For a facility management company, the idea behind benchmarking is to simply provide yourself with hard data to measure the performance of your buildings. This data can be used to compare your building to its performance over time or compare it to other buildings to determine performance.
Before you start benchmarking, it’s important to look at your business objectives. The most logical benchmarks are those that are intended to measure your performance in comparison to your goals. So if you consider your business objectives first, this can help determine what type of data you want to use in your benchmarks.
In most cases, your benchmark data should correlate with your key performance indicators (KPIs). Standard facility management KPIs may be a number of maintenance activities, operating costs, and staff headcount. A good KPI should be easy to measure, and thus easy to include in your benchmarks.
The Importance of Facility Management Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is important because it helps illustrate how close—or far—you are from your goals. If you are going to meet your objectives, it’s important to understand where your performance stands in turn, this will also help guide future decisions so that you can improve your performance.
None of this can happen without first implementing some way of measuring your current performance through benchmarks.
If you’re a maintenance manager, you should be looking for every strategy possible to improve your performance. By tracking benchmarks based on your KPIs, you’re ensuring that your facility maintenance performance is keeping up with your clients’ expectations. This is the true importance of benchmarking when offering facility service.
When to Use Benchmarks
It could be argued that benchmarks should always be used, regardless of your business’s level of success. Whether you are satisfied with your building’s performance or not, it’s still important to continue to measure performance over time in order to recognize trends. This will help you improve further, or can help you identify and correct a downward trend should it occur.
If you aren’t already using benchmarks for your facilities management business, then you may start if you feel that your building is not performing well compared to a similar building that is managed by another company.
Or maybe one of the buildings in your portfolio is performing better than any of your others, and you want to understand why this is happening. In this case, it may help to improve the performance of all your buildings if you can use benchmarks to identify why one particular building’s facility operations seem to be doing so much better.
However, it would be even better to not wait until you recognize a problem. Instead, beginning to benchmark now can prevent performance problems from occurring.
Who Benefits From Facility Benchmarking?
Benchmarking processes benefit just about everyone involved. If you’re a certified facility manager, you want to ensure that your buildings are all performing up to expectations. You are in the business of keeping your clients happy, and benchmarking is a way to do this.
Facility management benchmarking also benefits the building owner(s), as they are more likely to receive the superior management services that they expect.
Sure, they could also simply hire another company for facility management services if they aren’t satisfied with the performance, but switching vendors can be a major hassle that most business owners would like to avoid. By instead keeping solid benchmarks and using them to improve, a vendor change can be avoided.
Finally, the employees working for your facilities management company benefit. Benchmarks can identify weaknesses in your processes so that you can correct these to improve efficiency. Improved efficiency from a business process perspective makes things easier for your employees.
For example, if your benchmark shows you that you are understaffed, you can adjust and add an additional employee or two to ease the workload on your current employees. Conversely, if you find you are overstaffed, your employees are probably feeling underutilized with not enough work to go around. This can also be discovered and corrected through benchmarks.
Most businesses use some form of benchmarking to measure their success and to discover where improvements can be made. The facility management space is no exception. Consistently tracking benchmarks based on your business’s KPIs can help you keep your business on the right track.
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