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Is it time to hire a facility manager?

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The way a company handles growth is a good predictor of future success. As business owners and leaders, we sometimes tend to stay in the start-up mentality for far too long,especially when it comes to handling office operations on the fly.

This is because our staff members are, at the early stages of the company, more than happy to pitch in and wear more than one hat to keep the office running. However, there comes a point when this course of action ceases to function efficiently.

How can a facility manager help your business?

Small, mid and large size offices can allbenefit from having an experienced and dedicated manager that handlesroutine maintenance tasks to alleviate the daily divergence from important business activities. Unlike regular administrative work like filing or ordering supplies, a facility manager’s responsibilities will handle critical components of keeping the bones of the office well-oiled.

Responsibilities like creating a preventative maintenance schedule for critical office equipment such as the HVAC system and copy machines or negotiating contracts for routine office services like pest control or trash pickup, all fall under the facility manager’s scope.

The ability to negotiate contracts specific to the office needs like “Just In Time” paper delivery to keep inventory low in small offices or obtaining credits on accounts for closely monitoring contractual services are yet another set of responsibilities a good facility manager can cover. The investment will pay for itself over time and will keep the office running at an exponentially high-efficiency rate.

There are many reasons why business leaders decide to delay hiring a facility manager.

Having overly competent staff performing maintenance tasks like taking out the trash, changing lightbulbs or ordering office supplies can create a false comfort in knowing these tasks are taken care of.

Other executives like the idea of keeping operationalexpenses low. While staff members aredoing work that isn’t a part of their job description, other areas of the company’s performance may be suffering due to spreading the scope of staff members’ responsibilities too wide.

Take this into consideration

Deciding to hire a facility manager can come about as a proactive measure to position your company for growth or in response to an urgent need to get the company back on track.

If you find yourself making several “emergency” vendor calls for things like air conditioning, heating issues, clogged plumbing, electrical problems, rodent takeovers or even making last minute office supply store runs, you might be in need of a manager that can stay on top of these issues at all times.

While these tasks can be handled by current personnel, the time consumption is detrimental to staying on target with the company’s goals if key employees are diverted and deployed to handle office maintenance issues.

Technology can improve the bottom line

Along with making the right hire for the job, implementing a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) can build an efficient workflow that will not only prevent unnecessary emergencies but establish processes and protocols that will grow with your firm.

Creating a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that establishes core essentials in how a company reports, tracks, repairs and closes out issues is just one of many important reasons to use computerised maintenance  management system. By having the ability to review service requests, response times and outcomes, processes can be put in place to increase efficiency in needed areas thereby decreasing future breakdowns.

A manager in charge of the CMMS can assign work tickets to the requests entered into the system where they can track all areas that need attention. The communication and transparency between the manager and the staff create trust. Upper management can also easily monitor office operations by establishing metrics and having reports generated to track repairs and requests in progress.

Without a system for reporting and tracking complaints and repair requests, the office maintenance needscan get lost in the weeds of day to day operations, creating conflict and frustrations, eventually lowering employee morale. It’s a growing pain many companies face and can mean thousands of dollars out of the window with subsequent after hour service charges, late fees, costs of equipment replacement, and overtime labor costs, just to name a few.

Do you need a facility manager?

The decision to hire a facility manager is ultimately one that is determined by the stage of growth and productivity of yourstaff and overall business.Here are some things to contemplate when deciding if a facility manager is right for your company:

  • Are you or your key staff spending a noticeable amount of time addressing maintenance issues?
  • Do you have experience negotiating maintenance contracts?
  • Is your company environment proactive or reactive when it comes to daily office operations?
  • Can you benefit from implementing an efficient inventory and workflow system?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then it may be time to start planning for a new hire.

A good facility manager will not only save you valuable time that can be re-directed to your own priorities, but you will also see a vast improvement on the overall productivity level of your business and a boost in employee morale as the operational issues start to disappear.

All of that will, directly or indirectly, impact your bottom line.

About Bryan Christiansen

bryanc@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Bryan Christiansen is founder and CEO at Limble CMMS . Limble is a mobile first, modern, and easy to use CMMS software. We help take the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate and streamline their maintenance operations.

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