Facilities Portfolio Management: How Much Does Your Company Spend?

by | May 20, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

How much does your company spend on facilities management across your portfolio? How often does that number change, and by how much? If you don’t have the number at hand, could you derive it easily if needed? Depending on how many programs or systems you use to collect and store the data in question, such an exercise can be extremely difficult, or even impossible. This is especially true when trying to figure out the total cost of ownership (TCO) across multiple systems. Using an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) solves the problem, putting all the data needed to calculate facilities management spending in one place, from the asset level up to the portfolio level.

Facilities Portfolio Management for All Your Nouns

Facilities managers are mainly concerned with nouns—the people (staff), places (facilities) and things (assets within those facilities) that make up a given location. Staff may need to be positioned in close proximity to each other or to other teams. Individuals or teams may need a set minimum square footage in which to work. Similarly, the square footage within facilities needs to be used as efficiently as possible while avoiding overcrowding or paying for more space than needed. And assets within facilities need to be maintained and inspected regularly enough to ensure maximum uptime and available usage, but not more often than necessary, since every trip costs time and money. Tracking all of this, down to the asset level as needed, is critical to budgeting sufficiently for operations while minimizing waste.

Fortunately, there are dozens of vendors of facility management software to help do just that. We’re biased, but we suggest you consider Facilities Manager, part of the IBM TRIRIGA® IWMS, which includes the following features:

  • Space measurement and auditing
  • Space use agreements and chargebacks
  • Move planning and management
  • Project administration
  • Strategic planning and space forecasting

Each addresses a different set of variables that comprise facilities portfolio management spending. The idea is not just to give you a total number for such spending, but to also alert you to possibilities for optimization.

Facilities Portfolio Management Spending Variables:
Space Measurement and Auditing

Good facilities management software will let you track people, places and things in ways that you define. For places, that means space measurement and auditing, which are foundational to benchmarking how square footage is used across your portfolio. This helps you get more use from underused facilities and workspaces. For extra accuracy, you’ll want to compare CAD renderings of your facilities to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and International Facility Management Association (IFMA) data to ensure that you and your lessors are on the same page at negotiation time about how much actual usable square footage you’re paying for.

Space management is often one of the greatest opportunities for savings within facilities management. Although having sufficient unused space can give you flexibility and room for growth, paying for far more space than you need is wasteful. With that in mind, one European manufacturer used IBM TRIRIGA to save nearly $19 million in a single year by examining how it was positioning its people and assets within its facilities.

Facilities Portfolio Management Spending Variables:
Space Use Agreements and Chargebacks

Although some might consider space use and chargebacks to be strictly accounting functions, they serve important functions in facilities management. Encouraging accountability by department ties space usage to budgeting. Once you have an initial spending benchmark, you can allocate budgets and empower departments to look for opportunities for additional savings.

Facilities Portfolio Management Spending Variables:
Move Planning and Management

Having measured and audited your space usage, you’ll know well in advance when moves will be required. This will give you added time to negotiate the best possible deals on new space. With that handled, a move planning and management feature will get you ready to relocate and reorganize personnel and assets efficiently when the time comes.

Facilities Portfolio Management Spending Variables:
Project Administration

Beyond space management, you’ll likely want to track work tasks and associated costs. Combined with the features above, this helps you determine the best possible use for a given facility and what the occupancy rate should be—both of which can help you determine what you should spend on facility management and who should pay for it. If spending is approaching your set limits or seems likely to exceed those limits, you’ll get alerts in time to adjust accordingly. Same for schedule milestones.

In the end, you know best which variables are most important to track for your particular organization, so you’ll want to make sure your facilities management software is specifically dialed into them.

Skillful Implementation and Integration Help You Track the Right Variables

If you’re already using an IWMS, you know that downloading the program is the easy part. The step that helps deliver real value is an implementation that integrates the software with your existing systems. This is how you capture existing datastreams in a single location, which lets you benchmark current spending and discover opportunities for new efficiencies and savings.

The best software still needs good data to produce the best results. Getting in-field staff to report and record service call activity and findings will help, so be sure to examine the mobile options for your facility management software.

Again, having all the data from each element in a single location is key to determining TCO. The more discrete variables you can track for each element, the more options you’ll have when analyzing spending to support your budget.

eCIFM specializes in implementing IBM TRIRIGA. With some of the world’s top TRIRIGA developers on staff, you can be confident that your current systems and data will be properly integrated. Contact us today and get started on making the best data-driven decisions possible—for all the facilities in your portfolio.


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