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Transforming Technology into Action

A real-time analytics booth and virtual reality lab are among the highlights at ConnexFM’s 2023 Mid-Year Conference.

By Ellie Stimmel

Technology continues to expand and innovate the world of facilities management. But how can facilities managers use emerging technological tools to grow their business?

ConnexFM’s 2023 Mid-Year Conference offers two DEMO Labs in which participants will learn how to utilize real-time data analytics to create actionable initiatives and how to train technicians in a virtual reality environment. Hosted by experts in the facilities management industry, attendees will leave with the knowledge and tools to implement these systems into their own business strategy while having a little fun along the way.

Real-Time Analytics

Data analytics has come a long way from being a buzzword to becoming an integral part of business strategies. Yet, the transition from raw data to actionable insights remains a persistent challenge.

Allen Randolph, Kaivac
Allen Randolph, Kaivac

Allen Randolph, VP of Business Development at Kaivac, will host a real-time analytics DEMO Lab at this year’s Mid-Year Conference outlining how facilities managers can effectively use data in their business.

“I'm going to be talking about how to set up the scenarios where the data allows you to take actions that are impactful to your business,” he said. “Whatever the business goal is, how do you get from data to the objective as efficiently as possible?”

The demonstration aims to decode complex data and empower facilities managers with the information needed to make timely and informed choices, highlighting the diverse applications of real-time analytics across various operational contexts. Specific areas of focus will be change management and process management. Randolph hopes that attendees can use this information to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of data usage in their own careers and business.

“I think it's a fantastic tool,” Randolph said. “Being able to use data to align with your business objectives will be a necessary part of being a successful FM in the future.”

From monitoring and optimizing cleaning processes to predicting maintenance needs, attendees will witness how this technology can be tailored to their unique challenges and objectives.

“What we're really trying to do is move out the noise and bring in the actionable intelligence,” Randolph said.

Virtual Reality Training

Doug Donovan, Interplay Learning
Doug Donovan, Interplay Learning

Facilities managers know that training technicians can be difficult, costly and time-consuming. Interplay Learning, a leader in immersive skilled trades training, aims to flip this on its head, opting instead for a safer and more engaging training experience. At this year’s Mid-Year Conference, Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning, and Christopher Bybee, Senior Director of Growth at Interplay Learning, will lead a hands-on Virtual Reality (VR) DEMO Lab for attendees.

VR, often associated with the world of gaming, is finding its place in the professional realm, transforming industries such as healthcare, education and now, facilities management. Participants at this year’s conference will have the unique opportunity to explore firsthand how VR can significantly impact technician training.

Dan Clapper, Marketing Director – HVAC at Interplay Learning, and Laura Powers, Director of Product Marketing at Interplay Learning, shared what to expect from the VR DEMO Lab, emphasizing the impact that VR training has on safety, engagement and employee retention.

“The biggest draw has to do with safety,” Clapper said. “Someone can get practice in this simulated environment before going out and working on the real thing.”

“They get that immersive experience of simulating being on site and being able to engage and interact with the equipment in this virtual environment,” Powers added. “And that’s the opportunity attendees will have at our DEMO Lab.”

By providing industry training, they said that facilities managers can draw in new talent and retain current employees by providing a route towards career advancement.

“It’s a big benefit to give employees that pathway, which solves one of the biggest problems these facilities managers have: turnover,” Clapper explained. “Technicians often leave because they don't see a future with the company. But if you give them a learning pathway, they have a reason to stick around and work towards a promotion or raise.”

VR can be intimidating for some, but Clapper and Powers said the experience is simple and seamless for participants of any age and technological literacy level.

“It's fun for them to try it out on-site because it's not as intimidating as they thought it would be,” Powers said. “It's amazing seeing them put the headset on, and suddenly, these light bulbs go off.”

In a rapidly evolving landscape of facilities management, ConnexFM's upcoming Mid-Year Conference emerges as an outlet for industry professionals seeking to transform technology into impactful strategies. The convergence of real-time analytics and VR training lays the foundation for a new era in the industry, one where data-driven decisions and experiential learning drive growth.

Learn more about all of the educational opportunities at ConnexFM’s 2023 upcoming Mid-Year Conference.

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