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3 Strategies For Working Smarter In Facility Management

Proactive maintenance strategies will help to offset strained facility resources

Nearly 70 percent of companies are struggling to hire candidates with just under 50 percent reporting staffing shortages. Although struggling to fill skilled trade positions is nothing new, COVID-19 drastically deteriorated the situation with a mass exodus of the workforce. Adding insult to injury, the troubles are not yet over, as another 27 percent of the workforce is set to retire by 2030.

While organizations vie for more hands to turn wrenches, the choked supply chain is furthering the challenge of operations with long lead times and material shortages. Common parts needed to keep equipment operating are simply not available or will not arrive for weeks, if not months. Projects and equipment installations are essentially being shuttered due to long lead times. For example, major equipment, such as chillers and switchgear, purportedly have lead times of 3 to 5 years. News reports speculate that the supply chain will stumble well into 2024.

A shallow labor pool and strained supply chain are setting the industry up for a perfect storm, impacting operations and further stressing facility departments.

While this does paint a bleak picture, this does not mean facility organizations should just lay down and wait it out. Facility practitioners are too creative and stubborn for that. Rather this is the industry’s time to shine, just like it did during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use these pains and strains to promote and justify an evolution, if not a revolution, for your facility management program. Drive your departments and organizations to get ahead of the curve, instead of being crushed by it. The focus must change from reactive to proactive, which requires a plan for success.

Many, if not most organizations are at least 50 percent reactive. The two most prominent causes for this firefighting are not enough resources to perform preventive maintenance (or at least some have convinced themselves of such) and a growing deferred maintenance backlog. Reactive maintenance is grossly inefficient and considerably more costly than planned maintenance.

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