Retail facilities managers face mounting pressure to enhance the customer experience, deliver on cost reductions, and manage more locations with fewer resources. However, facility managers can overcome common problems by understanding how technology can help them in choosing the right solution.
Retail Facilities Managers Oversee Multi-site Portfolios
Retails facilities managers are continually stretched in different directions, and those overseeing multi-site portfolios feel the stretch even more. C-Suite executives expect retail facility managers to overcome the obstacles to managing a multi-site portfolio efficiently. However, facility managers cannot be in two places at once. Or can they?
Facilities managers can leverage knowledge to oversee multiple sites from a central location. Innovative technologies, like cloud-based computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), analytics platforms, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, can give facilities managers a 360° view into all locations and facilities management activities. Similarly, the use of centralized, cloud-based technologies can help facility managers meet a demand for budget cuts.
Aging Inventory and Grounds Cause More Problems
The majority of commercial buildings in the U.S., including retail facilities, are at least 33 years old, reports Naomi Millán of FacilitiesNet. Aging Inventory, facility equipment, and grounds cause additional problems for retail facilities managers.
Retail facility managers can leverage facilities management technology to gain visibility into the age, repair history, and presumed life expectancy of assets. Therefore, facility managers can quickly identify systems, facilities, and assets in need of greater attention.
Regulatory and Compliance Standards Are More Important Than Ever
Regulations and compliance standards have always played a role in facilities management, but increased scrutiny by watchdog groups, social media, and mainstream media makes regulatory and compliance standards more important than ever. So, facility managers must ensure their facilities adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, as well as the socially conscious standards of today’s public.
The internet of things and analytics enable broad and detail-oriented analysis and review of retail facilities’ adherence to such standards. For retailers selling perishable food items, compliance standards take on a new level; staying in compliance is equal to keeping their consumers healthy and free from foodborne illness. Thus, knowing when refrigerated food cases may fail, via wireless temperature readings, can prevent food from inching closer to the pathogen-growing temperature.
Facilities Management Never Takes a Break
Facilities managers in retail do not have the luxury of a set closing time. Also, more retail facilities operate on a 24/7 schedule, so closing hours may not exist to address facilities management needs. Moreover, a store operating around-the-clock will use facility equipment more often than their daylight hour counterparts. Even when nothing is going wrong, facilities managers must also deal with managing an endless stream of vendors.
A robust preventative maintenance program, paired with a preventative handyman program, can help facilities managers overcome the challenge of constant demands for support. Analytics in the system, automated reporting, and outsourced services may also be used to reduce the workload on facilities managers. The same technologies can be applied to vendor management as well, reducing workload and overall facilities management spend.
Put the Power of a Nationwide, Experienced Facilities Management Partner to Work for You
Retail facilities management is filled with risks and opportunities, key aspects of the Six Sigma methodology, and retail facilities managers must balance risks, opportunities, and challenges to reduce facility spend. Unfortunately, the problems can be overwhelming to one person or department, so outsourcing may be the solution you need. Find out how your organization can overcome facilities management problems by contacting QSI Facilities online today.