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Focus on Specific Benefits of Energy Optimization Products

When selecting energy optimization products and services, there are many criteria to consider. To start, facility managers will need to acquire the basic information that can be gleaned from spec and technical data sheets: make up, dimension, ratings, etc. But other information to gather that can't necessarily be found on a marketing brochure includes how unique the product or service is, what its applicability is, what the operational impact is, what the ROI is, and what the third party certifications are, if any. Most of this information is a bit subjective, in that it depends in part on factors within the facility and facility management department who will use it. So it is up to each facility manager to ask the right questions to ascertain if a product or service will work for them.

What new or unique benefit does this product/service offer to me? When choosing between products, it's important to understand what might make each of them unique. Does the product or service represent a significant advance in the field? Scott Offermann, C.E.M., managing director, critical operations manager, Cushman & Wakefield, suggests facility managers find out who the direct competitors of a product or service might be, and understand what the differentiators in the offerings are. Keep in mind, the differentiator might not be the hardware itself, but the service provided around the hardware.

It’s also important to remove prejudice from the evaluation of a product, says Offermann. Sometimes a facility manager may associate a negative connotation with a company and so write them off completely, even though they may have the best product on the market, he says. "When you're sitting down and evaluating any product or service, you have to remove your personal prejudices from it and look at it on an even playing field," he says. Today’s quick read comes from Naomi Millan, senior editor, Building Operating Management.

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