Which FM Metrics Should You Be Tracking?

by James McDonald on November 9, 2015

Due to the incredibly complex nature of today’s facility manager’s duties, it has become increasingly important that FMs take a metrics-based approach to tracking successes and inefficiencies. Facilities management can realize increased efficiencies and productivity with the help of key performance indicators (KPIs) and success levels. Fortunately, due to the rapid growth of technology and workplace tools, organizations have the ability to capture metrics data in real-time, allowing for a consistent, formal analysis strategy. Organizations looking to position themselves as leaders in their industry must not only collect valuable data, they must follow through, taking action based on the outcome of the analytics. While the values each business measures vary, there are a few essential metrics every facilities manager should track for maximized results.

“Safety is perhaps the most important area in which a facility manager is involved, and it requires the individual to have some knowledge about a wide range of topics, including operational considerations, testing and inspection requirements and policies and procedures.” -UMS Marketing

Space Occupancy/Vacancy

Not long ago, tracking and managing office occupancy and vacancy was a fairly simple process. Workspaces were individually assigned and operational hours were nine to five, five days a week. Innovative workplace tools, however, now using technology for tracking space occupancy in your modern facilityoffer businesses the opportunity to develop more flexible strategies. Flexible working hours, telecommuting arrangements, and coworking opportunities have brought about a more enhanced workplace experience and higher returns for businesses. With this flexibility, however, comes a new set of space management challenges for facilities management teams.

To determine the most efficient space allocation strategy, FMs should turn to occupancy data regarding every square foot of space, including:

  • The number of employees and contractors, as well as their location(s)
  • The total square footage and how much is allocated to offices, workstations, desktops, meeting rooms, and collaborative spaces plus which of these is a dedicated space and which are shared spaces?
  • The number of claimed/occupied spaces
  • % of actual space used
  • % of space that is dedicated to specific users and/or departments

By understanding the details, you gain a clearer understanding as to where space utilization inefficiencies lie, recognize future needs, and are able to plan for reallocation, accordingly.

Staff Growth for Planning Workspace Moves

Anticipating spatial needs as your organization moves forward can be a complex challenge for facilities management teams. As businesses grow, their staffing needs grow as well, requiring additional space for new employees. Due to the high cost of moving or transforming spaces, a metric-based approach to considering space reallocation is critical. To better position yourself for making these decisions, consider the following metrics:

Current & Past Moves: Track and analyze all moves within the office and the details surrounding these changes. By tracking moves weekly, monthly, annually, and seasonally, you can better predict future needs, as well as get a feel for what worked best for the company, as a whole, for each department, and your workforce as individuals.

Staff Growth Rate: Divide the number of employees leaving by the number of new hires to determine your staff growth rate and how this will affect your spatial needs. You will also want to coordinate with HR to project new hiring plans over the next month, quarter, and year. This provides you ample lead time for planning future moves.

Service Requests

Any down time in productivity both directly and indirectly affects the health and efficiency of your organization and causes frustrations amongst your workforce. Building a strong service request strategy, however, will minimize these losses in productivity. For a healthy foundation, your facilities team requires a strong knowledge as to how maintenance is currently handled, the service request process, how varying needs are communicated, and accountability standards.

Invest in the right tools that will help put all disparate information together into one system of metrics. With these metrics, your team will have more of an understanding as to how to proceed with developing a preventative maintenance plan, the strengths and weaknesses of your work order process, and will establish a basis for requesting increased budget for operational needs.

Maintenance Costs and Sustainability Efforts

Without an accurate measure of current facility costs, facilities managers cannot accurately assist C-suite in developing an annual budget or ensure the proper resources are allocated to effectively manage the facility. In an effort to reduce facility costs and decrease carbon footprint, organizations are now turning more of their focus towards sustainability and preventative maintenance plans. To accurately measure where your company can trim the fat, detailed record-keeping and dashboard analytics will be your biggest tool.

Adjusting maintenance costs based on fm metrics

Utilize your IWMS to collect data regarding energy consumption and maintenance costs to anticipate future needs over the next twelve months. Include projections for future growth and analyze equipment maintenance costs to predict physical assets that are a potential drain on the annual budget, both from repair costs and energy waste. Your facility maintenance plan will be in a constant state of flux, but as you realize opportunities for improvement and implement such changes, your need to measure and evaluate data can adjust to match necessity.

As you become more efficient in your processes, you may find that data evaluations can move from weekly to monthly and eventually quarterly.


Proper management of organizational assets ensures the workforce has the tools required to perform their jobs with efficiency, assists in calculating overhead costs, minimizes downtime, and maximizes the utility of assets. Through asset tracking software, FMs can easily answer the critical questions: what tangible assets do we own or lease? Where are they located/who is using them? How are they being utilized? Are they performing up to standard? What do they cost? With these essential questions answered, management helps the organization realize its goals of reducing the budget and maximizing utilities.

Health and Safety

A facilities management team’s ability to effectively manage health and safety issues is critical to the overall health of the organization. Along with developing a well thought-out crisis plan for incidents that threaten the safety of the workforce, FMs must implement a system for frequent inspections, as well as regularly track health and safety incidents to identify patterns. The company’s accident rate should be calculated on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis and serves as a predictive measure for identifying potential future incidents. This data can be used to diagnose pitfalls in organizational processes and equipment that needs more regular attention/maintenance. Additionally, management teams must carefully manage and track service dates for all equipment, automating as service requests when possible. Industry requirements regarding fire, safety, occupancy, and environmental measures should be adhered to for further minimization of safety incidents.

By carefully tracking specific measurements for your company, you are able to tailor the actions you’ll take and maximize your effectiveness in creating positive changes. Business is always in flux, to an extent, so if you are able to nail down certain aspects which directly affect the bottom line, you’ll be able to direct more focus to other fluctuating issues. The overall effort should be to accurately track data and make decisions which make the most sense. Without tools to make this happen, though, you either end up with no changes, which keeps business stagnant, or changes which aren’t properly researched and planned for. Instead, use the available tech tools to make changes with thrust and direction.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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