How to Find the Extra Two (or 10) Percent in Facilities Management

In retail, it’s no longer good enough to simply provide products for sale—online retailers can easily beat brick and mortar stores with a wider range of products, lower prices and the option for customers to shop from their phones anywhere and everywhere. Brick and mortar retailers have to provide an in-store experience that draws customers to the store and drives them to buy without consulting a lower price online.

To succeed, today’s businesses need to take a much closer look at how they run their stores. They need to provide the best possible in-store experience, and they must understand how to work smarter and more efficiently to provide this experience. That means everything from adding valuable services like a “beauty concierge” in the makeup aisle to transforming a store’s physical layout to look more like a boutique and less like a typical department store.

It means looking for small ways to have a big impact. A few years ago, Jonah Keri’s book The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Baseball Team from Worst to First was published. No, this blog post did not suddenly veer into sports; the book illustrates how focusing on creating many tiny advantages can help an organization get ahead. This is especially true in industries that have been conducting business the same way for decades and decades, whether that business is baseball or retail.

With that in mind, running a successful store in today’s disruptive environment doesn’t just mean creating better in-store experiences for shoppers. It also means looking closely at retail facility management—specifically, how the store operates behind the scenes and finding opportunities to be more efficient.

The legacy approach to how facility maintenance is sourced is based on lowest hourly rate ... only to end up paying trip charges, plus emergency fees and, occasionally, overtime when something goes wrong. Click To Tweet It’s an accepted way of doing things that many organizations merely see as non-revenue generating costs that can’t be changed.

But smart companies are leaning on the combination of technology, processes, and resources to find better results for their businesses.

Technology provides the opportunity to see both the big picture—how maintenance is being managed across your stores—and the details—specifics of each work order category. You can view this data in one place and gain transparency into what types of maintenance are being done and how much you’re spending.

Taking a closer look at processes can also help businesses cut costs. This means triaging maintenance requests in a singular command center to track and monitor each issue. Overhauling your processes also means viewing your facilities management and assets at a strategic level—making decisions based on maintenance patterns that emerge over time.

The right resources can lower costs and improve satisfaction across stores. A large network of service providers who are vetted, compliant and carefully reviewed after completing work orders ensure that business owners are working with the best people and receiving the best service.

In 2018, it’s time to move forward from the status quo and begin looking for more opportunities to better run your business.

Pivoting away from the way your facilities have always been managed and taking a more strategic approach to it can help you save money, operate more efficiently, and even improve the in-store customer experience.

What are your thoughts on the current retail environment? Are you doing anything differently this year?

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