In a world where change is constant, the need for streamlined and effective facilities management (FM) is more crucial than ever. As we push forward into 2023, facilities management teams across the globe are finding innovative ways to navigate the evolving terrain of their industry. Today, we feature five key strategies that successful FM teams are employing, ensuring they do more with less.
Hat tip to IFMA for many of these stats and insights ;)
1. Adopt Smart Technology for Facilities Management
The explosion of smart technology has significantly influenced how FM teams operate. It is no longer just about managing physical spaces; it has evolved into a digitized, data-driven approach.
The rub? While 78% of FM decision-makers have deployed smart-building solutions according to a recent survey, "over a third (38%) say they lack the skills and talent to integrate the required data science into their smart building platforms."
At Trebellar, we see this everyday: teams have a seemingly endless array of data sources, but the process of turning this data into insights and time-saving automations remains... difficult, to say the least.
Tip: as you assess new smart FM technologies, make sure you include assessment criteria for ease of use. What new training will be required? What day-to-day behaviors must change? Is the software easy to use? Are insights delivered in a way that meshes with your existing workflows? Or does the system require a wholesale change to, say, your ticketing system?
2. Focus on Sustainability
Sustainability is at the forefront of facility management – and commercial real estate more broadly. Driven by both ethical reasons and the desire to reduce operating costs, FM teams are adopting various green initiatives.
Despite the best of intentions, a lot of work remains to be done. According to CBRE's recent Occupier Outlook, 38% of CBRE clients have adopted Net Zero commitments and a similar share have strategies to meet their carbon reduction goals.
While many strategies are out there, we see value in progressing down the following path: Measure > Report > Analyze > Mitigate. If your organization is in the early innings of a sustainability effort, it's tempting to skip ahead to the "mitigate" stage – this is where carbon emissions are reduced, offset, or eliminated. But without completing the first two steps, your sustainability initiatives are likely to stall.
For corporate clients, the Measure > Report > Mitigate journey might look like the following:
Measure - Put in place a method to consistently measure the operating activities that generate carbon emissions: building mechanical, lighting, HVAC, communting, etc.
Report - Establish a regular reporting cadence to deliver information on baselines to key stakeholders.
Analyze - Apply statistical anlaysis, ideally on an on-going/automated basis, to identify key trends, anomalies, areas for improvement.
Mitigate - Use the insights gleaned from the previous step to inform mitigation strategies, whether it means a broader embrace of hybrid work, clean-power contracts, offsets and insets, preventive maintenance, or more-efficient services indexed to demand (e.g., custodial and HVAC programmed against occupancy).
Final note: a benefit of this progression is, often, you'll identify some low-hanging fruit. For example, one of Trebellar's customers was able to hibernate 2 entire office floors with no impact to overall employee experience.
3. Invest in Employee Training and Development
For many organizations, 2023 has been a year of belt-tigthening. As a result, many FM and workplace teams are stretched thin – especially amid the acceleration of return to office (RTO).
Amid these trends, it's important to remember that successful FM teams understand that their greatest asset is their people. According to the IFMA, companies with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than those without. In response, more organizations are investing in comprehensive training and development programs.
Upskilling staff to navigate new technologies, sustainability practices, and asset management strategies results in more efficient, productive, and satisfied employees, leading to overall improvements in facilities management.
4. Leverage Data and Analytics
Big Data and analytics are redefining the way facilities are managed. A data-driven approach allows for predictive maintenance, energy management, and space utilization, which can drastically reduce operating costs.
According to IFMA member Marshal MacFarlane, organizations that effectively leverage data and analytics can reduce their maintenance costs by up to 30%. With predictive maintenance, potential issues can be detected and rectified before they escalate into costly repairs.
5. Implement Workplace Wellness Programs
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the dynamics of the workplace, emphasizing the importance of employee health and wellness. FM teams are reconfiguring workplaces to encourage social distancing, improving ventilation systems, and ensuring regular sanitization. Moreover, facilities are being equipped with amenities such as fitness centers, outdoor spaces, and relaxation zones to promote employee well-being.
The future of facilities management is here, and it is dynamic, sustainable, and human-centric. By leveraging smart technology, focusing on sustainability, investing in employee training, utilizing data, and prioritizing wellness, FM teams are indeed "doing more with less" and setting a new standard in the industry. The winning strategies of today are poised to shape the landscape of facilities management for years to come.