Over the years, facility managers have shared a lot of valuable advice about selecting building products. As a way of kicking off October's special technology issue of Building Operating Management, I highlighted some of the recommendations you’ve offered:
One common piece of advice is to speak the language of top management. That includes ROI, of course, but it also might mean HAI — healthcare acquired infections. Every industry has non-financial metrics that matter. If you can translate the impact of facility technology into those terms, you have a better chance of justifying an investment.
Getting funds for a project is only the first step in a process that should culminate in reporting results back up the chain of command. The most successful facility managers use reporting to build credibility and lay the groundwork for future investments.
While communicating up the organization is important, so is encouraging communication within the facility department, say many facility managers. The operating staff can offer important advice on system selection.
A couple of good ways to take advantage of facility staff knowledge is to develop in-house specs and preferred vendor lists. A recent Building Operating Management survey showed that the large majority of respondents have either in-house specs or preferred vendor lists or both for some types of building products. Both can help ensure that the needs of the organization remain front and center through the design and construction process.
While in-house specs and preferred vendor lists are popular, evidence suggests that other useful steps — like reporting results back to top management — could stand to be more common. Take this list as food for thought, provided by your peers.