As you know, facility managers (FMs) have made enormous strides in their profession. They’ve become advocates for creating more sustainable buildings and raised their profiles within their organizations -- providing insight into higher-level discussions on building construction, business continuity, and supply chain management strategies, to name a few. However, as they evaluate areas for improvement in 2011 – there is one theme that consistently rises to the top: doing more with less.
In working with hundreds of facilities nationwide to implement facility & cleaning/sustainability programs, experts from Staples Facility Solutions have compiled the “Top Five FM Priorities for 2011”, which include:
1) Gain control over spending – As companies look to reduce spending, CFOs have turned to the one area of their supply chain that offers the best opportunity for cost reduction: the indirect supply chain. Indirect spending on goods and services in areas like FM has largely gone under the radar. FMs are now scrutinizing their processes to find ways they can consolidate vendor relationships and be smarter in the types of products they do purchase. For instance, some cleaning products not only cost less, they are also green-certified and can serve multiple purposes.
2) Achieve sustainable building requirements on a budget – While LEED/LEED EBOM certification is a long-term goal for many facilities, it is a highly labor-intensive and expensive process that many FMs and building owners can’t pursue. However, achieving a sustainable building remains a top priority and FMs are educating themselves on how to implement LEED strategies and other less costly methods for creating a healthier and greener facility, without getting the actual certification.
3) Leverage technology to create a more streamlined process – In recent years, FMs have seen how e-commerce and procurement technologies have helped many organizations streamline processes and eliminate laborious paper-driven purchasing tasks. While the FM industry has traditionally lagged in this area, e-commerce is quickly gaining momentum as a key tool for driving down the cost of goods and services and automating purchasing across locations.
4) Reevaluate cleaning strategies – Times have changed, and traditional cleaning methods may not suffice. Many FMs are turning to outside auditors that can bring an expert perspective on ways to save money.
5) Retain employees – Human capital management has become more important. Employee turnover in the facility management industry is extremely high and FMs are looking for ways to retain valuable employees, which can significantly cut back on reducing the cost of training new employees.