Articles

More bang for your FM Budget

a facilities manager presents the economic arguments of FM software in front of a meeting room of other facilities professionals

When putting together your business case to procure facilities management software, it's important to bring the economic benefits to the forefront. The economic benefits of FM software, are those that create cost savings.

This might be doing more with fixed resources, reducing expenditure, or minimising financial risk to the business.

 

When starting to ideate the economic arguments for your business case, consider the end goal, or final “product” of the organisation. The economic arguments will be benefits allowing that goal to be attained while leveraging a consistent level of resource input.

Manage resources more efficiently

It’s an age-old problem, having to achieve more, with the same resources. The economic case for procuring facilities management software solves this, by creating a more efficient allocation of available resources.

Improve productivity through process

Leveraging facilities management software is far more effective than outdated, paper or excel based processes. From a business perspective, improvements in productivity are not just a nice to have, but a quantifiable benefit to the business.

 

The facilities have not been managing themselves up to this point, and therefore some processes must already exist. Key to creating an effective argument here is an understanding of all tasks, and the average time to complete each.

In short, how long do you spend on tasks that could be automated by use of facilities management software?

 

For example, say you spend 10 hours a month processing work requests via phone an email.

By leveraging facilities management software, you can significantly reduce the time spent manually processing requests. These recovered hours can then be redirected to other, potentially more valuable tasks.

In this infographic, we have calculated some of the most common cost savings we have seen with clients.

Start sweating your assets

Underemployment of resources occurs when an asset could be working to a capacity of x, but isn't. This is most likely due to unexpected breakdowns or underperformance.

 

Underperformance can be caused by two main factors. A decline in productivity from those operating the asset, or alternatively, the asset not performing as well as it could. If an asset is not performing, it is likely because of an unknown maintenance issue.

Assets with a lot of different components, can generally continue to work if one of those components is performing sub-optimally. This could mean that an asset has a fault nobody knows about, because on the surface, everything seems fine.

The impact, if not immediately seen through a reduction in output, can become apparent when the fault affects other components, causing major breakdowns.

The first step towards minimising underutilisation, is knowing what assets you have. From there, you can start to determine what state they’re in, and whether they’re working for you.

Leveraging facilities management software enables you to maintain a comprehensive asset register. Storing this register in the cloud means assets statuses can be updated as a condition report occurs, giving rise to real time, accurate information.

The result is an up-to-date asset register, offering a clear picture of assets, and their status. By storing asset history within the platform, you can obtain a clear picture of expenditure on that asset.

Being able to easily see what assets you have, how they’re performing, and how much they cost, you’re able to start working towards maximising their utility.

Shift towards value-adding activities

From logging work orders, contacting suppliers, and communicating with facility users, there’s no shortage of administrative tasks in facilities management.

While they are important, every minute you spend doing administrative tasks, is a minute you could be spending on more meaningful work. Extrapolate this across your entire team, and you’ll find hours lost every single week.

While these hours are technically being utilised, they could be reallocated to more fulfilling, value-adding activities.

Leveraging facilities management software allows you to automate many administrative tasks.

For example, consider the impact of digitising the work order process.

When leveraging an appropriate solution, work orders can be logged directly into the platform, notifying relevant team members. Statuses are updated in the platform, so everyone knows what is happening, when.

Automated notifications can be pushed out to facility users, negating the need for follow up emails and manual status updates.

By streamlining your work order management and communications processes, you’ll recover hours back in your day. With the additional hours back in your day, liberated from administrative tasks, you can start to create real organisational change.

Those hours back in your day can help to reduce stress, and restore work-life balance.

Minimise unplanned downtime

No matter what industry you’re in, downtime of critical equipment is something best avoided.

Without leveraging facilities management software, maintenance strategy is much more reliant on a reactive maintenance model, rather than preventive.

Inherent in reactive maintenance is a lack of control over when breakdowns, and associated downtime, occurs.

Reducing unexpected breakdowns

For example, say an elevator breaks down unexpectedly, after months of deferred preventative works. All facility users have to be rerouted to another elevator, drastically increasing the traffic there.

This now means it takes longer for facility users to get where they need to go, and creates additional complications with social distancing requirements.

While this is all happening, you’re trying to field complaints from facility users, and implementing a resolution for the broken elevator. This unplanned breakdown, correlated with a reliance on reactive maintenance, has now caused yourself and your facility users significant inconvenience.

In the alternative scenario, leveraging facilities management software, you’re able to pre plan and schedule regular works on that asset at a time where disruption is minimised.

While we can never completely eliminate the risk of unexpected breakdowns, we can mitigate that risk through planned and preventive maintenance.

By minimising service disruption, you’re ensuring the business can provide customers with a consistently positive experience. These positive experiences over time, become positive sentiment, and increases the changes that your customers will become brand advocates, bringing in additional business by expanding the customer base.

Better control of maintenance costs

Without adhering to a planned preventive maintenance schedule, you run the risk of assets prematurely expiring. When assets break, and need repairs, they can deteriorate faster than they otherwise would.

For some assets, a run to failure approach is completely fine (eg. lightbulbs), for other assets (eg. HVAC), untimely replacements can be a costly undertaking.

By spending small amounts of money regularly to care for your assets, you reduce the overall lifetime cost of those assets.

Budget benefits

Unplanned breakdowns come with unplanned expenses. Depending on availability of replacements, you could end up paying more for some assets to reduce downtime.

By leveraging facilities management software, budget forecasting becomes much more predictable. Additionally, with those full asset histories readily available, you can easily reference past expenses to predict the cost of replacement.

For more advanced users, forecasting can even go as far to predict breakdowns before they happen. This makes future expenditure far more predictable and manageable.

Real time information, accessible by key stakeholders, makes reporting expenditure a breeze. Rather than finance having to chase up receipts and invoices from individuals, all information is available via a central repository.