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Over the past few years, facilities management teams have faced unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Changing regulations, bringing a raft of new compliance requirements, budgets tightening, and of course, a global pandemic that fundamentally changed the way we work.
Heading into a new year, the world is continuing to change, and we continue to see facilities management evolve to meet changing needs.
Every day, we speak to facilities teams across different industries about their challenges and work with them to solve their problems. This insight puts us in a unique position to predict FM trends for 2023.
In this blog, we’ve put together a non-exhaustive list of what we think we’ll see more of this year, and what we’ll start to move away from.
Remaining compliant with various regulations has always been a challenge for facilities teams. The ever-growing list of obligations shows no sign of slowing, and so in 2023, facilities teams will have to change their approach to keep up.
With no more hours left to give, this year facilities teams will take a step back and look at not just what they’re doing, but how they’re doing it. A focus on process, and investing in the resources required to support those processes will be critical to compliance.
The past two years inflicted a huge degree of uncertainty on all of us, and that reactive approach has bled into many maintenance strategies. This year, facilities teams will begin to prioritise planned maintenance.
Shifting maintenance strategies in favour of planned, rather than reactive, is undeniably beneficial for businesses. However, for many teams, the challenge will be to strike the balance between “urgent” and “important” to keep planned maintenance schedules on track.
Leveraging the right technology will be key to creating a planned maintenance schedule that lasts the distance this year. Relying on spreadsheets or outlook reminders won’t be enough; dedicated facilities management software will be required to manage planned maintenance efficiently.
New data platforms present an exciting opportunity for facilities teams to provide visibility of their contributions and get a bigger bite of the budget. Previously, gaining the right data, and analysing it, was a long and arduous process that teams simply couldn’t fit into the working week.
Platforms like FMI Works have challenged this, arming FM teams with powerful insights at a glance. Easy-to-understand dashboards, and data collation ingrained in daily processes makes it easier than ever to communicate critical information to stakeholders.
Data can be a facilities team’s greatest asset, helping inform better decisions, offering visibility and streamlining operations. However, this is only possible if data is accurate and accessible.
Excessive reliance on manual data entry and keeping data in siloed platforms are two processes to leave behind in 2023. Gone are the days of physical files and complicated excel spreadsheets.
Bringing information like asset histories, contractor information and scheduled maintenance plans into one platform not only improves compliance, but saves a huge amount of time. Having this information available at the click of a button supports data-driven decision making, driving more bang for budget.
Between facility users sending in and following up requests, back-and forth with contractors for required documents, and bulk sending emails out to inform of upcoming works; some days feel like they’re consumed by endless emails.
In 2023, leave the endless emailing behind, by leveraging automation available in FMI Works to take some of the load.
Dashboards showing all open requests, automatic request acknowledgement and status updates alleviate manual emails, and help better manage stakeholder expectations. In the long run, this high-touch approach to communication helps to foster positive relationships with the broader business, built on transparency and trust.
Broadcast features allow you to email all facility users efficiently, notifying them of upcoming works. When those works are in progress, this same feature can be used to send status updates, pre-empting ongoing questions.
Finally, giving contractors appropriate access to your system, and allowing them to upload required documentation supports streamlined communications. They can see everything required in one place, and can upload directly into that system.
Sometimes, starting a new role is more like starting from scratch than transitioning. Stepping into a role where the majority of information is held in someone’s head is frustrating, and poses an extreme risk to the business.
Appropriate process documentation, accessible supporting resources and comprehensive asset histories can help to minimise this risk.
When we get busy, strategic work, such as process documentation and review, can often fall victim to more “urgent” works. To stop this happening requires a shift in thinking, however it’s not an insurmountable challenge for forward-thinking facilities teams.
It might feel like something that’s “not your problem”, but the benefits of making the shift extend far beyond making life easier for your future successor.
The information generated as a result of this work supports creating streamlined processes, and efficient ways of working. In 2023, let your focus be on working smarter, not harder, to fortify facilities management into the future.
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