Challenges and opportunities for facility managers

What are the top challenges faced by exceptional facility managers and how can Kodisher help you to solve them?

Every facility manager knows that there are many facility management issues that must be faced to keep their building in excellent condition. The great managers work to identify these issues and determine the most efficient and effective ways to overcome them.

In our encounters with facility managers we have summarized the list of the top facility management challenges that the typical manager will face, and we offer possible paths to a quick resolution.

Facility Management Challenge 1 – Regulate costs

Facility managers typically find themselves having to maintain quality service delivery despite budget constraints. They’re always under pressure to do more with less. Costs can be contained with some planning and careful allocation of resources. There are some major budget items that, through close monitoring, facility managers can use to control overall operational costs of their building.

  • Energy costs: According to a report by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, up to 20 percent of energy in buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. Facility managers can improve this by recommending more environmentally friendly energy sources like solar panels, planting trees, using more of automated buildings technologies, choosing energy-efficient lighting and allowing for more natural light. KAM in association with the Ministry of Energy Kenya offers energy audit services to facility managers.
  • Outsourced services: Keep costs under control by monitoring outsourced vendors and other third-party service providers. Periodically assess their services, and compare and negotiate prices for their offerings. Make sure to only use what you need. This also applies to suppliers of inventory items. When there’s need to stock large quantities of a stock item, consider ordering directly from wholesalers or directly from the manufacturer.
  • Maintenance costs: Maintenance costs alone can account for a significant part of a facility’s annual budget. Implementing a planned maintenance strategy rather than reactive can deliver major cost savings in the long term because the cost of deferred maintenance can be rather high.
  • Splitting costs: Consider charging residents who cause breakages for them. This will ensure that your budget is not stretched by unfair use and it will make your residents more careful when using the facility.

Facility Management Challenge 2 – Security

A great starting point to determine your facility’s security needs is to identify potential risks.  Each facility will have its own goals for their security plan. As such, it’s important to confer with other stakeholders (landlord, other property managers, significant tenants) to define security objections of the facility management plan. An embassy would have different security requirement with a hospital and the security plan largely depends on the type of facility to be secured.

Common Security Risks by Type of Facility

Commercial offices The biggest security risks to offices are theft of office equipment and business intelligence.
Universities and colleges The biggest security risks to educational properties are theft of personal items and theft of intellectual property, especially that being developed through government or private funding or through industrial collaboration.
Hospitals and other health care facilities Hospitals need to protect patients and patient information, as well as prevent theft of equipment. However, mental health or domestic violence care facilities could require more stringent security protocols.

Before starting a security plan, gather a few key pieces of information:

  • The assets on the facility
  • The risks associated with your facility
  • Extent of exposure from those risks

Most facility managers hire security companies to secure their premises. This topic will be further evaluated in a future blog post.

Facility Management Challenge 3 – keeping Accurate Records

The facility management process is information intensive. From capturing and storing information, finding and retrieving information, and providing collaborative information access to multiple parties. Alarmingly, facility managers could get involved in legal disputes over lost or inaccurate information.

Some companies use legacy systems like spreadsheets, shared network drives and even filing cabinets! The industry has a great opportunity to upgrade their technology platforms to enhance service delivery. Getting the right data management platform needs to be procured professionally to achieve management objectives.

Keeping records organized starts from capturing accurate and reliable data, then storing them to form the basis for making informed and strategic decisions. For now, Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) such as Kodisher property management and facility management software is the best bet for doing this. Kodisher helps you manage processes, workflows and data letting you focus on your tenants comfort.

As a facility manager, you have a vast amount of data under your control. Your facility management software needs to offer these at the minimum

1) Fast information retrieval: The facility management platform should be easy to use so that you are able to retrieve information quickly. Do you ever miss deadlines because you can’t pinpoint the correct information? Do you ever need to reproduce information because you can’t find it?

2) Managing and recording changes: When changes are made to your asset, it is crucial to ensure that the correct documentation is recorded and stored, and that you can track that change in a central system. If you are out in the field, can you access these changes or updates on your mobile device?

3) Curated access: The information system needs to allow tiered information access permissions so that every member of your team has the information they need, when they need it and in a format they can use immediately.

facility management workflow and relations between suppliers, tenants and landlords all cordinated by the property/facility manager
facility management workflow and relations between suppliers, tenants and landlords all coordinated by the property/facility manager

We’d be glad to show you how kodisher meets this requirements. You can contact us here.

Facility Management Challenge 4 – Choosing the right vendors

First you must choose the right suppliers and then you need to supervise them.

Most facility mangers outsource maintenance work because it is operationally responsible, but how do you know you’ve chosen the best supplier for the work you needs?

Suppliers, especially cleaning services, play a big part in helping you serve your facility, ensuring that staff and visitors are in a setting that is always safe, healthy, and attractive. One of the best ways to resolve facility management challenges is to bring in a professional and competent vendor to help you offer a comfortable residential experience.

Here are a few questions you can use to vet you vendor in advance bore engaging them:

  • How do you train your staff members?
  • Does your team have a high turnover rate?
  • Do you conduct background checks for your staff members?
  • Are you a member of a quality assurance organization?
  • Do you have experience working in facilities like this?
  • What is your internal QMP (Quality management process) to ensure work is done properly?
  • What equipment do you already have?
  • What regular reports do you provide to facility managers?

If a vendor can answer these questions in a satisfactory manner, you can now proceed to contract them for professional work. You may also want to speak to current or past customers.

Once the supplier has been appointed you need assign them work. Some current methods of communicating to contractors, such as email, have several drawbacks, including: no audit trail, no inherent review and approval process and this sometimes introduces unnecessary delays.

General speaking, the processes don’t work as well as required because the package of documents generally exceeds the capacity of most email gateways which are capped at about 20mb per email. How do you assign the correct work to each contractor and ensure that you always get a fair price? How do you know the contractor received the latest documents? Do you know they have everything they need to start the job?

In the next blog post we introduce the facility management solution in a factory setting and review how it helps maintenance staff work more efficiently.

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