Why is FM critical for 2023?

According to the International Facility Management Association: “Facilities management is an organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.”

Companies can take their facilities management to the next level through an integrated approach. Also known as Integrated Facilities Management (IFM), businesses with physical locations can take a holistic approach with systems and processes in a single outsourced, technology-focused partner. IFM combines the tech with a team of FM experts, analysts and providers to ensure efficiencies with budgets, timelines, work orders and customer satisfaction.

Here are 5 reasons we believe facility management has become a critical function in 2023.

Fluctuating temperatures, severe storms and other natural disasters are happening more frequently. We’ve all seen the headlines warning of the effects and dangers of climate change.

While some companies prioritize sustainability, others still do the minimum or nothing at all. With ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) becoming more mainstream, the prioritization of sustainability will only increase for facilities management teams.

Not only does it impact the environment, but going green can save green. According to a McKinsey report, an unnamed major water utility company achieved a cost savings of almost $180 million per year after taking preventative maintenance measures and tackling energy consumption. 3M is another example that has reportedly saved $2.2 billion since beginning its initiative in 1975.

Maintaining ever-changing compliance rules and regulations can leave anyone’s head spinning. Whether it’s adjusting to ESG rules, indoor air quality standards or data privacy, compliance is an underlying factor that cannot be overlooked.

In an IFM system, compliance trickles down to the teams doing the work across the country. An IFM partner can ensure providers are adhering to local regulations and help find suppliers with compliant products.

Customer And Employee Experience
The best way to guarantee employees remain with a company or customers return to a business is by providing an unmatched experience. If a customer walks into a store that is too hot, emits an odor or has trash visibly overflowing, it's unlikely they will return.

In brick-and-mortar industries like retail, customer satisfaction is critical. The fastest way to implode an excellent customer experience is to lose focus on a facilities management strategy—leading to problems like a non-functioning HVAC system, broken fixtures and subpar janitorial.

Millions of dollars are spent each year as a result of third-party data breaches. Unsecured service providers, suppliers and contractors can be an entry point for the most frustrating and costly breaches.

Professional IFM partners will have systems in place to combat these events with the most advanced technology and will implement security protocols. Work with companies that are Type 2 (SOC2)-certified, meaning they meet the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) industry standard best practices for customer data management.

Cost Savings And Increased Revenue
Facilities management is typically viewed as a non-revenue-producing department. However, an IFM approach will not burden public-facing employees with a problem at the store level.

Leveraging facilities management solutions can afford businesses more opportunities to focus on top-line revenue. If a business operates multiple stores, it needs to stay on top of the age of its parts and systems, such as HVAC. An IFM partner can help plan when to replace a system rather than repair it, saving money in the long run.

Integrating Your Facilities Management Approach
The right IFM partner can ensure a service call gets the job done the first time correctly.

When a company considers an IFM partner, it should first realize they are not necessarily replacing an in-house FM team. In fact, your IFM provider will become a valuable extension of their department to make smarter decisions that combine data and industry expertise.

Consider how much flexibility an IFM partner will bring to your team. For example, how will they use mobile technology as part of a work order management system? If used properly, everyone’s productivity goes up. Can the IFM partner allow sales employees who work on the floor to easily create work orders and upload photos and notes? Consider end-to-end communication from the store manager through the work order process to the service provider and the final service verification.

Retailers and other multi-site businesses should consider the cost savings—not only in the near term but also in the long term. For example, if you have 150 stories with 150 HVAC units, do you know the lifespan of each one and when it makes sense to repair it versus replacing the entire unit?

Companies today have ongoing concerns about labor, supply chain, climate and the economy. As a result, facilities management teams face many challenges ahead. But with the right partners and a holistic approach, businesses can weather any storm that might head their way with the right partner, systems and processes to succeed.

Feel free to contact us today with questions or for additional information on how we can help you.

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Our systems and network allow us to service the entire state of Michigan, including but not limited to the metro areas of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Lansing.