Facilities Management (FM) is an ever changing industry, which requires continuous adaptation to these changes within organizations. Some companies are not aware of the impact of FM and do not hire a dedicated person and even assign FM tasks to a person in another department (finance, logistics). This approach often comes ‘bundled’ with the lack of an FM budget, of specialized subcontractors and of the tools needed to manage them. Of course these are extreme cases. But a lot of challenges in FM cause organizations to make a number of critical mistakes for their operations.
Here are the four common mistakes that companies make in Facilities Management:
Reactive actions instead of a proactive FM policy
Planned maintenance is far less costly in the medium term than a repair policy only when the equipment is damaged. The occurrences of malfunctions that can block the company’s activity or generate very long repair times bring high costs that have not been taken into account. The use of an instrument such as a computerized maintenance plan, access to which is provided by the FM contractor itself, can lead to accurate planning of the activity, reduced risk of damage, cost planning and extended service life. Communication provides customers with an excellent service delivery experience
- Lack of a policy regarding the management of FM providers
Often, organizations have not set up processes for selecting, managing and paying the FM contractors. This can cause problems that may have negative repercussions on the company’s operations, such as:
- Legal repercussions – If contractors which do not meet the relevant compliance requirements when selected, in particular those relating to hiring personnel and complying with occupational safety.
- Commercial repercussions – If there are no clearly defined service level agreements (SLAs) with FM partners, delays in response time and completion of work may occur. Without SLAs at every stage of the equipment lifecycle, there may be a number of problems in the “beneficiary-contractor” relationship.
- Reputational repercussions – Failure to pay contractors in a timely manner may affect the professional relationship in time and generate a lack of confidence and a negative reputation of the company in the market.
It is important to create a proper management flow of contractors and to establish detailed SLAs. Providing positive and constructive feedback can improve the relation between the contracting parties, as well as rapid invoicing and clear communication. Also, implementing a specialized automation software platform is very useful to create a database of essential service information. Interested companies may request the subcontractor to provide such a platform.
- Using a software platform to analyze FM data
Many Facilities Management companies still analyze all data in Excel. This can work in the short run, but managers quickly realize that the amount of data they have is too high, and the result is scalable and may have errors. To prevent losses, FM teams need frequent access to accurate data and a simplified communication method.
FM managers need to integrate a software platform with advanced analysis capabilities into existing processes. Specialty technology collects, integrates, organizes and evaluates data from various sources, automatically and precisely, allowing data transparency and generating clear reports. These platforms can customize reporting dashboards based on user priorities such as asset performance, compliance with contractors, or cost developments. In this way, it is possible to identify the trends, models and key values within the data sets and use this information to make the decisions.
- Allocation of insufficient resources to manage FM services
In some cases, organizations do not allocate the necessary resources to manage the facilities, be they budget, labor or technology. In fact, it is not uncommon for one person to be responsible for all plant operations, even for organizations with multiple locations. This lack of resources and focus can affect operations. It can lead to less proactivity and to maintaining low efficiency but also high spending.
By using a software platform, the number of resources allocated for facility management can be maintained. In addition, using automation can reduce FM operations and long-time tasks such as work order programming and vendor compliance confirmation. Automating FM processes can be done at all locations in a single dashboard, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and creating a central FM data base across the organization.
* * *