Update: There is a newer, more extended article on this topic for the year 2020. Take a look!
Proper maintenance of facilities can be very complicated. With a constant stream of challenges and obstacles, identifying these issues and and establishing the most efficient and effective ways to overcome them is the key to remaining at the forefront of the industry.
In this article, we’ve created a list of the 5 biggest Facility Management challenges in 2018.
1. Controlling costs
In many companies, it’s common for facility managers to be asked to do astonishing amounts of work with fewer and fewer resources, and to have to accurately deal with budget constraints and strictly control expenses. How?
- By preparing for all costs when preparing budget estimates — fixed, variable, direct and indirect etc.;
- By tracking the items in your inventory;
- By selecting the best possible teams to carry out the projects;
- By negotiating prices with suppliers;
- By regular tracking maintenance costs and financial information;
- By considering some technological investments as value for money.
Even by becoming more environmentally friendly, FM operations can save money. It is a win-win solution that might include:
- Upgrading to automated buildings technologies, such as solar panels that will allow you to reduce energy waste;
- Considering simple practices, such as using more natural light;
- Moving to LED lighting;
- Integrating distributed energy resources (DER);
- Implementing low- and no-cost energy-efficiency measures, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
2. Coordinating teams
To make operations run smoothly, it is crucial to implement workplace practices that foster communication, organisation, productivity, and innovation.
Indeed, with today’s workplace becoming increasingly mobile and dynamic, an increasingly popular solution is to use a facilities management software that allows the work team to report failures, generate reports and check equipment history. The utility of such software is being understood more and more in the context of performing your daily tasks.
Adopting digital calendars is also a good way to stay on top of the team’s maintenance responsibilities and to plan the workload accordingly, working hand-in-hand with the team and making information faster
3. Handling failures
Assets maintenance is a complex process that requires a significant information flow and a quick call-to-action. Despite this being widely recognises, many facility managers don’t have access to a unique platform with centralised information, where they can check the status of all operations including any failures reports.
The solution may involve centralising all daily work and using mobile devices to register every failure and to manage and monitor the next steps in real-time.
Technology development brought many solutions that should be adopted by the maintenance team in order to make their work easier. Keeping track of requests can be a lot easier and it is mandatory for a perfectly running process.
It should also be noted that further progress in intelligent technology relating to concepts such as the IoT (Internet of Things) will pick up significantly in the next few months. Innovations like sensors will bridge the gap between manual and automatic systems, and will considerably change business in the future.
4. Maintaining aging equipment & facilities
The passage of time can be somewhat unforgiving on some pieces of equipment, with many starting to show signs of wear and tear after heavy usage. Although it is inevitable that most devices will need to be replaced eventually, it is important to remember that there are many measures of preventive and corrective maintenance that can be taken to slow down this process. Proper planning is essential to find ways to extend the life of existing assets and/or to coordinate the upcoming expenses.
Facility managers need to be aware of the effort and costs involved to prevent and correct a malfunctioning asset. Doing this well could see huge savings in the long run.
5. Managing time
Facility managers have very busy daily schedules. Having to juggle the coordination of teams and their workload, dealing with customer requests and emails and consulting vendors or suppliers with regards to stock. It makes for a very complicated routine which often benefits from anything that may alleviate this burden.
To overcome this problem, managers should consider utilising one of the many management software solutions that are now available. As well as making the planning and prioritisation processes of tasks easier, it can also assist you in supporting your team to do so as well. The result is a smoother and cleaner functioning business.
By electronically storing FM information on the ‘cloud’, you will have more instantly available answers to your frequently asked questions, and as we all know, saving time is saving money.
Infraspeak’s innovative platform makes overcoming these and many other management challenges easier than ever. Do you want to know how?
Take a look at our website and talk to one of our maintenance and infrastructure management specialists.