Sigma Sustainability Institute PTE LTD: Forging An Enigmatic Enterprise Ecosystem

Sigma Sustainability
Sigma Sustainability

The post-pandemic scenario demands unified workplaces. So that the work flows in a streamlined fashion no matter what. We are on that path of unity in functioning, sustainability, and working together in a smart, holistic, and organic ecosystem. In such an enigmatic environment, people and work, technology and business, will be bound together in such a way that it will transform your company into a global brand.

Globally, companies are already envisioning smart workplaces which are self-reliant and sustainable. But we will have to imagine a metamorphosed global entity of interconnected workplaces.

It has already been envisioned by Sigma Sustainability Institute PTE LTD, with their mission – enabling organisations to be more sustainable, resilient, productive and thus futuristic.

Headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Australia, UAE and India, SSI provides consulting, project implementation, program management and training and education services across key sectors such as real-estate, smart cities, infrastructure and facility management, manufacturing, healthcare, environment, and financial services.

SSI’s customers include some of the largest global corporations, including BHP Billiton; the world’s largest mining company, Adani Group, Mshereib Properties; Qatar, Cairo Festival City and Lend Lease; Australia.

SSI implements smart building/city platforms. In simple terms, the platform will bind multiple products, processes, systems, and people, bringing together a unified ‘system of systems to deliver a holistic view of the building’s/city’s overall performance and functions.

Powered by AI and IoT technologies, the platform allows cities to be living organisms, transforming, growing, and adapting to evolving needs of a building/city.

Promising and Delivering the Moon

Abhishek Chand, the Chief Operating Officer, is an accomplished professional with over twenty-two years of comprehensive experience and thirteen years of proficiency in digital transformation applied to the built environment. His role has advanced from sales and business development, operational excellence, program direction, customer engagement to business leadership through the years.

Currently, the COO at Sigma Sustainability Institute – Eutech Group, he heads the company’s global operations. Abhishek provides clients with insights on composable workplaces, IoT, process improvement and automation, and related ecosystems to define operating strategies, evaluate emerging technologies and implement solutions.

Equipped with domain expertise, industry influence and insight, he works with clients in driving digital transformation, innovation, best practice, analytics and proofs-of-concept.

He has a record of success in delivering value-oriented change with an approach to aligning people, place, purpose and data to meet business goals of improved productivity, reliability, sustainability and resilience.

A diligent business leader certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with strong communication skills, Abhishek has a proven track record for success in leading teams and program direction for all phases of diverse technology projects for Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, and Airports, Retail Mall operators and Commercial Real Estate.

He has been instrumental in securing and delivering several multi-million-dollar projects to customers and partners across Australia, South East Asia, India, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Abhishek started his career with Unilever and worked at Epson and then at Tyco in various capacities.

Redefining the Smartness

Talking about inspiration, Abhishek said, “We are at the beginning of an era of exponential change caused by diverse external forces that are already impacting how we live, work and play. Within the next few decades, these forces will threaten the very existence of our communities and organisations.”

To survive and thrive in an uncertain environment, one must be adaptive. A building or a city is no exception. Being adaptive is about having situational awareness, considering options, identifying opportunities, devising and executing plans in an evolving environment.

Organisations will have to constantly reimagine and adapt to ensure that they are sustainable, resilient, and productive. To support this, they will need future-proof workplaces and buildings that are sustainable, productive, and resilient. The key to unlocking this is the Digital Transformation of the workplace.

Metamorphosing the Future

SSI and Eutech bring a very strong track record of implementing solutions for smart buildings and smart cities. This includes system integration and implementing central command and control solutions for very large and prestigious mixed-used and single-use developments.

SSIs digital transformation framework brings together four transformative ideas that will shape the future workplace (image; the future workplace)

Any development should be envisioned as a future-ready, seamlessly connected smart workplace reflecting the organisation’s vision. To enable this, the workplace platform and applications should drive the following objectives –

  • Be a next-generation, fully integrated digital platform to transform the building from ‘siloed’ services to converged building services that offer data sharing, information sharing and leverage building infrastructure resources across different services.
  • Drive integrated digital delivery (IDD) by creating a digital twin of designed subsystems and services and shall automate the commissioning, review and handover process of these subsystems and services
  • Enable an integrated operations centre would help deliver an organised and effective response to incidents, emergencies, or outages and offer better visibility on the building’s infrastructure performance.
  • Leverage from IDD to Smart FM by transforming the existing work methods and processes for increased efficiency and effectiveness of FM operations and Maintenance
  • Enable enhanced user journeys for employees, visitors, and tenants to guarantee future proof and sustainable operations promoting the brand value and establishing customer goodwill.
  • Future-ready solution that facilitates an open, no lock-in system architecture allowing multi-vendor systems and solutions to be connected and supported.

Immersive Integrated Reality

SSI provided solution will ensure:

  • Choice: Instant access to the latest and most suitable technologies and applications from a diverse curated selection.
  • Convenience: Making it easy to swap and combine technologies and applications to create or modify solutions.
  • Cost: All for the lowest possible cost!

Allow the client to continuously improve the operational performance using the next-generation operating model: (image of Self-managed Smart Building Infrastructure)

Breaking Through the Barriers

The CRE industry has been plodding to adopt the technology. Up to 40% of global infrastructure and capital project investment is poorly spent because of bottlenecks, lack of innovation, and market failures.

Construction is the most significant industry globally, and yet, even outside of crises, it is not performing well. It represents 13% of global GDP, but construction has seen a meagre productivity growth of 1% per annum for the past two decades. Time and cost overruns are the norm. Overall, EBIT is only around 5% despite the presence of significant risk in the industry.

Operations – maintenance costs typically range between 20% and 60% of overall OPEX spend. Boosting labour productivity in maintenance is becoming more and more important. Companies that have digitised and automated their maintenance processes now show a significant increase in labour productivity and a 20% to 30% reduction in maintenance costs.

Among the existing challenges, it is observed that there is an innate inability to define goals and objectives (sustainability, resilience, and productivity) and then identify the related and required changes to business processes, organisation culture and customer experiences. This could be attributed to:

Facility managers aren’t at the frontlines: Facility managers should be at the frontline of smart building design, implementation, and operation. Unfortunately, they are usually not involved until the handover to operations. One consequence is that smart buildings are often overly complex, and use cases are not tailored to meet tenant and landlord expectations.

Further, because technology lifecycles are far shorter than building lifecycles, constant changes and improvements may be needed, requiring specialised knowledge, which the facilities team usually does not have.

No incentive to adopt smart building technology: An even bigger problem is that FM contracts are traditionally indexed to the workforce supplied to undertake planned and reactive maintenance, which are generally time-based. The consequence is that FM companies and professionals do not have the incentive to use smart building technology. Nor do owners of buildings push them to do so.

Employee resistance to change: According to McKinsey, 70% of all maintenance transformation projects fail because of employee resistance and a lack of change in leadership behaviour. For the building industry, the failure rate could be even higher because of its slowness in adopting technology. The reasons are manifold, rooted in silos in which the industry works.

FM In-tuned

Both facility managers and owners stand to gain from the adoption of Smart FM. There are already several proven examples of the benefits, such as International Towers, Barangaroo South in Sydney, managed by JLL, and Paya Lebar Quarter, in Singapore, managed by Lendlease.

Both are smart precincts that use a smart building platform powered by iviva to proactively manage multiple buildings, systems, and processes. A case study report done by Verdantix describes how the International Towers’ operations team delivers efficiencies across multiple properties and processes regarding energy, maintenance, security, contractor compliance and delivery of tenant services.

Abhishek adds in excitement, “Singapore is at the forefront of Smart FM and sees it as a linchpin of its construction and real estate industry digital transformation programme, launched in 2018. Spearheaded by the Building Construction Authority (BCA), the programme aims to get broad-based industry adoption by owners and operators within the next few years.

Smart Buildings do enable smarter facility management. The time is ripe to fully exploit its potential!”

Retuning the FM

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) defines facility management (FM) as a multidisciplinary profession whose core business is “to ensure the functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology”. Unfortunately, the integration of technology has greatly lagged behind its potential.

Smart buildings enable facility managers to do much more with significantly less and to do it better. However, it has hardly made a dent in the way facilities are managed. Facility managers continue to rely on manpower-intensive planned and reactive maintenance processes-at best, supported by a computer-aided FM system (CAFM).

According to Abhishek, “The exciting news is that things are about to change. Indeed, we are on the cusp of a digital transformation of FM that is being powered by smart building technology, increasingly called ‘Smart FM’.”

The Two Drivers of Smart FM

The First Driver: Pure and simple economics – By combining condition monitoring, IoT, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and intelligent process automation, you can reduce operations and maintenance costs by over 30%.

Here, Abhishek states, “At the same time, you can achieve step-change improvements in equipment performance, energy and tenant comfort. The payback for the smart building technology to enable this is within 18-24 months!”

For an operator managing a portfolio of buildings, further efficiency improvements can be achieved through automated and dynamic planning, scheduling, dispatching, and routing. Using smart algorithms, maintenance work can be optimised at a highly granular level depending on the technician’s location, skills, the urgency of the job and the time required to do the work.

The Second Driver: The growing demand for agile workspaces integrates various technologies to support health and well-being and a more sustainable, resilient and flexible working environment. The current COVID-19 epidemic is accelerating this demand. Smart buildings can enhance workspaces.

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