Ensuring proper maintenance of infrastructures is not an easy task, as there are always new emerging challenges and constraints. The key is to identify these issues and set the most efficient and effective ways to overcome them, always with the industry’s cutting-edge trends in mind.
In this article, we’ve created a top list of the 5 biggest Facility Management challenges in 2018 that aim to guide and help you make the best decisions.
1. Controlling costs
In many companies, it’s common for facility managers to be pressured to do more with less, having to accurately deal with budget constraints and strictly control expenses. How?
- By considering all types of costs when preparing budget estimates — fixed, variable, direct and indirect;
- By tracking inventory;
- By selecting the best teams to carry out the projects;
- By negotiating prices with suppliers;
- By keeping a regular track of 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
In order to make operations run smoothly, it is crucial to implement workplace practices that foster a constant flow of communication, organization, knowledge sharing, productivity, and innovation.
As today’s workforce is mobile, the perfect scenario is choosing a web-based facilities management software that allows the work team to report failures, generate automatic reports, check equipment history and more. This is incredibly useful in any operational task, from room maintenance issues to cost management.
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
After all, the facility managers (and team) should be the number one problem solvers.
3. Handling failures
Assets maintenance is a complex process that asks for a rigorous information flow and a quick call-to-action. Even so, many facility managers don’t have access to a unique platform with centralized information, where they can check the status of all operations, including failures reports.
The solution might involve centralizing all daily work, 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 progress in intelligent technology is expected in the coming years, such as IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, which will enable automation of even more activities, such as failures reporting.
4. Maintaining aging equipment & facilities
As time goes by, equipment and building structures begin to get old and to show some technical problems. Although it is inevitable that, at some point, assets have to be replaced, preventive and corrective maintenance can be a precious help. 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 prevent, correct and replace equipment, counting all the associated costs, so they should also save a piece of their budget for emergency replacements and repairs.
5. Managing time
Facility managers have a lot to do every day — coordinating teams, attending meetings, answering urgent emails, consulting vendors or suppliers, among other regular tasks. There are also workers with questions all the time and unpredictable issues to solve.
To better overcome this problem, we should take advantage of technology developments. Besides making planning and prioritizing tasks easier, it can be helpful in managing a wide range of locations in a simple and fast way.
Having FM information stored electronically, i.e. cloud-based, will help to automatically answer frequent questions, to set up what has to be done first and to organize time. And as we all know: saving time is saving money.
Overcoming these challenges is easier than you think with Infraspeak. Do you want to know how?
Take a look at our website and talk with one of our maintenance and infrastructure management specialists.