The top 5 facility management challenges


Article FM by Church Executive.

Publicado por FAMASE el 28/12/2015 (ENG)

News#533 Article FM.

HALLENGE #5: VENDOR MANAGEMENT — allocating work to the right vendors

Outsourcing is a big challenge; namely, companies trying to figure out their strategy for the amount of work they self-perform versus the amount they manage through vendors.

While this topic hasn’t disappeared, it’s not the driver behind operational change. According to the Director of Facilities at one restaurant chain: “Outsourcing work is a given — we know we’re always going to do it to some degree. It’s dealing with the changing amount of work, and the churn in our pool of vendors, that’s the challenge.”

Summary from survey: Improved vendor management increases the control you have over your operations. By implementing price controls, you can reduce your costs.

What facility managers are doing:

Making vendor decisions based on accumulated performance feedback

Recording and comparing information on vendor pricing

Maintaining searchable records of vendor certifications

Conclusion for Challenge #5: There are a many details to address when considering vendors and the real cost of using outside vendors, as well as staff resources. Also, be vigilant about the insurance.


About 30 percent of survey respondents consider the capture of reliable data as one of the top two pressing needs in their organizations. This proved to be the case for both larger and smaller companies, although for somewhat different reasons.

Facility managers and directors of larger firms expressed the need to capture relevant historical data across all facilities and vendor types to make strategic decisions and to report out accurately on maintenance and repair spending.

Summary from survey: Capturing — and then using — the information associated with all your service and maintenance work equips you make informed, effective business decisions.

What facility managers are doing:

Comparing spending trends across their organizations to target areas of waste

Using historical repair data to inform new equipment and warranty purchase decisions

Monitoring real-time progress on important repair work

Conclusion for Challenge #4: Historical and real-time data is critical to the understanding of past costs / trends, downtime and projection of costs for our ministry facilities. Develop or buy a system that can track this kind of data, or partner with someone who can do this for you. An Excel spreadsheet won’t likely work unless you have a very small facility.

Be proactive, and don’t “guess” about the past, current and future costs required to maintain the resources and tools God has provided.


For nearly every company surveyed, increased workload was among the top three concerns. Given these belt-tightening times, it’s no surprise.

One factor contributing to the increased burden on facility management teams is the reduction in field technician staffing. This might seem counterintuitive; however, as budget cuts move more work to vendors, the burden of vendor recruitment, selection and management falls to the facility management organization.

Summary from survey: Doing more with fewer resources isn’t a temporary situation; in a competitive market, you’ll always have pressure to keep operational costs as low as possible. To succeed in this environment, you need tools that extend your reach and productivity.

What facility managers are doing:

Moving away from ad hoc communications by phone, fax and email

Sharing a common platform with their clients and vendors to electronically process work requests

Automating vendor job routing via intelligent systems

Conclusion for Challenge #3: Develop, buy or subscribe to a system that allows you to communicate with your vendors (not as the only form of communication) and tracks their ETA, pricing, insurance and performance.

Analyze how you will address the need to get more done with less — and if outsourcing is an option that can reduce cost and give you — the professional facility manager / administrator — the time to be strategic, not tactical.

Finally, don’t be lulled into thinking your vendors will never go out of business or stop wanting to serve your facility. Remember: the only constant is change. Be prepared.

More info and original published by  │Church Executive


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