With increased Process & systems within facilities management function, there is a need for facilities manager to constantly monitor the trends to analyse the broad spectrum of categories in Facilities Management. Today the key challenge for facilities manager is to build a Metric driven function where data influence decision making.

Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard once said, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” The concept of data mining and data warehousing is simple but the complexity, value and size of the data is the area of concern and challenge for facilities manager. As these data and information should articulate the story of how the FM function is performing through a dash board concept. CXO’s and Business Leaders look up to Facilities manager as an advisor for enabling and enhancing productivity and expect to act as a vital data information provider and not just an enabler. Considering these challenges, this is where “Big Data Analytic” in facilities management come in play.

Some of the major challenges facilities managers facing today in business environment are:

  • Lack of hygiene business operation metrics to bench mark or publish to stake holders.
  • Conventional systems, which is non effective to plug leakage seamlessly
  • No effective information management systems to collate data or tracking.
  • Lack of performance visibility.

The solution to these challenges is to have Big Data analytic process management for Facilities Management. In big data analytic, the goal is to navigate through a series of structured frame work to transform data in to information for optimization and functional and strategic decision making.

Structured Framework in Big Data Analytic in Facilities Management  can be categorized in to 4 key drivers.

Activities – Plan, Design, Build, Operate and Commission.

Associated Contingencies – Financial Analysis, Cost estimation, Bid, Procurement, Construction, Utilization, Operations, Planned maintenance, User request, Repairs, Progressing.

Business Processes  –  Construction project delivery management, Space management, Operation and maintenance management, Inventory & Material disposition management, Capacity  Planning & Functional management,

Supporting Technologies – Computer Aided Facilities management system, Building Automation system, Computer maintenance management system, Capital planning & Management system, Cost estimation & Project management system.

The Big Data environment will change according to complexities of the market. Facilities manager can gain meaningful insights to derive unique opportunities to make creative and efficient decisions that will have a long lasting impact, by learning from historical data and using  technological capabilities.

Written by: Sridhar Raghavendra MRICS, Principle Consultant @ Cohub India – Project based assignment | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

With increased Process & systems within facilities management function, there is a need for facilities manager to constantly monitor the trends to analyse the broad spectrum of categories in Facilities Management. Today the key challenge for facilities manager is to build a Metric driven function where data influence decision making.

Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard once said, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” The concept of data mining and data warehousing is simple but the complexity, value and size of the data is the area of concern and challenge for facilities manager. As these data and information should articulate the story of how the FM function is performing through a dash board concept. CXO’s and Business Leaders look up to Facilities manager as an advisor for enabling and enhancing productivity and expect to act as a vital data information provider and not just an enabler. Considering these challenges, this is where “Big Data Analytic” in facilities management come in play.

Some of the major challenges facilities managers facing today in business environment are:

  • Lack of hygiene business operation metrics to bench mark or publish to stake holders.
  • Conventional systems, which is non effective to plug leakage seamlessly
  • No effective information management systems to collate data or tracking.
  • Lack of performance visibility.

The solution to these challenges is to have Big Data analytic process management for Facilities Management. In big data analytic, the goal is to navigate through a series of structured frame work to transform data in to information for optimization and functional and strategic decision making.

Structured Framework in Big Data Analytic in Facilities Management  can be categorized in to 4 key drivers.

Activities – Plan, Design, Build, Operate and Commission.

Associated Contingencies – Financial Analysis, Cost estimation, Bid, Procurement, Construction, Utilization, Operations, Planned maintenance, User request, Repairs, Progressing.

Business Processes  –  Construction project delivery management, Space management, Operation and maintenance management, Inventory & Material disposition management, Capacity  Planning & Functional management,

Supporting Technologies – Computer Aided Facilities management system, Building Automation system, Computer maintenance management system, Capital planning & Management system, Cost estimation & Project management system.

The Big Data environment will change according to complexities of the market. Facilities manager can gain meaningful insights to derive unique opportunities to make creative and efficient decisions that will have a long lasting impact, by learning from historical data and using  technological capabilities.

Written by: Sridhar Raghavendra MRICS, Principle Consultant @ Cohub India – Project based assignment | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

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Facilities management exists to support the core business (Simpson 1996). There is much agreement among researchers and practitioners as to the importance of facilities management to both manufacturing and service industry organisational competitiveness.

One performance measurement method which has been recently developed to overcome the defects inherent in the more traditional performance measures is that of the Balanced Scorecard (Kaplan and Norton, 1992). This provides a balance of information from a variety of different perspectives vital to all organisations, whilst minimising the potential for information overload by limiting the number of individual measures included. Empirical research (Barrett, 1992; Douglas, 1996; Simpson, 1996) indicates that facilities management appears to utilise a wide range of measures – not only traditional financial accounting measures, but also indicators of managerial behaviour as well as various other measures of effectiveness.

This considers both the basis for measurement of performance in facilities management with reference to the Balanced Scorecard, and the possibility of applying such a management system in facilities management and presents evidence that supports performance measurement.

 
 
Written by: Mohammad AlQara’wi, Facilities Management Expert | Source: Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga, Performance Evaluation in Facilities Management: Using the Balanced Scorecard Approach | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

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By now, everyone knows that big data holds tremendous potential to unlock value in the world of facilities management – but I don’t see many people talking realistically about how to do it.  And that’s unfortunate.

The fourth component of the Strategic Asset Management (SAM) framework, Analytics, is about unlocking that value.  Using data to uncover hidden opportunities – and translating those insights into actions and initiatives that can both improve facility performance and reduce expenses.  I’ll outline five key steps to make this happen – with some tips and tricks along the way.

 

The EFS Strategic Asset Management Framework

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One – Choosing where to start…

This is where many organizations go wrong.  It is critical to spend an appropriate amount of time thinking realistically about where your focus should lie.  Don’t try to boil the ocean.  Identify and prioritize the categories according to their operational importance or savings potential. To find these areas, surround yourself with thought leaders in your organization and develop a prioritized list of expense categories or operational pinch points that could benefit from a deeper dive.  Don’t invest your scarce time and resources on items that cost you little or aren’t large corporate priorities – however tempted you may be.  Here’s a list of categories to consider:

  • Energy
  • Waste
  • Maintenance
  • Reliability (equipment performance or “uptime”)
  • Asset longevity
  • Vendor performance
  • Staff utilization

 

Two – Define what you’d like to know

Once you’ve identified a category on which to focus, build a list of specific questions that data can help you answer.  Here are two examples:

  • If you’d like to reduce energy consumption, data can help you drill down to various layers of detail.  Perhaps you initially want to identify the energy outliers in your portfolio (identifying which facility to focus your efforts).  Or perhaps you want to get more granular and monitor specific energy consuming assets to see if, when and how they are performing (identifying which building asset to focus your efforts).
  • If vendor management is your focus, you might be interested in how quickly they are responding to work orders relative to a contracted response time.  Or you might like to know which vendors are making excessive trips to fix the same piece of equipment.

It is important at this step to begin with the end in mind – thinking about what you’ll do when you get your answers.  Do you have the time and resources to build and manage programs, processes or projects to improve your metrics?

Three – Identify the data needs

This will help you determine if you already have the right data available or if you need to find ways to collect new data.   Following the energy consumption example from above, you might need the following data to determine energy opportunities within an existing building:

  • Submetered electrical data isolating specific assets or groupings of assets (HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, plug loads, etc)
  • Operational data exported from a building management system to include: schedules, run times, temperatures, etc.
  • Local weather data – outside air temperatures ( dry bulb and wet bulb)

For each data source, you’ll also need to answer the following:

  • With what interval do you need the data?  Monthly? Daily? Hourly? 5 minute intervals?
  • Where can you store the data? In the energy management system? A central data repository? In the cloud? In a spreadsheet?
  • What will the IT department need to know, or do, to ensure you get the right data?
  • How confident are you in the accuracy of the data?  Are sensors calibrated?
  • How will you organize and normalize the data so various data streams can be used together?

Should you find yourself needing additional data, build a business case for investment in new data collection and analytical resources – and sell it!  If you are just starting your analytical journey, consider focusing on a topic where you already have the data your need.  It is important to start small – implement an initiative to get a quick win before biting off a bigger challenge.  Having a success story in hand will vastly improve your ability to build support for subsequent investments in analytics.

Four – Define and implement initiatives to improve performance

Once you’ve answered your questions using the data you’ve collected, you may be ready to develop and implement initiatives to improve performance.  This might involve a new process, a staffing or vendor change, a training program or a new piece of equipment.  Whatever the initiative, you are now collecting the data to quantify whether or not the initiative had the intended effect on the key performance indicators.

The word “may” was italicized in the first sentence of the last paragraph because you’ll often find that once you begin analyzing data and answering questions, it is very common for the answer to drive additional questions – or help you realize that you actually asked the wrong question in the first place.

Five – Repeat for subsequent categories – one at a time

Once you’ve realized success and have demonstrated and delivered value, you can move on to the next category or series of questions.  Don’t start something new until you can confidently see results – or a lack thereof.

Be patient – a strong analytics program is not a flash in the pan concept.  The reason analytics is a core element of the SAM framework is because it needs to be permanent.  Not temporary.  Build out your department with the right staff and skillsets (internal or external) to make analytics a foundational element of your program.  This often requires a non-traditional staffing model relative to traditional facilities staff.  Consider a mathematician, statistician, computer scientist or someone with a strong finance background.

What are you doing to make analytics a core part of your facilities program? 

Stay tuned for the next article in the series which will dive deeper into the 5th and final element of a Strategic Asset Management program – the importance of building the right organizational structure to tie all of the elements together.

  
Written by: Paul Ham, Principal at Enterprise Facility Solutions | Posted: Max-Migold Ltd.

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Ask any FM and they will tell you that the face of Facilities Management has changed greatly over the last decade, resulting in businesses no longer looking at the financial cost of support Departments in general as money through gritted teeth.

For those unaware, Facilities Management is of course a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure the smooth operation of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.
In the past, and in general, support departments have never been perceived as favourably as fee earning departments, who have evidently sustained the business through their services. However, as clients continue to become more environmentally minded and amidst growing concerns about sustainability, businesses have had to adapt to meet recent changing demands and seriously look to the value of their support departments who often drive building efficiency aims from within.

In particular, the need for carbon reduction programmes along with the value of health and safety Accreditation has put the spotlight on facilities teams within the industry. Their role has enabled businesses to comply with legislation whilst meeting the growing demands of clients. In the 21st century, company ethics are just as important as the ability to get the job done. In the current challenging market, businesses often need to fulfil specific criteria from green compliance and company values to corporate responsibility before being able to tender for contracts.

With the value of Facilities Management being more commonly recognised through minimising costs and maximising standards, the FM Industry has boomed.

Property, processes and people
One of those areas of recognition is property management. It has been suggested by some, that in their view, offices are set to be a thing of the past. And for years, this has been the argument for advocates of virtualisation. Supporters of the ‘virtual office’ will tell you that technology is brushing aside the need for costly office space by the ability of remote or home working. However, evidence suggests otherwise. Despite the option of virtual working, the demand for office space shows no sign of abating, as people want the opportunity to be part of a vibrant, physical congregation with a definable purpose.

Regrettably, tragedies like 9/11 have recently served to remind FMs of the true value of effective property and facilities management, and general safety in the workplace. However, ultimately as a consequence of these terrible events more businesses are now investing in business continuity programmes along with a variety of security procedures to enhance the provision of staff safety.

In between juggling the property and facilities management needs, the aspect of improving client care has always been present.In many respects the role of the FM is the glue between a variety of departments and key personnel. A good FM will be on first name terms with both the cleaner and the managing partner, and be very aware of the contribution of each.

Saving the world

Beyond energy costs, the emerging pressures around environmental impact and compliance is another challenge for today’s FM. And the need to reduce carbon Emissions on a grand scale is a very real one. Legislation requires accurate reporting of energy consumption, and this, in turn, is giving FM’s a chance to identify trends through analysis and recognise potential energy wastage through each office’s consumption. Whilst corporate social responsibility (CSR) teams are to be encouraged for their commitment to the environment, and receive recognition for their contribution, often the efforts of the FM go largely unsung.

Earth’s limited resources is always close to the FMs heart, and he/she will engage best practices in sustainability whenever possible to ensure operations are energy efficient, environmentally sound and promote the wellbeing for all. In doing so, FM’s also help preserve natural resources, work to limit organisational footprints and always try to do business with likeminded responsible individuals.

Whether it’s cutting costs or cutting carbon, all organisations are faced with fresh challenges in the post-recession economic climate, and a review of strategies for sourcing, management and compliance offers an opportunity for positive change in difficult times. The forward-thinking FM needs to consider new solutions against tired practices. I recently read that Bill Bowerman, founder of the shoe company Nike, got his first shoe idea after staring at a waffle iron. This gave him the idea of using squared spikes to make the shoes lighter. The beauty of this fact reminds me that, sometimes, innovative ideas for improvement can derive from the oddest of places.

The future

The role of the FM is changing. Facilities Managers are stretching out of their comfort zone and looking to sophisticated technology to enhance all aspects of building management. This evolution of the FM is vital to meet the growing demands of organisations and individuals, whether its employees or clients. To be an effective FM in the 21st century you need to show flexibility and sustainability.

Facilities managers are now required to rise above the tactics related to management of their property and participate more fully at the corporate strategy level. Buildings and other assets must be developed and managed so as to complement brand, support corporate culture, and contribute broader value to business needs. As a key business element, each project or initiative undertaken by the FM will have to be developed to support productivity, innovation, worker satisfaction and positive client perception.

These days the challenge of leadership within the FM industry is a perplexing one. An FM needs to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without foolishness.

 
 
Written by: Liam Guiney, Facilities Manager at Royal London | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd

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An important component of facility management (FM) is the administration of managed security services. It is key not only to safeguarding the facility, but also to its operation and profitability. However, in order to understand some of those areas, it is necessary to define “managed security services” due to the various definitions that exist. In computing, managed security services are network security services that have been outsourced to a service provider. In the context of FM, it is a systematic approach to managing an organization’s security needs.
These security services may be conducted in-house or outsourced to a service provider. Traditionally, these are contracted security officers who are paid to protect property, assets, and people. Security officers are generally uniformed and act to protect property by maintaining a high visibility presence to deter illegal and inappropriate actions, observing (either directly through patrols, or by monitoring alarm systems or video cameras) for signs of crime, fire, or crisis; then taking action and reporting any incidents to their client and emergency services as appropriate.

In leased and owned Class A, B, or even C buildings, the primary function of private security officers is to gather information, control access to and maintain order on the property where they are contracted as well as, and most importantly, protect people, property and assets against any type of hazard that may affect the facility. Specifically, these security services could entail enforcement of policies and procedures of security, access, and asset control as well as employee safety. They could provide a secure workplace environment, protect assets and technology of companies, respond to on-site incidents, and report unsafe or threatening security conditions.
So, what should facility managers (fms) look at when hiring a security guard force for their facility? First and foremost, fms should consider hiring an experienced independent security consultant to assist in assessing the facility regarding its security needs. Most managed security service providers offer this service; however, one should be cautious since this might be a more self-serving assessment. Fms should bear in mind that an independent study and assessment of the facilities’ threats, vulnerabilities, and risks will allow for a more effective and efficient use of resources that need to be allocated in not only hiring the managed security service, but also in determining what responsibilities they will have within the facility.
Choosing the right managed security service is a very important decision. Asking the following questions will help to make the right choice when selecting a private security company:

  1. How well are the officers trained, and how often?
  2. Is the company licensed?
  3. Do they have references?
  4. Is the company insured?
  5. Do the security officers present a professional image?
  6. Are they the lowest bidder?
  7. Does the company monitor its guards?
  8. Will I receive a written report of incidents on my property?
  9. Does the company provide other services such as light checks or lock ups if needed?
  10. Does the company have 24-hour communication in place for emergencies if you need to reach them?

A Comprehensive Approach
Security officers should be as part of a complete protection plan rather than a stand-alone resource. The security plan is based on an understanding of the risks it is designed to control, and officers are but one strategy in the plan. Because they are expensive, their use should be evaluated periodically. Other protection resources, such as hardware and electronics, should also be considered. Fms can most effectively demonstrate to other stakeholders the need for security by quantifying and prioritizing the loss potential with a strategic plan that applies to the entire organization.

In fact, security officers are being used in more environments than ever before. In some cases they are replacing public police or soldiers. Security officers may patrol downtown areas or military installations; monitor heavily populated facilities like stadiums, shopping centers, or large apartment complexes; or transport prisoners or detainees.

Meanwhile, security officers play a public relations role when they perform their protection duties and represent an employer. They are often the first contact a visitor, customer, vendor, or employee has with an organization. The way they deal with people has a marked effect on the initial impression made by the organization.
Security officers can also help form and maintain good relationships between the security department (in-house or contract) and others in the organization. By being involved in a security awareness program, officers can impact the attitude of employees to report or decrease security risks. Equally important is the continuing training that these officers receive and how tailored it is to the particular facility. While training does involve cost, the long-term benefits can be charted in order to identify the proper course of action as well as indicate the return on investment.

Further emphasis needs to be focused on managing guard services by a concept known by “Management by Objective.” This allows an fm to establish a performance-based management tool to manage the security service contract.

The plan should further include having management identify meaningful goals and metrics for contract staff and establish a system of rewards for service providers when those goals were met. After extensive collaboration with the service provider, an fm can determine proper metrics that concentrate on indicators such as job knowledge, customer service, customer satisfaction, innovation, turnover, building stewardship, appearance, and standard operating procedures. When combined, these measures provide a representative mosaic of the overall quality and performance of the security staff.

Security officers who can understand and articulate not just what they do but also why they do it will exercise better judgment when faced with unforeseen events and circumstances that force them to act without a “script.” Typical training programs in the industry consist of a series of building-block lessons designed to provide an officer with increasing competency in a specific skill set or area of knowledge. Often, however, officers learn the “how” without the “why.”

In-House Or Subcontract?
Another critical decision is determining whether to use in-house guarding staff or subcontracted guard services. If working with a security consultant, this would be identified in the risk assessment process, but fms still need to be cognizant of the following pros and cons of each.

In-House (Pros)

  • Greater control of quality and appearance of officers.
  • Customer service and response times are monitored.
  • Guards can be trained to solve basic security system problems.
  • Can be marketed as a bundled service.
  • Enables better communication with customers. Information is delivered directly to the dealer rather than through a third party.

In-House (Cons)

  • Liability exposures.
  • Increased insurance costs.
  • Requires different management and personnel skills. Patrol officer work requires a different mentality than that of a security technician.
  • Cost increases in worker benefits and compensation.
  • More vehicles may need to be purchased for patrols.
  • More supervision required.
  • Dealer is directly responsible for background checking, training, and licensing of guards.
  • Subcontracted (Pros)

    • Greater control of quality and appearance of officers
    • Officers may have greater loyalty to a dealer.
    • Enables better communication with customers due to direct communication.

    Subcontracted (Cons)

    • Guard services may not be available in certain areas.
    • Less control of quality and appearance of officers. Customer service and response times not easily verified.
    • Guards usually are not as well trained in electronic/physical security.
    • Potential for unscrupulous subcontractor to provide confidential information to competitors or steal business
      Contract between the dealer and subcontractor is needed. Legal expenses will be incurred if counsel is hired to draw up contract.
    • Because a third party is involved, there may be a delay in communicating customer issues to the dealer.

    Success is dependent on continual Improvement of the program. Planning and preparing for security services goes to the very essence of assessing the facility first with an independent security consultant. This will allow fms to plan appropriately for where security services are needed, determining whether or not in-house or subcontracted services should be deployed and how then to maintain and increase the level of competency of those security services.

    Written by: Active Facility, ACTIVE FACILITY RESOURCE SERVICES PVT LTD | Written by: Max-Migold Ltd

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    Part 2: Building and Equipment Management

    Editors note: This article is the second of a 3-part series. Part 1: Human Resource Management, Part 2: Building and Equipment Management, Part 3: Budget Management.

    Stop two on our road map to successful facility management involves maintaining the actual building itself and the equipment inside of it. If you are in the field of facility management, you likely enjoy spending most of your time working around your facility tackling the operational and mechanical issues that arise. Let’s be honest, it’s often easier to deal with the building than the people! You can’t always fix a personnel issue with a wrench or duct tape, but I know sometimes you wish you could!

    Core values that are often visible in a successful facility manager include someone who is detail oriented, cautious, and responsible. Ultimately your success is going to be determined by your ability to pay attention to the details. Even the smallest details can’t be left in your rear view mirror, but rather need to be attended to as soon as possible. As a facility manager it is also your role to be cautious by nature. You are often the person most responsible for identifying, reducing, and/or eliminating liability concerns in the facility. Safety should always be on the forefront of your mind.

    Lastly, as a facility manager you must always be responsible for the condition of the facility, the staff’s performance, and the users’ experiences. If you are walking by trash on the ground, ignoring scratches on the wall, not reporting maintenance issues, and not holding staff accountable, who will? You must also be ready to step up in times of need and when emergencies arise. At times you, and you alone, will be the one who is figuring out how to fix the disaster that just occurred.

    1. Keep it Safe
    As discussed earlier, the core value of being cautious should be a characteristic of an individual who manages a facility. Risk management and keeping a facility safe is the foremost responsibility and sometimes the most difficult for a facility manager. Not only does your actual facility’s design, construction, and layout cause challenges, but also so do the people who use it.

    The most common defense you often hear when injuries are discussed is assumption of risk. As facility managers you can’t hide behind the premise that users assume all liability for their actions. What a smart manager will do is reduce or eliminate risk whenever and wherever possible by doing the following:

    – Research industry standards — Stay abreast of what is occurring and what the common practices of your peers and sister schools are. Undoubtedly, a judge or attorney is going to ask, “What is everyone else doing?” or “How would someone else in the field have handled this situation?” It is wise to know the answers to those questions.
    – Follow manufacturers’ recommendations — Manufacturers spend significant dollars on research and development for a reason. You should place quality, well maintained equipment in your facility and then hold users accountable for using it in the correct way.
    – Supervise your spaces — Staff must be positioned strategically around your facility or instructed to make periodic rounds of the facility. They can enforce facility guidelines when equipment is not being used for what it is intended and they can also protect people from themselves.
    – Inspect your equipment and activity areas — If you have not already done so, you should institute a routine system for checking equipment, activity areas, mechanical systems, restrooms, etc. The key is to document your inspections e.g. using checklists.
    – Utilize proper waivers and disclosures when appropriate — Laws vary from state to state but a very important step to limiting risk for your facility is to contact attorneys and/or the insurance agency that represents your facility. Number one on your agenda should be to review any waivers that are in place for facility use and how those waivers are signed and stored. Opinions vary regarding how much waivers help in court cases but the majority of the professionals in our field tend to agree that having them in place is a good practice.

    Keeping your facility safe will not be possible without also taking the time to create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). This article will not describe how to create an EAP but rather simply stress the need for you to do so. An EAP is a set of written instructions, guidelines, tactics, and plans for how emergencies will be handled in your facility. A few examples of situations that should be discussed include:

    – Bomb Threats
    – Fire
    – Severe Weather
    – Major/Minor Injuries
    – Earthquakes
    – Active Shooters
    – Power Loss
    – Facility Lockdowns

    As a result of the increased frequency in emergency incidents on college campuses, EAPs are now commonplace for university departments. The first step in putting together your EAP is to reach out to the appropriate campus contact who serves as the emergency management coordinator for the university. This individual is often found at the department of police services, public safety, or even on occasion, physical plant management. These contacts will be tremendous resources as you put your plan together.

    Upon completion of your EAP the next step is to train and prepare your staff to execute and perform accordingly in emergency situations. A great way to prepare your staff is to host emergency drill days, periodic in-service refreshers, view American Red Cross training videos, etc. The crucial piece to remember is that without proper training and reinforcement your staff will have very little confidence when they are faced with an emergency.

    2. Keep it Clean
    Our profession’s “catch 22,” is if you are lucky enough to have a facility that is popular, then you are also cursed with the challenge of keeping it clean. When you are managing a large facility or a small one, keeping your facility clean is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a facility manger and a major key to your success. Cleanliness will help increase user satisfaction, retention, health, and safety. Keeping your facility clean will not only help it remain aesthetically pleasing, but also it will last longer. As we all know, users can and do contract diseases in facilities that are not properly sanitized and cleaned.

    There are three important factors to evaluate as you create a plan for how you are going to keep your facility spotless and clean:
    – Types of spaces and characteristics — What types of spaces do you have? This question can be answered in a number of different ways. Things to consider include flooring material, wall finishes, activities that take place, presence of bodily fluids, etc.
    – Participation times — When can you actually schedule staff to clean spaces when they will have un-obstructed access to the area and users’ experience will not be negatively affected? Many facility managers tackle this problem by scheduling cleaning to take place during the middle of the night (i.e. third shift) or perhaps they periodically close spaces during down times throughout the day for work to be completed.
    – Frequency of use — As you consider the types of spaces you have and the characteristics of those areas, you also need to think about how frequently they are used. This analysis should not end with physical areas, but also be extended to thinking about pieces of fitness equipment, furniture, lockers, pro shop equipment, etc. Use will dictate frequency and some spaces and equipment do not require the same amount of attention as others.

    As you consider the items above there are also several other important factors to keep in mind as you work to keep your facility clean. You must staff the facility with the correct number of people at the appropriate times. If you have too few or too many people scheduled to clean at the incorrect times you will experience several challenges: budget overruns, poor results, over staffing issues, etc.

    Another tip to keeping your facility clean is to create cleaning checklists and schedules for your staff. Creating checklists in many cases creates accountability, as long as the checklists are routinely audited. These schedules should not only include routine/daily tasks, but also long-term planning for more project type cleaning needs (for example, carpet cleaning, high bay duct work, windows, etc.). Essentially, these tasks can be scheduled less routinely, but are sometimes overlooked if they are not pre-planned and assigned.

    It is worth mentioning that as the facility manager you are ultimately responsible for having the most critical eye in the facility. If you overlook trash on the floor, dusty surfaces, mildew in the showers, etc. then how can you expect others to either report these issues or clean them? They are following your lead so it is best to set a good example.

    Lastly, to set yourself up for success, make sure you are providing the right tools for the job, including the proper training. You can’t expect staff to be successful if they don’t have the necessary and appropriate cleaning tools to perform the duties for which they are responsible. For example, don’t expect them to have very good results if they are trying to polish the mirrors in your fitness areas with the same chemical with which they are disinfecting the toilets. Furthermore, if the staff is not trained in the specified cleaning methods by the manufacturers of your equipment and surfaces then your results will suffer as well.

    3. Keep it Current
    The last item to discuss along the road to successful facility management in the building and equipment management section of this journey is how to keep your facility “current.” Current, in the confines of this discussion, pertains to keeping your facility on the cutting edge of advancements in the field; don’t become complacent with your success, equipment, or programs. As a result of the nature of our industry, things change quickly and you must be open to new ideas, improvements, or technologies and be prompt enough to take advantage of them.

    Keeping your facility current also means to be up-to-date with repair and preventive maintenance needs. If the paint on a wall is scratched, touch it up; if a light is out, replace the lamp; if a piece of equipment is broken, repair it or take it off the floor. You must plan to take care of your mechanical systems as well. The worst thing you can do as a facility manger is to ignore lingering maintenance issues. They will both perpetuate a poor attitude for the facility among your staff and also give users reasons to complain and/or feel less responsible for taking care of the facility.

    Keeping a facility current is not an easy task and certainly can’t be done without the proper funding. In the last section of this article, budget strategies will be discussed. However, before doing so, listed below are a few suggestions for how to keep your facility current:
    – In conjunction with maintenance professionals, create a preventive maintenance program
    – Observe, inspect and repair by conducting daily inspections and documenting them
    – Budget properly to replace equipment, renovate spaces, and repair damage
    – Stay abreast of ways to keep your facility “green” and institute sustainability initiatives
    – Ask the users what they think and what they have seen in other facilities
    – Read about, travel to, and explore other facilities both in campus recreation and outside recreation sectors (e.g. Health Clubs, YMCA’s).

     
    Written by: Jimmy Francis. Director, Student Recreation Center CSU, Northridge | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd

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    Part 1: Human Resource Management

    Editors note: This article is the first of a 3-part series. Part 1: Human Resource Management, Part 2: Building and Equipment Management, Part 3: Budget Management.

    As a facility manager you can at times feel like a lost tourist in a congested metropolitan area trying to navigate an unfamiliar city. Identifying what to focus on and where to allocate your limited resources (both time and money) can be overwhelming. Fear not, this article contains your road map to successfully managing your facility.

    Along the path to successfully managing your facility, a manager must keep in mind three important areas: the people or the human resources you have, the building and the equipment inside of it, and your budget. Successfully focusing on these areas will allow you to position yourself to accomplish your main goal, which should be to create a clean, safe and welcoming environment for your participants.

    As a facility manager, not only is it important for you to put your “hard skills” to work operating your facility, but it is also necessary to understand that there are certain core values, or “soft skills,” that will help you to be successful as well. Throughout the course of this article, you will not only learn about the different tools you can use to manage your facility, but you will also gain knowledge about some of the core values that are typically found in successful facility managers.

    Part 1: Human Resources Management
    A manager who is going to successfully lead his/her staff must be personable, caring, diplomatic, and loyal. Developing these soft skills will be essential to forming and leading an efficient team of professionals and student employees. By being a personable and caring leader, your team will develop a comfort level with approaching you that allows for the constant exchange of information that is essential to managing a facility. They will come to you with their suggestions, feedback, and challenges and, as a result, you will maximize their potentials and your resources. By staying loyal to your staff, you will undoubtedly see their amount of ownership and “buy in” reach a level where they are fully invested in the success of your facility.

    Developing a sound facility staffing strategy is essential to the successful management of a recreation facility. Ultimately, the people who work in your facility will be what determines your success as a manager. In this section five key points to developing a successful staff will be outlined.

    1. Establish Structure— For a facility to function well there needs to be a clear organizational hierarchy in place so that employees (and users) understand who is responsible for what. Establishing this structure will also clearly identify who is in charge at various times of operation. Guidelines differ from one campus to another, but many facilities across the country operate in absence of a professional staff member. For this very reason, it is important that the students who work in your facilities understand their roles. Additionally, it is vital that there is a structure in place where students matriculate from entry level positions to supervisory roles. As these students work in various positions they acquire both the hard and soft skills that allow them to manage the operational and employee challenges that come up in the absence of professionals. Never forget, students are the backbone of campus recreation facilities.
    2. Define Expectations— It is very difficult for employees to be successful as facility mangers if we don’t define what success actually is. Whether you are dealing with student or professional staff members, expectations need to be consistent. As professionals we must hold ourselves accountable to the same standards and expectations as our students because we work so closely together with them. Here are a few expectations to consider as you lead your staff.
      – Attentive — Engaged and aware of what is happening around them
      – Informed — Equipped with the knowledge and the resources they need
      – Responsive — Quick thinkers with good problem solving skills
      – Uniform — Outfitted with apparel and nametags so they are easily identified
      – Welcoming — Courteous and approachable people with smiles on their faces
    3. Create Accountability— Your employees will respond best to your leadership when you have established clear expectations and you respond in a timely manner when performance issues occur. For this to occur, you must establish an evaluation program where employees are provided with quick feedback on their performance, both good and bad. A main component of that program should be a performance tracker that allows you to maintain a chronological record of employee challenges and successes. An additional component of this program that is essential for success is an opportunity for the employees to evaluate themselves and, if time allows, include peer evaluations as well.
    4. Train and Prepare— Establishing a comprehensive training program is a key step to establishing a staffing strategy. As a manager you should create a list of all the duties employees will be responsible for. After this list is created you can then begin the process of formulating a plan on how you will accomplish the training. A few key areas to consider vital for employee training include the following:

    – Organizational philosophies and employment guidelines
    – Emergency procedures and preparedness
    – Customer service
    – Facility operations orientation
    – Special event execution
    – Maintenance and custodial issue reporting

    It is also very important to utilize learning outcomes when you are preparing your training program. In fact, learning outcomes should be used in all aspects of your work with your employees. If you break down learning outcomes to their most basic element, it essentially means that you should have a purpose and an outcome for everything you do. Keep an eye out for these outcomes that have become popular targets for campus recreation colleagues:

    – Time management skills
    – Problem solving ability
    – Customer service skills
    – Communication skills
    – Accountability

    1. Recognize and Reward— A great capstone to an employee training program is an energetic recognition and reward program. A successful leader and manager not only points out the areas of improvement for employees, but also praises their successes. Establishing a reward program can be a tricky undertaking. If you are working in a university setting there are often many hurdles in place that will need to be overcome to appropriately use either campus funds or student dollars to recognize your staff. In fact, in some cases you might even need to dig into your own pocket.

    One of the most important keys to a successful recognition program is to get the employees involved. If you have not already done so, you should create a recognition team or, at the minimum, designate an employee to take the lead in establishing the program. By getting the employees involved, you immediately increase your potential for success because you can now obtain valuable information in regards to what really inspires your employees, i.e. what will they actual view as rewards.

    It should be noted that recognition programs do not always have to be expensive. There are many no cost or low cost ideas that will surface through your discussion with your staff. Examples could include:
    – Seasonal events: pumpkin carving, hayride, costume contests, ornament decorating, flower planting around facility, barbeques
    – Movie night
    – Sponsored IM teams
    – T-Shirts, sweatshirts and other uniform supplements
    – Simple hand written thank you cards

    By all accounts, managing and leading the staff that you supervise is going to be one of the most challenging road bumps (and sometimes detours) on your map to being successful. However, without a well-structured, accountable, trained, and appropriately rewarded staff your facility is destined to underachieve. By utilizing the core values of being personable, caring, and loyal to your staff combined with a well thought-out staffing strategy, you should be well on your way to avoiding major delays in your trip to realizing your goals.

     
    Written by: Jimmy Francis. Director, Student Recreation Center CSU, Northridge | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd