Facility Dude

Your budget shouldn’t be a surprise

By Kate Donnelly
Dec 11, 2014

Maintenance, Facilities Management

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Your operations budget shouldn't be a secret holiday surprise The holiday season is rife with secrets and surprises - gift boxes, presents and unplanned family get-togethers. While many of us love seasonal surprises to remain hidden until the last minute for maximum effect, there's one thing that you definitely shouldn't keep concealed inside a box - your budget.

As facilities get larger and more complex, and the systems and equipment they contain grow more complicated, it will be more important than ever for facility managers to focus not just on building maintenance, but budget as well. Especially in older facilities that may require retrofits or capital improvement in the near future, keeping a close eye on spending rather than approximating will help plan more effectively and efficiently.

Why budget tracking matters

Staying on top of your facility's maintenance expenses isn't the sole purview of the accounting department. In fact, the upgrades, retrofits and even corrective and preventive maintenance operations you'll be able to complete in the coming months or years will depend largely on how fastidious you are with your budget tracking.

Health Facilities Management magazine highlighted the importance of transparency - one of the most important factors in budget planning. When not just FMs, but building administrators as well are able to see exactly what is going where and when, it will be easier for FMs to make informed decisions about which expenditures are realistic in the near future. More to the point, it may also make acquiring approval for the proposed budgets from administrators easier, since they will have a clearer picture of how the money is being used. In other words, transparent and stringent record-keeping regarding the budget is a simple way for FMs to create value for their administrators.

Technology is becoming a primary tool

The good news for facility managers is that new technology tools are emerging that make budget tracking simple and accurate. Some facilities have already experimented with CMMS for maintenance tracking and keeping on top of work orders, but such a tool is also valuable for monitoring spending. It allows FMs and maintenance teams to update costs in real time, rather than relying on budgets built primarily on estimation. 

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