The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) has once again released its annual report on the nation’s top retail facilities management trends. This year’s report highlights the growing demand regarding e-commerce, concerns over the facilities’ management skills gap, the use of technology to improve facilities management and more. To help your organization stay competitive, you need to understand the top findings in the report.
1. Retail Facilities Management Trends Find Growth throughout the Industry
Retail has faced a major misconception about the impact of e-commerce over the past years. While 36 million FT2 of retail space will be vacated in 2018, the amount of space occupied by new tenants in grocery stores, fitness centers, movie theaters and other retailers is much more. Also, these newer retailers are paying higher rent than their predecessors.
Although it sounds contradictory, higher rent is the direct result of better technology and facilities’ amenities offered for retailers. In turn, this translates into savings and better experiences for consumers.
2. The Facilities Management Skills Gap Widens
Education’s traditional role in securing long-term employment and guaranteeing skilled workers is starting to change. Up to 43 percent of PRSM supplier members experience problems finding qualified, experienced facilities management workers. The need to locate the skill of understanding technology, while also adhering to retail facilities management best practices today, makes the task of finding skilled workers in facility management that much more difficult to accomplish. Further, 31 percent of the retail facilities management workforce is approaching retirement age and an additional 44 percent is already over 51-years-old.
Retailers, governments and educational institutions must work together to promote retail facilities management as an exciting, tech-laden career choice for the current and future generations.
3. Consumers Still Want the Brick-and-Mortar Experience; just turned up a Bit
The report also finds 81 percent of millennial dollars will still be spent in brick-and-mortar stores, but millennials still want options. They want the choice of shopping in-store, online, via an app or through any other venue, otherwise known as omnichannel shopping. As a result, facilities managers must gain greater control over brick-and-mortar processes and accommodate expansion of other facilities management responsibilities, like ensuring maximum network uptime and managing a company’s growing supply chain facilities.
4. New Technology Makes Retail Facilities Management Easier and Faster
Benchmarking is a term that has been around for a while in retail facilities management, but traditional benchmarking is changing. Modern, dynamic benchmarking gives companies the ability to continually benchmark and monitor operation online over time. In conjunction, web-based platforms and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) break constraints of traditional facilities management, letting them do more with less and encouraging effective risk management. Over time, this results in greater benchmarking accuracy and better use of retailers’ resources.
5. E-Commerce Pressures Warehousing to Adapt Preventative Facilities Management Programs & Cut Costs
The booming nature of e-commerce is also forcing warehouses to adapt preventative facilities management programs to suit an ever-growing customer base. Facility managers are being forced to look at new technology being leveraged to improve warehousing operations; this technology requires management and upkeep.
Last mile delivery in transportation is also starting to recognize the power of facilities management oversight. Retail facilities managers are starting to take note of the need for autonomous truck docks, drone landing and takeoff pads, robotics for automated loading and unloading, as well as charging stations for future fleets of drones. As a result, facilities management will eventually incorporate the management of these automated systems and the facilities necessary to make them possible.
Unlock Profitability & Growth by Aligning Business Strategy with Retail Facilities Management Trends
These trends indicate growth in retail is on the horizon. Unfortunately, the dominant retail facilities management trends continue to emphasize the need for facilities managers to do more with less. The modern facility manager must pair technology with a strategy to build competitive advantage. By understanding these trends and their relationship to this overarching fact, your organization can unlock the gateway to better profitability as the world moves toward a data-based realm of retail facilities demands.