IFSJ Exclusive: Unleashing the power of data

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Are digital asset registers the future of building safety maintenance?

Today, property owners, facility managers, and tenants expect a certain level of data. The industry wants to be proactive. The issue is a massive need for visibility.

The current situation

Right now, a property manager might engage with several fire and security maintenance companies, each using paper or their software. Unfortunately, this situation necessitates you to look for the proper report everywhere.

The issue is that no central repository exists to gather and manage all this information. You are required to log into multiple portals and handle various reports and certificates. No centralised view is available for your clients, leading to a scattered and messy situation.

Another problem is that there are still paper forms: people send static and straightforward reports to others that need to be actionable. “If a fire and security company is not using a digital asset register, I’d ask why,” says Roi Abraham, Head of Growth at Uptick.

Most companies are likely using generic job management software which does not log the assets, meaning they do not have the asset record. As a result, they do not know that a fire extinguisher has been missing for four years or when their five-yearly or ten-yearly are due. From a fire perspective, the more you record and manage the assets within your job management software, the better it is for everyone.

What needs to happen

Right now, the main barrier is paper and legacy systems. “Fire providers should be using better systems at the source,” says Abraham. “We ditch the paper and start to use modern asset maintenance software made specifically for the industry”.

Digital asset registers, he says, will make fire and safety maintenance easier by mapping an asset from a geospatial floorplan: “This is amazing from a property owner perspective, and it can save a tonne of time for the engineers on bigger sites, as well as giving your customers a real-time view.”

Another fundamental feature is the customer portal: “Every property owner should demand a real-time view of their contractors’ performance. Which assets are non-compliant? How long has it been non-compliant?

Third-party accreditation is also crucial: “If you’re a fire and security company, you should be third-party certified. Fire and security companies use many papers and forms and struggle to keep up. If they’re using a good software that does all of it within, it ensures that the fire companies are third party certified.”

QR codes have become synonymous since the rise of COVID, and Abraham notes that companies are putting a QR code in every single one of their assets: “This allows them to search the asset. So instead of trawling through a whole list of assets on site, they can find that asset quickly and save time for the engineers.”  If you are a tenant or property owner, this could also enable you to scan the QR code of any asset, see whether it is compliant, and find out when it was last maintained.

Abraham notes that another change on the horizon is remote panel monitoring: “Why go to the site when you don’t have to?”

Who owns the data

One issue that Uptick is trying to solve is the possible conflict over data ownership: It’s a long, long debate. So we’re trying to solve it by providing a repository in the middle called bSECURE, which allows each one to put whatever data they want in it.”

He compares it to a logbook for a car: “If you sell the car, the logbook stays with the vehicle. If you sell buildings, good luck finding the fire engineer report, even post-construction. It should remain with the installation.

The solution?

Uptick is software for fire and security companies. It is designed to make a property owner’s life easier by providing a complete asset register with all the data and fire certificates inbuilt. Crucially, they provide a portal to building owners, enabling them to monitor their entire portfolio and see real-time compliance.

“Our vision is that someone sleeping on level 18 of the building knows whether their building is safe,” says Abraham. “They go to sleep at night, put their head in the pillow, promised that their building is compliant, and they should expect that.”

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