Facility Portfolios: The Importance of Strategic Planning

March 22, 2013

Guest Blogger Paul Gatland, UK-based Sales Director at VFA Ltd., explains the importance of strategic planning for facility portfolios.

In 2013, an aging estate combined with economic challenges means that the need for accurate long-term planning, budgeting and forecasting is more critical than ever. Government ministries, schools, hospitals, and corporations are challenged to plan for and manage facilities as effectively and efficiently as possible. How can organisations maximise the value of their existing estate on a lean budget? How can they determine which critical projects should be funded and which can be deferred?

Facility management resources are challenged to take the lead on this. It’s key that the long view is not based on opinions or predictions, but on objective hard data and sophisticated analysis. Increasingly, FMs are looking to software tools for FM and capital planning, as data becomes increasingly complex and voluminous. Technology can help convert large amounts of raw data into meaningful information for intelligent decision-making. Facilities teams need to be armed with the tools they need to request funds and demonstrate the consequences since most organisations require a return on investment (ROI) justification for key expenditures. Securing the best software solution for an effective, strategic facilities capital plan is no exception. Some of the benefits that can be expected from using software to track, manage and analyse facility data include:

• When facility conditions are known and scheduled repairs and renewals are performed, the likelihood of costly emergency repairs and down time, resulting in a loss of business continuity, is decreased.
• Procurement costs are also lowered when organisations can view their entire portfolio of planned projects, enabling them to bundle projects and buy at reduced bulk rates.
• Estate-wide project planning reduces the likelihood of duplicate purchases and over-buying
• Proactive facilities management means that when projects are planned in advance, there is sufficient time to gather competitive pricing.
• With solid facility condition data and benchmarks, organisations can model the economics of building repair vs. new construction.

As estates become an increasingly significant aspect of an organisation’s strategic plans, the need for accurate long-term planning, budgeting and forecasting is increasingly more critical. The best way to do this?  Leverage the latest tools to enable smart decisions.

To read my entire article, visit Tomorrow’s FM.

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