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Toward the end of 1999, I saw a sign that the end was near — at least the end of the stock market boom. It was an ad with a headline that said something like “Yesterday’s Wisdom: Buy low, sell high.” I’m not quite sure what the ad writer thought “today’s wisdom” was, but it’s clear that the idea of buying low and selling high has regained a certain amount of popularity.
That strategy has a problem, of course, or else a lot more people would get rich in the stock market. The problem is actually implementing the idea. Buying low means jumping in when everyone else is running away and prices are falling; selling high means bailing out when everyone seems to be getting richer by the day as prices climb.
Facility executives — and businesses generally — face a similar dilemma in an economy like this one. When business slows down, everyone needs to cut back and find ways to become more efficient.
But cutting back and finding ways to be more efficient aren’t the same thing. In fact, in some cases they’re diametrically opposed.
A case in point is education and training. Courses, seminars, conferences, exhibits — all offer ways to improve efficiency. But money for education is often one of the first things to go when budgets are cut.
That’s unfortunate, because the need for education is, if anything, greater when times are tough.
For those of you interested in finding educational opportunities for yourself or your staff, let me get in a plug for an event sponsored by Building Operating Management and its sister publications at Trade Press Publishing Corp. The National Facilities Management and Technology Conference/Exposition offers more than 40 educational sessions for facility professionals from a cross-section of industries. And they’re free.
It’s the second time we’ve held the event; last year’s NFM&T got great reviews from those who attended. So if you’re looking for a solid educational value, consider NFM&T. The dates are March 6 to 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center. If you’re interested, you can find more information in the special section that begins on page 49.