Plan18 – Planning for more effective FM

At the end of 2017, Cloudfm brought together a group of forward-thinking facilities professionals, to discuss the potential challenges of the forthcoming year and consider some possible solutions.

During the session, discussion focused on three main areas– all three are important building blocks of effective FM.

Communication

The first topic was achieving effective communication across all levels of the business.

Participants highlighted the disconnect that can arise between the different business functions that have an interest in FM. In particular, finance teams often lack clarity around the reasons for FM spend, and the actual return on that investment. This can put unnecessary pressure on FM budgets and providers, adversely impacting employees and the customer experience.

Our attendees highlighted how better data, and better promotion of that data by facilities managers, can drive constructive dialogue and more effective budget management.

Capital Expenditure

The second priority identified by our group was managing capital expenditure in FM.

An ongoing upgrade programme is key to the long-term effectiveness of an organisation’s facilities. However, some facilities teams struggle to align that priority with those of their company’s finance team.

Several of our participants described how the ability to make a business case using both quantitative and qualitative data is key to creating momentum behind capital upgrade work.

Identifying root cause

The uninitiated often think of FM as simply fixing things that have broken. A more sophisticated approach looks for ways to prevent things from breaking. But a truly effective approach to FM will look for ways to reduce both reactive and preventative maintenance, identifying and addressing the root causes of above-average maintenance and repair needs.

Attendees at our event identified specific remedies to several well-known maintenance challenges in facilities management, and all attested to the benefits of investing in long-term solutions to recurring problems – even those that are sometimes accepted as ‘unavoidable’.

Outcome

The resulting paper explores these three themes in more detail, and sets out the thoughts of our seminar attendees – on how key FM challenges manifest themselves in organisations, and on how they can be tackled.

If you’re interested in building a more effective facilities management business function, then it’s well worth a read. You can see the full paper here.