The biggest question any professional can ask is ‘How can I succeed and thrive in my field?’ To answer it, we’ll have to define what ‘success’ means for you, and then examine the best ways to achieve that success.

What does success look like in Facilities Management?

Facilities management is about coordinating structure, infrastructure, non-core functions, employees or users and a facility’s overall organisation. There are two ways to judge ‘success’ in this context. The first is in terms of performance. Good performance in facilities management can be measured by how well your facility achieves its stated and unstated goals.

Dropping all the jargon, you will be put in place as a facility manager to make sure things run smoothly. Indicators of your success will generally include happy customers, happy employees and improved output, flow through or other metrics.Essentially, things should be better because you are there doing your job.

As we all know, nothing counts anymore unless you can hang a pound sign or some other number on it. You’ll have to set benchmarks for all the important processes, and get good, reliable measurements and descriptive models in place before you change anything. You need to have figures in place of how things were before you started making changes, to prove that there have been improvements. Next, use predictive modelling or other techniques to identify how to improve one or more of the facility’s most important functions or processes, without crippling any other processes. Document your process extensively, and make sure that you can answer the question ‘How do we know this improvement would not have occurred without, or even despite your changes?’

What does it mean to get to the top in facilities management?

The fact is that there is more to getting to the top than consistent good performance (though it may not be possible without it). Politics and interpersonal relations, especially with the levels of organisation immediately above and below you, are vital to actually ‘getting to the top’.

Remember that you were brought in to change things for the better. ‘Change’ is difficult. It is messy, it costs a lot of money and time, and people fear it deeply, as a threat to their livelihood, life and family. Change will always make people scared, uncomfortable and worried. It can be minimised or mitigated, but it can never be eliminated.

A facilities manager on his or her way to the top will be able to do three things with this fear:

  • They will make employees and management understand and accept (those are two very different things) that change is going to happen. Today. Right now.
  • They will make employees believe that everyone will benefit by the end of the project. Cynicism can kill a project. Try to make the cynics part of the process, so they will feel some of the success is theirs.
  • Redirect that fear to the status quo. Make them understand that the current system is not good enough, and has already failed.

So how do you get there?

Before you can make the big changes, you have to be seen to succeed on the small scale. Build your skills and confidence on the basics first:

  • Get to know your building systems. The electrical, security, safety and environmental systems are the vital organs of the facility. Get to know the maintenance procedures, and any alternate ways it could be achieved
  • Get to know the ins and outs of your facility’s lease. Keep a constant eye on whether the terms are better or worse than new leases on the market today.
  • Get to know the first-level managers. They will have a great deal of detailed insight into what could be done better. Your job is to filer and balance all the opposing views.
  • Get to know your existing and past service contracts, and the people who fulfil them. Look for unsatisfactory performance, unnecessary services or options, and keep an eye on prevailing rates in the industry.
  • Make sure your data on the facility is up to date and accurate. Get drawings of the original construction, and all changes and repairs. Be prepared to contact the architects and builders who did the work.
  • Make sure you understand the overall budget, and how often it is reviewed. Look at every expense with an eye towards efficiency.
  • Grade the facility for safety, effective function, and cleanliness. Prioritise the unacceptable results.
  • Rate the status, grade and potential life of all equipment and furniture. Have a plan in place for early replacement if it becomes necessary.

Written by: Peter Forshaw, Managing Director and Senior Recruiter for Facilities Management | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

energy audit
Energy management is structurally driven when all key areas are considered. The key areas are Commissioning, Energy audit and Building Re-tuning. Here let us see about Energy Audit….

An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows, for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output(s). In commercial and industrial real estate, an energy audit is the first step in identifying opportunities to reduce energy expense and carbon footprints.

Rising and fluctuating energy prices are a strong motivator of change for facility managers. Limited operating budgets make price shocks tough to absorb, and trying to predict what prices will be doing next year can be an exercise in futility. If you pay real-time prices this is a daily challenge, but even if you have a utility rate contract you’ll have to face the issue when it’s time to renew.

Reducing your energy use through improved efficiency is a well-known strategy for reducing energy costs and managing energy cost risk. It also has impressive sustainability benefits because of reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Let’s say you’re on top of this and have already benchmarked your building and determined that it’s not performing as well as its peers. Let’s also say your organization has already decided to make a concerted effort to reduce your energy costs. Now you need to determine which specific things need to be done to make your building perform better.

What you need is formal energy audits of your facility. There are opportunities to bring energy efficiency everywhere. On the supply side, more efficient generation and distribution, as well as cleaner energy sources. On the demand side, in every segment there are technologies that can be applied today to increase efficiency and reduce cost. And in the middle there are programs to more effectively coordinate supply and demand. Today we will see how energy audits help determines priorities with good return on investment in the second and third of those areas.

The Energy Efficiency Cycle

Energy efficiency needs a structured and persistent approach. Through an energy audit you will find many opportunities to bring energy efficiency to your organization. But it’s important to recognize that you won’t fully optimize your results unless you also automate and regulate the consumption. Monitoring is the key to maintaining the savings.

An Energy Management Program should follow this cycle and an Energy Audit is a great way to start.

Energy audits are comprehensive evaluations of the actual performance of a facility’s:

  • Energy using systems and equipment—compared against the designed performance level or the industry best practice, and
  • Energy-managing systems

The purpose of this write up is to review the different types of energy audits; as well as the overall auditing process in order to successfully prepare and participate in the energy audit process.

Let’s begin with a discussion of what energy audits tell us.

An Energy Audit should tell you three things: It will tell you about your current energy consumption. It will tell you about your potential to save energy. And it will help you to prioritize your actions. Let’s look at each in turn. The energy audit should give you clear visibility on energy consumption and cost. This means it should provide you with a simple, comprehensive overview of all the types of energy that you are using, and their cost. It should also break out the energy consumption by users so that you know where and when the energy is being used. Secondly, it should identify your energy conservation opportunities. It does this by telling you how energy is used and wasted, and describing the energy saving alternatives that could be adopted. Thirdly, the audit will also provide an energy management plan including recommendations with cost-benefit analysis as well as prioritization of best practices, quick wins and easily implemented solutions.

Common Audit Opportunities

Throughout your facility there could be many opportunities for energy savings. Typical audits uncover deficiencies in Energy Consuming Systems, such as:

  • Pumping
  • Ventilation
  • Lighting
  • Compressed Air
  • Steam
  • Refrigeration
  • HVAC
  • Vacuum
  • Process Machinery

In many industrial facilities, the largest energy wasters are failed steam traps and compressed air leaks. In commercial buildings, HVAC systems and lighting can be the largest energy wasters. Other areas that have an influence on energy use will also be evaluated, including:

  • Controls
  • Operations and maintenance as well as
  • Employee Awareness

Energy audits tell us that:

Low consumption devices and efficient installation can lead to energy efficiency gains of 10 to 15% of total consumption. This is what we call passive energy efficiency. Low consumption devices and efficient installation could be things like well insulated buildings, high efficiency motors, and more efficient lamps. Secondly, optimized usage of installation and devices will net a 5 to 15% increase in energy efficiency. For example: up to 40% of the potential savings for a motor system is realized by the drive and automation, and up to 30% of the potential savings in a building lighting system can be realized via the lighting control. Thirdly, a permanent monitoring and maintenance program will garner efficiency of an additional 2 to 8%. This would require you to implement continuous measurement and to react in case of deviations. Automation and permanent monitoring are examples of active energy efficiency.

Energy Audits also tell us that savings can be quickly lost due to various factors. Unplanned, unmanaged shutdowns of equipment and processes can be costly in terms of energy.

Additionally, a lack of automation and regulation of areas such as motors and heating can lose up to 12% per year Lastly, without a monitoring and maintenance program to preserve continuity of behaviors, up to 8% per year is lost.

Let’s move on and discuss the different types of Energy Audits.

The first type of audit we will examine is a Walkthrough. A walkthrough is a light audit that consists of a relatively brief inspection of the facility to identify maintenance, operational or deficient equipment issues and to identify areas which need further evaluation. Some quick-wins can be identified and some estimated financial calculations can be done at this step.

Another, more detailed type of audit is the Comprehensive audit. This would be a thorough audit, evaluating the energy consuming systems of the building or plant in detail. It may include performing specific monitoring, metering or testing to identify actual energy consumption and losses. It will also include an economic evaluation of the identified opportunities, including cost and benefit.

Comprehensive audits may be enhanced by including more detailed refinements. Examples would include: Computer modeling to determine the year round energy consumption and/or savings. Additional financial analysis to support investment decisions. This would also include evaluating risks within the economic calculations. This type of audit may be needed to obtain funding for the projects identified–and is sometimes known as “investment grade audit”.

Information such as code compliance, maintenance schedule development, and equipment inventories.

Determining Which Audit to Select

So which type of energy audit is best for you? That answer is dependent on many different factors, including:

  • Funding available for the audit
  • Cost and potential of the Energy Conservation Opportunity (ECO)
  • Required accuracy for the audit information
  • Type of facility
  • Function of facility
  • Processes within the facility

Energy audits can be self-assessments conducted by company staff, external audits obtained through energy service professionals, or a combination of both. Regardless of the type of audit, it is recommended that the audit team represent varied expertise, including: process engineers, maintenance experts, systems managers, energy specialists, etcetera. Support from outside your company can be extremely helpful and provide an external point of view for the site as well as professional expertise in many areas.

Audit Activities

 An auditor basically performs four activities. These activities include:

  • Understanding the site and gathering the data
  • Measuring/Monitoring/Testing
  • Assessing the situation, and
  • Proposing an action plan

Let’s explore each of these audit activities in more depth.

Understand the Site and Gather the Data

Successful auditors take steps to ensure that they understand the site and are able to gather the appropriate data. Employing well-written questionnaires and conducting site visits guarantees the auditor has a clear understanding of the operating conditions. Examples of items to review would be the process, including the identification of the main steps and energy requirements, the facilities and utilities such as compressors, HVAC, Electrical Network, Building Envelope, and so on. Additionally, the review will include the Building Management Systems—such as HVAC control and lighting control as well as the energy awareness and behavior of the people at the site.


The second activity involves measuring, monitoring, and testing. In order to successfully perform this activity, the auditor will need to perform a variety of tests, for example, to verify that a sensor is working correctly. These tests provide key data about the equipment or information to show if certain types of improvements are feasible. Additionally, if pre-existing data is not available or not sufficient, the auditor may also need to measure and monitor the energy profile and load in order to identify energy losses. The length, frequency and the number of points to be measured or tested can vary depending on the type of audit and the application to be investigated. It could range from snapshot measurement or a test for a walkthrough up to detailed measurement and test including monitoring over a significant period for the comprehensive type of audit.

Larger buildings and factories contain complex systems. Optimizing the performance of systems such as variable air volume HVAC systems requires continuous monitoring and control adjustments. Therefore, large sites and complex systems must be evaluated and treated as a dynamic, not static user of energy. The measuring and monitoring period must take account of this.

Assess the Situation

In the third activity, the auditor will assess the situation. This is done by: Checking and analyzing all of the data collected. Looking for Energy Conservation Opportunities—which may also involve conducting a study of their feasibility, as well as Performing cost-benefit calculations.

Propose an Action Plan

Finally, the auditor will propose an action plan. The output of the audit is the proposed action plan. An action plan will:

  • Provide ways to manage and control power consumption and costs, as well as
  • Propose energy savings solutions

Preparing for the Energy Audit

The key to performing these activities successfully is being thoroughly prepared, so let’s spend some time addressing what is involved in preparing for the audit.

There are two areas to focus on when preparing for an energy audit:

  • Commonly required data
  • Planning the audit activities to include participation of the necessary people from the facility

Let’s look at the data requirements first.

Commonly required data will encompass things like company background. The company background would include knowing the company’s perspective on energy efficiency: the organization’s energy goals and financial rules—for example; minimum payback periods required for actions. The auditor will also need information on energies/fluids consumption examples of relevant “fluids” are fuel oil or water and this information will be found in the bills from energy suppliers—both monthly and annual bills—as well as in the energy tariff details.

At least 24 months of consumption should be evaluated for each energy source. Be sure to provide the auditor with a copy of the site layout—including a layout with dimensions indicating the location of different processes and energy utility rooms.

Additional data to gather for the audit includes a site operating profile. This is based on the load profile of the site, which analyzes the consumption daily, weekly, monthly and annually to identify the patterns. This is coupled with the facility operating profile, which describes how the site is used. For example, is the site normally open during only office hours, or also at other times? For an industrial site, how many shifts are running each day, do they work at the weekend, and do some shifts use fewer production lines than others? This information allows the auditor to analyze rate options, such as time-of-use tariffs that may help reduce the energy cost. It’s important to provide information about specific equipment as well as the site as a whole. An equipment inventory supported by data on the equipment characteristics helps the auditor to understand the site and plan where to spend time during the audit. For major pieces of equipment, the operating hours and load profile (if available) will be useful to understand the consumption at a more detailed level, and start to identify potential opportunities.

Where might all this information be found? Here are some possibilities to investigate:

Data from energy suppliers—such as tariff structure, or machine suppliers—such as pump characteristic curves

  • Data from facility specification documents—such as site layout, chilled-water distribution schema, etcetera.
  • Data from the operating schedule and utilization or occupancy data of the plant for correlation with the energy consumption.
  • Manually collected data—for example—from meters or extracted from other systems (Monthly electricity consumption, production quantities, and etcetera).
  • Facilities may capture this type of information in a spreadsheet program or database (such as Microsoft© Excel or Access).
  • Temporary meters may be used to record values that are not normally monitored but that are useful specifically for the audit analysis, and finally
  • Historical data recorded in the Energy Management System—this will encompass things like the loading profile, the power factor, the energy curve, and the temperature curve

The data will be more accurate, and hence more accurate audit results, if they are

  • Recent
  • Recorded over a long period, and involve
  • Real-time monitoring data

The data will be more helpful if they are in an “easy-to-be analyzed” format such as a spreadsheet or graphic curve. The key to success is to have the maximum amount of data prepared and ready before the audit takes place, especially if the audit is conducted by an external company or expert. The key facts should be reviewed by the auditor in order to plan the audit approach—for example, who is involved, how much time will be needed, etcetera. The full set of data should be prepared for the audit days, since these documents are essential to understand the site and spend less time on data gathering and more time on site evaluation.

As well as preparing the data for the audit, the audit activities have to be planned, including participation of people from the site who have valuable perspectives. Let’s move on and describe different components for an energy audit.

Energy Audit: Main Steps

The energy audit commonly includes four distinctive components, (and this is especially true if the audit is performed by external company):

Let’s explore each of these audit components in more depth.

Kick-Off Meeting Typically the walkthrough or audit begins with a “kick-off meeting”. In this meeting it’s a good opportunity to have all of the people that are involved around the table. This would normally include the facility manager, energy manager, maintenance supervisor, and the internal or external auditors. Depending on the scope of the audit and the structure of the organization, it might also include the production manager, financial department manager, or other roles. During this meeting, take the time to explain the audit purposes, review the global plan for the audit and go into more details on task plans. It is also during this meeting that you will provide the auditor with the information that has been prepared, as well as giving them the opportunity to ask for more information about processes, energy, and the modernization plan for the facility.

On-Site Inspection After the kick-off meeting, the on-site inspection will start. This step consists of making visits to the workshop, substation, warehouse, and offices to understand the process and how energy is consumed. The maintenance technician responsible for the area being visited should accompany the auditor throughout that part of the audit. The auditor may also have questions for the maintenance supervisor, equipment/area operators and other facility staff to understand the building and the process operation performance problems. Those questions can normally be answered by short interviews, although complex discussions may take longer. A key success factor while planning the audit is to ensure the necessary people are aware of the audit and available on the day. The auditor will also take measurements during the visits — these measurements may be snapshot measures, or the auditor may leave a temporary meter in place for a few hours or days to record data if required. The on-site inspection should be closed by a wrap-up meeting with the same attendees as the kick-off meeting to announce the first results of the inspection as well as making a final agreement on the deliverable content and a restitution date.

Data Analysis

The next component is data analysis. This step consists of:

  • Performing engineering calculations
  • Running simulations and tools if necessary
  • Contacting solution suppliers to find the cost of the solution and then performing cost-benefit calculations, and
  • Writing the deliverables–this will include a presentation and/or report

Results Restitution

The results restitution is the output of an energy audit. The restitution supports are commonly a written report. The report should be adapted to the audience. The readers can range from the company president to the head of maintenance. Using a simple, direct writing style will ensure the report is clear, understandable and readable.

Audit Report

Every audit will culminate with an audit report. At a minimum, the report should include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Energy Cost Analysis
  • Energy Management Recommendations, and a Proposition of Energy Action Plan

Let’s discuss each of these in more detail.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first thing the reader will see and it will set the tone for the rest of the report. The summary should be short, concise and to the point. The executive summary will also list the recommended energy conservation measures and shows the implementation cost as well as financial savings amount. This section is intended for readers who only want to see the bottom line.

Energy Cost Analysis

Your report will also provide information on the operation of the facility that relates to its energy costs. This could include:

  • Energy bill analysis–such as comments on charges and penalties
  • Energy consumption break-out, as well as the
  • Demand curve


The recommendations section lists the areas that were evaluated in the scope of the audit, and contains a discussion of each of the energy management opportunities that have been determined to be cost effective, and aligned with the financial evaluation criteria collected before the audit. Each energy management recommendation addressed in the executive summary will be described in-depth in this section. Each recommendation should summarize the energy demand and cost savings, the implementation cost and the return on investment using the customer’s financial criteria. Frequently, a simple payback period is used to evaluate ROI. There should also be a brief narrative detailing the background information regarding the recommended action and an explanation of how it should be implemented at the facility.

For each recommendation, the method used to arrive at the savings estimate should be referenced or explained here.

Energy Action Plan

The report should suggest an Energy Action Plan. This plan will detail the recommended actions and the implementation schedule. Quick-wins and short pay backs should be implemented first, so savings can be generated rapidly and provide money to pay for high investment solutions. The plan will also propose a monitoring system for following up on the performance and for driving continual improvement.

Next Steps

The audit is the first step for starting an Energy Management Program. Follow-up actions are necessary to benefit from the audits and drive continuous improvements for the site. These follow-up actions will require you to:

  • Validate the energy action plan and the implementation schedule
  • Define the energy saving goals
  • Implement the action plan
  • Establish indicators for measuring the fulfillment of the goals
  • Set a baseline and compare the performance over time, as well as
  • Seek additional opportunities for continuous improvement


Today, we understand about the information obtained by performing an energy audit: which includes details of current energy consumption, potential to save energy and particulars to help to prioritize actions. We saw that in many industrial facilities, the largest energy wasters are failed steam traps and compressed air leaks, while in commercial buildings, HVAC systems and lighting can be the problem areas. We looked at the difference between a walkthrough and a comprehensive audit.

We saw the four main activities performed by an auditor:

  • Understanding site and gathering data
  • Measuring and testing
  • Assessing the situation
  • Proposing an action plan

Since larger buildings and factories contain complex systems, they must be evaluated and treated as dynamic, not static users of energy. The measuring and monitoring period must take account of this. Typically at least 24 months of consumption should be evaluated for each energy source.

We also reviewed the two main ways a customer can help make an audit successful:

  • By preparing relevant information
  • By ensuring access to the right people

Finally, we understand the key four steps of an audit:

  • Kick-off
  • On-site inspection
  • Data analysis
  • Results restitution   If you’re serious about saving as much energy cost as possible with the quickest payback time and least hassle,take the time to plan your energy projects right. Perform a good energy audit, and assess its results carefully based on the needs of your facility, whether based on annual savings, initial cost, payback time, and synergistic comfort benefits to occupants, or recurring maintenance hassle. The rewards are well worth the work.

Written by: Naveen Kumar VADDE FMP® SFP® 5S LA® | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

Fm Software

Maintenance is about the life cycle of facilities. Let’s say a building was under construction for six months. That building may remain in service in some capacity for 30, 60, even 100 or more years. Even a building with a short life of thirty years, the maintenance life is sixty times longer than the construction life.

Facility maintenance is important because it occurs over a long period of time and it directly affects the health and safety of all visitors, the productivity of employees, and the company or agency’s image. Poor maintenance can harm people, increase costs, and decrease staff effectiveness. Poor maintenance can increase insurance costs and increase the likelihood of costly and embarrassing litigation. One of the best way to ensure facilities are maintained in a professional manner, avoiding needless costs, and maximizing return on maintenance investments, is by employing rigorous systems and procedures. Today, that translates into deploying great software to support your maintenance staff and contractors.

Elements of Facilities Maintenance

Generally, when it comes to maintaining facilities, there are three approaches:

  • Reactive Maintenance  – aka Break/Fix
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Predictive Maintenance

While some organizations simply react by fixing things when they break, most modern organizations will use a mix of reactive, preventive and predictive methods. Determining the most appropropriate and cost effective mix requires judgment supported by facts. Facts are derived from information, which is derived from data. Facilities maintenance software helps collect data for analysis. It can’t make the decisions, but the best systems present the data in ways that compliment human intelligence.

Reactive Maintenance – Power to the People

Even the best facilities staff can’t have their eyes and ears on every component of facilities at all times. That’s why a cornerstone of reactive maintenance is the Service Request. Give power to the people that work and use your facilities to report issues they see, and you magnify your sensory capabilities.

eSSETS provides two Service Request portals: WebQ and SmartQ. WebQ is a web form that can be linked to from the company intranet or website allowing anyone that observes an issue to report it. SmartQ provides a login for frequent requesters which speeds up issue reporting and improves accuracy through context awareness: based upon who is logged-in, the system knows who they are, where they are, and what they have previously reported.

Preventive Maintenance – Power to Facility Managers

Some facility components are big enough, and important enough to justify regularly scheduled actions to lubricate, change oil, charge refrigerant, check pressure readings, check temperature ranges, inspect for safety compliance, and the list goes on. Maintenance software can help identify and define facility and equipment, create electronic checklists, define frequency of recurrence (aka PM Schedules), send email reminder notifications to staff and/or contractors, provide equipment reference materials (operation and maintenance manuals), and provide relevant maintenance history. PM software tools put the facility manager and his or her administrators in control with systematic processes. Predefined actions combined with supporting information improves the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance operations.


Maintenance – Climbing the Power Ladder

Maintenance software tools allow systematic and structured data collection. The great thing about collecting lots of data about facilities is that it enables software to help identify patterns and trends. Management reports, such as the multidimensional slicing and dicing of historical data provided in eSSETS, allows facility managers to move into the realm facility analytics. This, in turn, enables smarter, more effective actions by the facility team.

Today, most data is collected as a by product of work orders. The clear trend is to collect more and more data automatically when assets self-report key operating metrics. Some call this the Internet of Things (IoT), or the Industrial Internet of Things (see my blog post, “Winning Combo: IoT And Web-based Asset Tracking Software”).

Maintenance Cost Analysis

Tracking costs associated with facilities and equipment is critical in selecting and refining the mix of reactive, planned and predictive maintenance programs. In general, higher cost assets justify more efforts in preventive and predictive actions. Knowing initial acquisition cost, historical maintenance costs, and replacement costs provide a basis for decision making.

Asset Criticality Trumps Cost

While the cost basis of assets are always important, those assets that are critical to on-going operations of the enterprise, or are critical for mitigating health and safety risks, will also justify more preventive measures. These can be be as simple as periodic inspections of facilities using electronic checklists. These regularly scheduled self-inspections cannot only help reduce the risk of adverse events, but can also reduce insurance costs and provide compliance documentation for regulatory agencies.

Written by: Paul W. Roberts Founder, President at eSSETS Facility Maintenance | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

continunity plan

Facility Management should try to maintain a significant role in Business Continuity – they manage the 2nd largest and most important business “assets” (after IT) on which day-to-day business operations rely.

Many Facilities Management (FM) departments are often not included from the planning process, either because BIA surveys skew a focus toward IT dependencies and financial impacts, or because Recovery strategies lean toward alternate site configurations (under the assumption that a damaged facility will be a total loss).  Both of these perspectives disregard the fact that ‘total loss’ of a facility usually never occurs.

Then there are Facilities Managers who see little benefit in planning for potential disruptions – either under the assumption that response and recovery are part of their existing job duties (and don’t require planning), or that they can’t plan for what they can’t anticipate.  Both are short-sighted.

I have worked over a dozen years as a Facility Manager (this role began my involvement in Business Continuity) and have learned that Facility functions can do a lot to prepare for recovery from disruptions. FM can play a vital role in Response and Recovery activities – but only with advance planning and coordination with overall BCM objectives.

First, the typical “Loss of Building” scenario, which many organizations use as a foundation for BCM Planning is an exaggeration: damage to facilities (other than small buildings and stand-alone facilities – like branch banks or retail stores) almost never results in a total loss.  Damage may occur, but the facility is seldom rendered useless. (See our earlier blog for more on this subject).

There are things the Facilities Team can do to plan for a ‘total loss’, but they are limited.  I’ll touch on those planning requirements later. Meanwhile, Facility Managers can plan the logistics in the event of building damage (a water or sprinkler leak, broken windows, an isolated power outage, small fires and other partial disruptions).

Prioritized Internal Relocation

Facilities Managers play a vital role in helping to devise a Recovery Strategy for ‘partial loss’ (damage to a floor, quadrant or other portion of a building).  A sound BIA will enable the organization to determine their most critical business processes.  Facility Managers have the solution to determining where key business process participants can move if their portion of a building is damaged.

Using the BIA’s prioritization results, the least critical process participants can move out (work from home, or just go home) and be replaced by more critical players.  Armed with floor plans designating the occupied space for each business process, Facilities Managers can work with the BCM team (or Incident Managers) to shuffle employees within the facility to reduce the impact of damage on those most critical processes.

Repairing Building Damage

Although overlooked as part of their day-to-day job, identifying whom to contact – plumbers, electricians, restoration companies and similar skilled trades and suppliers – is essential to replying swiftly and effectively to facility damage.

A good Facilities Manager is adept at responding to day-to-day ‘crises’; they can be invaluable in during any disruption because they also know (or are responsible for) critical support functions:

  • Physical Security (including access controls and security guards)
  • Mail and overnight deliveries (and internal distribution)
  • Adds, moves and changes of furniture and equipment
  • Vending, catering and food services (IM and Recovery Teams cannot work while they are hungry)
  • Coordination with local Emergency Services (should be on a first name basis with the Fire Marshall)
  • Logistics (shipping, receiving, inventory and suppliers)
  • Interaction with landlords and building owners

Capturing that knowledge in a Business Continuity Plan secures access to those contacts under all circumstances (including damage to the Facilities Management Department, or absence of their staff!).

Temporary Facilities

Some impacts may render a facility temporarily uninhabitable (or off limits).  If only a day or two, work-from-home strategies may suffice – but they begin to lose their effectiveness in 3-5 days.  Knowing where local, alternate space may be available (workspace sharing or hoteling vendors, neighboring buildings or other tenants with extra space, for example) may provide better long-term temporary solutions.  Having a good working relationship with a landlord or building owner might pay big dividends in a disruption.  Having quick access to those contacts – within the Business Continuity Plan – will ensure adequate time to make phone and network connections to make such spaces usable.

In the unlikely event that a building is destroyed (a ‘total loss’) those same contacts enable the organization to begin sourcing replacement facilities instantly.

Risk Mitigation

Electrical outages can be annoying (and costly) disruptions.  The addition of a backup power generator can help mitigate the effect of those outages.  And FM can help determine not only the siting (where) but also the capacity (what) of generators – to serve both the primary objective (keeping the data center running) and secondary objectives: providing emergency power at the desk of critical business processes (like Customer Service or Order Fulfillment).

Need to shelter-in-place?  FM should maintain the highest quality, up-to-date information on the most structurally safe areas of the building.

Planning evacuation gathering points?  FM can coordinate with other tenants or neighbors to make sure everyone isn’t planning to meet up in the same locations.

Flooding a problem?  There are numerous ways to diverting water, as there are budgets to pay for them.  If you understand the financial impact of a possible flood, FM can help find a permanent or temporary solution to relieve some or all of the potential damage.

These are merely only a few of the many areas where FM can aid in diminishing the possible risks an organization faces – if they’re included in the planning process.

Decision Support for Incident Managers

Facilities Managers – often overlooked as a purely ‘administrative function’ – can be a highly valuable participant in Incident Management. Not only do they have access to knowledge that others don’t, but they have established contacts with suppliers, vendors and trades that may be required following a disruption. They also have an understanding of the capacity (for people, electrical loads, and HVAC) that would be important in determining long- and short-term recovery strategies.

Every Business Continuity Management program should include Facilities Management.  A smart Business Continuity Manager works hand-in-hand with their FM team to help construct both their high-level strategy and their Incident Management plans.  Just like the technical support provided by IT, FM possesses a set of skills and an abundance of knowledge that BC Managers can leverage both before and during a disruption.

Written by: Luis FernandezPresident at CleanAlert, LLC | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

Asset sharing

Our society is changing. ‘Us’ is becoming the new ‘me’. Access to items is becoming more important than actually possessing them. We are currently in the midst of a transition to a circular, sharing economy in which we make more efficient use of everything we already have. We are now looking to share, lend/borrow and exchange anything and everything.

The development to a sharing economy presents a huge chance for procurement and facility professionals. Why should we stay focused on buying while everybody else is sharing? Why not explore the possibility of sharing underutilized company assets (equipment, services, real estate and personnel) to save money or generate additional income?

Asset Sharing: business-to-business collaboration

The sharing economy has gained immense popularity in 2014 but is projected to be an even bigger trend in 2015. 2015 will be epitomized by more efficiently utilizing what we already have through sharing (renting (out) or trading) with others. At organizations and businesses all around the world expensive equipment is standing idle, rooms are empty, and important knowledge is not being used the way it could be. It would be a shame to not do anything with these assets. After all, anything that stands idle, does not bring in any revenue, costs money and is definitely not sustainable.

Through the use of online sharing platforms such as, every business or organization is able to make supply and demand transparent. On a sharing marketplace, assets like trucks, cars, printing equipment, furniture, dining facilities, meeting rooms, but also knowledge, skill and time of personnel become commercially visible for fellow businesses and organizations.

Asset Sharing: business model of the future

The advantages of sharing idle assets are twofold. Businesses are able to save costs when they rent from each other instead of investing in the purchase of equipment or the hiring of personnel. Additionally, they are able to generate additional income by (temporarily) renting out assets.

Asset sharing wouldn’t be part of the business model of the future if, besides financial, it wouldn’t bring sustainable and social advantages. When businesses collaborate and utilize the assets that other organizations have already invested in, less new products will have to be produced, which will result in a more healthy use of resources and energy.

Asset Sharing: the new task and opportunity for procurement and facility management?

It sounds simple and it is. However, business-to business sharing requires professional attention. A task that a facility professional would be well suited for, don’t you think?

For the past 15 years procurement and facility mangers have successfully focused the ways in which FM businesses are able to run in a more (cost) effective way.

As of 2015, we notice that the opportunities for FM to continue the optimization process are few and far between. In many cases it will not be possible to save costs without letting the quality of the services and organizations deteriorate.

Current developments such as the Sharing Economy will change this trend, as it allows procurement and facility professionals to actually generate additional income while also helping the business become more sustainable and social. Asset Sharing gives these professionals a tool to solidify their value within an organization. They will not have to ‘settle’ for the fact that there are empty office, storage and meeting spaces, that there cafeterias that are only in use one hour per day, or company cars that don’t make the miles they could, employees not working to fullest potential and that knowledge stays hidden.

Asset Sharing: putting it into practice

The switch to asset sharing will not be easy of course. The management team has to be on board and an organization has to be ready and know how to embrace this new addition to their business. It will be the task of facility managers to think along with the executives, advise them, and make an inventory of supply and demand. They should ask themselves, “what do we have temporarily available and what do we need?” They should actively implement the model in the daily business of our organizations and make sure that every employee knows that if an item available is not available or if they are in need of something, that it’s better look for it at our neighbors before anything else. But most importantly, they will need to be proactive about the management of matching supply and demand, closing deals, arranging transport and taking care of billing. Then, asset sharing will become anyone’s new business.

Written by: Kim TJOACo-Founder FLOOW2 | World’s Reset Button S.A. | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

Are you looking to advance your career in Facility Management or considering a new career path? You still have time to accomplish your career ambitions for 2016 by taking advantage of the last few courses for the year. See details at

Reveling from the success of the recent “Giving Back Series”, Max-Migold Ltd, producers of the highly acclaimed Facility Management Masterclass is back with stream 3 of the “Facility Management Masterclass” as well as the Facility Management Strategy (FMS) and the Facility Maintenance Management (FMM) courses this September. Click dor details of dates, venue and prices and register for the course of your choice at

Max-Migold Ltd is happy to introduce to you the Facility Management Essentials Training. This is a four (4) days fully packed training/workshop with materials cause with certificate from International Facility Management Association (IFMA) USA. The Essentials of Facility Management Program is a series of training workshops to meet the educational needs of FM professionals in global FM markets. The program focuses on basic concepts that….Click for more info

DATE: Tuesday 6th December –Friday 9th December 2016.
VENUE: HRDC Building, University of Lagos Main Campus, AkokaYaba Lagos.
PRICE: N397,500
Time: 9 am- 5 pm

For details, visit; Email: or call us on +2348022020122

Don’t miss out this time. This is a life changing opportunity and a career boost for professionals in the industry. Join the over 100 professionals who have had their careers enhanced, gained promotions and found new jobs in 2016 by training with Max-Migold Ltd. Our trainees come from the following companies and more; Shell Petroleum Development Company SPDC, Sterling Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Unilvever, FCMB Bank, Union Bank Properties, Daleji Properties, Redeemer’s School, ATC Telecoms, The Filmhouse, The Nigerian Airforce, Willco Properties, Ensure Insurance Plc, Center for Management Development, Guaranty Trust Bank, Lagos State Government, Lagos State Sports Commission, University of Lagos, Cadwell Ltd, eHealth Africa, Redeemed Church, Notore Chemicals, etc.


Paul O. Erubami MSc, SFP, FMP, CFM, CBIFM
CEO of Max-Migold Ltd, a physical facilities advisory and training firm. Paul is an expert Facility Manager, Industrial and Business Process Engineer, Real Estates and Property Manager with over 15 years’ experience leading strategy implementation, operations systems and processes deployment and change management for the oil and gas, telecoms, commercial and corporate real estate’s sectors.