Facilities Capital Planning in a Global Environment

December 8, 2010

By Ameeta Soni

Facilities planning and budgeting within your organization can be hard enough; but what if your organization has real properties around the globe? Where do multi-national organizations begin in their planning?

Don’t worry! Even with a vast and complex real estate portfolio, it is possible for a global organization to get a handle on this issue.  To do this, start with two basic steps:

1.       Create a central repository for facility data. This repository will enable regional facility managers to maintain current, accurate data and develop long-term capital budgets. It’s great to have a single place that helps facility managers accurately estimate the cost of both products and labor in many local markets, often with differing currencies.

2.       Make it a priority to cultivate multi-currency capabilities. Multi-currency capabilities will help you to develop and maintain productive relationships with international customers and vendors while handling transactions in any number of currencies.

It’s best if you use a standard reporting structure that allows FMs to view project information in a common currency, enabling comparison of costs across different regions as well as centralized cost reporting. The frequency of associated transactions typically drives how frequently the exchange rates used to calculate reporting currency totals are updated. This could be an annual, monthly or daily occurrence.

By eliminating the pain point of multi-currency reporting, it’s easier to evaluate the needs of an organization’s facility portfolio across multiple geographies and then to target areas for where you can be more efficient.

Do you work in a global FM environment? Can you share any other tips for facilities capital planning?

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