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    Are These Sneaky Facility Management Costs Draining Your Budget?

    Elizabeth Dukes

    As you prepare your facility management budget for next year, you’re likely looking for opportunities to cut costs and reallocate funds toward capital improvements. But before you begin slashing necessities, there’s another way to free up funds: vanquishing your budget vampires.

    That is, finding and fixing the hidden facility management costs quietly draining your FM budget.

    Here are some of the most common ones.

    4 Sneaky Facility Management Costs

    1. Deferred Maintenance

    While postponing maintenance might save a little money up front, failing to complete upgrades and repairs will likely cost much more in the long-term. The longer you put it off, the more expensive the project becomes — especially if a neglected system goes down and has to be replaced entirely.

    Using facility maintenance software to keep track of preventive maintenance and service requests will help you avoid surprises.

    And if you have to postpone a non-essential upgrade or repair for a month or two, make concrete plans to address it so you don’t end up with a backlog.

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    2. Poor Space Utilization

    As a facility manager, you have to walk a fine line to achieve optimal space utilization. Trying to squeeze too many employees into a single space can create an uncomfortable work environment and hurt productivity. Yet when you consider real estate, heating, cooling and electricity, the cost of just one vacant workstation can be as much as $18,000 per year!

    Using space management software will give you better visibility into space utilization so you can make smarter decisions going forward.

    For instance, if you notice half your office is working remotely at least once a week, you may want to consider a designated work-from-home day that’s consistent for everyone. You might also want to consider adopting a system of shared workstations to account for employees who only come into the office a few days a week.

    3. Missing Assets

    From large machinery to small digital devices, your facility houses all sorts of valuable assets. Keeping track of all this equipment isn’t easy, especially if you’re relying on Excel spreadsheets.

    Occasionally, assets go missing. Whether it’s a server misplaced in a broom closet or a laptop that’s still in a former employee’s possession, missing assets can be a massive drain on your budget.

    A good asset tracking solution can help you efficiently track everything from printers, copiers and IT equipment to computers and furniture. Not only will you know where things are stored, but you can also identify which equipment needs updated or upgraded. Plus you’ll know when something is nearing the end of its life cycle so you can ensure you have the budget to cover a replacement.

    4. Poor Print and Copy Management

    Anyone who accidentally printed 100 copies of something when they meant to print 10 knows the guilt that comes with “killing trees.” Unfortunately, you’re not alone. US offices use more than 12 trillion sheets of paper a year, and paper accounts for 50 percent of business waste, according to data from The World Counts. But it’s not just an environmental issue—it’s a financial burden, too.

    One way to reduce paper waste is by implementing a copy and print management solution. This way, you can keep tabs on printer usage and employees can ensure they’re ordering only the print jobs they really need. This results in less paper waste and curtails the operational costs of maintaining printers and copy machines.

    Regain Control of Your Facility Management Costs

    Some of the most significant facility management costs aren’t always the big-ticket items you expect, but the smaller expenses that slip under your radar.

    With an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) that combines facility maintenance software, asset management and more into a single platform, you’ll be able to spot these silent budget-killers before they sneak up on you. Gaining control of these costs allows you to invest in more exciting improvements that add value to your organization. And when you can better account for your spending, it will be easier to justify a budget increase next year.

    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    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.