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Smart tools to facilitate digitalisation of facilities management service delivery: stakeholders’ perspectives

Huiying (Cynthia) Hou (Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Daniel C.W. Ho (Faculty of Design and Environment, Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Chai Wan, Hong Kong)
Yung Yau (Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Institute of Policy Studies, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 27 September 2023

Issue publication date: 4 January 2024

419

Abstract

Purpose

Facilities management (FM) activities affect citizens’ health and safety, long-term urban environmental sustainability and the relationships between the built and natural environments of cities. This study aims to comprehend the status of smart FM tools application, how they are used to improve the delivery of FM services and the barriers to their implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the current smart solutions that leverage the quality of FM service, a case study based on the FM practice in Hong Kong was carried out. The case study was conducted in two phases of data acquisition based on a qualitative research methodology. After conducting in-depth interviews to determine the application of smart FM tools in different types of properties and to identify the initiatives and barriers to smart FM tool application, three workshops were conducted to validate the findings and further investigate the influence of FM professionals on smart FM tools application in Hong Kong.

Findings

The findings of the case study revealed, firstly, that four types of smart FM tools – user-centric, safety and hygiene, maintenance and sustainability-oriented – are used to assist the delivery of FM services. Secondly, smart FM tools are shown to be useful in assisting FM activities. Thirdly, the existing barriers to smart FM tool application manifest differently in shopping malls, office buildings and residential buildings. Fourthly, smart FM tools are used to address the four attributes of user needs: comfort, health and wellbeing, convenience and information to occupants.

Originality/value

The value of this study lies in its focus on the industry level (FM industry) and the application process of smart FM tools in different types of property, revealing the benefits, initiatives and barriers to their future application. This study provides a comprehensive picture of the current status and elaborates the barriers to smart FM tool application, which will help FM practitioners to make strategic decisions on selecting and developing smart FM tools. Also, this study will facilitate smart FM tool application policy development.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by grants from the Property and Facility Management Division (PFMD), the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) (Project Reference: RC2122/045; Project ID: P0043540).

Citation

Hou, H.(C)., Ho, D.C.W. and Yau, Y. (2024), "Smart tools to facilitate digitalisation of facilities management service delivery: stakeholders’ perspectives", Facilities, Vol. 42 No. 1/2, pp. 27-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-05-2022-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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