Facility Management Best Practices
Establishing core facility management best practices has been something of a moving target, and one that has started to move at an accelerated pace in recent years as technology continues to find new ways to enhance businesses.
Facility management services are an integral part of a well-run business. It can be thought of as a foundational component on which a successful large organisation is built. We have put together this list of facility management best practices, which we hope will be useful for new managers and seasoned veterans.
Some Facility Management Best Practices to Consider:
Make Liberal Use of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is often mistaken as a relatively impractical fad for homes, with images of fridge-freezers that can automatically order food when you’re running low often the first to spring to mind. There are, however, a growing number of IoT devices that are designed for use in offices and other work environments.
Finding ways to incorporate IoT technology into your workplace can not only improve the general working conditions, but it can improve the efficiency of the workplace in direct and indirect ways.
Of course, to make decisions on IoT technology, you first must understand it. It is important to do your research, keep up with the latest trends, and ensure that any technology you choose to implement will be truly beneficial to your workplace, rather than just a novelty gadget that ultimately does nothing to improve matters. The more you know about the tech, the more intelligently you will be able to implement it. Make sure to explore and implement security technologies, such as a managed professional firewall to keep you safe from data breaches and leakage.
Do Your Research
A great deal of the modern facility management industry revolves around data and the analysis of what that data means. The growing number of Internet of Things enabled devices means more than just added convenience, it also means a wealth of additional data that can be used to spot trends, identify problem areas, and improve the general workflow and conditions of a facility. Even something as simple as an IoT coffee maker that lets you know how much coffee is being used can contribute to the overall efficiency of the workplace.
The important thing is to make sure you collect data where it is available and convert it into understandable trends and indicators. Proper visualisation of data like this can paint a picture of your business that is not just a snapshot in time, but a tool for forecasting.
For any company, regardless of the ethos or mission statement, a fundamental need is one of financial success. Success here can come in the form of big contracts and one-off sales, but the solid foundation you need for a successful business comes from intelligent budgeting at all levels of the company.
Identifying opportunities to save on costs and making the operation run more efficiently are just as important as revenue generated; that is where a smart budgeting strategy shines. This is an important aspect when dealing with facility management best practices.
Factor in all the data points at your disposal and look for ways to improve budgeting at a departmental level. Perhaps most importantly, plan for the future. While many businesses eventually go under due to poor management over long periods, there is also a good deal of businesses that are taken down by a single incident—a lost contract, or a missed shipment of goods. Use all the tools at your disposal to plan, so that you are not caught off guard should the worst happen.
Communication is Key
One of the more common causes of problems in any organisation—especially a large organisation—is miscommunication, a lack of communication, or just plain no communication, and anyone looking to provide full facilities management is not exempt from this. This is extremely important when speaking about facility management best practices.
Managers should constantly be working to communicate to all relevant parts of the organisation how they can add value to the brand and bring down the overall costs of running things. For larger organisations, the software can help to enable more frictionless communication (more on that shortly).
One thing that is often overlooked in this respect is standardisation. If different branches or departments are using different systems to communicate internally, it makes open communications between those branches and departments considerably more difficult. Keeping the entire organisation on a system that is the same regardless of the department will remove much of this friction..
Distinguish but Don’t Neglect
Facility property management may sometimes be separated from facilities management, with the former focusing on the building itself, whereas the latter focuses on the people and processes.
In situations where facility management and property management are under one umbrella, it is important to treat them with the distinction they deserve—they are quite different. But do not fall into the trap of neglecting one over the other, as they are both integral to a well-run business.
Centralise Processes and Systems
We’ve talked about the importance of clear and frictionless communication within your organisation, and how software can help achieve that, but software can help you achieve much more than just communication. When looking at facility management best practices, centralisation can be vital.
Centralising the majority—if not all—of your processes onto computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) enables you to significantly cut down on the inefficiencies of more traditional methods of record keeping.
For one thing, it gives you a single point of authority to refer to. If everyone is working from the same centralised system, there is less chance of something going wrong because of a lack of information or “crossed wires”.
In this article so far, we have talked about the need for effective budgeting and proper communication, and one thing that helps in both of these areas is automation. Things like automated lights, for example, can reduce energy costs by not relying on employees to turn them off when they leave a room. At the same time, this saves you the time and effort of having to ensure those employees are reminded to turn the lights off when they leave a room.
Of course, this is a minor example, but it perfectly illustrates the advantages of automation in facility management best practices. Other areas where you can bring in automation include data collection and support ticketing.
Tailor Your Facilities Management Operation
No two facilities are the same, and the management solutions should reflect that. Beyond the differences between two distinct organisations, a sufficiently large business might have multiple buildings with each having different FM requirements.
A small sample of things that can be a factor in one place but not in another include;
- Snow removal
- Flood control
- Pest Control
It is important to find the areas of need for your facility. For example, air conditioning would not be a priority for a facility in cooler Northern Hemisphere climates.
Try to be flexible in your planning. While a facility manager must plan for all the needs of their facility, it is important to be agile and able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. There are always facilities management consultancy services to help with this planning.
Outsourcing work has become more popular since the internet became popular. From property maintenance and repair work to data entry and, of course, skilled labour. It is not wise to outsource everything with little thought to whether it is good for the company, but it is also unwise to assume that any outsourcing is bad and that trying to do it all in-house is the only way to go.
Strategic outsourcing can not only be considerably more cost-effective than an in-house solution, but those third-party entities that you are outsourcing to can often do a much better job, as it’s their primary focus.
Conclusion on Facility Management Best Practices
Competition is becoming increasingly fierce as more opportunities for success open up, but only those organisations that employ smart strategies from the ground up will be able to succeed in the long run.
From project management to supply chain management, and, of course, facilities management, these are the foundations upon which a successful organisation can thrive, so it is in your interest to implement these facility management best practices as well as you can in your business or organisation.
At Brosnan Property Solutions, our experienced team have been helping companies with their facility management needs for over two decades in Cork, Dublin and Kerry. Contact us now for a free quote or to further discuss our FM services. We will be delighted to help your company succeed even more through the use of facility management best practices. As part of our large team, we have qualified Project Managers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and construction personnel.