3 Benchmarking Secrets of Successful Facilities Leaders

by Elizabeth Dukes on November 3, 2016

As every good facilities leader knows, collecting data is an important part of making decisions and analyzing results. And benchmarking is essential to provide context to that data. However, there’s a fine line between having the insight you need and suffering from information overload

Luckily, there are a few go-to tips you can use to make sure you’re using benchmarking to your advantage.

Here are three benchmarking secrets that successful facilities leaders use to solve their biggest workspace and workforce management issues.

Collecting Data for Benchmarking1. Benchmarking isn’t all black and white.

It’s easy to look at data from your facility and your competitors’ facilities and instantly draw a dozen conclusions. However, it’s important to remember that even carefully collected data isn’t completely black and white, and there’s often much more to it than just a bunch of numbers.

The most successful facilities leaders are more likely to review their data with an eye for hidden variables. For instance, while your facility may have the same function and operation as another facility, certain differences—like whether the facility is stand-alone or part of a larger campus—can impact how the data is interpreted.

Keeping in mind both the similarities and the differences between facilities will help produce a more full and useful comparison.

2. Consistency is key.

The most effective benchmarking is treated like a science. And as with all scientific experiments, consistency is key. Being as consistent as possible in how measurements are taken, what features and variables are compared and the methodology for analysis helps to ensure your results are as valuable as possible. While you won’t be able to eliminate all of the potential hidden variables, you can use as much consistency as possible when making your comparisons.

Benchmarking Best Practices3. It’s what you do next that matters most.

As important as benchmarking is, it’s what you do with your results that matters most. After all, the whole purpose of benchmarking is to learn from the best practices of your competitors and then use those insights to strategize for improvements.

Unfortunately, many organizations fail to see the process through, and benchmarking insights never become anything more than simply that—insights. Instead, make sure your results are presented in a clear report that can be accessed by all relevant parties throughout your business. From there, work within your organization to develop action plans that incorporate clear and manageable steps to improvement.

Benchmarking can be an effective and informative way to analyze successes and propose change, but remember: All too often, the difference between successful facilities leaders and unsuccessful facilities leaders is as simple as seeing the bigger picture and following through.

Are you tracking the right data? Download our free eBook, 8 Metrics Every Facility Manager Should Track, to learn what data you should be recording.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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