How Great Facilities Management Makes a Difference

A group of faciliites managers celebrate around a table, high fiving and smiling

This year, on May 10, facilities teams around the world recognise World FM Day, with the theme “making a difference”. Over the past few years, organisations have started to realise the benefits of investing in facilities management.

In celebration of the teams performing the work, in this blog, we outline 5 key benefits organisations can realise by investing in facilities management.  

Improving business continuity

In many businesses, the facilities, and assets within them, are critical to the delivery of their core products or services. If one or more key asset was to fail, or part of a facility was rendered inaccessible, service delivery could be interrupted or cease completely.

Some assets may play a bigger role in service delivery than the broader business may realise. For example, if a boom gate in a parking garage stops working, it will significantly impede access to the facility by clients.

This could result in several hours where the business is unable to deliver core services. At best, this causes inconvenience for all involved, and at worse, could affect the reputation and customer retention for the business. In either scenario, revenue is negatively impacted to some degree.

Although the nature of facilities operations means that problems will inevitably occur, great facilities teams can significantly reduce the risk of unplanned interruptions to service delivery.

By performing planned maintenance on key assets, the risk of those assets unexpectedly failing is reduced. Better still, teams who have visibility over the assets’ history can make informed decisions on asset repair vs replacement ahead of time.

When major work is required on a key asset, this can be scheduled outside of key service delivery times, minimising the impact on the end customer. For the business, this results in happier customers, and a more predictable revenue stream.

Happier, healthier employees

One of the primary goals of facilities management is to create a safe environment for facility users. Shifting towards a safer environment inherently reduces risk by making it less likely that an incident will occur within that facility.

Factors like air flow and cleaning processes can impact the health of employees. Great facilities management can go further than just reducing exposure to physical pathogens.

While safety is always the first priority, forward-thinking facilities teams are going a step further.

The past few decades have seen a flood of studies on how the environment in which employees conduct work correlates with the quality of that work. These days, it is broadly accepted that happier employees are more productive.

With mental health and psychosocial conditions becoming important considerations for the workplace, creating a comfortable, welcoming environment is critical to employee wellbeing. An important part of creating a positive, productive environment, is the provision of great facilities.

For facilities teams, this means considering comfort factors, workspace inclusivity and accessibility. These “invisible” influences, while not front of mind for most facility users, can make a significant difference at the individual level.

Reducing exposure to risk

Between Workplace Health and Safety regulations, council regulations and industry-specific requirements, there’s a huge amount of information facilities teams need to manage. Appropriate record keeping is key to reducing the risk of non-compliance with regulations.

The material consequence of non-compliance changes between industries and organisations. In some industries, such as healthcare, reporting also becomes key to business continuity, being necessary to attain licences required to trade.

Failure to meet compliance requirements can result in a complete cessation of business operations. For all organisations, the ability to prove they are doing all the right things is absolutely critical.

Great facilities management keeps this all-important information accessible and on demand, to enable better informed decision making to control the risk the business is exposed to. By streamlining key data and compliance processes, facilities teams can significantly understand, manage, and ultimately reduce the risk profile of the organisation.

Reduced capital expenditure

Throughout their useful life, assets will usually require maintenance to keep them operating smoothly. At the end of their useful life, those assets will usually require replacement.

Great facilities management is supported with data that provides insights into asset performance. Unexpected breakdowns of assets not only cause business disruption, but are generally more expensive than planned, preventive maintenance.

By implementing a planned maintenance strategy for key assets, expenditure over the lifetime of the asset is significantly reduced. Additionally, planned maintenance can extend the overall life of the asset, resulting in reduced capital expenditure on asset replacement.

Reduced environmental impact

Across the world, organisations are being compelled to consider their carbon footprint, and move towards net zero.

Before organisations can actively work to reduce their carbon footprint however, they first need to understand that footprint. Great facilities management offers organisations a clear picture of what assets they have, and what condition they’re in.

The data that supports strategic decisions around asset repair vs replacement can also support an understanding of environmental impacts. Knowing when assets are likely to reach the end of their useful life creates an opportunity to make an informed decision on their replacement.

Well documented processes can support efficient asset disposal, so when assets are retired, they can be disposed of in a manner that minimises environmental impact.