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The Maintenance Management Blog

October 13, 2014

4 Biggest Challenges Facility Managers Face

4 Biggest Challenges Facility Managers Face

Facility managers and maintenance professionals face myriad issues on a day-to-day basis. Some of these problems arise from simple, day-to-day operations, while others are a symptom of a much deeper illness. In this blog post, we will look at four of these big challenges that reliability supervisors need to overcome.

  1. As a facility manager, you truly have your hands full, and anyone who has worked in the position knows how problems can wear on you over time. In your managerial role, you have so many responsibilities, everything from ensuring the facility and grounds under your domain are safe and functional to meet an array of federal and state regulations and compliance standards. Keeping all of these potential problems and tasks under control ranks up there as one of the toughest challenges a facility manager will face. Whether you are new to the reliability field or a hardened veteran, one way to stay on top of your duties is to incorporate the help of facility management software. Beyond helping you juggle and track the various issues that arise, FM software also helps with asset tracking, reporting, invoicing, document storage, issuing work orders, and inventory management. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) really are pivotal for both preventative maintenance and proactive maintenance facility management approaches.
  2. Another challenge FMs face is controlling costs. In a lot of companies, facility managers are viewed as a begrudging necessity; many owners do not realize that not only can your department save them money, but it can also help increase revenue. Of course, if you cannot control costs, then this is a moot point. Increasing the lifespan of equipment (such as boilers and HVAC systems) and properly tracking inventory and assets are two ways you can achieve this goal. Another often overlooked way you can control costs is through energy conservation. As machines get older, they become energy hogs if not properly cared for. These "electricity oinkers" can quickly increase your monthly energy costs by a whopping 20%. Take care of equipment so it (and your budget) doesn't get fat and bloated!
  3. Of course, controlling costs becomes more difficult when you factor in our third challenge: dealing with aging inventory and grounds. As time passes and equipment and building structures age, they begin to wear out. This will eventually lead to breakdowns and issues with structural integrity. Preventative and proactive maintenance go a long way to prolong this, but inevitably, machinery will need to be replaced. Ditto with roofs and so forth. Proper budgeting and planning for these inevitabilities will help to soften the blow and keep them from draining corporate revenues.
  4. Depending upon your niche in the reliability industry, staying on top of regulatory and compliance standards can be another tough challenge. Taking time to read leading industry blogs and ensuring that you (and your staff) set aside time and the budget for continuing education training is key. This can include attending workshops and seminars or even working toward online certifications. Stay informed and you won't have to worry about this particular challenge.


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: facility management, jet engine maintenance — Lisa Richards on October 13, 2014