Many businesses have been established to provide diverse products and services for consumers. Each business is in existence to address the unique needs of their customers. For such businesses to remain in existence and continue to be profitable, they must ensure that they are run professionally and efficiently. Many businesses require premises to carry out various operations such as production, warehouse, service provision, and retail services. A good example of such trades is the hospitals, government offices, and retail stores to mention but a few. These facilities and the equipment therein should be functional, operational and safe at all times to ensure that the core mandate of the business is carried out smoothly.
Facility management is an area that is often overlooked by business management. Very little attention is given to this sector until it is too late. The truth of the matter is facility management is a standalone industry that ensures the safe and efficient running of a facility on a round-the-clock basis. Facility management ensures the facility is cleaned, garbage is collected, equipment such as air conditioning and lifts are up and running, all lightings are working and the building has sound security systems at all times. It goes without saying that different facilities present diverse management obligations and challenges due to the nature of the business. It is important that the facility management sector plans and budgets for its operations like any other department. In fact, the facility management sector should view itself as a service provider to the other business departments.
In order to budget appropriately, the facility management sector should operate with critical analysis, foresight, and insight. This means that the budget for this sector should not be drafted haphazardly and at the very last minute. Sound facility management sectors start preparing their budgets six or more months ahead of the next financial year. This enables them to carefully analyze the services that each department will require from them throughout the fiscal year and the frequent such services will be required. The facility management sector also puts into account all the equipment that is operational in a facility, its maintenance requirement, and major repair needs. They also analyze the efficiency of such equipment and their lifespan in order to plan in advance for their replacement. Instead of carryout frequent and expensive repairs on equipment, some equipment may have to be replaced with more efficient machines. All these actions require money which should be budgeted for in advance.
The facility management budget should look at three critical areas in order to provide a functional budget. That is the overall facility management requirement, the facility operations and the manpower needed for facility management. The management should work closely with the facility maintenance personnel to understand their challenges and to understand areas that can be improved on. This is the people who are on the ground and have a better understanding of the best practices that can promote facility efficiency. Once the management understands the area to improve services, they should plan on when and how to implement the changes. This definitely has a cost element attached to it. Once the management has considered all facility maintenance requirements and has prepared a budget for it, it is time to defend this budget to the operational manager. This is simply done by helping the operations manager understand the importance of every budget line.