“Facility managers define their operation,” you tell the group.
You can’t recall where you initially heard that but know you like it.
Maybe you read it in a blog.
Today, you’re presenting to a group of facility managers.
You’re a 20-year veteran in the industry, so you know the importance of these future leaders.
They create the foundation, the processes.
They develop their team’s talent and bring goals to fruition.
But, what does it take to achieve the level of being an effective facility manager?
You ask the group.
“Poise,” one gentleman says.
“Modern technology,” a lady in the back of the room shouts.
“Now, you’re on to something,” you reply.
You might be thinking that it’s a surface-level concept.
From the way you train your team to how often you achieve a perfect compliance rating.
Yes, that’s worth applause.
But, while all of that is commendable, it is not enough.
You need details.
It requires proven actions – habits.
“What are the specific measures facility managers need to take,” you continue asking.
“How do you ensure you become a highly-effective manager?”
Even if the group is not sure, keep reading, because we’re going to show you.
Highly-Effective Facility Managers Plan, Plan, & Plan Some More
It might seem simple.
But, planning is often a missed practice when managing your property’s maintenance initiatives.
We’re sure you’ve heard of the term ‘necessary evil.’
This concept is universal, and many managers conduct maintenance activities this way.
They wait for the next piece of equipment to break.
Then, they waste valuable resources to fix the machine.
What’s the ‘effectiveness’ in that?
With focus and an understanding of the small yet powerful actions you can take to achieve operational efficiency – you’ll be proactive in no time.
- Reduce your operational and equipment downtime
- Reduce costs associated with completing your maintenance activities and tasks
It’s simple really, and it affects your overall production.
Now that you understand the importance of “necessary effectiveness,” we’re going to outline the habits of highly-effective facility managers.
Don’t be shocked; these are not rocket science. That’s the point.
But they work, and we want you to act – today.
7 Ways You Can Become Highly Effective
1. Automate Work Orders
How do you think this makes you efficient?
When you automate the work order process, you remove human error associated with it.
Mostly, you’re taking the people out of the process and ensuring nothing gets missed or overlooked.
Doing this allows you to create, track, edit, and automatically communicate work orders for your property.
This concept is number one on the list because it’s one of our favorite habits – and arguably the most important!
Don’t let problems with employees slow down your operation or increase workplace stress for others.
2. Develop Checklists
Lean organizations like Toyota take this concept to a level beyond what we’ll discuss below.
They introduce lean management strategies into their process.
We won’t get into the technical details today.
For managers like yourself, you can begin the valuable routine of using checklists today.
Create lists for all your work types.
It’ll give you ultimate control and consistency of maintenance activities.
Fire extinguisher inspection? Your checklist might look like this.
- Easy accessibility?
- Easy to see for the time of need?
- Check the tamper seal.
- Check the pull pin.
- Check the pressure.
- Look for physical damage.
- Are parts damaged?
How difficult would it be to miss something now?
You can use checklists for something as familiar as a fire extinguisher inspection or as complex as a unique process unique to your facility.
The most professional managers use them.
You’ll also want to use them.
3. Use Inventory Tracking
Are you comfortable not knowing what’s available in inventory?
Topnotch managers always have a streamlined inventory tracking system in place through their CMMS software.
Time to reorder material or equipment?
Without question, if you have a system in place, it’ll alert you, so you never run out of what you need.
We can’t stress enough how valuable this is.
You’ll have to see your numbers.
Then, you tell us.
4. Schedule Work to Be Done
Preventive maintenance scheduling changes the playing field.
With the availability of these innovative solutions, the number of highly-effective facility managers throughout the industry is growing.
Your operation has tons of moving parts.
So, how do you ensure your maintenance efforts are proactive?
You use preventive maintenance solutions to create, track, and manage facility maintenance schedules.
We’re back to automation.
Creating a well-thought-out scheduling process puts you at the top of the facility management mountain.
You’ll have a global view of your routine maintenance, all associated materials, and equipment.
Now you can see who’s doing what and make necessary changes as needed.
Then, you’ll have the habit of being proactive.
Some of these systems even give you the ability to track maintenance activities in a calendar format with ‘drag and drop’ ability to change dates.
5. Ensure All Work Is Completed on Time
This habit doesn’t need an explanation.
Put your preventive maintenance solution in place and automate your work order system.
This system will quickly become a walk in the park as you’ll have created an environment conducive to completing work on time and as scheduled.
Having the appropriate processes in place will help too.
6. Inspect Equipment
Inspecting equipment can be a part of your preventive maintenance efforts.
It goes deeper into the practice of being proactive.
Systems for conducting equipment inspections allow you to institute a process for ‘keeping an eye on things’ – all the time.
Are you walking near an air handler, you haven’t passed in a week or so?
You know the scheduled maintenance is coming up soon, but why not check it out now?
To your surprise, the filter is ready to be changed.
You’ve had some construction near that location, so some additional debris made its way into the equipment.
It’s a good thing you took the time to check it out a few days sooner.
You might have even identified a faulty piece of material that needs to be fixed today.
Being proactive is how you can reduce downtime and keep you and your property looking good.
7. Digitally Document Information
You can’t be effective or manage what you don’t measure.
You can’t control what you can’t measure.
As a professional, you have access to the most progressive systems in the marketplace.
These systems offer extensive and robust reporting for your specific management needs.
Why not get all the valuable info you need to be a highly competent manager?
Access to comprehensive statistics and maintenance data gives you all the information you need.
Use the insight to increase your operational efficiency and effectiveness as a manager and to achieve Proactive Operations.
See the information the way you need.
Be highly effective.
Over to You
Facility managers require the best information available. There is too much noise, and many times, too many opinions to know what to believe. We want you to have the best.
Make these your habits and being ‘highly-effective’ becomes, well, a habit.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.