Dan Hounsell: Take a Bow, FMD Achievement Award Winners
Replacing a facility's energy-using equipment, from lighting to chillers and boilers, to minimize energy use and generate savings of $10 million annually.
Maximizing a school district's building automation system to keep the rise in total energy use to 0.8 percent over five years, even as total square footage rose by 13.5 percent. Creating a technician training program that energized staff while addressing the shortage of skilled workers.
Achievements in maintenance and engineering management come in all shapes and sizes and arise for various reasons. But one thing they have in common is that they rarely get recognition. Build a new facility, and you get a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Achieve a sales goal, and you get a bonus. But save hundreds of thousands of dollars by curtailing facility energy use or deploy your department's technicians to improve customer satisfaction, and what do you get? You get to move on to the next crisis.
Managers in many cases seem resigned to that reality, in large part. Most understand that their organization does not place a great deal of importance on comprehensive facility maintenance, and they know that almost no matter what they do, phrases such as "out of sight, out of mind" and "necessary evil" are likely to pop up regularly in conversation.
The Facility Maintenance Decisions Achievement Awards shed light on noteworthy accomplishments of eight maintenance and engineering departments. Simply entering the contest is a notable achievement. Managers and their staffs generally are not known for calling attention to their successes, even though they have every right to do so. As Satchel Paige said, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."
Check out the winning departments here. Steal the ideas if you think they can benefit your organization. Then figure out what your department will accomplish this year so you can bring your department some well-deserved attention in next year's achievement awards.
Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities.
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