3 min read

Making maintenance sexy [Nexus Newsletter #119]

Hey friends,

Our industry has been talking about digitizing maintenance for a few decades now.

Whether we call it predictive, condition-based, data-driven, analytics-driven, or smart maintenance, ideas to make maintenance sexy have been bouncing around for a long time.

Technology can save energy, save on service contract costs, save on capital planning costs, extend the life of equipment, help with employee retention, wipe our butts, and on and on...

But how often do we talk about how to do it in real life? We have lots of shiny new technology, from fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) to equipment vibration sensing IoT stacks—but how do we use the outputs of those tools to transform real maintenance workflows?

As Tom Balme of AMP Capital said,

"Analytics companies can spit out the most valuable insights on earth. If the technician isn't proactive and doesn't engage with it and is doesn't actually fix things, it means nothing. You're just paying for reporting. You're not paying for the action."

Longtime readers will recognize this theme: I wrote about analytics as a human-in-the-loop technology in January 2020 and dissected the role of the analytics super user in early 2021.

Since this audience has grown a lot since then, I'd love your feedback. Are you working on digitizing maintenance and service contract processes? Let me know on LinkedIn.

For now, last week's podcast with AMP Capital provides one such how-to guide. If I may take the liberty to summarize their journey and add my own two-cents, here's one potential roadmap:

  1. Standardize on one independent FDD provider across the portfolio.
  2. Contractually hold that FDD provider to high standards on analytics quality.
  3. Standardize BAS and HVAC maintenance contracts across the portfolio using a common specification and benchmarks for overall costs, man-hours, and "other" costs.
  4. Specify exactly how service contracts will use the analytics outputs and hold them accountable to that via measurable KPIs.
  5. Specify exactly which actions are included in the maintenance contract and which actions the contractor is allowed to charge extra for.

To summarize, they've attempted to create a collaborative relationship between all stakeholders and they've specified exactly how technology is to be inserted into legacy non-digital workflows. Solid work.

What do you think? What's your roadmap?

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. Inserting tech into legacy non-digital workflows is the focus of Week 2 of our Foundations course. Will you join us for Cohort 4? Tomorrow is the last day to sign up.

✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #092: AMP Capital's Data-Driven Maintenance ProgramEpisode 92 is a conversation with Tom Balme, Building Optimization Manager at AMP Capital, and Bryce Anderson, Independent Building Automation Consultant at Lifecycle Controls. See above for a longer explanation!



  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Pro member Pete Swanson, Digital Technology Lead (AUS) at Mott MacDonald, presented last week on his experience in navigating how to brief with clients, how to understand what they really want, how to convert that into something a contractor can practically implement, the best ways to address the inevitable value engineering / cost management process and 3 key ways to ensure that when you deliver an Elephant your client isn’t expecting a Giraffe.
  • Member Gathering: Pro member Lee Hodgkinson, Head of Sustainability & Technical Services at Dream Unlimited (one of Canada’s leading real estate companies with approximately $10 billion of assets under management), will chat with the group about Dream's plans for Net Zero and the technology involved.

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.


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★ TODAY: LIVE BROADCAST: Monash University Digital ShowcaseExploring the lived experience of how various commercial digital building solutions can be utilized to develop building data models, create a secure common data layer and enable cloud based advanced analytics and supervisory control.


★ ON LINKEDIN: Oh, the mythical SPoG... (some great comments on this one!)


★ LINK OF THE WEEK: Timber CEO Wants to Reform Flawed Carbon-Offset Market (Bloomberg)


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!