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Survey Shows Changes to Facility Budgets, Staffing Levels



Data from Building Operating Management cover range of building types, including office, education, healthcare, government, and hospitality.


By Edward Sullivan, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: New Survey Data Reports Changes in Facility Capital BudgetsPt. 3: FMs Report Changes in Operating BudgetsPt. 4: Latest Survey Shows Changes in Facility Staffing Levels



In 2018, far more facility managers reported increases in capital and operating expense budgets and in staffing than reported decreases, according to data from the latest survey data from Building Operating Management. Facility managers are upbeat about 2019, with roughly the same percentage of respondents expecting gains in capital and operating budgets and in staffing.

This report provides data on current (2018) year CapEx and OpEx budgets, next year (2019) CapEx budgets and OpEx budgets, as well as current and next year staffing levels. The report breaks down percentage increases and decreases for the following types of buildings:

• corporate office

• colleges and universities

• government, with breakdowns for federal, municipal, and state buildings 

• hospitality 

• K-12 schools

• leased space, and

• healthcare facilities

The survey asks facility managers whether capital and operating budgets increased by 5 percent or more, increased by less than 5 percent, stayed the same, decreased by less than 5 percent, or decreased by 5 percent or more. It also asks about expectations for next year.

For current year (2018) capital expense budgets (1,391 responses):

• 6 percent reported a decrease of 5 percent or more

• 6 percent reported a decrease of less than 5 percent

• 30 percent reported an increase of 5 percent or more 

• 15 percent reported an increase of less than 5 percent

• 43 percent reported that their budget stayed the same

For next year (2019) capital budgets (1,389 responses): 

• 6 percent expected a decrease of 5 percent or more

• 5 percent expected a decrease of less than 5 percent

• 33 percent expected an increase of 5 percent or more 

• 15 percent expected an increase of less than 5 percent

• 43 percent expected their budget to stay the same 

Click here for CapEx data broken down by building type.

For current year (2018) operating expense budgets (1,384 responses):

• 6 percent reported a decrease of 5 percent or more

• 8 percent reported a decrease of less than 5 percent

• 22 percent reported an increase of 5 percent or more 

• 24 percent reported an increase of less than 5 percent

• 40 percent reported that their budget stayed the same

For next year (2019) operating budgets (1,386 responses): 

• 5 percent expected a decrease of 5 percent or more

• 6 percent expected a decrease of less than 5 percent

• 26 percent expected an increase of 5 percent or more 

• 26 percent expected an increase of less than 5 percent

• 37 percent expected their budget to stay the same 

Click here for OpEx data broken down by building type.

The survey also asked facility managers whether they had added positions, reduced positions, or kept staffing levels unchanged. Responses for current year (2018) actual numbers:

• Added positions: 30 percent

• Kept staffing unchanged: 56 percent

• Reduced/eliminated positions: 14 percent

Responses for next year (2019):

• Add positions: 33 percent

• Keep staffing unchanged: 59 percent

• Reduce/eliminate positions: 8 percent

Click here for staffing data broken down by building type.

In past surveys, facility managers have sometimes tended to overestimate the chances of adding staff or to underestimate the chances that positions will be cut. For example, in 2017, only 7 percent of respondents expected staff cuts in 2018, but 14 percent of respondents this year reported that positions had been lost.

Looking at Trends

Capital expense budgets: In every year until 2018, the number of stayed-the-same responses has been greater than either total increases or total decreases. Stayed-the-same responses have held steady in the range of 40 to 46 percent since the survey began tracking CapEx and OpEx budgets in 2012. But over that period the number of respondents reporting increases has steadily grown, while the number of decreases has fallen just as steadily. Among facility managers reporting increases, the number who say their capital expense budget increased by 5 percent or more was twice the number who reported increases of less than 5 percent — as has been roughly the case every year. That trend, combined with the large number of stay-the-same responses, suggests that overall capital spending on facilities has increased strongly during the current economic expansion.

Operating expense budgets: This is the second year in a row in which increases outnumbered stayed-the-same responses. The latter category has fallen into a narrow range each year — between 38 and 43 percent of responses — while the number reporting increases has climbed steadily and the number reporting decreases has dropped. 

Staffing. Building Operating Management began tracking staff change numbers in 2008. The impact of the Great Recession became apparent in the 2009 data, with staff cuts more than doubling from 22 percent to 45 percent. Since then, the number of respondents reporting that they added staff has grown every year, while the number saying they had cut positions has on the whole fallen. It should be noted that the past two years have seen an increase in staff cuts from the low of 9 percent in 2016 (16 percent in 2017 and 14 percent on 2018).

Building Operating Management survey data suggests a slow but steady increase in outsourcing. The numbers have stayed pretty consistent from year to year regardless of the economy: 7 to 10 percent report decreases in outsourcing; 16 to 20 percent report increases; 71 to 75 percent report staying about the same. In other words, there are roughly twice as many respondents reporting increases as decreases. Over time, that would add up to  a substantial increase in the use of outsourcing.

 




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  posted on 1/8/2019   Article Use Policy




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