IFSC Pte Ltd: Delivering Innovative Transformative Urban Solutions for the Facilities Services Industry
Aloysius Chong, the CEO of IFSC Pte Ltd
As a traditionally labor-intensive, siloed industry, facilities management is ripe for transformation. The conventional approach to facility management is ineffective and time-consuming since it necessitates accurate data collection at various operational stages, which impacts both the top and bottom lines of revenue. Poor facilities management results in lost revenue which further leads to rising input/operational costs which takes a toll on the business. Thus to address this issue and transform the way urban facilities are managed through the integrated use of human resources, process, technology, and change management, IFSC Pte. Ltd, a leading technology innovation company came to the forefront.
The ideation of IFSC was driven by the Facilities Management industry’s lack of understanding of how technology could be successfully implemented. Approaching it from a technical standpoint, the company started building a solution with three key principles—getting enough data from everything within a building, building awesome software to make sense of the data, correlating requirements with the resources available and lastly, automating the outcome through robots and workforce. Then repeat the process. But soon they learnt that putting technology in is far from easy. “Understanding the nuances in human behavior, technology limitations, and importantly, failure of machinery allowed us to develop solutions that were built around technology to make adoption easy. And that is why clients keep coming back to us because we make it simple for them to adopt,” affirms Aloysius Chong, the CEO of IFSC Pte. Ltd.
Addressing the Specific Facility Cleaning Needs of Singapore
IFSC was born out of the passion of three industry veterans, Aloysius Chong, Daryl Pat and Shaun Soo to solve real-world problems in the Environmental Services industry. By connecting with various cleaning teams, the efficient team at IFSC was able to understand the pain points of the cleaning staff. The cleaning operations usually cover a large area of space and the then-existing robotic solutions were bulky and not fit for Singapore’s infrastructure. Hence, to match the specific facility cleaning needs of Singapore’s skyscraper dominant environment, in 2017, IFSC designed and developed the first minimal human intervention cleaning robotics that is smaller in size. Over the years, the company wanted to push boundaries beyond the cleaning robotics space and partnered with the Singapore Government to develop the first multi-functional robot augmented with computer vision that performs both cleaning and security operations. By 2019, the company saw many standalone IoT sensors, workforce management software systems, and robotic solutions in the market. The company believed that robotic solutions will become commonplace in the future. Thus, in 2020, it developed SIMPPLE Software, an integrated software solution that connects IoT sensors, robotic solutions, and the workforce all on a single unified platform. In 2021, the team wanted to lead change in the facilities management industry and thus developed SIMPPLE AI, an Autonomic Intelligence Engine that positions buildings to be future-ready in the new era of Smart Building Automation.
One-Stop Shop for All Facility Management Needs
The SIMPPLE Ecosystem represents the Company’s technology suite, which encompasses robotics hardware and a software system that can operate in unison to deliver a comprehensive workforce management solution to its clients. These technology components can be used individually or combined together, depending on the client’s objectives. It comprises SIMPPLE Software and SIMPPLE PLUS that come with complimentary peripherals such as IoT sensors and robotic solutions, such as Gaussian Robotics, that add value to the entire ecosystem that the company distributes, sells, and manages. It also consists of SIMPPLE AI that powers SIMPPLE Software and PLUS together to automate Smart Buildings in the future. The power of SIMPPLE Software lies in its analytics and data visualization, which provides an intuitive and user-friendly view of a building’s operational status in real-time and over time, predicts trends through machine learning algorithms that can alter the facility operations. “These specially curated technology components are pre-approved and sold to clients as a package, easing their convenience to purchase and reinforcing the Ecosystem concept that IFSC provides as a one-stop shop for all things facility technology. SIMPPLE AI is still in the Proof-of-Value stage and will be commercially ready in the second half of 2023,” adds Chong.
Factors Contributing to the Uniqueness of IFSC
While there are many factors that have contributed to the success of IFSC, the five key attributes that embody the core strength of the company are its strong foothold in the Singapore facilities management market, automated building management with fully integrated and customized solutions, strong channels and partnerships, proprietary technology platform powered by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning and emphasis on customer satisfaction. Today, IFSC serves 20 out of the 39 top-tier Singapore facilities management contractors, who are able to bid for public sector projects with an unlimited contract value. The SIMPPLE Ecosystem is currently the only solution in Singapore that fully integrates a customized mix of IoT sensors, robotics technologies, the workforce and a facility management software. With this technology at the core, IFSC intends to set up overseas offices to better serve the needs of the market and accelerate technology adoption. “We understand that adopting new technologies is never easy. To effect change, we need to ensure that both the workforce and equipment are functioning at their best. This is why we prioritize education and training to our technology adopters’ workforce,” asserts Chong.
Pursuing Excellence with Values at the Core
All businesses stand on their bedrock values of integrity, trust, and excellence. IFSC goes beyond and integrates innovation and inclusion into its work culture. “Data is core to our identity both as a company and our ecosystem. Access to clean and true data allows teams to work even better together and perform at their professional best. In the same vein, we believe a business and team built on the foundation of integrity breeds camaraderie and trust, leading to greater accountability and reliability,” opines Chong.
As we live in the era where technological advancement is faster than we can learn, iterate, and improve, IFSC constantly strives to think of new ways to better its products, partner with like-minded enterprises, and ultimately, bring more value to a facility to position itself for the new era of Smart Building Automation. In the pursuit of that, it constantly seeks feedback, both internally and from customers, so that it can outdo its best and continue to scale its business for the next generation. It has also embedded inclusivity and diversity as its core values as it believes that inclusivity creates better teams and ultimately a better product for its customers.
Envisioning a Smart Building Automation Future
IFSC has always focused on providing customers with nothing less than the best-in-class service and support with its in-depth experience and this is the reason it has grown enormously over the years. Moving ahead, it aspires to rollout SIMPPLE AI across facilities that have already adopted SIMPPLE Software as it is a prerequisite before it pushes towards a Smart Building Automation future. Going beyond the Cleaning and Security sectors, the company is also set to embark on a new journey towards sustainability in 2023 to include Waste Management in the suite of offerings. As part of the offerings within SIMPPLE Software, the team will introduce a new module that does Digital Asset Tracking and Monitoring. Moreover, the company is looking forward to partnering and integrating with like-minded solution providers in the facilities management sector. “Leveraging domain expertise from partners in areas such as water analytics and monitoring as well as HVAC monitoring and control etc., IFSC can bring more value to property owners and champion Smart Building Automation for the commercial sector,” concludes Chong.