Operations Strategy in Commercial Buildings

One Operations Strategy in Commercial Buildings which will make your day better in Facility Management

This is a simple operations strategy, when engaging vendors, suppliers, and contractors, in commercial and residential buildings, can make facility management easier.

The fundamental suppliers, who work for or within your building, are knowledgeable and typically communicable. Make it a necessity that any contractor or supplier you engage, can and will communicate effectively with you, a core requirement. This must include the bad news as well as the good news.

In improving the overall facility management performance of the building, these contractors and suppliers must communicate job and work status information with you. Operations StrategyEven when that vendor must deliver bad news. This information is vital and keeps you, the facility manager, “in the loop”.

Keeping your contractors “on-side” and communicable is one operations strategy in commercial buildings which will make your day easier in Facility Management.

Core Information in supporting your operations strategy in Commercial Buildings

Contractors and suppliers, who will supply core information, are more useful in managing a commercial building than a contractor who might be delivering a superior product yet afraid to deliver the reality of a situation.

Think about it.

These contractors will tell you about issues that are beyond their scope. They will bring to your attention external and internal issues which you need to understand. They deliver an operations strategy that can better prepare you to ensure the improved overall performance of the building.

Good Communication with Contractors is vital

In turn, when the contractor is providing good communications, then the facility manager’s capacity to communicate conditions or issues to asset managers and owners in a timely and concise manner. this, in turn, means less stress and an overall better outcome. The asset manager can act and so can you, as the facility manager.

The “why” effective communication with management is obvious to most.

Getting your contractors to even answer the phone can, at times, be like dragging a ball and a chain…..up a hill……..a very muddy hill. By engaging Contractors who communicate regularly is a simple operations strategy, and a strategy that can have defining benefits for your building’s performance.
Poor communications also make the facility manager look bad. I don’t mean in regards to performance, but short on knowledge on the status of a situation. Inturn making the reactive management process inevitable instead of avoidable.

The contractor could be losing money

The contractor could be losing money, not just in the potential of losing the client, but in the potential of the additional cash flow which would be created by reporting issues effectively.

This one Operations Strategy in Commercial Buildings is supportive for your contractors and suppliers also. The quicker an issue is reported, the quicker the facility manager can issue an order, the quicker the work gets done, and so forth. A team is born.

Why doesn’t it happen like this?

Many of the larger contractors will leave “the low hanging fruit”; at times the field workers will be keener to go home at three o’clock than worry about where the next project might be coming from for their employer.

Contractors may become complacent and only reach out to the Facility manager when it’s a bigger job, looking for the bigger dollar amount. Yet, any business owner will tell you, there is often more profit in the smaller and faster jobs, especially with an existing client.

Not all Contractors are the same, yet, are in the same industry

It’s easy to taint the vendors and contractors with the same brush, but every so often there appears a gem on the horizon, who is not only price effective, but communicative and performs a reasonable job.
One might argue that the situation depends on the technicians which are hired, but is it hiring, training, or the culture of the business.

It’s a combination of all three. Keeping in mind the best technicians will often gravitate toward the companies with the better culture before they follow the dollar.

How do we overcome the complacent contractor?

Looking for the “whip and chair” approach might be effective with contractors, but only for a short period and it can be quite exhausting.

Project manager with Schematics drawingsWe found, by engaging the smaller companies, say 3 to 15 service technicians, depending on the discipline, we achieved overall better communications and better results. Especially in the written format, and we received prompt service.

The hierarchy, in these smaller businesses, is typically horizontal; there is the owner, then the team. The owners of this business are keen to grow, they are hungry for work, they are hungry for good payers, and metropolitan locations.

The Operations Strategy in Commercial Buildings

Contractors we use need to have values that are aligned with our own. Including integrity, honesty, commitment, and skill.

However, we need something more. We need to establish the contractor’s “hunger”.

If we have a hungry crew/business owner, we usually have compliance, communications, and a reasonable outcome for a reasonable price. Ensuring a contractor is keen, hungry, and supports you and your performance, then when they deliver their product, and they communicate with you to ensure they get the next job. You are building a team.

Thank you for reading

PERFORMANCE FACILITY MANAGEMENT