For public-sector agencies, real estate serves a unique role. Most visibly, it provides a place for serving constituents and honoring the unique needs of diverse stakeholders. Yet, behind the scenes, real estate represents a profound opportunity to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and make progress toward leaner, more energy- and cost-efficient government operations.
Some federal, state and local government agencies are partnering with facility management service providers in search of cost-savings approaches that also enhance stakeholder satisfaction. A qualified facility management provider can generate millions of dollars in savings through operational efficiency improvements. It can create workplace environments that promote sustainability and productivity, and ensure safety and regulatory compliance across your facilities.
Related: Implementing Green Leases
With the right outsourcing partner, your agency can expect significant facilities cost reductions and reinforced safety processes. The organization’s in-house facility management professionals can join the partner’s team and continue to serve their facilities as they have. The difference, however, is that they’ll have access to current technologies and training, as well as new long-term career options.
The following are five ways facility management partnerships are helping public agencies reduce costs while advancing their missions:
1. Reducing procurement costs with centralized purchasing.
A facility management outsourcing partner will reduce procurement costs through bulk buying; and experience in evaluating, engaging and managing suppliers. They can negotiate on your behalf to obtain volume discounts from building contractors who perform work on your facilities and suppliers of cleaning supplies and other items used in daily building operations. Also important, a leading service provider will have a network of diverse suppliers and processes for transparent reporting.
2. Saving energy with smart strategies and expertise.
About one-third of the energy used by buildings is wasted through inefficient equipment or machinery working improperly. The leading real estate service providers train their building engineers and facility management teams in leading energy conservation and environmental sustainability practices to reduce energy waste. Their trained, accredited energy and sustainability professionals can help achieve your goals for energy conservation.
A leading provider will be able to bring you options for everything from customized smart buildings solutions and portfolio energy management to energy retrofits and alternative energy services. Computerized “smart” systems can remotely monitor and gather intelligence on building operations, generating insights about performance and energy use. A facility management provider will use next-generation maintenance practices to address potential problems, prevent equipment failure and ensure that facility systems are in good working order.
3. Making the most of space through data-driven occupancy planning and space utilization strategies.
Your facility management partner can provide space- and occupancy-planning expertise to help reduce your occupancy costs. With today’s tools and methodologies, it’s possible to cost-effectively harvest and analyze space-utilization data from multiple sources. Using the data, you may be able to shrink your real estate footprint or consolidate some operations to lower-cost locations.
4. Accessing best practices from corporate-sector facility management.
When you partner with a firm that also serves the corporate sector, you’ll gain access to a broad range of diverse best practices drawn from multiple industries. While your organization has a distinct mission to service the public, many corporate practices will be relevant to the public-sector environment. For example, many corporate facility management teams are adopting preventive maintenance strategies that extend building equipment life and prevent operational disruptions.
5. Automating facility management workflows to improve efficiency.
New technology expertise is supercharging the potential capabilities of facility management services. A leading service provider will bestow access to technologies that streamline work-order management and improve services to employees and public officials.
Today, tools abound that can help improve building efficiency and enable managers to make better use of operating and occupancy data. For example, workflow automation tools can help avert personnel inefficiencies, while smart building technologies can generate alerts when systems fall below certain performance expectations.
Machine Learning 101: Is Predictive Analytics Possible in Your Facility?
Your partner may be able to offer an integrated facility management technology platform that generates invaluable business intelligence while giving engineers access to real-time, detailed information about all of your facilities.
Aside from the potential cost savings, a partnership can offer the immeasurable advantage of supporting your mission. By freeing your administrative staff from the daily demands of their facilities operations, your organization will be better able to focus on its core business: advancing the public good.
Kevin Wayer is co-president of JLL Higher Education
Two hand-picked articles to read next: