Facility management seeks to align the design of a building with its occupants' needs and day-to-day activities. Having competent operations and management departments will allow your building to flexibly adjust to changes and support the work in your business. You should plan your facility management strategically, aiming to maintain and monitor the fundamental operations that keep your company afloat. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you strategically manage your facilities and operations.
Collect and Analyze Data Everywhere You Can
You cannot enhance your facility management without first knowing which areas require improvement. You must, therefore, collect as much data as you can to quantify the performance. This will allow you to develop metrics that you can use to target specific areas where your facility management is falling short. These metrics are also helpful for creating forecasts and understanding the behavior of individuals within the facility.
Nowadays, collecting detailed information about the movement and use of equipment within facilities is easier than ever. Many devices now make use of the internet of things (IoT). This allows devices to autonomously communicate with one another and record things like positional data, usage, and condition. These devices make it far easier to understand and manage facilities thanks to the real-time nature of the data they supply.
Some metrics that might be worth focussing on are the volume of foot traffic in the facility, the types of usage in different areas, and costs and budgeting within the facility. These will allow you to fine-tune your process management within the facility and improve your capability to create effective action plans.
Hone Your KPIs
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are ways that businesses can measure their success in implementing strategies or achieving goals. Using the data on facility usage that you have begun to collect, you can determine which KPIs will be the most useful for your facility.
When defining your KPIs, there are a few things that you should consider. Good KPIs are measurable, are easy to evaluate, relevant to your business, helpful in improving efficiency and reducing expenditure.
As a result, developing a set of relevant and useful KPIs in your facility can help you iron out inefficiencies and increase productivity.
Focus on Your Assets and Equipment
The assets and equipment within your facility require regular updates to keep your operations running smoothly. As a facilities manager, one of your primary duties is to keep an eye on the latest and greatest technologies that could enhance your organization.
There are various options when it comes to upgrading facilities. Regular updates to your operations provide opportunities to enhance efficiency, boost productivity, increase sustainability, and decrease costs. For example, by introducing LED lighting into your facility or by upgrading your HVAC systems, you could boost performance across your operations.
One of the best ways to enhance cost-efficiency in your facilities is to invest in making them more energy-efficient. Estimates suggest that making such changes provides a return on investment of around 30-40%.
If you want to improve efficiency, the first place you should look is your organization's HVAC systems. Typically, these represent about 40% of the energy use in commercial buildings. Therefore, your facilities management strategy should probably focus on these first.
A great investment that you can make is to bring in demand-controlled ventilation. This will help you to improve the air quality within your facilities while also improving efficiency across your organization. These systems alter the ventilation of buildings automatically based on various factors like the number of people in a building and their ventilation requirements. This automation can save energy and reduce the overall costs of operations.
Shockingly, the majority of waste that ends up in landfills could have been recycled. A significant portion of waste comes from industrial activities, so it stands to reason that much of this un-recycled material originates from poor waste management strategies and recycling practices. This contributes to environmental issues but can also result in high costs to your business.
Thankfully, there are steps that facilities managers can take to reduce these problems. You should communicate with your waste management provider about your needs, and waste production could help you eliminate unnecessary charges. It is common for businesses to overpay for such services as they often use haulage equipment that is ill-suited to their requirements.
Therefore, having an understanding of the amount of waste your operations produce is essential. This will allow you to identify what equipment best suits your organization and how regularly you need to remove debris from your facilities.
Implement a Predictive Maintenance Schedule
Predictive maintenance strategies aim to enhance efficiency in facilities by reducing equipment downtime and repair costs.
Many companies use reactive maintenance strategies in the day-to-day management of their facilities. This involves only maintaining and repairing equipment as and when faults occur. However, this can cause lengthy delays and declines in productivity when assets eventually require work.
Nowadays, using real-time and historical data, it is possible to schedule maintenance in such a way that you can avoid issues before they even occur. This largely relies on emerging technologies like IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and integrated assets. These enhance communication between assets, allowing for automated monitoring of the performance and condition of the equipment.
Facilities managers can use these technologies to set maintenance routines for their facilities. A predictive maintenance strategy can help you minimize the amount of time spent on equipment maintenance and reduce downtime and the overall maintenance cost. Therefore, if your facility is still operating on a reactive schedule regarding repairs, you should integrate modern technologies to facilitate predictive maintenance.
Take a Facilities Management Course
If you want to improve your knowledge of facilities management and ultimately improve performance within your organization, consider taking a short course in facility management.
There is an overarching problem within the facilities management industry. On the whole, those working in roles relating to optimizing operations and buildings lack formal training. This can often leave individuals learning on the job through trial and error. Facilities management courses can help build knowledge and understanding of best practices, meaning individuals can make meaningful changes more quickly and effectively.
Such courses are often targeted at individuals who already have experience in the industry but are looking to hone their skills. You can try these to help improve your overall knowledge of facilities management and learn more about cutting-edge trends in the industry.
These courses can be taken online and take several weeks to complete, but the knowledge you can garner is well worth it.
On the whole, productivity bottlenecks are often caused by inefficiencies in facility management or equipment maintenance. Additionally, having poorly optimized operations can lead to increased expenditure. It is the role of a facility manager to iron out issues and inefficiencies regarding an organization's physical assets. Therefore, if you are looking to optimize your facilities management strategy, you should implement the approaches described above.
The advent of new technologies has significantly streamlined the process of managing equipment and buildings. New methods of collecting asset data and establishing goals and performance indicators have proved beneficial for facility management. As a result, a quantitative approach is often best in the modern world.