We believe that the priority as a facility manager is building occupant health, safety, comfort, and overall well-being. If you take care of the building and all its systems, the occupants will thrive.
This becomes increasingly challenging to manage when you have multiple buildings that are geographically dispersed across a region. If you are in the position of managing the facilities in such a portfolio, you will likely relate to the follow list of challenges.
We get it. And we have some pointers…
Having a presence at all sites on a regular basis.
When buildings are dispersed, inspections often fall to the wayside for a variety of reasons – most of them due to a perceived lack of time. Experiencing the environment with your own expert senses on a regular basis is necessary to stay astute to potential issues. Additionally, building occupants want to see the facility manager present as it gives them a sense of comfort and assurance that the building they spend significant time in is well cared for.
FM Pro Tip: Schedule a walk-through once a month at minimum. Several factors will impact the frequency of on-site visits required. By being on site, you can be more proactive, which will afford you more time in the end.
Mechanical, security, and life safety systems and equipment have a significant impact on building occupant’s health, safety, comfort, and overall well-being. In a perfect world, the building systems across the portfolio would all integrate into a centralized location. The ability to monitor these systems remotely offers immediate action when these systems are not functioning properly.
FM Pro Tip: Monitor energy consumption across multiple sites to drive cost savings.
Monitoring and tracking of work orders.
Like system integrations, the more centralized information is, the easier it will be to manage. An organized work order system will allow facility managers to prioritize and assign work.
FM Pro Tip: Read our 8 Reasons to Keep Thorough Track of Work Orders.
Depth in trade coverage.
For a single building in an urban area, a small list of trade contractors can cover the needs of your building – even in an emergency. For companies with properties that are geographically dispersed, that list of contractors needs to be much longer to cover the needs of all properties. There may also be a shortage of trade contractors available in more rural areas.
FM Pro Tip: Source multiple contractors to cover each of your core trades in each of your markets: Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical, and Handyman. Continuously build your contact list so you have backup resources in case of emergency.
Balancing varying cultures and occupant expectations.
Every building is unique and so are the occupants. The key to success is in constant communication of your expectations, often in the form of a formal facility department related training.
FM Pro Tip: Host regular training and retraining on how to submit work orders, who the facility point of contact is, and what response times to expect.
Items pop up over the course of the day that are not always in our control. Emergencies, last minute event set up, and unexpected repairs can all throw off our schedule. Spread this across sites and geography and imagine how quickly a day is consumed by reactive work.
FM Pro Tip: Be proactive. Plan ahead. Keep your priorities straight. And always schedule flexible time for reactive work. Most importantly, according to one of our own seasoned Facility Managers…
“Don’t promise the impossible.” – Frank P.
If you’re struggling in any of these areas, it’s time to conduct a facilities assessment. ONE SOURCE is here to help! Call today to schedule a FREE facilities assessment conducted by our expert team.