Six Sigma for Facilities Management: Using Comprehensive Management Styles to Achieve Cost Avoidance

Facilities Managers are under constant pressure to reduce facilities costs and improve the efficiency of their departments. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to facilities management, including waterfall management styles, result in unaccounted for risks and other issues. However, the use of Six Sigma for facilities management considers all potential threats and opportunities, ensuring the planned activities arrive at the best outcome.

What’s Wrong with Traditional Facilities Management Styles?

Traditional facilities management styles are extremely limited. They were designed for use in single-building businesses and before the rise of today’s technologies. As explained by Trade Line Inc, the aging infrastructure of buildings and the impact of advanced analytics and data are vital issues that render traditional management practices obsolescent. Of course, some facilities continue to operate within the boundaries of traditional styles, focusing on the most pressing issues that are immediately evident. Unfortunately, this leads to a continual incidence of deferred maintenance.

How Does Six Sigma for Facilities Management Impact Operations?

Six Sigma, also known as lean facilities management, is designed for applications in any project. Its benefits derive from the ongoing analysis of information to identify potential risks and maximize opportunities for improvement. Identified risks can be mitigated through input variables and root-cause analysis, reducing their risk of recurrence in the future.

For example, using Six Sigma in preventive maintenance leverages data to make informed decisions regarding the replacement of components, energy use, and complex issues. With the level of technology available in today's systems and assets, including HVAC units, failure to deploy data could result in catastrophic equipment failure.

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How Facilities Managers Can Finally Put Six Sigma to Use

Enacting Six Sigma is more complicated than Facilities Managers realize. Although its premise sounds simple, it includes a never-ending cycle of identification, remedies, preparedness for unexpected issues and more. At the same time, this approach must be applied to all possible facilities management activities, ranging from field service vendor management to renovation projects. Facilities Managers considering implementing Six Sigma approaches, as explained by FMJ magazine, should follow these steps:

  1. Define the need and objective of deploying the practice.
  2. Measure performance using technologies and automated capabilities.
  3. Leverage analytics to understand data.
  4. Make meaningful improvements based on data.
  5. Control actions to ensure you achieve the expected outcome.
  6. Repeat steps one through five.

Leverage Six Sigma in Your Organization Now

Six Sigma provides a means of process improvement for critical and non-critical functions and activities. Deploying Six Sigma also eliminates resource misuse, including both labor and material costs, as well as utilities. Those that successfully transition from traditional management styles to Six Sigma approaches will achieve cost avoidance and optimize asset performance.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb