Benefits of Integrating BMS in Multi-Location Companies

May 4, 2023 By Mid-Atlantic Controls 6 minute read

digitally connected buildings represent a multi-location BMS integration

Facility management can quickly become a logistical nightmare for companies with multiple large retail or office locations. This especially holds true when data isn’t being gathered consistently from location to location. 

Top-level execs overseeing corporate facilities and energy use must understand the data their systems gather. It will help them to report expenditures better and forecast future expenses accurately, quickly, and easily. The less time it takes to compile and understand the data, the better.

It’s time to consider integrating a building management system (BMS) across your multiple facilities or locations. Imagine all the things you could do if you had the technology and connectivity to design a custom-made, integrated BMS exactly as you’d like. 

Read on to learn how a multi-location BMS integration can revolutionize how your buildings operate.

Benefits of BMS Integration Throughout Your Company Buildings/Locations

There are many benefits of multi-location BMS integration, including:

Consistent Data Collection at Every Location

Data consistency is one of the biggest challenges faced by high-level facility executives. 

If data generated at a location in Maine doesn’t look anything like the data generated at a location in Oregon—how do you go about reporting that information to superiors? 

Perhaps the company built its locations over several decades, and technology has since changed. Maybe the selection of building automation and energy management systems was left to the discretion of two different builders. 

At MACC, we often come across many large corporate facility teams trying to make sense of data that doesn’t add up.

New BMS equipment can potentially integrate and communicate with old BMS equipment. It’s common to come across multi-location businesses with different BMS systems of varying brands, styles, and ages. 

Corporate facility managers don’t have time to sift through data and try to make sense of dozens or even hundreds of inconsistent reports. This is where multi-site BMS equipment comes in, making everyone in the facilities department look like geniuses. 

Setting up a BMS system that communicates data precisely from location to location can provide invaluable analytics, reports, graphs, and real-time data. Corporate facility managers can now quickly grasp energy usage and report that information to the next level of executives.


A Cloud-based BMS Offers a Good ROI

The process and outcome of installing BMS have to be worth the expense. The Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded human-machine interfaces (HMIs) will help make a BMS more cost-effective.

Present estimates are that adding IoT control systems to buildings costs as little as $5,000 to $50,000. Another estimate states that IoT systems average $0.75 per square foot. With such low costs, you’ll see an ROI quickly, especially when you understand the costs of not moving to automation.

With minimal automation of HVAC, lighting, and some electrical operations, mid-sized buildings can see savings of 10% to 20% yearly. 

The savings could equal $15,000-$50,000 annually for a 75,000-square-foot facility with energy costs of $2.32 per square foot per year.

In regions that place a greater demand on systems, the savings could be as much as $100,000 a year.

Increased Ease of Use with IoT and HMIs

Ease of use will increase thanks to the IoT and cloud-based technologies via mobile apps. They’re now accessible to a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and phablets.

Additionally, many companies are urging employees to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to manage systems easily. With the IoT and smart devices, managing automation systems increases thanks in part to the easy-to-use user interface.

Customized Control Through An Integrated Cloud-based System

Companies demand customized systems tailored to suit their buildings’ temperature, lighting, and energy needs. 

Automated lighting and HVAC systems tend to consume the most energy unnecessarily. This is because they run on fixed schedules that are impervious to details that would affect whether they should be running. 

An integrated BMS system can provide granular control based on the details (occupancy, weather conditions, sunlight present, etc.). Managers are increasingly demanding this greater control.

Connectivity Between Systems Provides Greater Control

Now that BMS systems are increasingly wireless and cloud-based, this increases the level of connectivity between systems.

  • Security sensors can inform the lighting system that people are entering a room, and it will turn on the lights.
  • Security sensors at the front entrance can inform the HVAC system that the morning shift is entering the building. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system will then automatically shift from standby to full operation.
  • The sensors will inform the HVAC system of a sunny day and cause the air conditioner to increase cooling.
  • You can now monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity, and have the system automatically adjust for improved tenant comfort.

Imagine this level of connectivity happening across your buildings. Surely as technology advances, there will be more and more connectivity between systems and facilities.

A Well-Integrated BMS Can Identify Issues and Problems Quickly

There’s no need to troubleshoot why the air conditioning is too cold in one facility, or the ventilation system isn’t running in another. You can run a single analytics report from a unified dashboard to discover what’s happening. 

You don't have to run analytics data for several buildings and deal with each issue piecemeal. Or worse, send an employee to various facilities to identify and fix the problems. With BMS, you’ll have the data for precise analysis.

Extend Building Equipment Lifespan

Imagine two neighbors in a small apartment building who purchase identical window-unit air conditioners. One man leaves his on full blast, 24/7, all summer, even when out of town. The other man meticulously sets his unit based on need and shuts it off when away. 

The man excessively taxing his unit will likely see a quicker performance drop and need a new one sooner.

Systems like HVACs have a similar finite lifespan. Equipment that performs optimally over a long period adds more value and a greater ROI—and lasts longer than those that don’t.

More downtime and a longer lifespan are among the outstanding secondary results of a building automation system. Extending the life of equipment can significantly impact the bottom line for companies with multiple locations.

Energy Management Just Got Better

Why is one facility using more energy than other locations? You can generate comparative analyses that show the performance of your facilities and components side-by-side. BMS will run thorough diagnostics that provide this information.

Energy Reduction Helps More Than Just the Bottom Line

Everyone in a corporation must work to increase shareholder profits. Reducing energy costs is a great way to boost net profits while having a positive environmental impact.

A 10% reduction in energy costs can have a profound effect on the bottom line for multi-site businesses. Although this reduction may only provide a 1-2% net increase in profit margins, many businesses—especially large retail businesses with thin margins—can appreciate how those numbers add up on a large scale.

Boosting a major, corporate-wide energy efficiency project is good for the environment and is an excellent PR opening. There’s the possibility to win awards, be recognized for energy reduction efforts, and have ample new business opportunities.  

Statistically, the millennial generation cares more about environmental impact than any previous generation. You’ll need to harmonize with this eco-friendly value system if you seek to attract the best talent over the next 20 to 30 years.

BMS Integration Across Multiple Locations Is the Future

Automating your buildings and pulling them under one cloud-based dashboard eliminates waste and excess. An integrated BMS system can bring older buildings into the 21st century and prepare them for future upgrades.

Building management systems are moving forward into the future—make sure your facilities are moving forward as well. A multi-location BMS can reduce energy consumption, accumulate consistent data, increase equipment ROI, and improve profit margins. 

Click below to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the positive impact a multi-location BMS could have on your business.

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