Four Ways That Facility Managers Can Get Corporate Information
September 16, 2011
Today's tip from Building Operating Management: Get plugged into corporate information networks.
Top executives often don't involve facility managers early in the planning process. And so equipment is delivered but there aren't enough outlets or the right kind of power. Or the equipment simply won't fit in the door. Or a special project requires a company to bring in temporary workers but no one thinks about where they are going to sit. Or no one budgets for installation of costly hardware, even though installation will cost a substantial amount of money.
The only way to avoid situations like those is to get good information. Here are four ways that can happen.
1. In the best cases, the facility manager's boss is in a position to supply information about coming changes that will affect facilities. That way, the facility manager can get direct or nearly direct information about plans that will affect facilities. But facility managers may have to educate their superiors to persuade them to share information.
2. A facility manager doesn't have to depend on a formal reporting relationship to stay in the loop. A department head can be a pipeline. Over the years, one hospital facility manager has been successful in forging a good relationship with the head of surgery, who has a considerable amount of clout in the organization. Now, the head of surgery won't make a move to upgrade anything without telling the facility manager.
3. The hardest part of getting good information from other departments may be establishing an initial connection. A good way to do that is to demonstrate that the facility manager can reduce costs that land in a business unit's budget. Once a facility manager has built up a relationship, it's easier to ask for information.
4. Facility managers should build on success. Facility managers who gain access to timely information have more chances to demonstrate that they can add value. Capitalizing on those opportunities makes it easier to get in on the informal channels of communication in a large organization.