer relationship • Maintaining the quality of policy and standards • Continuous technology advancement • Development of the digital culture Recommendations on further research There are three recommended topics for further research that are relevant to this master thesis. • It would be interesting to study the economic benefits of digital tools to FM. The analysis of the return of investments (ROI) on use of digital tools. There are theories and methods on how to manage the life-cycle of ICT tools for FM. • The study on how FM can benefit from Internet of Things (IOT) is an interesting topic for further research. • There are new opportunities on BIM aided O&M process. The utilization of BIM with product data templates (PDT) is developing the way FM documents are collected, delivered and exchanged. It is compelling to investigate how O&M benefit from this technological development.