Facility managers know the importance of the role they play in a building's operation. But despite what some tenants and even administrators may think, facility management doesn't exist in a vacuum. Increasingly complex buildings and ever-changing industry regulations mean that it's more important than ever to make maintenance, inventory and energy management a building-wide concern.
The trick to improving operational efficiency of a building and its maintenance processes is to bring the same sense of significance that facility managers recognize to the c-suite. Administrators and executives who may have previously viewed facility management as a separate and distinct department must come to view the job of the FM as being an integral part of the building's operation. Here are some things to keep in mind, whether you're an administrator or a facility manager, to help raise awareness of the importance of operations management at the c-level.
Building administrators are understandably busy. As overseers of the facility and all its operations, they need to be aware of everything, from maintenance issues to personnel concerns to business needs. With this in mind, if facility managers want to bring maintenance and inventory issues to the attention of the c-level, they'll need to figure out a way to get noticed. Especially in a business setting, the most effective way to demonstrate value is, of course, through producing measurable results. When it comes to facility management, this means that tracking, recording and presenting information on how the building is operating is essential. Many aspects of daily operation, such as planned building maintenance and energy efficiency aren't just repair concerns - they have a direct impact on the bottom line of the facility as a whole. By defining energy efficiency and other operational goals in terms of how they affect the overall building revenue can be a great way to bring attention to the necessity of facility management building-wide.
There are two things that get attention when it comes to business operations - squeaky wheels and race horses. In other words, the problem areas tend to get special attention, while the standout performers get recognition. Facility management isn't always a language that executives and administrators speak fluently. Unfortunately, this means that even if you are achieving operational efficiency, your building's c-suite may not know it, and you may not be getting the attention you deserve. A simple way to overcome this is to present your accomplishments in terms that executives understand - namely, cost savings. If you can provide concrete information on how much money a proposed retrofit would save, or demonstrate how deferring a necessary equipment upgrade could end up costing in the long run, you're much more likely to get the attention of the people at the top. Fortunately, many technology-centric facility management tools, like CMMS, are perfect for not just collecting data, but presenting it in a way that is easy to understand, even for those who don't have a background in facility management.
For some tenants, employees and executives, the world of facility management can feel foreign and complicated. If administrators can't easily access or make sense of the information that's essential to maintaining operational efficiency, the chances that they'll make getting involved in these aspects of running the building a priority are much slimmer than if they feel like they can access everything they need to know. There are many paths to this goal, from implementing basic facility management training to integrating CMMS and other user-friendly tracking tools. This means that the c-suite will both understand the importance of paying attention to how a facility operates, as well as have the tools to monitor it for themselves.