New Year’s resolutions are a way for people to commit themselves to making positive changes and there’s always an area of our lives that can use a boost. Your facilities are no different: surely there are ways to improve day-to-day operations. Here are some New Year's resolutions you may want to think about.
Reporting is one of the most important components to being able to manage operational efficiency. Having reports that are accurate and accessible means more accuracy when it comes to making, managing and updating operational budgets, which can translate into more savings as well.
There can be a lag time between the work being done by on-site repair staff and the updating of work orders and maintenance reports. Fortunately, the days of pen and paper record-keeping are all but over. The continued development of facility management technology, specifically CMMS, has streamlined the reporting aspect of building maintenance. The Web-based functionality of such services can offer real-time reporting, request-for-proposal management and updated life cycle information.
Improving the mobility of your maintenance staff is key for staying on top of mounting planned maintenance operations. In larger or multi-building facilities, unchecked repair jobs or delays in reporting can amount to less efficient operations and budget planning.
CMMS technology has evolved alongside mobile and handheld hardware to give facility managers and repair teams the ability to respond to emerging maintenance concerns while onsite, without having to return to a central office location to input data into a single centralized service. The less time repair teams spend running back and forth between facility management offices and maintenance sites, the more effectively they can keep up with their workload.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the world of facility management, this translates into a focus on preventive rather than corrective maintenance. Centralized building management technology can help by providing real-time tracking of repair requests and equipment statuses.
Buildings.com also recommended that facility managers increase the frequency of standard audits and inspections of essential infrastructure.
Facility management is no longer just a field focused on maintenance. Standards from industry and federal governing bodies such as LEED, ASHRAE and ENERGY STAR are placing an increasing importance on initiatives such as green energy and sustainable building design and construction.
New construction projects should be undertaken with an eye to sustainability at every step of the process - from design to construction. One important consideration pointed out by Buildings.com is to understand the difference between products and services that are "green" and those that are "sustainable." Chemical agents and cleaning products may be considered "green" due to their composition, but that doesn't mean they're automatically safe as well. Sustainability is an overarching process that works toward continued facility operation, including safety for all occupants.
Prepare for the skills gap
The next several years may see a sharp decline in the number of facility management professionals active in the field. As the current workforce moves closer to retirement age, administrators may find themselves facing a greater demand for maintenance staff than the current job market can supply for.
Facility administrators can begin to counteract this now by revising their training programs to incorporate the new skills and technology that are rapidly becoming an integral part of the field.