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The Financial Challenge of Higher Education Facility Management

Campus facilities are an important part of any college and university experience, but in recent years higher education has been faced with shrinking budgets, smaller grants, and fighting to keep tuition increases at a minimum – meaning that facility managers are faced with the task of keeping up with their growing facility costs as the budget gets smaller.

This challenge is not an easy one to tackle, and facility managers at these institutions have been dealing with them for well over a decade. The facilities costs for a public university have grown over 20% in the past ten years, and that’s only going to continue to grow. So what can be done to help manage this paradox?

Data Collection
Having accurate and updated data is essential for your systems to work and for you to make the right decisions. Take the initiative to collect data on your buildings, equipment, assets, etc. so that you are working with the right details.

Replace Legacy Systems
Do you have old-school CAD data? Do you have rolls of drawings still laying around? Are the books of logs? Anything that you are doing now that was done in the 70’s most likely needs an update. Take advantage of digital information and systems that can save you time and money.

Process Improvements
Do you have to different places for asset data? How do you track changes to the facility? Minimizing the places that you store information and the different processes required to work with that data will help improve efficiency and give you a simpler process. When there are simpler, more efficient processes, the result for the facility manager and their team is indirect cost recovery, better planning, and better insight into your facility’s needs!

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3 Ways Facilities Managers Can Save Money In Healthcare Facilities

As a facility manger you can make decisions that can save your healthcare facility a significant amount of money – helping you lower your operating costs and giving you the ability to use that money on other areas of the facility. Ultimately your goal is to run you facility as efficiently as possible and these three simple steps can help you achieve that goal!

Go Generic

Replacing equipment with generic brand equipment can save you big dollars without sacrificing quality. Just because a device doesn’t have a big brand name on it doesn’t mean that it can’t get the job done. Generic brands are becoming more of the standard and can offer nearly the same level of quality as the big brands. Ask your fellow Facility Managers what brands they are using and if the devices are meeting their expectations. Reviews and recommendations will provide some peace of mind when making the switch and guide you to choose the right generic brand!

Invest Into Technology

Yes, to save more you need to spend more! Technology can help you work faster and more accurately and it doesn’t need to be a massive effort to get started. The right technology will rollout quickly and you should be able to see the ROI almost immediately. Solutions exist for every part of your facility: inventory management, drawing management, staff management etc.

Work With Your Doctors

Having a close relationship with the doctors can provide insight into what inventory and equipment they use, allowing you to have an appropriate amount of inventory. Having too much or too little can cost you money in many ways. Establishing a group of physicians that can provide insight into how the doctors operate is a great way to gain control over your inventory!

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3 Ways Facilities Can Leverage Technology To Mitigate Risk

Reducing risk for your facility is one of the most important jobs of a Facility Manager. Not only does this create a safe environment for your employees, but this also significantly reduces costs – specifically costs that are not in your budget. Technology can be a game changer for Facility Managers looking to reduce their risk, specifically when it comes to security, access control, and auditing.

Security
Keeping your information secure from the outside world is not an easy feat. Facilities have a lot of information to keep secure (facility drawings, purchase order, internal documents, etc.) and this information can be used for malicious intent. Unfortunately, with nearly 60% of corporations experiencing some type of data theft by means of physical documents, it isn’t as simple as keeping everything locked up in a file cabinet (the good old days are behind us). Choosing the right tools with the right security can significantly mitigate the risk of your information falling into the wrong hands.

Access Control
Your facility has a lot of moving parts and therefore a lot of staff. Any time we use the word “risk” you can bet that the word “employee” is also being used. It’s the real world and employees make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes cost you a lot of money. Technology can help us ensure that only employees that need to access information can access that information. The last thing you need is Bob from accounting deleting all of the drawings for the third floor of your facility!

Auditing
With all the moving parts of a facility it’s almost impossible for a Facilities Manager to know who’s doing what each second of the day. Ensuring that you have an audit trail of actions allows you to know when changes are made and who is making them. When you take this approach with digital drawings you also have the big benefit of version control – meaning that not only can we see what changes are made and who made them, but we can also view previous version of a drawing!

Using technology to help us mitigate risk can make your life easy and dramatically affect the bottom line. Eliminating risky situations and unforeseen costs is essential to running an efficient facility.