By Ameeta Soni
Last week, VFA attended the National Facilities Management and Technology Conference and Expo (NFMT), where representatives from a variety of industries met to learn more about building process and facility performance challenges and solutions. Attendance by facility managers from the Federal and state/local government, along with the K-12 and higher education sectors was especially evident, suggesting strong interest in facilities management from these key market sectors.
At the Expo, VFA announced version 2.3 of its guided self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor with mobile/offline survey support. Complementing professional condition assessments, the VFA.auditor guided self-assessment solution resonated very well with facility and operations managers. The support for mobile devices was also of high interest with many of the managers who were familiar with the explosion and availability of mobile tablets hitting the market.
The VFA team also attended a great panel which featured panelists from the corporate, healthcare and government sectors. They all had good advice for facility management teams including:
• Invest in their skill sets, focus on preparation and on presenting credible data to their organization
• Speak the language of the stakeholders within their organization — whether it’s a CFO, board of directors or the users/owners of the institution
• Collaborate with other areas of their organization, and build relationships, to make a stand for solid facility management procedures.
Since a facility team’s work is often “behind the scenes,” they need to publicize it within their organization — garnering support and building key relationships to help meet their goals. Objective data is an important foundation of an organization’s capital planning efforts. It is also important to measure consistently, to develop a baseline and to show progress.
All in all, NFMT was a great show this year — with lots of interesting and engaged attendees. And, the VFA team is looking forward to seeing how these ideas and these people will touch the facility management and capital planning industry through the remainder of 2011.