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This week we will look at the 5th and final Part of our series on the Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges.

Today we are going to look at the NUMBER 1 challenge (to see the first 4 parts…go to our BLOG.) As a reminder, the research we are quoting from was published by Corrigo, Inc who specializes in work order and time tracking solutions. There article lists the Top 5 Facilities Management challenges based on a survey they conducted of over 1,200 companies.

Challenge #1 SAVING MONEY

#1 for this year was, without a doubt, saving money. When asked how they would like to accomplish this objective, the responses of facility managers tended to be grouped into one of three general categories:

Call avoidance
“I’m not sure how many unnecessary service calls we’ve paid for this year,” said one facility manager, “but the number is greater than zero and that’s too many.” The logical first place to look for repair call savings is in avoiding them altogether – or at least as much as possible. One way companies are doing this is through the implementation of self-help systems. Clients at remote facilities can access basic troubleshooting information before sending out a work request, and managers at central operations can intercept work requests that most likely can be dealt with internally. “Our managers were always calling in with the complaint, ‘The ice machine is broken,’” said one facility manager for a large franchisee operation. “It became just about a weekly routine – I would say, ‘Hold the phone near the machine,’ and when I didn’t hear the compressor – which I just about never did – I told them politely, ‘OK – now I need you to go behind the machine and plug it in.’” While this doesn’t represent an automated self-help system, that is the idea behind them, and it’s a good idea!

Warranty work management
This category represents low-hanging fruit for the facility manager looking to save money – do not pay for work that is under warranty . As simple as this sounds, tracking the warranty coverage on the large number of complex assets and equipment is a complex task. But the cost of a management system can often be returned to you several fold just by knowing what is covered by warranty and not paying for repairs when you don’t have to.

Price control
While planned maintenance work, by definition, can be budgeted with some degree of accuracy, and prices can be prearranged for regularly scheduled services such as janitorial and landscaping, it is also possible and highly recommended that facility managers set pricing guidelines with their reactive repair vendors. Just because repair work is unpredictable and unscheduled does not mean that you don’t have control over it. Establishing prearranged pricing with your all your vendors, including not-to-exceed limits that require your authority to over-ride, gives you a level of control over the unpredictable nature of facility.

Facility Management may be considered a cost center, but it also holds tremendous potential to impact a company’s profitability. A dollar saved by a facility management team goes directly to the bottom line. Which is why cost savings is the bottom line concern for facility management professionals.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Avoiding unnecessary repair costs through client self-help systems and knowledge bases
• Flagging all assets and equipment under warranty to prevent unnecessary payment
• Establishing and monitoring not-to-exceed pricing agreements with vendors

Does your church meet in a facility (rented or owned)? Do you believe God has entrusted the care and stewarding of those facilities to you (or your church)? Are you proactive and intentional with these efforts? If any of these relate to you, then you need to get your copy of the Intentional Church Series: Facility Stewardship Manual.

Tim Cool
Chief Executive Officer
Tim Cool is the President and CEO of Smart Church Solutions and takes great pride in helping churches optimize their facilities. When he’s not at the helm of his company, he’s dedicated to his family, being a husband to Lisa and a father to 27-year-old triplets. An enthusiast of the outdoors, Tim enjoys the simplicity of hiking in the North Carolina mountains.