QSI Facilities Blog

Using Facility Data for Better Capital Planning…Better Capital Decisions

Posted by QSI Facilities on September 05 , 2018

The use of data for better capital planning can net significant benefits to your organization in several, key ways.

Capital planning, capital decisions, and Facilities Management go back to understanding basic Facilities Management costs. Maintenance expenses make up 35 percent of Facilities Management costs, so any use of data for better capital planning must involve the use of data for improved maintenance planning. Facilities Managers need to understand this concept and apply it to their organizations to make better capital decisions.

The Challenges with not Using Data for Better Capital Planning

Imagine life without access to data in Facilities Management. Facilities Managers will be forced to make assumptions about maintenance costs, basic maintenance needs, time to repair, and impact on customer experience. As explained by Buildings.com, the maintenance backlog becomes much longer and Facilities Managers lack access to this information. Essentially, inaccurate forecasting and understanding of facilities needs becomes a self-propagating problem, and the only way to address it lies in fixing the problems that derive from not using data for better capital planning. Additional challenges, reports Cogent, include:

  • A higher frequency of deferred maintenance.
  • Inability to prioritize facilities’ needs.
  • Lack of insight into energy use.
  • Ineffective vendor management.
  • Blind decision making.
  • Increased maintenance spend.
  • Decreased asset longevity.
  • Disruptions to customer experiences.
  • Potential penalties from environmental organizations.

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Tracking and Using Data Enables Better Capital Decisions

The ability to track and use data does give Facilities Managers an upper hand in making capital positions. As explained by Don Ammerman of the Houston Chronicle, businesses that use data can ensure their decisions reflect key concerns of executive-level leadership, such as environmental stewardship, improvement of facility condition and assets, creating a productive work environment, and more. Additional benefits of tracking and using data for better capital planning include:

  • Better collaboration and communication with stakeholders and team members.
  • Ability to determine the time to ROI and see real results.
  • Power to track costs in real time, saving money.
  • Performing preventative maintenance, preventing disruptions.
  • Completing the necessary paperwork for work order scheduling and payment processing.
  • Streamlined Facilities Management, helping Facilities Managers “do more with less.”

How to Start Using Data for Better Capital Planning.

Capital planning is filled with challenges, regardless of industry, reports John Andrews of Healthcare Finance News. As a result, Facilities Managers should start using data to improve capital planning processes. To avoid ambiguity and ensure a comprehensive approach to capital planning, Facilities Managers should follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a facility condition assessment.
  2. Determine the scope of the maintenance backlog.
  3. Collect as much information as possible about the past fiscal year’s facility spend.
  4. Create a plan for addressing the maintenance backlog.
  5. Retrofit facilities with sensors and smart technologies.
  6. Collect data on asset performance.
  7. Complete necessary repairs, as well as those identified as areas of needed preventative maintenance.
  8. Use platforms to track energy cost and facilities spend in real time.
  9. Integrate facilities and energy management systems.
  10. Share findings with upper-level management.
  11. Implement automated alerts, notifications, and self-optimizing systems.
  12. Steamroll the process through managed services.

Kickstart Better Decision Making Through the Use of Data Now

Your organization can start using data for better capital planning by getting started with a comprehensive facility optimization platform that includes energy and asset management. 

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