This article has been translated to English. The original article in German can be found here.
The Post Immobilien Management Services AG (Post Real Estate) is a subsidiary of Swiss Post and one of the largest real estate companies in Switzerland. It manages around 2.300 properties – including all properties owned by Swiss Post, but also third-party customers. In the DOMBLICK interview, Valerie Riedo, Head of Innovation, reveals how the “yellow giant” positions itself on the topics of innovation and digital building.
Ms. Riedo, after six months in the new role of Head of Innovation at Post Real Estate: How are you driving forward the digital transformation and which innovation projects are being implemented?
The digital transformation in facility management lags behind the worldwide, rapid digital development. For example, while FinTech has been established in the financial industry for quite a while, PropTech is still in its infancy. The potential in digital real estate (DRE), is high. Post Real Estate has been building a culture of innovation for the past two years and consciously investing time and resources in the DRE.
As part of our innovation process, various new digital products and services are being developed and tested. The focus is on customer needs. We constantly check whether the developed solution can really solve the existing problem. For example, we are currently piloting an idea that was introduced directly by service technicians as part of an ideas competition. Actually, the app works like a GPS: it simplifies navigation in the building to find technical equipment easier and faster.
We are also proud that with Service on Demand and IntelliClean , we have developed two solutions that have already reached market maturity. These inspire customers and are currently scaled up externally on the market.
What is behind these two solutions?
With Service on Demand, we have developed the solution for demand-oriented facility management, which is now in use by various customers and has proven itself. Just press a button and the facility management is there. Regular inspections of filled crockery counters and empty file containers, intact coffee machines or functioning printers are a thing of the past. The facility management only moves out when it is called by the customer.
Internally, we were able to realize time savings of 20 percent while increasing customer satisfaction. We are constantly developing the product, whereby we are currently testing the demand report via voice (Alexa) or QR codes. With a voice input more or more individual information can be given and Alexa provides the building users even help for self-help and assigns the house service only when there is no other way.
With IntelliClean, cleaning is done on a data-only basis, and only where work has actually been done during the day. Based on different evaluations such as occupancy and weather data, there are no fixed tour plans. Instead, a dynamic route planning is created. And what’s especially pleasing is that IntelliClean is currently nominating Post ImmoClean for the CMS PURUS Innovation Award 2019, which will be awarded in Berlin at the end of September.
One could say: “Data is the new gold”. Ms. Riedo, which projects and practical examples are there besides Service on Demand and IntelliClean?
Right. At the center of digitization is the Digital Building. This includes all building data that is generated, updated and managed during the planning, construction and operation of a building. Building data, for example, is data from management systems such as SAP or ERP, from the CAFM, Computer Aided Facility Management system, building management systems or sensors. The focus is on the learning analytics platform, which uses all available data, ensures optimized and automated processes and enables the development of new services. For example, we have developed a predictive maintenance solution for our photovoltaic systems on certain properties. Instead of periodic cleanings, the optimum cleaning time is determined based on the current energy data of the systems and weather data, whereby the cleaning cycles can be reduced.
The building utilization data, which we have been cooperating with for some time now together with the start-up Locatee, are also of central importance to us for the 30 largest office premises. Employees immediately see on the display which zones are free or occupied (see Case Study Post). The workspace actually needed can be steadily optimized with an increase in part-time work and home office. For the staff restaurant, we have developed a model that enriches the historical and current occupancy data with weather data and creates a forecast for occupancy during lunch time. This allows employees to choose the most optimal time for lunch. If nice weather is forecasted the next day, more people will be eating outside, and so there will be fewer staff in the staff restaurant. This forecast data can also be used to determine the number of meals in the restaurant, further reducing food waste.
Are the new ideas and technologies also applied when it comes to project developments or new buildings?
It is a goal of Post Real Estate to play a pioneering role in investment properties and future construction projects in the field of PropTech and Digital Building. As an example: Two major project developments by Post Real Estate are Bern Weyermannshaus and Basel Nauentor. In order to be able to show the different stages of construction to the different stakeholders not only on the basis of a plaster model or 2D plans on site, we also created a 3D model using augmented reality (AR). In the process, the area will be accessible via the Microsoft Hololens, so smart glasses, presented from different perspectives and to functionalities, such as the sun or the bus stops, complemented. As an extension is now the simulation of flow of people in development. This allows the optimal positioning and design of the retail space to be defined.
Over the next 15 years, Swiss Post will invest around 1.8 billion francs in 50 yield building projects. At the same time, we are investing in real estate innovation, connecting the physical and the digital world, and hopefully setting new standards with our digital real estate products and system solutions.
Thank you, Mrs Riedo, for the very interesting conversation and the insights into the company.
From: Mathias Rinka, «Domblick»