Facility Management: It's About Data and Information

Entrance to The Epicentre at Charlotte, NC

Tonight's blog post on Facility Management is a short one. From my experience, at its core, Facility Management is about data management. This is the same for a multi-million dollar property or a personal residence. It is important to have all kinds of information available about your property. I'll go through a list of questions to help you get started.

How many square feet is your property?

What kind of design is it?

What type of roof do you have? How old is the roofing?

Where are your water/electrical/gas shutoffs?

When was your last fire inspection?

What kind of paint is on your walls (latex/oil)? What are the color codes?

How many rooms are there?

How many windows?

How many electrical sockets? faucets? toilets? soap dispensers? trash bins?

How many light fixtures?

How many exits?

What are the escape routes?

What is the maximum occupancy?

What do you have planted in your green spaces? How do you care for them? Has your landscaping company stayed to the contract schedule?

When was your last pest control application?

How many locks and keys does your property require? What access do different people need?

Do you have sufficient ventilation/humidity control? How do you measure it?

What kind of flooring does your property have? What are the manufacturer's floor care recommendations?

Do you have a list of vendors/contractors for plumbing, emergency repairs, electrical, roofing, painting, landscaping, HVAC, fire inspections, glaziers, locksmiths, security, janitorial, power washing, waste management, etc. . .

Where are your building drawings? Are they original design or as-built?

How long have your mechanicals been in service? What is their life cycle? Which ones have you had to repair? What repairs did they have? Were they under warranty?

What is your average utility usage? Are you able to reduce your usage?

How long should it take to clean the entire property? How many people do you need to accomplish the cleaning? What cleaning supplies and equipment do you need?

Do you have owner manuals for all equipment?

Do you have contact information for all occupants?

And there's more

As you can see, there is a great deal to know about each property that I could think off the top of my head. It is far too much information to know every single detail, especially if you have multiple properties. So, the next best thing you can do is to have a system that allows you to track all of that information. Maintenance details, costs, parts numbers, vendor contacts, specifications, manuals, job descriptions, estimates, and so much more. The software that is capable of doing all this can be rather expensive. However, it will save you a great deal of time and trouble when you need to pull up information or create reports.

Of course, you can get by without a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) by managing all of this information on spreadsheets and folders on your computer. You could conceivably even do this with paper records if you are sufficiently organized. As long as you have a way to quickly find and use information about your property, it will save you a great deal of time when you have to get repairs done. Even a personal residence can use a database of sorts to help keep the upkeep organized and running like clockwork.

As a Facility Manager, it is not my job to do repairs. It is my job to ensure that the maintenance work is done and the information is recorded. The work can be done in-house or contracted out. It is bookkeeping. It is setting up planned maintenance. It is staffing. It is reporting to the C-Suite. All of this is information-based.

The content and image are my own.