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.


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.


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.


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!


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!

The Future of Construction: Mobile

Mobile technology isn’t a new concept for construction, but over the past 10 years, construction sites have changed dramatically, putting a stronger emphasis than ever before on mobile technology. There are multiple factors that are driving mobile at construction sites: larger mobile workforces, demand from leadership, and the need to have information instantly available to all levels of an organization. Leveraging mobile technology helps get the job done faster and better, reducing overall risk and cost. How? Mobile technology allows us to capture and consume information for every person on the job site. We’ve broken it down into three categories: speed, control, and accuracy.


Specifically in two areas: speed of work and speed of information (they go hand in hand). Construction sites are dynamic and constantly changing. As these changes occur information is created, information that other tasks are dependent on. The faster we can push this information to the contractors the faster they are able to complete their jobs. Mobile devices are used to capture these changes and to consume the updated information.


Maintaining effective control of a job site requires you to have up-to-date information to make decisions and track progress. Understanding where you are is essential to know how close you are to the finish line. This type of thinking is causing executives to push new mobile tools into the workplace so that they can effectively capture the information they need to make decisions.


These days budgets are being squeezed more than ever before so that our margins are stronger. When you mix this with the fact that competition is driving prices down, it creates a paradox. Mobile technology helps this scenario because it increases our accuracy, therefore reducing risk and unnecessary spending. When every contractor is empowered to share and see the latest information you’ll be able to avoid unforeseen mistakes and costs.

According to JBKnowledge’s 2014 Construction Technology Report, 50.1% of construction professionals surveyed use a tablet for work purposes. Now, in 2016, we can expect this number to be closer to 60% and growing. Mobile technology is already a significant part of the construction site, but the impact of mobile will continue to grow, meaning that mobile will only be leveraged more in the future.

Construction Benefits Big With The Cloud

We talk a lot about the cloud , but to refresh your memory the cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or “deliver a service”. A great example of a using the cloud is using FASTTAC; our customers do not have a need for local servers, instead, we take care of all of that heavy lifting for them.

So why does the construction industry care about the cloud? Because the cloud can simplify your life and business significantly. Anytime we talk about making something simpler, we’re talking about saving time and increasing efficiency, equating to money saved. Ultimately the construction industry cares about the cloud because of exactly that reason, it saves money. How? There are many ways, but here are four great reasons to leverage the cloud to save money for your business!


When we’re talking about construction, the last thing you’re thinking about is the amount of software and servers it takes to keep the business and operations executing efficiently. The reality is that it takes a lot of technology to keep a large construction operation going, and every time you implement new software you need to have the hardware and talent to support that software. Moving from physical servers and staff to the cloud means less time spent, more reliability, and a quicker roll out!


Managers spend a lot of time tracking progress to ensure that the job is moving along. From tracking changes to the blueprints to controlling the budget, cloud-based software can take traditionally manual processes and streamline them. This type of software not only makes management easier, but it also can interpret that information into meaningful dashboards, giving us additional information to make high-impact decisions.


Control access but also super-charge access. Physical documents and drawings are hard to control, but also hard to get. When using a cloud-based document management or drawing management system you can control who can access certain files, but also ensure that those who have access can see those files instantly.


This is FASTTAC’s bread and butter. During the bidding phase of a project you’ve probably had a general contractor try to email a specialty contractor an updated blueprint, but the size of the file makes it nearly impossible. Moving files of this size can be painful, but dealing with out of date drawings is even more painful. When drawings are being served from the cloud, not only can all of your contractors easily access the drawing, but they can also see changes versions of the drawing as well as markups that have been made.

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?


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.


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 and we’d be happy to consider them for a future blog post!

The Financial Challenge of Higher Education Facility Management

Campus facilities are an important part of any college and university experience, but in recent years higher education has been faced with shrinking budgets, smaller grants, and fighting to keep tuition increases at a minimum – meaning that facility managers are faced with the task of keeping up with their growing facility costs as the budget gets smaller.

This challenge is not an easy one to tackle, and facility managers at these institutions have been dealing with them for well over a decade. The facilities costs for a public university have grown over 20% in the past ten years, and that’s only going to continue to grow. So what can be done to help manage this paradox?

Data Collection
Having accurate and updated data is essential for your systems to work and for you to make the right decisions. Take the initiative to collect data on your buildings, equipment, assets, etc. so that you are working with the right details.

Replace Legacy Systems
Do you have old-school CAD data? Do you have rolls of drawings still laying around? Are the books of logs? Anything that you are doing now that was done in the 70’s most likely needs an update. Take advantage of digital information and systems that can save you time and money.

Process Improvements
Do you have to different places for asset data? How do you track changes to the facility? Minimizing the places that you store information and the different processes required to work with that data will help improve efficiency and give you a simpler process. When there are simpler, more efficient processes, the result for the facility manager and their team is indirect cost recovery, better planning, and better insight into your facility’s needs!

3 Ways Facilities Managers Can Save Money In Healthcare Facilities

As a facility manger you can make decisions that can save your healthcare facility a significant amount of money – helping you lower your operating costs and giving you the ability to use that money on other areas of the facility. Ultimately your goal is to run you facility as efficiently as possible and these three simple steps can help you achieve that goal!

Go Generic

Replacing equipment with generic brand equipment can save you big dollars without sacrificing quality. Just because a device doesn’t have a big brand name on it doesn’t mean that it can’t get the job done. Generic brands are becoming more of the standard and can offer nearly the same level of quality as the big brands. Ask your fellow Facility Managers what brands they are using and if the devices are meeting their expectations. Reviews and recommendations will provide some peace of mind when making the switch and guide you to choose the right generic brand!

Invest Into Technology

Yes, to save more you need to spend more! Technology can help you work faster and more accurately and it doesn’t need to be a massive effort to get started. The right technology will rollout quickly and you should be able to see the ROI almost immediately. Solutions exist for every part of your facility: inventory management, drawing management, staff management etc.

Work With Your Doctors

Having a close relationship with the doctors can provide insight into what inventory and equipment they use, allowing you to have an appropriate amount of inventory. Having too much or too little can cost you money in many ways. Establishing a group of physicians that can provide insight into how the doctors operate is a great way to gain control over your inventory!