What Are You Playing For?

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Every business has risk, and every risk needs to be managed. Your opinion and emotions around risk will vary depending on your position, role, and personality. This is ok. The problem comes when you approach risk with the wrong mindset.

Playing to win...or playing to not lose.

Some people want to win while others hate to lose. The latter of the two will keep you from growth.When I played high school baseball, I went through the first half of my freshman season with really bad hitting slump.After one of my games my dad told me he could tell I was not at the plate to get a hit. I was up there to not strike out. It took a few more games to work this thought into my confidence. Soon I was back to hitting. But, it was too late. The next year I was cut from the team due to my reputation of being a poor hitter.I am glad I learned this lesson in high school because I have been able to carry the wisdom into my adult life. Whenever I am not hitting goals I can quickly ask, “Am I playing to win or playing to not lose?”I see this happen everyday. Folks make the safe, average choice because everyone else is doing it.They stay at a job instead of trying for a new role or starting a business.They make purchases based on what other people are doing instead of breaking from the crowd.They don’t speak up because they are afraid of what others will think.It’s much safer staying in the herd than it is searching for food on your own. The herd is where it feels comfortable.The problem is when the herd is heading towards danger. You can’t see it from the inside. It’s too crowded.

Playing to win.

Your BEST option for maximum effectiveness and fulfillment is to be the fastest and most agile member of your herd.Is it the most risky. Absolutely. There is more pain in the front, for sure. There is more judgement and more criticism too.It’s also the place that positions you to lead, direct, and impact the herd.Why wait to start a new career, position, or company?Why wait to make the choice that could've changed the trajectory of your business?Why wait to for everyone else to buy the thing you want to make sure it is a secure choice.Why wait to do what you need to do in order to grow?You can follow the herd if you want. It’s safe there...for now.

Are you playing to win or just playing to not lose?

Now FM Dashboard Looks Great No Matter Your Screen

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Facilities managers jobs are becoming increasingly more mobile. With travel schedules, stores to visit, and meetings to attend, you may not always be in front of your computer.That’s why we have been working hard to make sure you are connected to your facilities work orders, locations, and assets no matter what screen you are on.There is no pinching, zooming, or wrestling with your devise. You simply get a beautiful, intuitive, and full-function interface to manage your facilities on the go.There is nothing to download, so you get access whether you are on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Nokia, or whatever mobile operating system you use.FM Dashboard is built on top of 100% responsive built-for-the-web technology. This makes it fast, intuitive, and seriously easy to use.To find out more, or to see a live demo, sign up here.

I Bet You Won't Take This Challenge

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Most of you will read this and never do anything with it. Don’t worry, that’s ok.For those of you who do try it, guess what? This is the exact principal we used to decrease a customer’s average invoices by over 30%.It’s called Parkinson’s Law and it’s POWERFUL.Parkinson’s Law is the adage that work expands to the container it’s given and spending increases to fill the budget given. It’s fascinating stuff. If you want to learn more there is a whole book written about it.Give someone an hour to get a 10 minute job done. It will probably take close to one hour.The same thing applies to facilities maintenance with NTE’s. Give someone $400 to get the job done and they are going to charge you close to $400. It’s basic human nature.

Here’s the challenge:

For one week, pick one trade and cut your NTE down to $150 for every reactive maintenance work order you send out.After one week compare your invoices to your company average for that trade.

2 things will happen.

  1. Your average invoice for this trade will decrease dramatically.
  2. The amount of NTE increases you will have to approve will go up. (Note: This is why you are only going to do one trade for one week.)

Item number 1 is a good thing. Item number 2 is completely unsustainable.You might be wondering how this technique can be used for the long term. Don’t worry, NTE automation comes baked in with FM Dashboard. The software takes care of all of the work while you get all of the reward.You should seriously give it a try.

Focusing on the Right Things

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What are the metrics that truly matter to your facilities program?You can create a report for any and every imaginable combination of data you collect with today’s technology. The question is, “What is worth tracking?”The answer to this question varies.First, define your goal. Second, only pay attention to the data that matters.

What’s your goal?

Is it to reduce costs?Is it to improve facility conditions?Is it to reduce equipment down time?Is it to decrease the amount of trips to your sites for repairs?

What should you be paying attention to?

Whatever your goals are, you need to make sure you are watching the right metrics.It does not matter how many work orders are issued across your entire portfolio if your main goal is to make sure every facility is in pristine condition.And, average invoice probably plays a bigger role in cost reduction than hourly rates.

Ignore the rest.

Focus is just as much about what you chose to ignore as it is about where you chose to focus. Once you pick the metrics that matter for your goal, ignore the others because they don’t matter.It’s easy to get lost in the surplus of choices you have at your disposal.

3 Predictions for the Facilities Industry

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If you have been paying attention to news about the economy, you may have seen some information about new construction and housing starts on the rise.And … since you are most likely affected by the lack of skilled labor, you know this issue is affecting our industry.Our job as a facilities maintenance technology company is to keep our eyes on the horizon and identify trends that will affect you and your role as a facilities manager.

Here are some predictions:

Prediction 1: The low rates you have enjoyed from the slow economy are going away.

Contractor hourly rates are going to increase incrementally over the next 12 - 18 months and then rapidly over the next few years. As more skilled labor turns to higher paychecks in the new construction world, the repair contractors how remain will also go to the highest paying customers.Our advice? Start looking for ways to reduce the amount of time contractors spend onsite. Take a look at how you manage NTE’s. Start negotiating contracts with longer terms for your repair contractors.

Prediction 2: You are going to have more work to do, and you are going to get more help in the office.

As the economy picks up, so will foot traffic in your stores. More things will break which means more work for you. The good news is, your company will have the cash to bring in help.Our advice? Begin developing the roles and characteristics for the folks you will inevitably be hiring. Knowing what you are looking for will reduce the amount of time it will take to identify candidates when you start feeling the pain of more work orders coming through your inbox.

Prediction 3: Preventative maintenance programs will be less common, less frequent, and only to keep up with the terms for equipment warranties.

Industry benchmarking data shows companies who have preventative maintenance programs also spend more money on their facilities programs.Our advice? Take a look at the programs you have in place. Decide what has to be done, and what can be looked at less frequently. Also, put processes in place to identify problem equipment and locations in real time instead of after the fact.This is our short list. What predictions do you see on the horizon?