QSI Facilities Blog

Benchmarking Facilities Maintenance Costs: How a Baseline Assessment Helps You See the Black Swans

Posted by QSI Facilities on October 15 , 2018

Has your organization considered benchmarking facilities maintenance costs, and if not, what is holding you back? 

To answer these questions, Facilities Managers need to understand the true value of benchmarking facilities maintenance costs. Unfortunately, benchmarking is often associated with extra “work” and “data headaches” for Facilities Managers. This is simply not true, and Facilities Managers need to understand what a baseline assessment is and its close relationship with benchmarking processes. 

Poor Benchmarking Increases Risk and Spend

Part of the problem with benchmarking facilities maintenance costs goes back to unrealistic expectations and inaccurate benchmarking processes. Unless comparisons are made with a relevant peer group, actual benefits diminish, reports FM Link. The accuracy within benchmarking among unrealistic expectations is an even bigger problem. Facilities Managers might expect to see a whirlwind of savings, but a menial amount are realized due to comparison problems. Stakeholders only see the failure of the Facility Manager to achieve projected cost savings, not the cause that led to poor realization. As with any business venture, poor results will lead to problems securing additional funds for future benchmarking and increases facilities spend. Even those that do consider peer groups could end up investing in the wrong areas, decreasing time to return on investment and increasing facilities spend. 

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Benchmarking Facilities Maintenance Costs Prioritizes Needs

Benchmarking of facilities maintenance costs increases transparency at a granular level, enables the creation of facts and statistics to support decision-making processes, improves agility in making informed decisions, and adds to business intelligence across your organization. These benefits combine to enhance prioritization of a facility's needs. The wrong investment may have a long-term return, but Facilities Managers that can "pick the low hanging fruit" can successfully increase their value. As a result, Facilities Managers can devote a portion of the budget to ongoing preventative maintenance and facility upgrades, while still providing the best experience possible for building occupants. 

Best Practices in Benchmarking Facilities Maintenance Costs

Instead of simply trying to benchmark facility maintenance costs against a company in the middle of nowhere, Facilities Managers need to follow a few best practices to ensure the results are accurate and reflect the use of new technologies and resources, including big data analytics, machine learning, and more. For example, maintenance best practices may include the creation of metrics to track material procurement, maintenance system utilization, reactive maintenance work as a measure of overall maintenance spend, and the development of new equipment standards for replacement parts, explains the IFMA Foundation. However, a few additional best practices reports FacilitiesNet, include: 

  1. Determine your true peer group.  
  2. Reduce communication problems.  
  3. Justify improvements with data.  
  4. Focus on project economics.  
  5. Be consistent.  

Following these steps can help realize significant savings. For instance, savings from space utilization are shown in the following graphic, published by FM Benchmarking.  

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Know the Maintenance Data for Your Facility With an Advanced CMMS Now

Maintenance costs are only going to increase with time. Assets will break down, replacement parts will grow more expensive, and additional delays in securing a field service technician to perform maintenance may exist. Considering the current state of the economy, labor costs will also increase, so it is in your best interest to benchmark the facility costs or maintenance and determine what steps can be taken to reduce spending. In fact, this is why more Facilities Managers are turning to modern CMMS solutions that leverage new technology and systems to gain insights into data. Visit QSI Facilities online, or give us a call at 1-888-328-2454 to find out how you can harness the power of a modern CMMS today.