Commercial facilities managers are juggling a lot—keeping buildings running inside and out, managing budgets and contracts, and trying to be proactive while also responding to facilities emergencies. At MCS, we talk to commercial facilities managers every day. Here are nine of the most common challenges we hear, along with our team’s recommendations on how to manage them.
1. Reduction in staff
Across the board, commercial facilities managers are struggling with a reduction in staff, making it difficult to address issues impacting their properties in a timely manner. A full-service property service partner can help fill those gaps by acting as an extension of your team.
“At MCS, we work with commercial facilities managers to customize a comprehensive plan for your properties,” says Tom Snyder, Vice President of Business Development for Commercial Services at MCS. “From interior repairs, maintenance and renovations to comprehensive exterior services, including snow removal, landscaping and parking lot maintenance, we have experts who can provide strategic guidance on how best to manage these aspects of your facilities maintenance programs, along with the resources to get the work done on time and on budget.”
2. Getting eyes on your properties
Because you have so many responsibilities as a commercial facilities manager, you are often pulled in multiple directions and tasked with putting out so many fires that you may not have time to keep eyes on all of your properties. This is where having a qualified facilities partner can help.
A proactive commercial property services partner can help keep you clued into what’s happening at your properties through their self-performing teams or service partner networks. It’s also important to look for a partner that offers a robust technology platform with before and after photos, detailed information on the work completed and any guidance on immediate needs or preventative maintenance.
3. Consistency from location to location
Maintaining consistency across your brand from location to location can be challenging, especially if you’re relying on a number of local and regional service providers.
“Moving to a centralized service model can help on a variety of fronts, including ensuring brand consistency across your locations,” says Teresa Phelps, Vice President of Business Development for Commercial Services at MCS. “It’s important to maintain your brand across properties and markets so customers know what to expect.”
4. Not knowing your total spend
Having local and regional service partners paid by different people via different budgets and methods across your locations makes it difficult to truly capture your total spend.
“Consider hitting reset and start tracking your overall spend,” Snyder says. “A centralized model can help because a service partner can track and report the numbers for you. We can help you hit that reset button, so you’ll have something measurable to gauge performance against year after year.”
5. Finding service providers
With the state of the industry today, finding high-quality service providers to complete routine and emergency work orders is more difficult than ever for commercial facilities managers. And if you’ve been working with local or regional providers and you’re trying to centralize, it can be difficult to know where to start.
"When you work with a company like MCS, it’s our job to find the best service providers, not yours,” Snyder says. “Our partners want to work with MCS because we have ample work and are easy and pleasant to work with. Our network of 30,000+ certified service partners, along with our self-performing service centers in key markets, provides coverage and flexibility to get work completed.”
6. Too many responsibilities
From plumbing and HVAC to electrical and exterior, managing a multitude of internal priorities means every priority isn’t actually one. But when you work with a services partner who can provide comprehensive interior and exterior facilities maintenance, they can get all types of jobs done.
“When you choose the right services partner, you don’t have to worry about projects getting overlooked or whether you’re prioritizing them effectively,” says Dan Riddle, Vice President of Business Development at MCS. “We work with you to cover all of the services you need, with our technology and our people, so you don’t need to worry about it.”
7. Managing jobs
As a commercial facilities manager, you’re charged with keeping track of work orders and paying hundreds of providers. These essential but time-consuming tasks can prevent you from focusing on your other responsibilities.
A partner with a robust technology platform can give you a clear view of the services that are scheduled and when they’ve been completed, providing transparency into the work order management process
8. Developing an accurate RFP or SOW
Disconnects between your facilities and procurement teams regarding expectations can lead to challenges in getting the services you need.
“Having alignment and clear communications between commercial facilities managers and procurement teams can help determine the right level of detail and ensure accuracy in your RFPs and SOWs,” Riddle says. “It’s important to have a scope of work that aligns with your expectations as well, and that could mean having seasonal/regional SOWs that can address geographical differences in needs between locations.”
9. Saving money/staying under budget
Managing your budgets as a commercial facilities manager will always be a challenge, but giving one partner multiple areas and bundling high- and low-density markets can yield savings through better total pricing.
“The more locations you include in your scope and bid helps bundle those higher-density markets with lower ones, helping drive your costs down with providers,” Phelps notes. “You may also want to consider preventive maintenance plans for the buildings you manage to help save on emergency repair costs.”
If you’re looking for a partner with solutions to the commercial facilities management challenges you’re facing, we have you covered. MCS and Chain Store Maintenance – an MCS Company offer comprehensive interior and exterior facility services for commercial properties across the country. Contact MCS at Commercial@MCS360.com or Chain Store Maintenance at Repair@ChainStore.com today to learn more about our flexible suite of commercial property solutions that can be tailored to your needs.