facility management tips

5 Facility Management Tips for Facility Manager Success

When you’re in charge of an entire building, including systems, equipment, grounds, infrastructure, and equipment, you have a wide variety of tasks to tackle each day. But facility managers need to know more than how to spot infrastructure problems or maintain the office grounds. As a facility manager, you need to have big-picture knowledge. That should include an understanding of how occupants use their buildings, and how they are regulated by local communities. You should also understand how to manage time to make sure everything continues to work properly. Beyond technical knowledge, here are some of the most important facility management tips you should know.

Facility Management Tips

1. How facility management efforts fit into company goals

Just as with any job, the most successful employees will be the ones who don’t just get their own tasks completed on time, but also figure out how to make the business as a whole more successful. In terms of facility management, this often means a combination of the following tasks:
  • reducing operational costs as much as possible
  • making sure that employees have a good place to get their work done so that they can help the company succeed
  • taking the initiative to improve buildings so that they make a better impression on guests and employees alike
All of these tasks are helped by having a general understanding of the company’s values. For example, if the company prioritizes being environmentally friendly, special attention should be paid to making energy-saving upgrades. If their brand is modern and tech-forward, this means facility managers could be researching and suggesting modernization tools such as digital displays and visitor check-in software. (For more on visitor management systems, including how to choose one for your building, get the complete guide here.) Big-picture thinking also requires empathizing with visitors and employees. For example, fixing problematic heating/cooling issues or sounds that interrupt work, or even increasing natural light to boost productivity. There are many ways that a facility manager can operate with the organization’s best interests in mind.

2. Create a proactive facility plan

The biggest obstacles for facility managers are often due to breakages, stoppages, and other unexpected problems with equipment or infrastructure. These kinds of issues tend to be distracting and urgent, and many of them could have been prevented with proactive maintenance. The best facility managers understand how to manage a schedule that will help them stay ahead of maintenance on each of their buildings’ equipment and systems. The maintenance schedules for these systems within a building can be viewed in calendar form so facility managers can easily see exactly when equipment is due for maintenance. The best facility managers also use standardized procedures, such as checklists, to do maintenance tasks correctly each time. Along the same lines, facility managers should also have a plan for tracking the supplies and equipment that they need to keep the building safe and operational, including cleaning supplies and spare parts for equipment. They also keep good records of their maintenance and of any issues. With this kind of data, building facility managers can get more proactive with their maintenance by looking for trends, patterns, and other insights.

3. Anticipate problems

As important as it is to focus on data and schedules to stay proactive about maintaining equipment, facility managers must also prioritize flexibility. Without it, they won’t have the bandwidth to tackle unexpected problems as they come up. Urgent infrastructure problems can and do happen, even when you’ve stayed on top of maintenance as much as possible. The best facility managers know to expect problems — and even look forward to them. If they’ve planned properly and have done their homework, it will be easy to see problems as unique challenges and jump into problem-solving mode with hands-on solutions.

4. Local laws and regulations that affect your building

Facility managers may report directly to the landlord or the CEO of the company that owns the property, but facility managers also have to take plenty of direction from other corners — most notably from government regulators. Laws and regulations at the local, state and federal level affect how buildings can be maintained and the processes and procedures in place within those facilities. Here are some examples:
  • Local zoning laws may specify what spaces can be used for or what activities can happen inside
  • Local codes may regulate what signs and advertisements can be used on the building’s exterior and grounds
  • Permits may be required for special events or celebrations
  • Fire codes may specify building occupancy rates, practices surrounding emergency exits, and the need for emergency evacuation plans
  • Labor departments have health and safety regulations that can affect everything from materials used in construction to office floor plans
  • Laws may designate how historic buildings can be renovated or changed
There may also be plenty of industry-specific regulations that affect building maintenance and operational practices, especially if you’re managing a building in a high-risk industry. Finally, this blog post from space management software iOffice makes a prudent suggestion for facility managers: “It’s also good to know the basic principles of your state’s tort law, especially where premises liability, personal injury, and employment law are concerned.”

5. Facility trends and technology

Just like most other jobs in this digital age, jobs in facility management have changed a lot in recent years in light of new technology. For industrial companies, this new technology means smarter manufacturing processes, plenty of automation, and being able to control equipment remotely from internet-connected devices. For other office buildings, “smart” technologies can allow facility managers to remotely manage things like the building’s lights, HVAC systems, water use, security cameras, emergency systems, and even the door’s locks. Facility managers may have access to an unprecedented amount of data from these machines, and can use the data to create safer emergency plans and make strategic decisions that improve efficiency and save energy. An increasing number of software tools, such as integrated workplace management systems, operations management software, property management software, and building automation systems, bring all of this data to facility managers’ fingertips. Facility managers who want to excel will leverage the power of these tools and programs in their own buildings. They can do this by keeping up with building management news, attending conferences, and other relevant events. All of the tools and data available to facility managers can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a simple but very effective tech upgrade for your building, visitor management software can be the most ultimate of facility management tips. A visitor management system can make your job more efficient, secure, and organized with:
  • Enhanced Security: A visitor management system provides an added layer of security to the facility by accurately identifying and tracking visitors. It helps monitor who is entering and leaving the premises, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or potential security breaches.
  • Improved Record-Keeping: The system automatically logs visitor details, such as names, contact information, purpose of visit, and check-in/out times. This information is invaluable for facility managers to track visitor activity, analyze patterns, and generate reports when needed.
  • Streamlined Check-In Process: A visitor management system streamlines the check-in process, allowing visitors to sign in quickly and efficiently. This minimizes long waiting lines, creating a positive first impression for guests and improving overall visitor experience.
  • Real-time Insights: Facility managers can access real-time data and reports on visitor traffic, peak visiting hours, and visitor demographics. This information aids in resource planning, staffing decisions, and optimizing facility operations.
  • Compliance and Reporting: The system helps facility managers maintain compliance with safety regulations and legal requirements. It can also generate detailed reports that may be necessary for audits or investigations.
  • Evacuation and Emergency Preparedness: In the event of an emergency or evacuation, a visitor management system allows facility managers to quickly identify the number of visitors on-site and account for their safety.
  • Customizable Settings: Most visitor management systems allow for customization to suit the specific needs of the facility. Facility managers can set visitor policies, customize check-in questions, and adjust security levels as required.
  • Integration with Access Control Systems: Some visitor management systems integrate with access control systems, enabling a seamless connection between visitor check-ins and granting appropriate access permissions. This ensures visitors only access approved areas.
  • Centralized Data Management: Having all visitor data stored in a centralized database makes it easier for facility managers to access, update, and maintain records. This eliminates the need for manual paperwork and minimizes the risk of data loss.
  • Enhanced Professionalism: Implementing a modern visitor management system reflects the facility’s commitment to professionalism, security, and efficiency. This can positively impact the overall image of the organization.
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