When it comes to successful facilities management, there are a lot of moving parts. But when you tie technology and data, financial consulting, operational excellence and Independent Service Providers (ISPs) together, you get the perfect package: integrated facilities management (IFM). Here’s a brief look into some frequently asked questions about IFM with Rick Sung, Vice President of Sales.
NEST: What are the signs IFM components are missing from a retailer’s workforce management?
Sung: The red flags start when you are unable to track, analyze or budget by category or General Ledger code. When you can’t project spend or target necessary cost reductions during the fiscal year, take a step back. These tasks are your organization’s foundation, and if neglected, they cause internal staff to work tactically instead of strategically—impacting the company on a larger scale and causing a reduction of the availability of your FM staff. As limited financial reporting and lackluster financial statements float up the chain of command, it results in negative customer feedback and store surveys.
NEST: Why is preventive maintenance critical to a successful business model?
Sung: Retailers doing preventive maintenance on a regular basis (i.e., with the changing of the seasons) will see fewer mechanical breakdowns, avoid part replacements and mitigate capital expenditure expenses. But an IFM platform takes preventive maintenance to the next level: The right IFM program allows you to track repair ratios linked to preventive maintenance services—also known as expense mitigation.
NEST: What myths about IFM partners exist?
Sung: The biggest myth is that IFM partners negatively impact revenue and eliminate jobs. But really, people just fear making a change. Legacy thinking and traditional approaches to FM cause increased expenses and hurt program performance. In fact, true IFM partners do not eliminate jobs. They help to improve overall performance and effectiveness.
NEST: How do retailers feel after they connect with an IFM partner? And what about when retailers don’t have this supplemental team?
Sung: When retailers connect with an IFM partner they feel:
- Control: Prior to having an IFM platform, retailers lack a good reporting apparatus, visibility in incurred expenses and flexibility to reduce or redirect costs.
- Savings: Many retailers think hourly rates are the way the cost model works 99.9 percent of the time. But that is actually the biggest savings-model fallacy. If Service Providers take an extra 15 minutes during a job to handle preventive maintenance, you could save thousands of dollars in future maintenance costs. Only by moving away from this antiquated approach will you be able to produce real hard dollar savings.
- Improvement: IFM programs allow retail leaders to improve on-site procedures, expedite dispatching Providers, leverage IFM operational support teams/expertise and rely on the Quality Assurance (QA) team to help improve FM.
When retailers don’t have the support of an IFM partner they feel:
- Unknown: Without an IFM program, retailers face having poor financial acumen, reporting and an inability to look at total expenses and accurate make financial projects and adjustments.
- Blind: Without complete visibility into spending and maintenance costs, retailers have no way to follow the paper trail and control their expenses.
- Reactive: Without predictive analytics or the resources to respond to unplanned events, retailers will always be taking two steps forward, one step back.
NEST: What do retailers miss when they don’t have the right financial consultant?
Sung: When retailers don’t have the support and financial resources from an IFM partner, they have a lesser degree of control of spend and lack the financial support and reporting to pivot those resources. We must forgo the “head in the sand” mentality and instead, budget accurately year over year—especially with facilities management being one of the top 10 profit and loss expenses.
NEST: What key elements lead to strategic success in the world of IFM?
Sung: The four key elements are: financial acumen and support, technology as a tool and not a work order platform, operational and process improvement and best in class service delivery.
With an IFM partner, you have the support you need to take a systematic approach to facilities management. At NEST, we are not here to turn over a worker order and send the bill. We care about improving clients’ lives and supporting our clients’ financial needs. We are here to help you get to the next level, not transform you.