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New products, equipment and technologies are the lifeblood of any industry. That's why our new products section is so popular with readers. It's also why we have new hires work on this section as a way to learn about facility management and maintenance.
Product innovations tell you so much about facility managers' needs. The latest features likely solve current challenges and tell you where the industry is heading. When I attend live events, I always spent time walking a trade show floor looking at the products on display. Pretty soon you notice similarities among the offerings, pointing the way to future trends.
But facility managers aren't always able to get to every event to see new product launches — and now the pandemic has made that even more difficult. The product sections we present in the magazine will help, but they are just a small fraction of the many submissions we receive. We publish plenty more on FacilitiesNet, but it can be daunting to keep up with them all, too.
To help facility managers stay current with the latest offerings, FacilitiesNet presents the annual Vision Awards. This program recognizes innovation and excellence in nine main product categories. This year, we added two additional categories to reflect current trends in the industry: Re-Opening and Smart Buildings.
Winners are determined by an independent panel of facility executive judges based on the product's contribution to cost savings, productivity, tenant satisfaction and technological advancements.
Looking at this year's winners, it's clear the pandemic is still top of mind. Across multiple categories, the winning products focused on ways to create healthier spaces, whether that's through self-cleaning surfaces, reducing restroom touchpoints, UV disinfection or monitoring indoor air quality.
Beyond COVID-19, facility managers are still focused on improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs. Energy-efficient lights, boilers and controls, as well as software and sensors to track water and energy usage, were chosen by the judges.
You can view all the winners of the 3rd annual FacilitiesNet.com Vision Awards at FacilitiesNet.com.