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Featured Article:

What type of Facilities Manager are you?

William Brown, Co-founder, Commercial, tillr

What type of Facilities Manager are you?

Over the past few months I've met with a variety of Facilities Managers across multiple sectors in the UK, each meeting has unearthed a different approach to performing and managing their daily workloads:

Facilities Manager 1: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Small sized premises/facilities, using the tried and tested approach of pen and paper to perform audits and inspections, creating multiple versions of documents, heavy reliance upon emails, texts and phone calls to track the status of tasks and ensure issues are resolved within defined service level agreements.

Costs are contained, but it’s very difficult to manage multiple tasks and share information with others. This restrictive approach also makes it difficult to accurately report on past performances, highlight areas of risk for the future with ageing facilities, this results in a reactive approach to facilities maintenance, rather than a well executed pro-active approach.

Facilities Manager 2: Duplication of effort
Medium sized premises/facilities, still using pen and paper to gather information while performing audits and inspections, re-keying data captured into multiple spreadsheets. Recognises the importance of communication, so sends spreadsheets to colleagues to ensure transparency, continually revising the original spreadsheet, creating different versioning to avoid confusion. Always chasing colleagues and contractors via email and phone to ensure defects or service failures are resolved within defined timeframes.

Amalgamation of information from a variety of sources and spreadsheets to provide accurate performance and risk management reporting, proves to be very onerous and time consuming. Limited budgets and resources, the senior management team aren’t keen on investing in facilities until a service failure has occurred, there are limited risks and exposure to reputational damage.

Facilities Manager 3: No time to take stock
Large sized premises/multiple facilities, all processes are based upon a myriad of spreadsheets which have grown over a period of time, the entire facilities management team use the spreadsheets, they aggregate lots of data which is ingested into an enterprise level software system. There is an increasing level of frustration at all levels, the expensive enterprise level software purchased is not adopted by all users owing to the poor user experience, management find it difficult to generate consistent reporting. They have the ability to create, assign and track tasks via a dashboard, using a traffic light system to ensure housekeeping and maintenance tasks are completed within SLAs.

This Facilities Manager is very aware of the risks attached to poor quality service, reputational damage and loss of business, the ageing facilities are taking more and more time, energy and budget to maintain, continually stretching already overloaded resources.

They have access to comprehensive but complicated reporting options, they have to set aside time each month to aggregate data and generate reports. Their enterprise level software has a lot of features, but they are redundant and not fully utilised by users. It was also interesting to hear that teams were being reduced as were budgets, but Facilities Management teams are still being pushed to deliver the same level of work, or in some case more productivity to ensure the quality of service.

So what type of Facilities Manager are you?

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