Strategic Facility Planning Is Crucial for Facility Managers in a Down Economy
Strategic facility planning (SFP) is hardly a new concept, but it has now gained added relevance, and in fact has become positively crucial, courtesy of the current economic crisis. This is the thesis of a July 22 article at FMLink (“Strategic Facility Planning — Now More Important Than Ever“) that draws on a comprehensive 2009 report on the process from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). And it’s a thesis with which we wholeheartedly agree.
The IFMA report — “Strategic Facility Planning: A White Paper” (pdf) — defines SFP as “the process by which a facility management organization envisions its future by linking its purpose to the strategy of the overall organization and then developing goals, objectives and action plans to achieve that future. The result of the strategic facility planning process is the strategic facility plan.” Naturally, one of the issues involved in SFP — or actually it’s at the tail end of the process — is facility maintenance, which is where the whole concept hooks into our core concern with HVAC.
The IFMA document offers a very detailed guide to SFP for facility managers who may not be entirely familiar with what it involves. Then the FMLink story, written by Mark Sekula, senior facility management consultant at Facility Engineering Associates, ties the issue to current economic conditions:
“In this time of economic downturn, it is difficult to think about strategic planning. Most everyone’s focus is on surviving the storm. Organizations continue to cut costs — again. They’re looking for new business and creating innovative ways to package and deliver existing products and services. They’re offering new products and services. They’re rethinking everything. As the facility manager, you have obviously been impacted. It’s likely you’ve been asked to reduce your operating costs and defer some maintenance. Or maybe you’re scrambling to consolidate space because of workforce reductions.
This is exactly why strategic facility planning is so important. It forces you to think of the what-ifs. Maybe you would be doing things differently now if a few years ago you asked yourself a few questions like: What if the global economy fell apart six months from now? What if all of a sudden national unemployment rose to nearly 10 percent? What if my company’s revenues fell 25 percent or more in a matter of months? What would I do?”
He then goes on to answer those questions in detail, using the IFMA paper as a guide.
It’s all very cogently argued and chock-full of eminently practical information that is, as indicated, quite relevant to what’s going on in the real world right now. So we commend both documents to your attention.
Goodway Blogging Team
Your Next HVAC Purchase?
Click to activate a 10% coupon or insert the coupon code 10PERCENT upon checkout.