10 Efficiency Tips For Facilities Managers

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10 Efficiency Tips For Facilities Managers

When it comes to facilities management there are many responsibilities to juggle. Making sure you get the most out of your contractors, and making day-today efficiency tweaks, are the ideal way to ensure you do your job more effectively.

Below are 10 tips for facilities managers.

10 Efficiency Tips For Facilities Managers

1. When it comes to contracts and long term leasing, consider future needs

The services that your business requires today, are unlikely to be the same in a few years time. Some contracts and lease agreements can span long periods of time. Consider the options available if your business grows, contracts, relocates or diversifies. Can you buy-out of the contract without exorbitant charges? Can you alter the terms of your contract any any point? Can costs be re-negotiated?

This will allow you to maintain flexibility, helping your business to grow or evolve without being restrained.

2. Review the performance of contractors and service providers

Don’t just assume that service providers will perform efficiently and meet the terms of their contracts. Make sure you keep track of key performance indicators, like response times, availability and so on. Do they meet your expectations and the requirements laid out in the contract?

Measuring performance isn’t always easy, so take time to think about the indicators that really matter and make a difference to your business, and be pro-active if your service provider falls short.

3. Get tough with under-performing contractors

Once you’ve reviewed performance and identified areas where a provider is not holding up their end of the contract, don’t be afraid to get tough. Your contract should give you the right to terminate an under-performing contractor or service provider, but make sure you have firm evidence to back up before your action to terminate.

Termination of a contract can potentially lead to a dispute, so if you have firm evidence to back up your claims, you’ll have a ready made case. You’ll usually need to prove you’ve given your contractor chance to improve and come up to standard too, so don’t be too hasty in your actions.

4. Robust and well thought out exit schedules are critical

Make sure that you have an exit schedule in place; this should take into consideration the impact on you if your contractor decides to end the contract and vice versa, so think about the impact it would have on your day to day operations.

If you are unlikely to be able to replace the contractor quickly, you might experience service disruptions which could have a knock on effect, in which case you might want to ensure there is clause outlined that states a current contractor can not leave without providing you with a fair amount of time to replace them.

If contractors are using office space or physical assets belonging to you, you’ll also want to ensure that these are clearly covered to ensure they will be handed back to you at the end of the contract.

5. Keep talking to each other!

Maintain a healthy and open relationship with your contractors or service providers. This means you can talk honestly and bring up any niggles or small issues in real time, rather than waiting for things to reach a critical point when action absolutely must be taken. An open relationship gives you the chance to nip things in the bud and stop them turning into a potential problem.

To encourage two-way conversation, make sure that you are friendly and approachable and provide contractors with the information they need to get in touch with you and talk about any issues or problems should they wish to.

6. Don’t forget to say thank you

This may sound daft, but when a contractor is working with you, just like any other employee, it’s good to know that they are appreciated. Saying thanks for a good job done and giving credit where it is due, will do wonders for morale and may even help to ensure you receive a consistently high standard of service.

7. Small efficiency changes can really add up

Cut costs wherever possible. This doesn’t mean going for the cheapest contractors bid, but there are lots of operational and day to day costs that can easily be cut with a little forward planning and  thinking. Office supplies will be cheaper when bought in bulk, so don’t buy things like printer ink, bathroom and kitchen supplies as you need them, instead use a wholesaler and buy in bulk.

Turning off lights when rooms are not in use, turning off all PCs at night rather than just ‘sleeping’ them and turning off monitors at the wall to avoid standby mode, will all help. Whilst for each employee these changes will only represent a saving of a few pounds a year, multiply that over your entire business and the savings really can add up.

8. Be flexible

Don’t be afraid to let practices evolve. Businesses change over time and as your needs change you’ll need a degree of flexibility to cope with this. When it comes to service providers and contractors, agreeing to regular service reviews is a great idea and is something that can be done on an ongoing basis to ensure your needs are still being met in the most efficient way possible.

9. Take benchmarks

Before you get started with any new contractor, it’s a great idea to determine KPIs and take some benchmarks for comparison. Without benchmarks, it can be difficult to determine how a contractor is performing as you’ll have nothing solid to compare performance against.

10. Plan physical space

Will your service provider be working in-house alongside your existing staff? If so, you’ll have to consider planning of your physical space to allow for the best possible work-flow. This might mean moving departments around or even relocating departments to different area of your building.

Think of the work your contractors are carrying out, and endeavour to help make their work flow as efficient as possible. If you are hiring full time cleaning staff, they’ll need storage areas for cleaning supplies, a place to get changed and somewhere to take breaks; for efficiency purposes, you’ll want all of these areas to be located together if possible.

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