Advancing the Power of Visibility in Facility Management
June 21, 2023
Facility management is multi-faceted and complex, meaning visibility and clarity are vital. Understanding the intricate layout, resources, and potential challenges of a facility's physical space can be the difference between successful operations and preventable inefficiencies. Aetos Imaging, a leader in the sector, is leveraging 3D scanning technology to bring new levels of lucidity, productivity, and safety to facility management. Although not limited to the following five examples, Aetos is providing organizations with the power of unprecedented visibility. 3D Virtual Rendering At the heart of Aetos' offerings is its sophisticated 3D virtual rendering. Beyond just creating a digital replica of facilities with 3D scans, the Aetos platform is a fully interactive, immersive experience. Now, facilities teams are given an incredible tool for internal operations. With these virtual models, both managers and staff can gain an in-depth understanding of their environment, enhancing strategic planning, and daily initiatives. In the Aetos platform, a revolutionary level of detail and accuracy is transforming the way organizations perceive their physical space – and how they operate within it. Visualized Asset Database Traditional asset management typically involves spreadsheets or databases that, while functional, lack intuitive visual context. Aetos is turning this notion on its head by tying an interactive visual model to a cloud-based asset database. This innovative approach links equipment, components, and historical records to their precise locations within a 3D model of the facility. Not only does this lead to more streamlined and efficient resource management, but it also helps organizations better understand the interconnectivity and dependencies of their assets. Site-Specific Training Knowledge transfer and training are crucial elements in facility management. Whether it’s bringing in new employees or new equipment, having clear, standardized skill-building can have a significant impact on the efficiency of an organization. Aetos is optimizing its 3D models to create site-specific training programs. Trainees can interact with a virtual version of their workspace, enhancing their understanding and preparation without physically being on site. By making training more relevant and practical, Aetos is helping organizations build more skilled, confident, and prepared teams, leading to greater operational efficiency, while promoting safer learning conditions, should an organization have hazardous settings. Safety Routes & Procedures With Aetos' 3D models, safety takes on a new dimension – and companies are afforded even more clarity. Safety routes and emergency procedures can be visualized and understood more intuitively. Personnel can virtually walk through evacuation routes and safety protocols, helping to ensure they are prepared for any situation. This enhanced focus on safety can lead to fewer incidents, a stronger culture of safety, and improved peace of mind for everyone in the organization. Additionally, should an institution need documentation for meeting mandates, Aetos provides an easier, clearer solution for regulated cooperation. Remote Collaboration One of Aetos' game-changing applications is in the area of remote collaboration. Cloud-based 3D scans on the Aetos platform can be accessed from any device, anywhere in the world. This eliminates the need for team members to be on site for discussions or planning, significantly reducing travel costs and improving sustainability. Moreover, it provides an invaluable resource for teams that are geographically dispersed, making distance a non-issue for efficient, collaborative decision-making. This ability to virtually "be there" ensures that all stakeholders can contribute their insights and expertise, no matter where they are. Harness the Power of Visibility The power of Aetos is found in what we allow facilities and their personnel to truly see in their spaces. Whether organizations leverage our platform for visualized inventory, collaborating and connecting in a virtual space, providing step-by-step support with unprecedented clarity, or in any other way, we are here to help your team visualize your operations with more than just a neat scan. Aetos is not just adding a technology layer to the facilities management industry: we are fundamentally redefining it. Aetos offers a new perspective on how facilities can be managed, how teams can be trained, how safety procedures can be implemented, and how collaboration can be achieved. Through visualization, Aetos is giving organizations the tools they need to better understand their facilities. Contact us today to learn more about the power of visibility! See how the Aetos platform can bring new levels of clarity to your operations.
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Discover Aetos: Revolutionizing Facilities Management
June 07, 2023
An Introduction to Aetos Aetos is not just a shiny new tool—it's a game-changing solution in the realm of facilities management. Built with meticulous attention to detail, Aetos is an all-encompassing platform designed to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and bring clarity to complex processes. With features that include site-specific training modules, a comprehensive equipment database, a sophisticated work order system, and immersive remote collaboration calls, Aetos is revolutionizing the way facilities operate. Aetos goes beyond the norms of traditional facilities management tools or software, truly setting the bar higher in the industry. By continuously innovating and adapting to the needs of modern facilities management, Aetos has become the go-to solution for organizations looking for an intelligent, responsive, and robust visual platform that can handle the complexity of their operations. Who is Aetos For? Aetos is designed with an inclusive mindset—it aims to empower all facilities personnel, regardless of their role. Whether you're a hands-on technician navigating through daily tasks, a chief engineer coordinating large-scale operations, an executive responsible for strategic decision-making, or an owner ensuring everything runs smoothly. Aetos is crafted for teams and technicians. It is created with the intent of facilitating a smooth and efficient operational flow, aiding everyone involved in facilities management. The adaptability of Aetos ensures that it caters not only to the needs of seasoned professionals but also to those just starting in the field, making it a versatile solution that can fit into any facilities management scenario. The Expanding Reach of Aetos Since its inception, Aetos has continuously broadened its horizons. As of now, this rapidly expanding platform has a solid presence in ten US States and continues to grow. It is the preferred choice of several organizations from Atlanta to Manhattan, reflecting its reliability, ease-of-use, flexibility, and cutting-edge functionality. More organizations are adopting Aetos, recognizing the immense value the platform brings to their operational management and the potential it holds for future enhancements in the sector. The Working Principle of Aetos The distinctive advantage of Aetos lies in how it operates. Harnessing the potential of advanced 3D cameras, Aetos captures the unique aspects of each facility, transforming them into accessible institutional knowledge. From there, this information is systematically displayed on the user's dashboard, giving them a visual, intuitive understanding of their workspace and allowing operations to leverage data and clarity like never before. This not only simplifies navigation and troubleshooting but also facilitates quick decision-making and collaboration. By providing an in-depth, three-dimensional view of facilities, Aetos helps personnel visualize their work environment like never before, promoting a more thorough understanding, and fostering a closer connection between technicians and their workspace. Aetos Across Industries Aetos is not confined to a single sector. It has found a place in various industries, demonstrating its versatility and adaptability. Commercial real estate agencies use Aetos for managing their extensive portfolios, work orders, and marketing needs. Industrial manufacturing units employ Aetos to streamline their complex operations and enhance safety trainings. Educational institutions and healthcare facilities alike have found the platform incredibly helpful in maintaining their premises. Regardless of the industry, Aetos has proven its ability to revolutionize facilities management. The universal applicability of Aetos underscores its comprehensive nature, making it a one-stop solution for managing and maintaining facilities in various sectors with disparate needs and challenges. Why Choose Aetos? Aetos is driven by a desire to make a difference. Its mission is to infuse safety, sustainability, clarity, and efficiency into operations teams. We envision a world where facilities management is not a cumbersome task but a seamless process that propels organizations forward. With Aetos, facilities management teams can expect more than just a platform — getting a commitment to excellence, a dedication to continual improvement, and a partner who genuinely cares about promoting operational success. Choose Aetos and invest in a platform that continuously evolves -- staying one step ahead of the industry's demands, and fostering an environment where quality, safety, and efficiency are paramount. Contact us today and see how your teams can visualize their operations.
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How 3D Scans Can Assist Service Providers
April 19, 2023
In today's fast-paced world, outsourcing maintenance tasks to third-party service providers is a common practice. However, this process can sometimes be time-consuming and costly, leading to inefficiencies and resource wastage. 3D scans can revolutionize the outsourcing of maintenance tasks (i.e. mechanical, electrical, plumbing, jobs) by saving establishments valuable time, money, energy, and other resources. Q: What are 3D scans, and how do they work? A: 3D scans involve capturing and displaying detailed digital representations of physical objects or spaces using specialized equipment. High-resolution cameras that use laser and/or photogrammetry imaging technology enables a physical space to be virtualized and visualized in a digital format. Q: What are some ways that 3D scans could assist institutions when contracting out maintenance or repair tasks? A: 3D scans offer several advantages that can significantly enhance the outsourcing process: Clearer Communication: 3D scans grant detailed visual information to technicians, ensuring clear and precise communication. Instead of relying solely on verbal descriptions or 2D drawings, service professionals can access the virtual replica, both before and during their task. Improved Planning and Preparation: By sharing 3D scans with specialists in advance, companies permit contractors to thoroughly analyze the task and develop a well-informed plan. Third-party experts can assess potential challenges, identify necessary equipment, and devise efficient strategies, reducing the time spent on-site and the likelihood of unexpected complications. Remote Troubleshooting: In some cases, service providers can offer remote troubleshooting while utilizing 3D scans to diagnose problems, propose solutions, and recommend the required parts or tools. This minimizes the need for physical visits, saving time and expenses associated with unnecessary travel. Accurate Quoting and Bidding: Contractors can utilize 3D scans to generate accurate quotes or bids for maintenance tasks by having a digital model to virtually walk and observe. This can accelerate the bidding process as travel is mitigated; a comprehensive understanding of the space, project scope, and potential complexities enables them to visualize more precise estimates, reducing the chances of unexpected cost overruns. Efficient Resource Allocation: With 3D scans, operators can better allocate their resources. By analyzing the virtual replica, they can determine the specific tools, equipment, and materials required for the task. This minimizes the risk of carrying unnecessary inventory or making multiple trips to the site, ultimately saving time, money, and other resources. Q: Are there any additional benefits of using 3D scans for subcontracting tasks? A: Some other notable benefits include: Improved Safety: Service professionals can assess potential safety hazards using 3D scans, allowing them to plan accordingly and take preventive measures. This helps minimize accidents, injuries, and associated costs. Historical Documentation: 3D scans serve as valuable historical documentation of the object or space. Companies can maintain an archive of scans for future reference, making it easier to track changes, plan renovations, or address recurring maintenance issues – as well as providing information to the expert. Increased Accountability: Digital replicas can create a transparent and accountable environment. Technicians are able to refer back to 3D scans to demonstrate the scope of work completed, facilitating accurate invoicing and resolving any disputes regarding task fulfillment. Q: We’ve talked mostly about how 3D scans help organizations. But how can 3D scans assist service providers? A: When a professional is subcontracted to inspect and repair a facility, the most significant variable for a project is always time. Whether that’s time finding the right facility, locating the correct piece of equipment, or traveling back and forth for additional tools or inventory, an unpredicted amount of time is expended for each work order. On some jobs, technicians spend up to 40% of the project hours looking for the right machinery at the right location. 3D scans can alter the variable of time and expedite the entire process. A quick virtual tour can be offered to third-party specialists. Contractors can also be granted access to the 3D scan while completing their task if there’s pertinent historical information or component specifics; this offers significant visual support and equipment wayfinding to contracted technicians. Now, service providers are given unprecedented clarity, leading to quicker close-outs, more confidence, better communication, clearer expectations, faster repairs, and shorter facility or equipment downtime. Q: How do 3D scans contribute to a more sustainable outsourcing process? A: By minimizing physical visits and optimizing resource allocation, organizations can reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation and minimize waste generated by unnecessary trips or duplicated efforts. This aligns with the global trend of establishments embracing sustainable practices and reducing their environmental footprint. Q: Can 3D scans improve the quality of outsourced maintenance tasks? A: Although it can’t be explicitly claimed, a detailed, visual understanding of the task through 3D scans would lead to improved quality. Clarity is powerful. Leveraging a digitized space can reduce errors, enhance precision, and ensure that maintenance tasks are carried out to the highest standards. Q: How much time can organizations save by utilizing 3D scans in outsourcing maintenance tasks? A: According to a 2016 study conducted by McKinsey & Company, establishments using 3D scanning technology in maintenance processes reported a reduction in project duration by 20% on average. This time savings can be attributed to improved planning, enhanced collaboration, and more efficient task execution facilitated by 3D scans. Q: What is the cost-saving potential of using 3D scans in outsourcing maintenance tasks? A: An estimated cost savings ranging from 10% to 25% can be achieved by companies that properly utilize 3D scans for third-party work orders. Deloitte found that organizations adopting 3D scanning technology for design, maintenance, and repair has a positive impact on supply chain logistics and metrics. These savings result from reduced travel expenses, optimized resource allocation, accurate quoting, and minimized rework, leading to improved operational efficiency and cost containment. Q: What other ways can corporations use 3D scanning for? A: This special technology can be advantageous for multiple uses across multiple industries. 3D scans unlock a new dimension of operation and support, enabling institutions to take on new initiatives, augment current procedures, or better their bottom line: The British Museum is looking at leveraging 3D technology to monetize special artifacts: digital scans can be physically printed, allowing customers to hold and interact with ancient replicas. Ford Motor Company used 3D scanning to accurately recreate details and reproduce components from their 106-year-old Michigan Central Station. Airbus is employing drones and other 3D equipment to conduct inspections and giving operators more data for their decisions. Q: What if my facility doesn't have 3D scans yet? A: Reach out to Aetos! We are the premier provider for organizations looking to streamline their operations and leverage technology to fit their management needs. With Aetos, partners can unlock advanced site-specific training, user-friendly equipment databases, high-visibility remote collaboration and more. Q: How does Aetos capture and display 3D scans? A: Aetos captures facilities with top-of-the-line, 360° cameras. Our professional-grade cameras use lidar technology to record and visualize accurate 3D models that can be viewed, measured, and analyzed on any smart device. We scan your designated spaces and digitize it in the cloud; Aetos creates a virtual replica that you can use to explore, train, document, and collaborate collectively on our platform. Visualize Your Space. Upgrade Your Operations. By capitalizing on 3D scans in the outsourcing of maintenance tasks, organizations can experience significant savings in time, money, and other initiatives. The detailed visual information supplied by 3D scans enhances communication, streamlines planning, enables remote troubleshooting, facilitates accurate quoting, optimizes resource allocation, and promotes safety and accountability. This innovative technology is a game-changer in the service provider landscape, revolutionizing the way companies collaborate with third-party professionals. Reach out to Aetos today and see how your facilities could benefit by bringing 3-Dimensional clarity to your operations.
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6 Ways One Tool Makes Sustainability More Attainable
April 06, 2023
Sustainability and measures to fight climate change are hot topics in the built environment. As we continue to witness the impacts of greenhouse effects and the need for responsibility involving natural resources, it’s clear that new ways to design and operate more sustainable buildings are judiciously necessary. A critical, up-and-coming tool that is being used for better environmental stewardship is 3D scanning. This technology is quickly gaining popularity and can function as a companion for sustainability initiatives in the built environment – from simple waste reduction strategies to comprehensive energy audits. What is 3D Scanning? 3D scanning is a process of capturing the shape and appearance of physical objects or spaces and then digitizing them in a virtual space. Utilizing laser scanning and/or photogrammetry technology, 3D cameras document the geometry, geolocation, and texture of an item or area. This data is then leveraged to create a 3D model which can be used for a range of applications only limited by human imagination. So How Can 3D Scanning Be Used for Sustainability in Facilities Management? Specifically for building and facilities operations, there are a variety of ways that 3D scanning can improve sustainability. 1. Building Lifecycle Stewardship We can better our environment by augmenting lifecycle stewardship. 3D models of a facility can allow FMs to better understand the building’s layout and systems, which can help their teams optimize maintenance schedules and minimize waste. Areas that are prone to wear and tear can be better visualized and addressed, while more efficient routes for cleaning and maintenance crews can be curated for optimized performance. Reducing waste and lowering operating costs leads to better building lifecycle management. 2. Retrofits and Renovations This technology can be invaluable in assisting with retrofits and renovations. By creating a 3D model of an existing building, architects and engineers can design new systems and features that will diminish the building’s environmental impact. Executing more efficient systems or optimizing facility features – like taking advantage of natural light and ventilation with improved window placement – can lead to better sustainability metrics. 3. Equipment Management 3D scans can be used to design and optimize the management of new and existing equipment at a facility in a few different ways. Replacing a component can be clearer and quicker with visual referencing. Changing out larger machinery is easier with a virtual space to ideate and plan in. And when adding new equipment – like solar panels, ventilation systems, or other sustainability mechanisms – architects and engineers can determine the optimal location and orientation for maximizing energy objectives. This technology can easily lead to a reduction of a facility’s reliance on traditional energy sources, resulting in lower energy bills and a mitigated carbon footprint. 4. Remote Collaboration Hundreds of transit hours – sometimes thousands – could be saved each year by organizations that intentionally leverage advanced 3D scanning technology. Visual copies of internal spaces and equipment can lead to heightened clarity for on-site technicians, off-site managers, and even third-party vendors. Within a digital space, teams can virtually walk and discuss an area, solving problems in a digital environment. 3D scans unlock the ability to drastically cut unnecessary gas emissions associated with air and ground transportation. 5. Disaster Response When dealing with a major disaster, the most powerful responses have the most clarity and confidence. What follows after a hurricane or earthquake can look very different, depending on the level of preparation and information an organization employs. 3D scans are advantageous for pre-disaster data, emergency response routes and procedures, and even post-disaster decision-making: a comprehensive capture can allow engineers to observe and identify areas that are unsafe and in need of repair or reinforcement, improving overall safety and minimizing the risk of further damage or collapse. 6. Energy Efficiency Audits Finally, 3D scanning can improve sustainability in building operations by performing better energy efficiency audits. Engineers and architects can analyze the building’s energy usage and identify areas for improvement by gathering representational data about systems and components. Lighting, HVAC, and insulation are just a few ways that 3D visualization technology can provide clarity and data for owners and managers, making energy efficient audits more accessible and expeditious. (IoT data can also be linked to 3D scans, permitting live readings for critical spaces – leading to even more clarity and better energy efficiency.) Use 3D Scanning Today Visualizing facility logistics and initiatives with 3D scans leads to enhanced sustainability in the built environment. By documenting and recording valuable spaces and their components with this technology, architects, engineers, facility managers, and other building personnel can identify areas for improvement and optimize systems for energy efficiency. A real-world impact and benefits of utilizing 3D scanning on building operations exist. And as we pursue improving our environment and charge toward sustainability goals, there is a prudent obligation to leverage every resource available for our buildings, ecosystems, planet, and future. If you or your organization is interested in taking the next steps in environmental stewardship and want to see how 3D scanning can benefit your facilities, reach out to Aetos today. Empower your technicians. Visualize your operations. Facilitate sustainability.
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6 Reasons Why Top Facilities Managers Leverage 3D Scans for Their Internal Training
March 30, 2023
Operations managers worldwide are constantly looking for ways to streamline their systems and promote better efficiency within their assets. One of the newer methods many OMs have implemented is immersive 3D scans for internal training. A 3D representation is built using laser imaging (LiDAR) or photogrammetry to capture a physical environment. The scan is then leveraged as an immersive model that can be accessible and utilized with select software. This technology is advantageous for the workers within the walls when intentionally put to use. Visualized management platforms can be beneficial for engaging workers in safety-critical positions, such as security officers, maintenance staff, or emergency responders. But why are top management teams deciding to take the next step in tech for training their employees? We’ve narrowed down the top 6 reasons: 1. Realistic Representation: Immersive 3D scans can create a detailed and accurate representation of a facility, allowing technicians to familiarize themselves with the physical layout and structure of their space. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to understand the value of operating within a familiar environment – whether the exposure is physical or virtual. Engineers who work in a facility day in and day out benefit, as well as any third-party vendors who might need to view, examine, or interact with relevant context. 2. Secure Simulations: Virtual scans can provide teams with a visualized understanding of critical spaces without compromising the health of their employees. This engaging experience can be invaluable for staff who may be required to work in complex or dangerous environments. Limiting exposure to hazardous encounters for the sake of training keeps technicians safe, while retaining clarity of their service settings. 3. Improved Safety: By instructing personnel in an interactive environment, facilities can reduce the risk of accidents and improve safety. For example, workers can practice emergency evacuation procedures without the risk of harm. Additionally, visual guidance that promotes best practices improves overall safety within the workplace; informational scans can also help to identify and mitigate potential safety hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. 4. Increased Understanding: Being on the same page is powerful. Visualizing the facility and its various systems is embedded in the function of a 3D scan. Engineers and service technicians can better understand how their machinery or equipment function. Cross-referencing and synergy across a network can allow facility personnel and senior management to work together and optimize performance. And an interactive platform permits all employees to gain a deeper understanding of its layout, features, and functionality. 5. Reduced Costs: Facilities can trim overhead associated with in-person instruction while still delivering specialized training. Obvious operational costs like travel expenses, re-training, and lost productivity can be mitigated; organizations can even save money during the hiring process, as onboarding times are shortened and retention rates are slowed. Reducing the need for constant in-person sessions can result in significant cost savings for facilities – especially for large or complex industries. 6. Customizable Site-Specific Training: The majority of top asset managers consider custom training to be the most potent feature of a 3D scan. Digitized virtual environments can be modified to meet the specific guidance needs of different departments, making learning more relevant and effective. Organizations can create visualized simulations tailored to the specific needs of their equipment and workers. This – along with capturing and retaining institutional knowledge – allows personnel to become familiar with operating equipment and its systems, leading to faster and more efficient work. Furthermore, some organizations can offer a platform that can deliver more targeted and effective training courses and curriculum; virtually, facilities can utilize the ability to make instructional changes within critical spaces, giving technicians the most up-to-date intel and methods. These virtual settings can then be used to create interactive and detailed informational databases, simulations, and models of the asset, allowing engineers and technicians to become familiar with the space and its various components. Why Aetos? Aetos is intent on delivering visibility and efficiency to facilities personnel. Our immersive 3D platform is becoming an increasingly popular tool for facilities managers as they look to optimize their internal training and operational processes. These visual advantages help our partners reduce costs, increase efficiency, capture critical methods, realize operational data, and improve overall performance. Now, organizations can provide customizable learning experiences that give workers familiarity with an asset and its systems. With the Aetos platform, environments can further promote best practices and ensure that all staff are on the same page; our partners also can update their dashboard whenever needed or utilize remote collaboration calls within their asset scans, conveniently providing service technicians with the most relevant guidance. As facilities become more complex and the need for efficient and effective training grows, it is likely that 3D scans will become an even more valuable tool for asset and facilities managers in the future. Reach out to our team today to request a demo and see our platform at work!
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Valor Leads Seed Round in Aetos
March 23, 2023
Valor Leads Seed Round in Aetos: THE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT PLATFORM FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DO THE WORK Early customers include: Portman Holdings, Zeller Realty, Cushman & Wakefield, SL Green, Hines, CBRE, Teck Mining, Collins Building Services, (CBS), Atlanta Tech Village, Local 399 Operating Engineers Union (Chicago), and Zeller ATLANTA - March 1, 2023 – Valor Ventures Fund 2 leads the seed round in Aetos, and its keystone product Aetos Operate: an immersive 3D digital twin operations and training platform, enabling easy remote collaboration for efficient site operations and facility engineer training. The rising Atlanta green building technology company offers a next-gen immersive 3D software intelligently designed to generate an ultra high-resolution digital twin of physical spaces and assets, for seamless remote supervision and management of facilities worldwide. Titled “Aetos Operate,” this ground-breaking software also helps to execute site-specific engineer training and knowledge remotely, cutting down onboarding time and building engineer training by 50%. “Valor is more than an investor” says CEO Connor Offutt, “they are a partner”. “Robin and I had an immediate connection around the problem we were solving for facilities management. Between her experience as an operator and the depth of Valor's team, I truly believe we have all the pieces we need to define a new software category for the built environment. Their network, vision, passion and work ethic are all contributing to make that potential a reality.” Valor General Partner Robin Bienfait joins the board, which also includes Connor Davidson from Atlanta Seed Company. Bienfait says, 'When I saw the Aetos capability, I wished I could have used this when I managed critical infrastructure. It's instrumental in day to day management and operations, creating a true view of facility infrastructure for a more effective support and engagement model. I was excited to engage with the team and see the many use case scenarios that can be enabled.' Aetos was co-founded by: Charlie Cichetti, U.S. Green Building Council LEED Fellow and owner of green building industry companies Sustainable Investment Group (SIG), Green Building Education Services (GBES) and BlueOcean Sustainability; Nick Kassanis, President of SIG, Engineer, Former President of ASHRAE Atlanta and Georgia Tech alum; Patrick Couch, former Web Dev mastermind and co-founder of RVShare.com. In addition to CEO and co-founder Connor Offutt’s visionary leadership, this team of co-founders brings a wealth of experience, past and present, serving nearly every major player in the Commercial Real Estate industry. From 2012 to 2021, the commercial and industrial building operations industries - which Aetos serves - suffered major cost increases on skilled training, turnover, and remote asset management. Spending surged from $413.5 billion to $605.5 billion, a 46.5% increase, according to the IBIS World Report. Overall growth in these spaces continues to accelerate, due to emerging technologies that allow both new and existing facilities to achieve historic levels of efficiency. The trend is further amplified by an unprecedented departure of skilled facility engineers moving towards retirement, creating an equally unprecedented need to train the next generation and retaining valuable ‘institutional knowledge’. For more information, please visit https://aetosimaging.com or email Scott Thomas [email protected] to become a new customer today. Go here (https://vimeo.com/799300046) to watch a short video where our CEO, Connor Offut, and board member Robin Bienfait discuss Aetos and the impact it’s making in the commercial building industry: About Valor Ventures Headquartered in Atlanta, Valor Ventures leads seed rounds in fast growth B2B software companies anchored in the South. Find out more at valor.vc. About Aetos Atlanta-based Aetos was founded in 2019 as part of the green building industry leader, GBH (Green Building Holdings) and has entered the market with decades of green energy experience and leadership behind their diverse team. Headquartered at Atlanta Tech Village, Aetos strives to achieve the goal of lower energy consumption, reduced corporate travel, and optimized communication through the use of their Aetos Operate platform.
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Meet Ralph – Our Gold-Medal-Winning Chief Engineer
February 10, 2023
Over a Zoom call, Ralph DiDomenico shared his experiences in the engineering industry, his accomplishments, and what’s on the horizon for building operations and management. Read the journey that starts with inquisitiveness, harnesses diligence, and finishes on the podium. Meet Ralph: Aetos Imaging's Gold-Medal-Winning Chief Engineer. Talk about how you started your career. I started my career as a general contractor in 1984, so I was self-employed for about 12 years. And then in the 80s things got bad, so I gave up the business and got a job at 399 Park Ave. as a helper. I started there in ‘96, and I wasn’t able to operate on a lot of the machines because I didn’t have the right license, so I set out to get an engineer’s license. I found out you had to take a test after 2 ½ years of work, so I got the book that was 3 or 4 inches thick, and I studied it every opportunity I had. To make a long story short, when I actually went to take the test, I knew the answers to most of the questions before I even finished reading them. I passed, got my license, and my first job was at a bank on Central Park West. It was a one-man job and the place was demoed out and just filthy. I got to the point where I couldn't stand how dirty it was, so I made them give me a dumpster. And I ended up loading it 12 times with all the junk and debris inside the building. I actually cleaned it out and got new cabinets, swept everything up, and remodeled the bathrooms. The gal in charge of the bank called up my boss and said I was trying to take over the building - making all these changes. My boss calls me up and asks me what's going on. So what do I do? I had him come down to the building and showed him everything I did to make the building better. He told me the place looked beautiful and he wasn't sure what the problem was. I actually took pictures of the place before I did any changes, just in case something came up. I showed him what it used to look like and he told me not to listen when people complain about a job well done. I think that was a big encouragement for me in the future to make things better when I saw a problem. Where did your career take you next? Next, I interviewed and got a job at 11 Madison. They told me I’d have the assistant chief position, so I took the opportunity. I figured I'd rather go for the next level than stay where I was. When I joined, the senior chief was having a hard time health-wise, so I spent 2 or 3 years covering for him. When he ended up retiring, they bumped me up to the top, and I spent the next 23 years there. I moved from assistant to senior chief in way less time than what I thought when I was interviewing and hired. What did the new position look like? You weren’t sweeping or knocking out walls, were you? No, not anymore. My primary job was to get everything up and running, all the equipment and machinery. MetLife demoed out the entire building: took everything out and put in new equipment. We had to go through each system, modify it, get it all working properly, test it, bring in a new BMS, new risers, new pumps, new chillers – everything was new. We had to see what was lacking in every system. I needed to install flash tanks for the steam system, vacuum pumps, things like that. I also was in charge of reviewing blueprints, making sure they conformed to our BMS, approving wall locations that weren’t blocking our critical elements, and making sure their operations are compatible across systems. Taking that job at 11 Madison and moving up was a big challenge, but I really enjoyed all the new work I got to do and all the people I got to work with. So you started as a general contractor, then became a helper, and now you find yourself doing huge building facilities management. How did your career grow or change from what you expected when you first started? It was definitely a learning curve. But luckily I was always good mechanically. As a 12-year-old, I really started to get into mechanical things. Once I took apart our lawn mower down to the smallest pieces that I could. When my father came home, he looked at me and said, “You better make sure that thing runs.” And it did! I could put it all together without a problem. When I was in High School, I was studying to do aviation power plant maintenance. I was always mechanically inclined: I could look at stuff – like pumps or fans or other equipment – and figure it out. So as a helper at 399 Park, I actually used my education with aviation power plant maintenance to show my chief how to better align fan blades and make them run more efficiently. I had a system for how we did it, and he liked it so much we did it to every fan in the building. Now, the other engineers didn't really appreciate all the extra work, but it was good to go through and make things better. Did you always have a knack for improving mechanical items? Yeah for the most part, but I got a lot of help from the old-timers who knew what they were doing. A lot of them took me under their wing and showed me how to follow certain procedures, and some tricks of the trade: like changing gaskets with teflon, or preventing rust from accumulating on bolts. As a senior level engineer, I was never a guy who – when a contractor came in to do their work – would say, “Do what you need to do" and just leave them to work in my building; I was always looking over their shoulder and learning a thing or two. I’d pick up ideas. I’d ask questions. I wanted to know what they were doing, and maybe learn how to run my equipment better. You were at the senior level for over two decades. What is something you are proud of in your career? I’m proud of the installation and operation of the ice plant at 11 Madison. We had 64 tanks that we dropped in through the elevator shaft, and completely changed the machines that were in there. I’m proud of it because it exceeded what was expected. It was done ahead of schedule, and it finished under budget. And the energy that is being saved is much better than what was expected as well. They’re saving nearly $800,000 a year in electric costs. What was really cool is we built an atmosphere that was a friendly competition between the engineers on shift. They began trying to change pressures and other variables to make the system more efficient. And when the night shift saw the numbers of the day shift, they thought “Oh we can beat that”; it just created an environment of friendly competition where everybody wins. Oh I was awarded the chief engineer award for BOMA in 2020. I’m pretty proud of that. (Editor’s Note: Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is “a federation of U.S. local associations and global affiliates”, and a BOMA award is “Considered one of the most difficult industry recognitions to earn.” So, basically, Ralph got the Gold Medal at the Building Olympics, something that is considered both really hard to do, and a really prestigious honor. Ralph was awarded in 2020 for Chief Operating Engineer of the Year while part of SL Green Realty Corp.) If you could change one thing about the way buildings are run, what would it be? I would tell them to be more penny-wise and less dollar-foolish. I’ve known management companies that take a dying lightbulb from one lamp and put it in another, whereas some companies go in and re-lamp the whole room. I know that everything is about the dollar, the dollar, the dollar – and to a point I can understand that. But sometimes you have to not be so cheap, and do a little more to help the whole company. For example, add another knowledgeable engineer to the team so there is less pressure for everyone involved. Yeah, I know it costs to hire someone else on, but the building and the workers benefit -- especially if the new guy is highly experienced. You're our Chief Engineer here at Aetos Imaging. Where do you see the value in Operate? It puts everybody on the same knowledge level. We have a way to help and teach every worker the best way to do things. With our courses, we can bring in knowledgable veterans who can show you exactly how to do something, exactly where you need to do it. We’re trying to teach everyone how to do the important tasks the most efficient way possible. Also, with new people coming into a structure, it teaches them exactly where all the equipment is in the building, teaches them how to do the PMs on them, and keeps them safer because we’re showing them how to operate in the space. Where do you anticipate building operations and management is headed in the future? Well, there’s an old saying: you need a shovel to dig a hole. There’s only so much software that you can write, there’s only so many matrices. Buildings will always need somebody there to check a fuse, pull it out, and change it. Software like Operate will educate the workers, but you’re still going to need trained people in the field. The guy who is turning the wrench isn’t going away, so it’s up to companies like ours to instruct employees who are actually doing the work.
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How Aetos Operate is a Game-Changer for Site-Specific Job Training
January 31, 2023
Designing a training program is hard. Designing an effective, efficient, site-specific training program is harder. Curriculum specialists and operations managers are tasked with providing excellent learning experiences for their employees. Safety regulations, emergency responses, building codes and practices, maintenance procedures, documentation, and visual supports (like images, pdfs, and videos) are pieces of an all-encompassing instructional package. Because there are so many variables involved, it’s easy to understand that the task is immense. Trying to compile resources from external drives, folders, binders, zip files, and 3rd party vendors can very quickly lead to disorganization, oversight, and ultimately inefficiencies for workers. Adequate instruction is vital to an employee’s experiences on site: The purpose of practical learning is to provide workers with knowledge that keeps them safe, guides their decisions, and helps them improve within their environment. This compounds the pressure on curriculum developers to produce quality training and supports. Indeed, this can cause issues with trying to develop and deliver updated instructional methods. Consider the mammoth task of creating and implementing educational courses that are relevant, accessible, and intent on refreshing old practices. This would demand a robust process of designing and building manuals, binders, flow-charts, and diagrams, while actualizing the source material with effective methods. Sometimes even the prospect of re-starting or re-designing instructional modules is enough to discourage curriculum specialists from taking their content to the next level; compiling, arranging, diagramming, delegating, and printing (let alone scheduling implementation strategies and meetings) are all roadblocks to the process. “The creation of a great training program is a daunting task, partially due to the fact that multiple stakeholders need to be on the same page,” says Aetos Imaging CEO Connor Offutt. “The process is extremely difficult as subject matter experts, management, videographers, and more are all involved in an arduous, and very likely, lengthy process.” However, there’s a new and easier way to construct training programs that are substantially better for the designer, the bottom line, the planet, and the user’s experience. A relatively standard concept that Aetos Operate likes to showcase is its ability to overlay 3-Dimensional scans with customized training. The software uses 3D imaging to virtually display site-specific components, a visualization support that considerably benefits designer and trainee alike. Virtual drilling and coaching for employees is a core feature of Operate. The software provides a clear and clean canvas for curriculum developers, as they are able to leverage a hyper-visualized digital twin for customized onboarding and instruction. To simplify: Operate’s cloud-based, 3D platform makes training development easier for curriculum specialists, which leads to better help, safety, and support for the workers on site. Imagine the possibilities for curriculum designers if they could superimpose their learning targets and objectives within a virtual replica. Not only would this expedite the composition process, but placing training lessons in a 3D digital twin provides overwhelmingly enhanced visualization that simply can’t be beat. That’s the add-value that Operate is providing to on site learning programs around the country. “Operate was designed specifically to streamline the entire process, functioning as a 3D platform where curriculum designers can capture, create, edit, assign, and monitor their learning content for the benefit of their employees,” continues Offutt. “Operate makes the whole process cheaper, faster, and better for the user, all while creating a much more engaging experience, as learners interact within a 3D virtual digital twin – as opposed to a more expensive, generic end product.” Expensive outsourced videographers are no longer needed; employee onboarding is now sleek and deeply engaging, positioning new workers within the virtual space and providing them with bespoke source material; engineering trainings are now immersive and clearly pictured, and can be accompanied with helpful videos, written copy, intentional pdfs, or Senior-level insights. Again, this greatly improves the performance and experience of employees. Writing an entire manual from scratch – or even redesigning a current binder to fit new procedures – is a formidable task for many facilities managers; unfortunately, this can keep building operators from performing at a safe, high, and consistent level. But concepts like safety procedures, orientation, and best practices shouldn’t be outdated, nor should they be pushed off “til next year”. It’s common for companies to orient themselves around safety and wellbeing, but what if those pillars aren’t totally realized due to the complexity of effective curriculum development and implementation? Now, organizations and their on-site professionals can leverage a digital twin to create and carry out desired learning objectives in a virtual space with customized clarity and exact precision. Positioning itself as a viable option for effective, efficient, site-specific training programs, Operate is the dream solution for instructional specialists, as it provides its users – the workers on site – next-level safety protocols, helpful guidance on operational functions, and more.
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Commercial Real Estate is Witnessing a Migration from Office Ownership to Other Industries
January 18, 2023
With the shifts in economic and professional fields occurring, a migration is developing. A growing percentage of commercial real estate investors and portfolio holders are now expanding their focus from office development to include residential acquisitions. Mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article, the move is already happening. Data and sources from the editorial highlight that this migration is most prominent in the US on the East Coast; massive office buildings have struggled with occupancy in the nearly-three-years since the pandemic hit. As remote work has become more commonplace, building proprietors are having a hard time padding premium spaces that were competitive prior to March 2020. And as the workforce has received the advantage of choosing their desired environment, companies are much more comfortable with remote operations and permit Zoom-led collaboration in efforts to retain their top employees. This current job market status is emptying offices, but many large-scale investors and owners are finding ways to fill the vacancies via the residential housing market and other creative solutions. By now, many experts nationwide have agreed that the housing market is in a state of pressurized flux – with stabilization, deceleration, and crash all considerable possibilities. Mixed variables like mortgage rates, inflation adjustments, general home prices, wage modifications, and rental costs complicate predictions. Large tower and property managers anticipate a unique opportunity that is cresting the horizon: by retrofitting current office spaces for new types of tenants, owners are using commercial spaces for residential and professional reasons as a fiscal way to repurpose assets. A big name in the commercial space is already developing next-step plans: Boston Properties Inc. “As the largest publicly traded developer, owner, and manager of premier workplaces in the United States” Boston Properties Inc. is partaking in the migration. The sizable corporation is finding ways to develop and redevelop along the East Coast, with a goal of holding 2,000 residential units. Building, remodeling, or buying real estate for non-office use is the new focus for many organizations. Living spaces are in high demand, particularly in urban populaces; profitable opportunities can be realized as physical work stations become less occupied. Although the cost is up-front to retrofit and repurpose office property, many portfolio managers are seeing the benefit in taking this initial step. The goal of procuring large commercial real estate is to fill it with occupants – whether that be for office, residential, or other professional use. This has led to an expansion from solely-office-space-usage into other functions and industries. Some have altered their buildings for unique transitions, like art or photography studios, professional training services, or hosting private events. Others still have branched out into the world of entertainment, transforming their assets into operational auditoriums, health clubs, and even casinos. Right now, Aetos Imaging is providing building owners a way to visually capture their properties and the critical spaces therein. Digital twin technologies allow decision makers to view their assets in a 3D environment, display current machinery and equipment, plan alterations, collaborate virtually with investors or project managers, and in so doing, greatly expedite projects. Furthermore, should an acquisition be made, the asset is considerably more valuable if the inheritance is accompanied with a digital twin – complete with a training database, hyper-visual representation, maintenance history, and more. The future of commercial real estate may or may not manifest a return to office space usage. In the meantime, many building owners are doubling down on reusing their properties: knowing that housing needs will be relevant and ubiquitous for years to come, while new business expeditions could yield profit in the foreseeable future. Capturing a digital twin could be invaluable in the years to come.
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Burn the Binders: Revolutionize Onboarding, Training, and Transitions with Aetos Operate
January 11, 2023
Aetos Imaging is optimizing the way the built world operates. We know that facilities management is responsible for the performance of their assets – whether that be providing quality training, implementing green initiatives, regulating preventative maintenance, meeting energy efficient goals, or analyzing data for imperative decisions. However, there is a core obligation that is unintentionally lagging in many organizations, putting workers at a disadvantage: training and educating employees. Aetos is stepping in and revolutionizing the way engineers, staff members, ownership, and agents are able to learn bespoke tribal knowledge within a virtual environment. Many Current Training Practices Are Actually Outdated With the rise in technology – and the incredible rate of advancement in the digital space – practices and systems from years past are quickly becoming ineffectual. Because of this advance, companies that refuse to change will fall flat. The status quo of many corporations needs to change. Systems like outdated computer programs, filing cabinets, or generic training videos are no longer a viable option for complex operations right now, let alone in the coming years. Millennials and Gen Zers are going to be the dominant generations of workers, and are generally known for their high expectations of software development, scaffolded implementation, and task support. Burn the Binders In the digital age, bulky binders are antiquated – becoming more obsolete with each passing year. The information stored in a notebook is valuable, but it is hardly accessible. In order to review hard-copy files, being on-site is required. Imagine how facilities management (particularly those with larger spaces or multiple sites) benefit from digital storage of files and documentation. But take it a step further: consider how an Operations team is enhanced in their day-to-day tasks if they could allow team members to visualize their assets. Sure, stapled packets and clipboards have their place. But if a built environment really wants to capture a location and leverage that hyper-visibility to promote better instruction, troubleshooting, and safety demonstrations, they need something more. Aetos Operate allows for teams to ditch binders and digitize their training within a virtual environment that is an exact representation of the space(s) employees will interact in. Our flagship software comes with customizable content, curriculum development opportunities, hyper-visual 3D representation, data captures, and real-time notations – a massive improvement to binder-held details and protocols. Abrogate Archaic Software Sometimes a company’s strongest attempt to “modern management” of their systems is a generic computer program that is operating in the past. With the technology readily available for buildings and its management, organizations are attempting to run efficiently with a product that simply isn’t efficient. Old, outdated software actually hinders a company’s ability to progress: with machinery as well as personnel. New instruments are introduced in the industrial spaces as a way to boost productivity; new engineers and equipment is brought in to replace and rejuvenate. Why would a competent company refuse to do the same with their software? Aetos Operate is that software upgrade. It allows for organizations to access state-of-the-art visualization techniques by leveraging digital twin technologies with enhanced training and custom-built courses. And more, as a tailor-made 3-Dimensional CMMS, Operate allows facilities operations to be conducted on a specialized 3D digital twin. Train Before Day 1 Another value that Aetos Operate offers for its partners is found in the onboarding process. By being able to access a 3D scan, new engineers and employees can virtually tour and train with the critical assets they will be operating. Instructional videos and procedures can be deployed within the platform. Onboarding becomes much more powerful, as individuals are permitted to observe, explore, interact, and practice specific exercises from anywhere in the world. And this content is available in perpetuity. A crew member can access and review the intel within Operate at any time; instructional content and tutorials become dynamic, revisable, and readily accessible. Gather Data About Personnel Know-How Take advantage of data collection with Aetos Operate. Statistics regarding a training module can be recorded. Submitted answers can be analyzed to see if employees are grasping the desired content, or if further guidance is required. Data is one of the most sought-after items within the business world, helping teams get a better understanding of current affairs. Learning the levels of tribal knowledge within an organization can be critical to optimized practices, and capturing that information can bring clarity to decision makers. Feel the Effects Immediately With Aetos, a major upgrade in onboarding, training, and transitioning is only one conversation away. We are confident that our services will greatly enhance the way orientation, education, safety protocols, data retention, and preventative maintenance is conducted in commercial and industrial spaces; it’s the upgrade the built environment has been waiting for. See how Aetos Imaging can help modernize and streamline your operational processes today.
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