By JLL Technologies

5 key initiatives for Facilities Managers in 2021

Facilities management (FM) is starting another year of sweeping industry changes. Staffing and budgets are tight. It’s time to accelerate down the path to better productivity. Here are five key initiatives that high-performing FM teams are resolving to do in 2021.

Initiative 1:  Be proactive instead of reactive about maintenance

Moving from a reactive, break/fix model, to a proactive one for maintenance has never been more important. Reactive maintenance takes 3-4x longer to complete and costs 4-10x more than proactive maintenance does.

Initiative 2: Automate repetitive tasks

Any routine process you can automate using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or other tools creates breathing room for your team—and your budget. Automation lets you focus on managing exceptions instead of reacting to every request with equal effort. It also empowers you to enforce business rules that can save you significant money.

Initiative 3:  Minimize labor cost controls, especially vendor spend

Labor costs are under the microscope in most organizations. However, not all FM labor sources are equal. A service request costs more—often, much more—when a vendor handles it instead of an internal technician. If you’re relying more on vendors these days, you’re going to need more than great negotiation skills to keep a lid on costs.

Initiative 4:  Sharpen the business case for your department

Your team spends a lot of money, yet you always need more. Where is that money going, and how does the business benefit? You need the data to answer these questions and help the business understand the data. Senior FM leaders should prepare these documents and schedule these conversations with the CFO or with peers in the finance department.

Initiative 5:  Get actionable, data-driven insights from your technology

Either your technology stack is working for you, or you’ll have to hire more people to get things done. To make anything work in 2021, you’ll need to reassess data quality and reporting capabilities. Success depends on trustworthy data that allows you to generate actionable insights.

  • Evaluate how you enforce the quality of your data: Processes and systems that were good enough in the past are no longer sufficient. Assess the data points you’re using to make decisions, who is maintaining the data, and the data’s validity. Making decisions based on gut reactions or a loosely maintained spreadsheet isn’t enough for most companies now. You won’t have time to dig—and you won’t have the luxury of being wrong often.
  • Get the insights you need in a form you can use: If you’re not getting the reporting you need or are searching for data across multiple systems that don’t talk to each other, 2021 is the year to fix it. Being able to assimilate, evaluate, process, and make sound decisions from available information quickly and accurately will drive the outcomes you want. You need insights quickly enough to take relevant action—not just when you have time to sit down with multiple systems and spreadsheets.

Your role has dramatically changed since the pandemic started. It can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it all alone. We’re here to help. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn actionable tips to improve building safety, maintenance efficiency, and control costs.

Looking for a partner to hone your strategy and make your business case? Request a complimentary call with an FM expert to help your team achieve its goals.