Got HAL? I was reminded this week of an old story that once surfaced about the Heuristically programmed Algorithmic Computer (HAL) in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The story suggests that HAL was so named to indicate that he was one step ahead of IBM. Alphabetically “H” “A” “L” precedes “I” “B” “M” by one letter. I believe you would agree that it does feel good to be one step ahead!

According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), a facility manager must “ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.” In a role of that nature is it possible for a facility manager to get one step ahead?

If your goal is to build a high-performance brand through a differentiated customer/employee experience you may need a new way of thinking, and a new discipline for getting things done. In the book “Execution” by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan the authors point out that a business’ culture defines what gets appreciated, respected, and ultimately rewarded. And the culture of an organization is the sum of its shared values, beliefs, and norms of behavior. In short, to deliver a differentiated customer/employee experience you may need to start with your organization’s ingrained beliefs concerning the facility environment and how to perfect the execution of your customer/employee experience strategy.

Many facility managers depend on engineering and building management software to provide that extra step; but that may not always work because in the customer’s algorithm, it may not matter. Today, customer /employees’ actual experiences live in building’s physical domain. If your building experience is bad, no amount of spin, marketing or branding will fix it.

Lighting that enhances comfort, health, and visual appearance provides multiple benefits to us and is known as Human Centric Lighting. Human Centric Lighting literally means that people are the focus of the lighting design.  In lighting design, Human Centric Lighting means that the planning of artificial light should support our circadian rhythm and be conducive to our health and well-being. With a human centric lighting system, the lighting fixtures and controls are arranged precisely to enhance our concentration and alertness level. Human-centric lighting system can be helpful for educational, commercial, medical, and other public places. And the benefits of human-centric in retail environments can be useful. It has been observed that when stores use the human-centric lighting, their overall sales increase up to 28%. So, when a retailer uses human-centric lighting to elevate the appearance of their products, then they will automatically increase the level of their sales. With the right lighting, employees become more focused on their tasks and they will be able to promote their brand in a better way.

Lighting has a deeper impact on our body then we give credit to it. Light affects our vision, body, and emotions in a very powerful way. In fact, in the business world, the ability to sell merchandise in the right product zone, with the right mood, under the right light, is what it takes for companies to move their products with today’s shoppers.


by Alan See

Marketing at Eco Engineering