4 Time-Saving Tips for the Busy Facilities Manager

Advice to help facilities managers maximize their time and efficiency.

Facilities managers have big responsibilities — from the small (but crucial) things like ensuring the breakrooms are clean and the bathrooms have enough paper towels to the big things like managing safety and fighting the flu, every minute of a facilities manager's day is booked, double-booked and triple-booked. Finding a way to get more done with your day is as challenging as finding a way to fit 20 desks where there used to be only 12… so what can you do to save time when you've got all this going on? Here are a few tips.

Price and productivity don't have to be exclusive. You probably spent a lot of time (ouch) determining what products looked like the best fit for your organization on paper, but how are they working out in reality? Items like jumbo roll toilet tissue and folded paper towels look good when price is the only consideration, but end up costing more in time, labor and waste. Keeping an eye on your product usage, asking for expert analysis from suppliers, and paying attention to the feedback from your staff and building occupants can tell you the true story behind how much time your products are spending or saving.

Let your products do the heavy lifting. How much are your products doing for you? Well, they can't fix the refrigerator on the third floor, but they should be doing more than just one job. Whether you're looking at a multi-surface cleaner, a chemical that's eco-friendly and cleans well, or a dispensing system that cuts down on space and waste, there's a lot of time and money value in products that can pull their weight in more than one way.

Your vendors can help. We've talked about how your vendors can save you time, but for the facilities manager on the go, it's especially important. Do you have to pick up the phone every time you have a question about an order or need to process a return? Do you have to run back to your computer or call someone every time you realize you're out of paper towels? Talk to your supplier about self-service options and mobile apps to see if they can help you get your job done wherever you happen to be when a problem arises.

Get company-wide buy-in. What you do for your facility is for the benefit of everyone in your building. Getting their buy-in and support for the things you do is crucial. Certain things, like safety plans and better breakrooms, are important for everyone. Building a culture around the things you do creates better communication, more understanding, and less roadblocks as you try to get your job done, saving time in the long-run and hopefully building visibility for you and your team!