Finding real-world savings in facilities management brings to mind many topics. Technology, efficiency, a partnership with organizations, and other factors affect the spending profile of facilities management departments. With so many factors involved, Facilities Managers have implemented robust, standardized practices to ensure nothing is overlooked. Unfortunately, this rigidity creates some additional problems, and Facilities Managers need to understand why.
Rigid Facilities Management Practices Lead to Lost Opportunities
As explained by Pete Zurwar of Facility Executive, process standardization is a good thing in business, but in facilities management, it can lead to an inability to handle volatility. All businesses are subject to some form of instability. For instance, enrollment and institutions of higher learning can affect classroom usage, which may increase or decrease facilities spend. Organizations that cannot adapt to this level of volatility will be forced to go over budget.
Another problem exists; companies that cannot accommodate more customers or clients could lose money to two limited resources. Going back to the classroom example, an HVAC system problem in a given classroom could result in one fewer class available for students. The same example is applicable in retail, restaurants, and other businesses too.
Flexible Practices Open the Doors to Savings in Facilities Management
Instead of following a rigid approach to facilities management, flexibility through careful understanding of facilities needs and priorities can help Facilities Managers scale activities and spending to meet demand. Benefits of flexible facilities management practices also include inherent implementation of sustainable, green energy initiatives, asserts Casey Laughman of FacilitiesNet.
Flexibility includes the use of renewable energy resources, requiring the transition from alliance to fossil fuels and renewable energy when possible. For instance, automated lighting systems reduce reliance on the energy grid, which reduces dependence on non-renewable energy resources. Similarly, advanced lighting systems can be deployed to gather energy from solar panels, which further reduces costs for an organization, freeing capital for use in other ventures.
Moreover, flexibility in work responsibilities and the work environment lead to better employee performance, reports Facility Executive.
Tips for Increasing Flexibility to Drive Savings
Facilities Managers also need to follow a few tips for increasing flexibility. Facilities Managers must develop winning strategies to increase flexibility without increasing costs, which include the following
- Design integrated spaces. Integrated spaces take advantage of natural resources, like solar energy and natural light, to create a more productive environment, and integrating facility controls within the space can reduce the legwork associated with maintaining such facilities.
- Make spaces user-centered. User-centered spaces are also intuitive, connecting the Internet of things and the smart devices of occupants, like Alexa, Google, Echo, and Cortana, to adjust environmental settings.
- Increase utilization of existing resources. Happy building occupants and workers can add value to your bottom line, and increasing the use of existing resources, especially space, further this goal. Instead of working to expand the square footage of a facility, a redesign of the existing space can give the appearance of a more inviting and larger atmosphere.
- Support teams and private work in tandem. In consideration of maintenance and facilities management needs, Facilities Managers should support collaboration between team members, but they must also understand that some work will need to be completed individually.
- Solicit and leverage feedback from building occupants. Gaining and using feedback from building occupants is the most important aspect of a flexible facilities management strategy. Facilities Managers can change the things that reduce productivity and increase savings in facilities management by simply asking, “what could we do better?”
Adapt Your Processes Now
There are many ways to achieve savings in facilities management, but nothing is more valuable than flexibility in facilities management practices.