Avoiding operational silos is crucial for any enterprise, and it’s especially important for your facilities team. Getting stuck in a siloed rut, which can happen when individual employees or entire departments don’t have the tools they need to effectively collaborate, can lead to stifled progress and untapped opportunities. In order to combat this counterproductive mentality, many organizations are foregoing the traditional facilities management (FM) model in favor of a more comprehensive approach known as integrated facilities management (IFM).

Integrated Facilities Management, Defined

An IFM approach is just that—integrated—and it happens when all your facilities providers, processes, systems and stakeholders form one unified front. It’s an approach that can be utilized to:

  • Streamline internal processes
  • Enhance the use of technology to leverage actionable insights
  • Control operating costs
  • Improve overall communication and collaboration

Simply put, IFM increases your ability to be agile, efficient and strategic when managing a multi-site organization.

How IFM Can Impact Your Business

So, what does an activated IFM program look like? It all starts when you engage your facilities team, gather asset and project data, and find an FM partner who can help you implement a customized plan. By consolidating your facilities and maintenance projects under one contract coordinated by one point of contact, the effects of the integrated approach will be felt almost immediately.  

For example, if you’re a retailer running a national chain store, you’re probably familiar with this common conundrum: A major HVAC or plumbing failure creates an urgent—and expensive—maintenance need. If you don’t have funds budgeted for this type of emergency, or even if you do, it can put a serious strain on your ability to fund other projects you’d planned to tackle. Not only do you have an urgent need for reliable service providers, but you must also quickly adjust your FM spend to account for this costly, unforeseen event.

Without an IFM solution in place, you’re likely to siphon funds from elsewhere in your budget, which shortchanges other important initiatives that your facilities team will be forced to put on hold. In the interest of resolving the issue quickly, you might hire a service provider that hasn’t been properly vetted, leading to potential problems or liabilities.

An IFM solution can ease the pain of your predicament in a number of ways, starting with:

  • Financial Acumen: The right solutions provider will revolutionize the way you put together your budget. Some will even go the extra mile and work directly with you to craft a spending plan using informed insights and historical program data to understand your stores’ monetary needs. They can help you plan for emergencies and budget accordingly after a major event takes place. 
  • Technology: As more and more IFM platforms enter the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is sophisticated enough to address your organization’s needs. Seek out a platform that is customizable—an out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all approach will not help solve immediate or long-term problems. 
  • Advanced Analytics: Analytics can help prevent emergency events before they happen. By tracking individual assets according to model, age, service history and more, you’ll gain a firm grasp on problem areas, including how to mitigate the need for emergency repairs through preventive maintenance.
  • Trusted Independent Service Providers (ISPs): When disaster strikes, you need help and you need it quickly. An IFM solution will give you access to a national network of trusted, licensed ISPs that work wherever you operate your stores. Your IFM solutions provider will interface with each service provider and manage the communication process so you can focus on your operational tasks.  
  • Consultative Support: Software alone cannot deliver true value. Converting data into action requires human intelligence, and you should select an IFM solution that can bring skilled expertise to the table.

Moving from a siloed, legacy model to an integrated one can help facilities teams and senior leadership work more effectively, together. It’s an approach that will have ripple effects across your organization, leading you to make informed, data-backed decisions powered by insights from a provider that truly understands your business.

Interested in learning more about Integrated Facilities Management? Click here to watch how an IFM Solution can benefit your organization.

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