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By Robin R. Zoufalik
A key role of facility managers is meeting budget requirements and keeping outlays on utilities trim. Most facility managers are acutely aware of the challenge, especially if strategies are not in place or there's a lack of technology to help.Here are four tips to help facility managers cut building operations costs:1. Utilize TechnologyThe most significant change in facilities management within the last decade was the advancement in technologies around the concept of the Internet of Things. While many facility managers still view these technologies as an added cost, the ease of operation and installation available to operations and facilities management professionals today is impressive. Often the buying decision for upgrading to automated buildings tech comes downs to the cost savings in the medium and long terms. When your company has the budget to invest in, for example, solar panels or intelligent lighting, you'll see big reductions in energy waste and cost. 2. Communicate and Grow A Green CultureIf your facility is commercial, industrial, or residential, then communicating with your tenants can help you save on costs. Working together in becoming more energy efficient and greener can help reduce costs while ensuring everyone becomes more environmentally conscious. Education is the key here. Work with your HR department to foster a greener company culture. Simple tasks like switching to LED lights, lowering the heat or AC when occupants leave their spaces, or getting retail spaces to shut their night lights, are all active ways to cut down costs with the help of your tenants. 3. Work with NatureInstead of turning up the dial on that heating system in the winter, why not let more natural light into your facility? That way you are enabling the sunlight to naturally heat up the space. In the summer, closing some blinds or curtains can help keep facilities cool and decrease energy use of air conditioners. In addition, shrubs and trees can also provide great natural shading to help cool a space. If your facility is in a mostly sunny climate, consider adding solar panels to the roof of your facility. Why not jot down a short list of how you can utilize nature to reduce costs at your facilities. I bet you'd be surprised just how many simple ways nature can play a role. 4. Don’t Overlook the Little ThingsThere are tons of small things you can do to cut costs. You might overlook them because you’re concerned with the bigger picture, but the fact is, these things are all part of a bigger picture. Examples include: turning off vending machine lights, changing filter screens, making sure refrigeration units are kept at the proper temperature, checking windows for leaks, leaving office computers on, etc. By proactively seeking out and dealing with these small things, you can cut your costs by more than you originally thought.Robin R. Zoufalik is the vice president of the sales and marketing department at CleanAlert, the air filter tech manufacturer and distributor based out of Ohio. His core experience is within the the built environment (analysis, design, construction, and maintenance) including professional services (architects, engineers, contractors), real estate development, property management, and maintenance.