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5 Tips to Get Stakeholder Buy-In for an IFM Program


March 02, 2023     4 minute read

While facilities management (FM) has seen its share of new technologies and practices over the years, the advent of new digital technologies is nothing short of transformational. In a world beset with increasing complexity, uncertainty, and new challenges, technology-enhanced organizational agility will be the superpower that enables companies not only to survive but thrive.

Within this context, an Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) solution is uniquely designed to leverage technology to optimize productivity and lower costs across an FM program一all to better position companies for this new world order.

Facilities managers attuned to the daily challenges their teams, vendors, and service providers face understand this well. It’s getting the rest of the firm to buy in that can be a challenge.

Here are five essential tips to help get stakeholder buy-in for an IFM program.

1 Align FM Goals With Organizational Goals

When pitching a new plan for your facilities, it’s important to tie your FM needs to the organization's requirements, values, and goals. By aligning your goals with those of the company, you’re more likely to receive a favorable response from the chief decision makers.

As discussed above, if improved resilience is a company priority, having the technology and analytics in place to highlight trends and drive insights can boost flexibility and better accommodate changing conditions across the organization more efficiently.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, nearly 70 percent of respondents reported their tech transformations positively impacted existing revenue streams. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed reported they positively impacted cost reduction measures.

2 Use Facts & Data to Support Your Case

To the extent possible, gather facts, reports, and data to illustrate your program’s pain points. Is your team stretched during particular seasons? Do service delivery compliance reviews fall through the cracks? What happens when a service provider is a no-show? Do technicians lose time locating asset records or waiting on a not-to-exceed amount increase?

Relatedly, maybe your challenge is an inability to access the data needed to accurately evaluate the program in the first place. By most accounts, it was celebrated 19th-century physicist Lord Kelvin who first declared: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This is a concept that should resonate with just about every CFO.

Once senior leadership grasps the gravity of these challenges and how they affect your team’s daily operations, they’ll be more receptive to your proposed need for improvement. Many day-to-day FM responsibilities listed here involve multiple parties and steps that can be executed more efficiently with a holistic IFM solution that optimizes resources across the program.

3 Explain the Benefits of a Total Cost Approach

FM often appears as the second or third line item on a company’s income statement. This often puts it squarely in the crosshairs for blanket cuts when budget reduction is needed.

When cost cuts are made arbitrarily, they often impact program performance and result in higher costs later. For example, reducing preventative maintenance (PM) can save a few dollars now but can cost thousands when assets fail sooner than they would have otherwise. Or, saving the extra cost of a same-day HVAC repair can be washed out by the collateral cost of lost same-day store traffic.

When FM is managed as a patchwork of siloed tasks using legacy cost models, hidden interdependencies are missed, which can inflate costs and inefficiencies.

Alternatively, an integrated FM solution uses a total cost approach一a methodology that considers all costs within the context of a single holistic FM program. Comprehensive, technology-enabled program visibility facilitates workflow improvements, better maintenance scheduling, smarter resource use, and even savings discoveries.

Under a total cost approach, service providers are paid via negotiated pricing and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), regardless of site location or service timing. No more hourly fees, trip charges, overtime, or emergency callout fees. This not only saves time and money, but makes budgeting and forecasting a lot simpler.

Legacy cost models also often include “tech” or subscription fees charged to service providers一which are then passed on to clients. These, too, are eliminated with an IFM solution, saving real money upfront.

In short, an IFM total cost approach can help optimize program efficiencies and achieve true cost reductions without compromising performance.

4 Highlight the Value of Industry Benchmarking

Industry benchmarking is an essential tool in the development and execution of a dynamic and effective business strategy, but it can be difficult to access, especially with granular detail.

An IFM solution, however, provides the tools and data required to measure performance against the industry metrics that matter. For example, industry benchmarking is a cinch with an IFM solution such as NEST’s. Not only does NEST provide the technology needed to capture a company’s most relevant FM metrics, but more than 29 years of industry data, experience, and expertise, for critical context.

5 Finally, Start the Conversation Early

To make FM a priority, it’s up to facilities managers to speak up for their programs and advocate for important upgrades leadership may overlook.

However, getting buy-in from stakeholders for an IFM solution may take a little time, so starting the conversation early can help them better process the magnitude of change IFM can deliver. Once the advantages of IFM are presented, it should make for a compelling alternative to the status quo and boost the organization's strategic footing for the future.

Contact a NEST representative to learn more about our best-in-class Integrated Facilities Management solution and how we can help you prepare to discuss IFM with your company’s stakeholders.

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