One of the largest expenses of running a business is the cost of providing and maintaining facilities.
In order to deliver the best business outcomes, facilities management needs to shift from a 'condition' approach to a 'level of service' approach. This evolves from simply assessing facilities maintenance based on the condition of the asset, to evaluating a number of parameters including capacity, fit-for-purpose, condition and frequency of use.
This is a strategic approach, requiring high-level asset management plans that consider the current condition and functionality of the asset, asset degradation, and the treatments required to deliver its service potential.
To get the most out of their facilities, businesses need to develop a holistic, enterprise approach to facilities management that considers the strategic, tactical and operational lifecycle of assets. This can be challenging in an environment where facilities management and its systems are siloed from the rest of the business. The typical building has various "islands" of data scattered throughout the organisation with no cohesive strategy for data management.
There are generally a number of stakeholders throughout the business invested in the operational and financial management of its facilities. However, both the facilities manager and associated information management systems are not always integrated with the entire business.
If you are operating with disparate systems for financials, building management and contract management, it is very difficult to improve outcomes and long-term planning. Similarly, you will have trouble managing buildings and assets from acquisition or capital construction, right through the operating life.
Using one integrated information system for all stakeholders offers a single source of truth and transparency across the entire business. It ensures the CFO has full visibility of facilities maintenance costs, utilisation measurements and operational costs.
A true enterprise facilities management system will allow a business to improve visibility and gain compliance, by ensuring all the components are operating cohesively, not in isolation. It will allow entire lifecycle management of the facilities - from capital project management to long-term strategic planning.
We've observed that customers who embrace a holistic approach are achieving improved facilities utilisation, resulting in reduced operation and maintenance costs and enhanced customer satisfaction.
For best practice, you need to consider more than just the day-to-day management of buildings. To get the most out of your facilities, you need to be able to determine for the next twenty years, what you need to spend, on what assets and when. This allows for a more accurate and scientific assessment of long-term capital planning, with the confidence that money will be spent on the right assets at the right time.
Peter Suchting is the General Manager of the Asset Management product group at TechnologyOne. He has almost 30 years experience in the enterprise software industry, mostly related to asset management. A qualified accountant, Peter has held a variety of senior management roles in software development, product management, industry marketing and executive management.
At TechnologyOne, Peter has overall responsibility for the strategy and direction of TechnologyOne Asset Management. Since joining the company in 2010, Peter has set a new direction for the asset management product to better align it with the needs of customers.