The old adage of spending money to make money has never been truer. As the business world becomes more global and technological advancements grow exponentially, companies are often struggling to stay relevant and profitable. Therefore, the logical choice to stay competitive is to invest in the operational aspects of your company. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult sell to a boss who is really focusing on the bottom line. Predicting their arguments and preparing ahead of time is your best strategy. Below are some common arguments FMs face regarding facilities management software and how to convince management that the benefits outweigh the costs.
#1 "My facilities team does a good job without Facilities Software”
The back office has historically been just that, the back of the office. Traditionally, The C-Suite only considered the facilities team as a line item for cost cutting and the group who made sure their coffee was hot and their office was cool with little knowledge of the multiple, critical tasks that ensured the workplace worked. However, in order to keep tight control over costs and ensure the office is functioning, the FM needs data. They need to be able to know how current space, services and assets are used and how effectively they are delivering these required resources. Without technology, they are basically key inputting data into a spreadsheet, which becomes out of date as soon as the FM presses “save”. Not to mention that this spreadsheet can’t be shared with other groups to use. As a result, your facilities team will be inefficient and unable to proactively track and deliver valuable needs for the workforce. How is the FM supposed to keep up in this high-tech, face-paced world with just a spreadsheet and an inbox for tools?
How You Can Respond
Today’s FM is the Ambassador of the Workspace. They are the group that ensures the work environment suits the needs of the workforce. Attracting talent and maintaining your skilled workforce, is one of the single biggest challenges for today’s competitive organization. Talent is not attracted to a workspace that is maintained with 3 part forms and generic email inboxes. The lack of technology impacts the FM in two critical ways. The FM cannot keep up with accurate data to maintain a flexible, cost effective work environment. It they can’t measure what they have, how it is used and what the worker wants they will be unable to adapt to the demands of the workforce. In addition, without technology the employee is limited in their ability to engage the FM. Today’s workforce is used to accessing resources via their phone and they want an immediate response and feedback.
#2 "None of our competitors use FM”
We all heard from our mothers growing up "If Timmy jumped off a bridge, would you?". We have always been taught to lead the pack, not follow. Traditional thinking says, implementing facilities management software BEFORE your competition is too risky. Why should we invest in our business in a way that is not in perfect sync with our peers?
How You Can Respond
But you want to be a leader in your field? If you are a leader in your field, you will attract the best talent and are likely to be the leader in your industry. On the flip side if you don’t invest you won't be leading the pack for long. Most executives are in their position because they have learned to study the numbers. Download and share with your CEO our blog post Worldwide spending on IWMS software will surpass $1 billion in 2013, which reveals just how far ahead revenues for IWMS sales are over every other business technology segment. With a 16.3 percent growth rate and revenues expected to hit $1.7 billion by 2018, IWMS sales more than double business intelligence (7 percent) and enterprise resource planning (6.7 percent). The reason for these numbers is because the work environment is one of the single most important element in attracting and keeping talent.
#3 "FMS is only for BIG companies”
If you are the facilities manager for a small company, you have already overcome the first hurdle. You are working with an organization that has proven they are committed to excelling in their field, perhaps someday BEING a big company.
How You Can Respond
In order to be big, you have to think big. While you may find that many of the large corporations are utilizing software tools that do not apply to you, there are many tools that can be implemented that are very real to your cause. Identify which procedures are burdensome and time consuming and which can be enhanced through technology. Then align yourself with the right software company, one that is easy to use and flexible. The software company should be able to help you assess your current systems, aid you in selecting modules to correct inefficient procedures, as well as integrate with your existing systems that have proven productive.
#4 "We won't get any ROI from FMS”
Executives want to know that their dollars are being well spent. They want to know that monies spent will not only save, but will potentially MAKE them money. That is, after all, how every successful organization makes it to the top.
How You Can Respond
The best way to assure those at the top--show them the numbers. Our ebook Discover the 8 Metrics in Particular Every FM Must Track provides real world examples of challenges your company might be facing, along with solutions and tangible results. You might also want to consider sharing some of our case studies which outline how some of our current customers have solved matters that every business faces. With more of today's workforce working from home or on the road, organizations are finding they can save big money through restructuring how their spatial assets are used. Studies indicate that each employee costs a company approximately $9,000 annually. Further studies show that through the use of space management software an organization can see a savings of up to 5 percent in total occupancy. For a 400 employee company, that is a savings of $180,000 per year! Depending upon the size of the company, organizations also lose big money during downtime. Expenses vary depending upon the frequency and severity of repairs and the number of replacement parts required. Even software or database downtime stands to cost a company major dollars. These costs range anywhere from $90,000 per hour all the way up to $6.48 million per hour, depending upon the size of the operation and the amount of downtime. With facilities maintenance software and stronger asset management, organizations can head off these issues and decrease the costs incurred. Savings that goes right back into the company's pocket.
Now You're Ready
You will not win any arguments without cold, hard facts to back you up. Executives want to know where every dollar is being spent and that there is solid purpose behind spending. But with a thought out plan and the right numbers, you can convince even the most conservative boss to make the leap to invest in the software system that is right for his/her company.
With any successful team, a foundation of support has to be strong yet flexible. The most effective support team is one which thinks for itself and keeps your company's best interest in mind. Sometimes it takes bold ideas to motivate continued success and growth and, although these paradigm shifts may be difficult to sell at first, the proper information and talking points will strengthen your case.