Tips for Better Facilities Management Budgeting Throughout the Year

By: Jason Cesare, Chief Financial Officer

Rome wasn’t built in a day (Hail Cesare!), and your next budget won’t be, either. When it comes to putting a facilities management (FM) budget together, timing is key—start too soon, and the data you base your projections on will have become outdated by the time you’re ready to roll out your annual financial plan. Or, the market may have changed so much in the interim that your forecasted spend is wildly misaligned with current trends.

On the flip side, waiting too long to get started will almost certainly spell disaster, leading to a feeble budget that’s likely to require more work, money and resources to correct. While you can expect to make adjustments as needed throughout the year, starting off with a plan in place will ensure your budget stays on track.

Here are a few ways to gain control of your FM spend and plan for a stronger financial future for your organization.

Get Buy-In from Your FM Team

Budgeting is not a one-person job. Although the CFO is typically the decision-maker to sign off on the finalized fiscal plan, other stakeholders should be given a chance to weigh in, too—and that includes facilities managers and their teams. Since these professionals are the ones on the ground processing requests and completing maintenance projects, they will have the most precise insight into which FM projects are the costliest, and which require more budgetary attention. With input from facilities managers, C-level executives and board members can be comfortable they’re adopting a budget inclusive of every necessary detail and hidden expense.

Spot Trends and Use Them to Your Advantage

Reflecting on the past can help forge a better path forward, which is why looking at prior trends and financial records can be helpful when planning your annual budget. Whether you realize it or not, there are likely several trends occurring within your FM department that, if leveraged wisely, could yield extra cost savings.

The key here is knowing what to look for—without an advanced FM platform or business solution to track key data points and provide analytics, you simply won’t have the high-level perspective required to make good use of these trends. With the aid of an FM partner that can not only track data points but advise on how to take action, you’ll have a better grasp on how to use these insights to your advantage.

Routinely Assess Your Assets

Whether it’s brand new or on its last leg, things like your lighting, HVAC and plumbing systems are bound to break down at one point or another. These expenses can take a toll on your budget, especially if a costly repair or replacement strikes during the first quarter and wipes out what you’d budgeted for the rest of the year. Certain issues cannot be prevented, but it’s beneficial to take stock of your organization’s FM assets on a regular basis. This will allow you to make better judgment calls about whether repairing or replacing a piece of equipment makes the most financial sense.

Understanding the full scope of your FM spend is no easy task, but it’s a necessary one if you want your budget to survive the year. Although you can’t prepare for every little bump in the road, the guidance only a reliable FM partner can provide might be all you need to stay on budget while accomplishing greater strategic goals.