FM Challenges Increase profits
The Top 4 Facilities Management Challenges that are Draining Your Profits (and how to get over them)
"Facilities management is one of those tasks that tend to be extremely fluid in that there are always new challenges for which fresh solutions need to be found, and also in terms of constraints and limitations which always seem to be evolving. But whatever tribulations arise in facilities management, the fact remains: the premises still need to be managed in a streamlined and cost effective fashion, and the people within those premises still require access to all they need to do their jobs."
"The only way to overcome facilities management challenges is to identify them, and then to develop the most effective and efficient methods of resolving them."
So with this in mind, I’m going to take a look at four of the most prevalent facilities management challenges, with a few of my own suggested solutions to help overcome them.
Challenge 1: Team communication
Your core objective as a facilities manager is to make sure everything is as it should be, when it should be. You’ve got a great team and they do a fantastic job. And, providing you can get your instructions to them in a timely fashion and with total clarity, everything is set to run smoothly. Except getting clear instructions to your team is actually an extremely hit and miss affair. Emails aren’t always read instantly, and they take time to write: time your schedule can ill afford. It’s not always possible to reach people with a call, and voice messages are easily misinterpreted. And trying to locate someone in the flesh is yet another strain on your time.
So, what’s the solution?
How about if you could scan a location, say a meeting area or a washroom, then instantly see a list of requirements for that place on your handheld device? Tea and coffee ready for the meeting at 10? Paper towels filled in the ladies’ washroom? So all you need do is scroll your tailor-made, pre-programmed list, tap what’s missing or needs cleaning or whatever, set a priority level or deadline for it, and then move on to your next task safe in the knowledge that without any hassle, and just by ticking a box on your screen, you’ve just automatically alerted whoever is responsible for making things right to make things right. They’ve had an instant alert pop up on their handheld, and they’re on the case. And once the task is completed, you get an alert back to confirm it. No emails. No phone calls. No flying around trying to find people. Plus you get all the audit trails and reports you need to keep on top of KPIs.
Sounds like a dream come true? I’ll divulge more later in this article, but not before taking a look at facilities management challenge number two.
Challenge 2: Costs management
Always feel like you’re being challenged to do more with less? Costs control is a major obstacle for facilities managers who just want to get on and do what they need to do. And when you are not bang on top of your financials, it’s even worse, especially when you’re called up to present your numbers in the board room.
It can be tricky to keep track of costs when you’re so busy and even harder to keep track of inventory. Are you over-ordering? Under-ordering? How much wastage is there? Could you be negotiating better rates with larger order quantities? Or could you be making savings by changing suppliers altogether?
Naturally you’d love to have the intelligence at your fingertips that would enlighten you to all of these questions. But it’s buried in receipts or spreadsheets or sitting in an accounts programme and by the time you’ve put in a request for information and accounts have found the time to produce the reports you need, it’s all out of date.
Again the solution may sound like another dream come true.
What if you could literally pick up your phone or tablet or sit in front of your PC and in a few taps, see all the information you need in one place, within seconds? There’s a dashboard right there in front of you, and it’s showing you how much coffee and how many paper towels you’ve ordered over the last 12 months and how much it all cost. So now you can negotiate on price, because you know your optimum quantities and you know you won’t over order.
Even better, you can drill down into that data and see precisely where your resources are being used. You may spot discrepancies or be prompted to investigate inconsistencies. These could well be golden opportunities to reduce costs.
More on this later. Let’s look now at the third most common challenge to facilities managers.
Challenge 3: Asset management
It can be difficult to keep on top of ageing equipment and plant. In any one building there can be literally hundreds of machines, sometimes thousands. Keeping track of installation dates, service histories, due dates for safety inspections and warranty expiry dates is a major task. But if you’re in the dark about all these vital details, how can you ensure you are doing all you can to prolong the life of your assets and plan for future maintenance, repair or renewal costs?
Planning is key to success in any role, especially facilities management. If you are aware that certain assets are nearing the end of their lifespan then you can ensure there is sufficient budget set aside to deal with breakdowns or replacements. If you can keep on top of services, then you’ll help to extend the life of your equipment. But how to do this when all the key information about your inventory is not contained in a single, easy access location?
The solution… how about if you could scan any piece of equipment – or any stock or valuable item or asset for that matter – and reveal via the screen of your handheld device all you need to know? Scan a photocopier to check how far into its lifespan it is. Scan a boiler to check when its next safety inspection and service is due. Scan a carpet to see when it was last deep cleaned. Imagine seeing warranty documents and emergency repair contacts just by scanning an item! The time savings are potentially huge.
The big reveal is coming; just one more challenge to cover.
Challenge 4: Time management
Time pressures are the facilities manager’s biggest bugbear. So much to do, so little time. Meetings; team management; budgeting and fending off floods of questions from the staff floor are all major drains on time.
You know the score only too well on this challenge, so let’s go straight to the solution, or rather solutions.
Firstly, with our solution to challenge number two, you have all the information you need for your budgeting and meetings right at your fingertips. So there’s no fishing through Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Access databases or Sage reports.
Secondly, with our solutions to challenges three and four, you are now tapping and scanning everything from meeting rooms and washrooms to photocopiers and boilers. So there’s no more rummaging through filing cabinets or hunting through spreadsheets or putting information requests in to department heads every time you need to know something. Or indeed chasing around to find someone to replenish the coffee.
And thirdly, well here’s a new one for you.
How about if you could save loads of time by helping staff to be more self-managed? So, instead of fielding all those questions about where the C4 envelopes are stored or how to change the toner cartridge in the HP printer, instead all of that information gets pre-programmed into chips that sit on those items, ready for staff to scan every time they need to know something. Phew! It would be like taking the lid off a pressure cooker, all those weights suddenly lifted!
The big reveal – the solutions to your facilities management challenges
The maxxpal X Cloud Platform is a suite of business tools aimed at making life easier for anyone with work related pressures to contend with, including the heavily burdened facilities manager.
AuditPoint has been developed using contactless tap-and-scan technology to streamline team communication by automating task allocation.
DataPoint delivers vital business intelligence to your fingertips, in real time.
AssetPoint is the ultimate digital asset register allowing you to tap, scan and keep track of your inventory effortlessly.
InfoPoint provides all you need to know about anything, directly to your handheld device.
You can secure your free demo of all these business streamlining tools by sending me a message. I look forward to hearing from you.
"These are certainly 4 costly and efficiency impacting challenges faced by property and facility managers which The X Cloud Platform helps to address. Facility Managers should be aware of the benefits that this effective business tool can deliver."Graham Johnson / East Anglia Business Manager, Let's Do Business Group
The maxxpal X Cloud Platform is readily accessible and customisable for businesses of ALL sizes. To learn more about how it could transform the way YOUR organisation operates, talk to us today
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