The considerations of facilities management in retail and challenges range from HVAC system maintenance to the cleanliness and quality of the sales floor. Hundreds of challenges, if not thousands, exist in maintaining an individual location, but imagine the number of challenges multi-site Facilities Managers face in retail. Rather than giving up, Facilities Managers need to understand and know how to respond to the top issues affecting facilities management in retail.
1. A Growing List of Responsibilities
A key issue affecting Facilities Managers and retail goes back to a growing list of responsibilities. Today’s Facilities Managers are simply wearing too many hats to be truly effective at overseeing all aspects of operations in person and through manual processes. Therefore, more organizations are turning to automated, analytics-driven facility management systems and processes to simplify overall facilities management activities. This gives Facilities Managers access to information they may need to make informed decisions, but it reduces the confusion resulting from being imparted by too much information.
2. Complex Vendor Relationships
Facility Managers also must deal with increasingly complex vendor relationships. How will vendors get paid, how many contractors were on site, how long were contractors on site, when were they paid, will they be paid, did the work exceed or meet expectations, and what other terms within the service level agreement must be met? These questions reflect the increasing complexity of vendor-business relationships, but imagine how this scenario would expand for a 20-location business, not to mention businesses with locations numbering into the hundreds. The sheer volume of managing these many relationships will result in inaccuracies in reporting, delays in payment, and unaccounted for facilities spend. Yet, modern technology can streamline the vendor-business process, and outsourcing the entire process to a third-party puts the trials and tribulations of managing these complex relationships in the hands of industry experts.
3. Aging Infrastructure
The aging infrastructure remains another final problem affecting facilities management in retail. Today’s roads, electrical grids, plumbing, wastewater disposal systems, and buildings are decaying at an exponential rate. Facilities Managers can keep up with the infrastructure needs of a single facility, but it is almost impossible to proactively maintain a facility if the costs associated with procuring supplies or parts necessary for asset repair and maintenance take longer than expected and come at an increasingly higher cost.
An aging infrastructure contributes to the stress and burden on Facilities Managers, and consumers are still unforgiving. They might overlook one small detail, but when it comes time to decide between shopping at your retail establishment versus your competitor, consumers are more likely to choose the competitor, provided their facility has the slightest detail that goes beyond the state of your facility. Even access roads and entryways to your facility should be considered in your facilities management budget, and if consumers have a difficulty getting through your parking lot without scraping the bottom of their vehicles, they are going to go elsewhere.
Meanwhile, problems with the electrical grid or plumbing in your area can dramatically affect your ability to meet consumers’ basic needs, like offering public restrooms or creating a comfortable atmosphere when the electrical grid malfunctions. While electrical system failure may be outside of your control, your organization can take steps to prevent it from adversely impacting customer experiences.
For example, the simple addition of a backup generator for your HVAC system can help employees and guests stay comfortable while in your facility, and if the generator is connected to your point of sale systems, your organization is less likely to suffer a profit-affecting disruption than your competitors.
The current administration has proposed plans to invest heavily in infrastructure within the next three years, but those plans have yet to be passed by Congress. Rather than leaving it to chance with Congress, your organization can be proactive and take steps to prepare for problems that often accompany an aging infrastructure.
Create Your Action Plan for Overcoming the Top Issues Affecting Retail Facilities Management
Unlock the secrets to facility management retail success by learning how to handle the top issues affecting your facility. Know what is coming, and start preparing for the inevitable challenges in retail facilities management by implementing a new, analytics-based computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and a bundled handyman program now.