3 Magazines Every Facility Manager Should Subscribe To

Remember magazines? The printed version of the internet? Yeah, they still exist, and they have some great content! It’s nice to be able to grab a magazine for a quick read during lunch or after a long day of work, and they can have some great tips and advice that will make you and your facility better! Don’t know what magazines to read? Don’t worry, the list below has our recommendations!

Facilities Manager by APPA
APPA’s publication of Facilities Manager is a great resource for… you guessed it, facilities managers! Facilities Manager brings the reader the views and experiences of the people behind the facilities operations. Articles are written by facilities professionals for facilities professionals, giving readers practical and big-picture perspectives on issues and challenges shared across the profession. Readers turn to Facilities Manager for the research, solutions, creative strategies, and best practices to inform and transform their work.

Cleaning & Maintenance Management
Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine, which was founded in 1963 and is the oldest title serving the industry. It is ranked first in its field in ad pages and circulation exceeds 33,000, which is one-third more than any other audited publication targeting this readership. See it online or in print!

Buildings Magazine
Buildings Magazine is focused “Smart Facility Management”. The magazine focuses a lot on “Smart” buildings, and as you know, we’re big proponents of using technology to be more efficient. See the magazine online or in print!

 

Don’t want to wait for your magazine to come in the mail? Check out our blog 6 Blogs Every Facility Manager Should Read to instantly see the latest and greatest in facility management!

Facilities Work Order Analysis Infographic

If it can be measured, it can be improved! That’s why we surveyed over 2,000 facilities – so that we could better understand how their work orders are happening. We’ve boiled down some of this information to share it with you in our new infographic! See it below or download it here.

The Five Ws (and one H) of Every Work Order

Who, What, Where, When, What and How! The Five Ws and one H. From elementary school we are told to ask these questions. When we step back and ask these questions about the work orders we’re completing for our facility it looks something like this:

WHO is the assigned technician?
WHAT is the technician to do?
WHEN will the technician do it?
WHERE are the shutoff valves?
WHY do the work?
HOW do you do the work?

Makes sense, right? We are so programmed to answer these questions that we naturally can answer these questions for everything we do in our facility.

Now let’s look at this from a different perspective: Your facility is completing hundreds of work orders every month, and to make sure that work is completed we utilize technology: your CMMS. Knowing that the CMMS is the backbone to every work order we complete, let’s look at these questions in terms of what does the CMMS actually assist with?

CMMS Question
YES WHO is the assigned technician?
YES WHAT is the technician to do?
YES WHEN will the technician do it?
NO WHERE are the shutoff valves?
YES WHY do the work?
NO HOW do you do the work?

CMMS systems do not provide you with the details of WHERE the equipment is or HOW to actually do the work. Basically, your CMMS system only helps you with 2/3rds of the work order, and those 2/3rds are actually the least time-consuming pieces of the work order. The WHERE and HOW are 85% of the time spent completing the work order.

We’re not saying that your CMMS isn’t valuable, it’s a very important cog in the wheel of facilities management, but it’s only one piece. The other cog, Fasttac, completes the process by helping with the Where and the How. Fasttac shows you where that shutoff valve is and gives you all of the information you need to complete the work order (exploded parts diagrams, O&M manuals, change history, etc.).

Let’s look at the Five Ws and one H when you have your CMMS and Fasttac working to help you complete your work orders:

Solution Question
CMMS WHO is the assigned technician?
CMMS WHAT is the technician to do?
CMMS WHEN will the technician do it?
FASTTAC WHERE are the shutoff valves?
CMMS WHY do the work?
FASTTAC HOW do you do the work?

There you have it – your CMMS + Fasttac is a full solution for your facility, working together to make sure you complete work orders more efficiently and more effectively!

 

Your CMMS just got a new best friend…

A CMMS is software that helps facility and maintenance teams keep a record of all assets they are responsible for, schedule and track maintenance tasks, and provide a paper trail of work they perform. This works great as a work order management system, but these systems only tell us what to do and when it has to be been done, it doesn’t help us to complete the task and the paper trail doesn’t capture and provide useable knowledge to complete future work orders. That’s where Fasttac comes in – we fill these holes, supercharging your CMMS to help your workers complete the work orders faster and smarter.

Fasttac + Your CMMS = Efficiency

Pairing Fasttac with your CMMS will allow to finish your work orders 25% faster.  Fasttac allows you to take all of the information you need to complete the job. Simply use your iPad or PC to instantly see information organized by location and trade. In a matter of seconds you’re able to view O&M manuals, hardware, exploded parts diagrams, warranty information, and more!

How Does Fasttac Work With CMMS Systems?

Your CMMS system will manage what you do and when,  Fasttac organizes and provides the information on how to do it to helps you actually complete the work order.

  • Add a link to Fasttac to your word orders to point to exactly what information is needed for the job (ex. O&M manuals, PM schedule, parts diagrams, etc.)
  • Link from Fasttac to previously completed work orders and record “institutional knowledge” notes for the next technician
  • Access other equipment and facility attributes that are present at the location  you are currently standing

How Do I Make It Work

Very easily. Fasttac’s robust feature set allows you to easily work between both systems. Fastlinks connect the work order to the location of the work, it provides direct access to required information including O&M manuals, exploded parts diagrams, equipment cut sheets, OEM part information, etc.and shortens the time it takes to complete that work order.  Additionally, the technician can add their knowledge of the specific installation to the database to assist future technicians to complete future work orders.

 

How Much Work Did Your Facility REALLY Do In 2016?

As the year comes to an end you want to relax over the holidays, but, as a facilities manager, there’s a good chance you’ll spend some of your time off creating a mental to-do list of all the work orders that are going to carry over into 2017. It would be nice to start the year off with a clean slate, but facilities are complex machines that need constant attention, meaning the work orders are always coming in.

Why can’t you start with a clean slate? Why wasn’t your team able to address all of the work orders before the year ended? Your answer is most likely resources. You didn’t have the time and/or manpower to be able to address every issue. You may be under-staffed, or just swamped with work, and that’s normalized the never ending list of work orders. This is something that we deal with often – the normalization of an endless list, and people saying things such as “it’s always going to be that way”. It doesn’t have to be like this. If you had 91 extra days to address work orders, with zero new work orders coming in, could your team finish the list?

This is exactly what Fasttac was created to do. We have consistently proven with our customers that we can eliminate 25% of time spent on each work order. How? On average you spend a third of work order time looking for information. We cut this down from hours to seconds, allowing you to complete more word orders in a day. For example, if you’re like most facilities, you spend 6 hours (on average) per work order. 2 hours of this is spent searching for information. With Fasttac we cut the work order time from 6 hours to about 4 hours. So instead of completing one work order a day, you’re completing two!

Sound too good to be true? Don’t worry, we ready to prove this to you! Start by watching this 90-second video on how Fasttac works. After that, contact us and we’ll discuss exactly how Fasttac will work for your facility.

Too direct? If you’re ending the year with an “endless” list that you think is normal, then we want to be direct in telling you that we are here to help!

6 Blogs Every Facility Manager Should Read

Blogs are a great resource for dynamic and up to date content that can help you deal with some of the challenges you face as a Facility Manager. The list below are some of our favorite facility management blogs, all containing great content and each is updated on a regular schedule.

Wait, there are only 5 blogs in this list – the title says there are six! That’s because the 6th blog is the one you’re reading right now! Enjoy!

FacilityDude Blog

FacilityDude’s blog contains a lot of great information on the maintenance management industry and does not focus only on their own product. They give tips and advice on managing your facility, how maintenance management software can help your business, and much more.

Facility Executive

FacilityBlog shares FMs breaking news and related content daily, and they note on their website as being the first blog specifically for FM! This blog is also easy to navigate through their sections list.

Maintenance World

Maintenance World is a blog specifically for professionals from within the maintenance management and equipment reliability industries. It runs and exists strictly on article submissions from other professionals and businesses. All articles are submitted by these professionals to create archives of posts on a wide variety of topics, such as planning and scheduling, equipment knowledge, and safety advice.

Buildings

Showcasing the tagline “smarter facilities management”, their blog certainly does provide smarter resources. Collaborated especially for FMs and commercial building operators this diverse website features everything from building safety to seasonal maintenance.

FacilitiesNet

FacilitesNet runs two magazines (Facility Maintenance Decisions and Building Operating Management) and generates all sorts of great studies and white papers. The blog covers new products and updates to existing products, gives companies information about their competition and the industry, and publishes daily news.

 

We hope that you find these useful! Are we missing anything from the list? Share your favorite facilities blog with us!

The Facility Managers Guide to Budget Management

Saving money is always a goal for facility managers, and sometimes, it’s more than just a goal, it’s a necessity. So how do you manage a tight budget?

Unplanned Service Calls
Avoiding unplanned service calls saves big dollars, because these calls are, well, unplanned. This means that there isn’t money (specifically) set in the budget for each of these calls and that your time and attention was most likely supposed to be dedicated to something else when they occur. First thing is to make sure you have “wiggle” room in your budget for unseen maintenance needs. Second, implement systems that help mitigate unnecessary efforts, such as a help desk and call center. Help desks can supply remote facilities basic troubleshooting steps that can resolve simple issues before a work order is created. Call centers can help walk employees through simple steps and also capture more information in the event that a work order actually needs to be issued.

Set Your Price
Prearranging prices for your predictable needs (such as landscaping) will make your budget more accurate and may get you a better deal. It will also help you predicted you unpredicted costs as well. Having a set price will let you estimate extra work that will come up throughout the year. Larger facilities may benefit from having pricing guidelines (such as appropriate price points, who has the authority to override, etc.) will help you stay within your budget and control your spending.

Warranties, Warranties, Warranties
This is so important that we had to list it three times. Cashing in your warranty will help you save unnecessary spending. Best practices for documenting and tracking warranty coverages is how a facility can avoid spending money on something that is covered. Be sure that when new construction projects occur that you file and update your warranty records. Warranty management is important for all facilities, but larger facilities will naturally have more warranties to track and this can add up to a lot of savings.

As an experienced facility manager, a lot of this will come naturally to you, but if may not come naturally to your team and other staff members. Addressing these three subjects on a regular basis will help you and your facility stay organized and focused, keep you within budget and on track to success!

3 Things Facility Managers Should Look for in New Construction Projects

Not all facility managers have a background in construction, but odds are that you’ve have dealt with (or will deal with) a big construction project at your facility at some point. Knowing what to look for in the Project Manual can help ensure a successful project and prevent the project from going over budget.

Inspections

Structural construction must adhere to the International Building Code, and it requires the verification and inspection of work. It also requires the owner (or design professional) to employ the agency for the verification and inspection. You’ll want to make sure that you are budgeted to pay the cost for verification and inspection to avoid any surprises. You’ll also want to make sure that these specifications are written correctly and included in the project manual. Field quality control for elements of the building envelope and for building fenestration is also good practice!

Warranties

The specifications should call for certain warranties to be included, such as roofing systems. The warranties can vary, so carefully review to see what is included and what is covered by the warranty. At the end of the project make sure that all warranties are in submitted and recorded properly on your side. It’s important for you and your team to be aware of what is covered under warranty so that you don’t waste resources repairing something in the future.

Attic Stock

If you’re organization is a private entity, then the specifications should call for extra stock to be included. As you know, materials will become damaged or worn over time and having extra stock can help speed up the repair time while keeping a consistent look (nothing is worse than trying to match materials if you can’t get the original materials used). We use the term attic stock, but make sure that you have the proper location and conditions to store the extra materials.

Ensuring that these three items are included and that you have an understanding of exactly what is included will help set your facility up for a successful construction project!

Facility Managers Are In the Clouds

Well, they aren’t literally in the clouds, however, in terms of how they use the technology they are “in the cloud”. What’s the cloud? In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive of on a local server. The cloud is basically a term commonly used to refer to the internet.

So why are facility managers going to the cloud? What benefit does it give them?

Support

Cloud-based technologies are offered as a service. You may hear the term SaaS (Software as a Service) and this model often includes (or offers) a support package for the software. This means that you no longer have to worry about servers crashing or restarting, all of the technical back-end overhead is taken care of for you! This also means that you can focus on the tasks that are important to your role, not keeping supporting third party software.

Security

It’s very important to properly vet your vendors and make sure that they operate securely. Once you do that you’ll find that the vendors that do operate securely are often able to provide a level of security beyond what you can provide internally. This also helps simplify your disaster recovery plan. You’re not responsible for backing up and restoring the data, this falls onto the vendor.

Access From Anywhere

Your facility is big, your desk is not. Your job doesn’t keep you tied down to your desk so your software shouldn’t either. Cloud-based technologies are often able to be used on any device, including web browsers, tablets, and smartphones. This means that you can do your job and use the tools you need at any time, at any location, on any device.

Facilities that use cloud-based technologies can increase workforce and operational efficiencies. These facilities can achieve 25% more efficiency, meaning that they save time and money every single day. The convenience and strong ROI is hard to ignore, so the question is, will you move your facilities applications to the cloud?

3 Challenges That Every Facility Manager Faces

Facility managers face significant hurdles every single day. From maintenance issues to working on long-term energy efficiency goals, there is a lot to worry about when your job title is Facility Manager. So what are some of the most common and most difficult challenges for a Facility Manager? We’ve broken the huge list down to 4 issues.

Risk of Security Breaches

There are two reasons that this is the first item on the list. First, there are a lot of entry points for hackers to attack Facility Managers, their software, and their team. Preventing cyber attacks can quickly become a full-time job and can also add extra steps for every decision that a Facility Manager needs to make. The Second reason is that your facility data – such as architecture, electrical, HVAC, etc. may be a prime target for criminals as it can be used to commit a variety of crimes.

Disconnected with New Initiatives 

Operational teams are often left out of the design and construction phases of a facility. When these teams and initiatives aren’t working hand and hand, efficiency issues arise and it can also create a lot of rework for a facility manager and their team. This has the potential to damage relationships between particular stakeholders, the Facility Manager, team members and more.

People Don’t Actually Know What You Do

Facility Managers need to wear many hats and this can easily cause confusion for your co-workers. Since the role encompasses a lot of different disciplines the higher ups in the company maybe be confused on your actual role and what projects and initiatives you should actually be responsible for. Not involving the Facility Manager in the right can be a damaging experience for internal teams as well as the Facility itself.

There you have it, three major hurdles that facility managers are always dealing with. Have any other hurdles in mind that we didn’t list? Email us at info@fasttac.com and we’d be happy to consider them for a future blog post!