Facility Dude

Facility managers balance the books for better budgets

By Kate Donnelly
Sep 08, 2014

Facilities Management, Industry News

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In addition to addressing maintenance concerns and tracking inventory, staying on top of budget is a significant part of facility management. 

Facility managers balance the books for better budgets But between inventory, preventive maintenance and capital planning, making sure all necessary services have sufficient financial allocation can prove challenging. Poor economic conditions aside, the multiple facility services and systems that require some sort of financial upkeep can tax resources that may already be stretched thin. Today's successful FM will need to have a clear handle on what budgetary demands exist, as well as equip himself with the tools to assist with budget management. 

Economic strain

Unfortunately for FMs, the recent economic recession imposed even greater restrictions on facilities budgets. As Buildings.com reported, budget increases or even stagnation have been disproportionately offset by other factors, including rising costs of maintenance and parts. As a result, even though budgets may not have actually gotten smaller, facilities are still finding themselves in the position of having to do more, or even the same amount, with less. Thus, to prevent lapses in service or preventive maintenance, tools that can provide new levels of efficiency to budget management are needed.

Turning to technology

Some of the same building automation systems and CMMS that assist FMs with day-to-day operations can also be used to balance the books. For example, close analysis of inventory expenditures can shine a light on money potentially being wasted on ineffective or redundant purchasing. Similarly, tracking resource usage, be it power consumption or water usage, can alert FMs to inefficient or damaged equipment that could be repaired or replaced to save money in the long run.

Of course, they say the unexamined life is not worth living, and the same is true of an unexamined budget. In other words, The most effective budgets require careful auditing along multiple timelines and taking different parameters into account. Facility management blog Managing the Built Environment outlined several perspectives that could provide valuable insight into budgetary allocation. For example, knowing your facility's expenditures from the previous year can give you a baseline of expected expenses, while looking to the upcoming year's planned maintenance and predicting potential corrective maintenance measures that need to be taken can give you an idea of the type of spending you're going to need coverage for.

These perspectives can help the decision-making process. Documenting and recording these expenditures and projections can help you decide where cutbacks can occur or which services can be deferred. For example, if you're spending an abnormal amount on keeping restroom inventory stocked, this is a potential area that could see budgetary revamping to augment a more needed operation.

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