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What Can Facility Managers Do To Cut Costs Without Cutting Quality?

facility management

Managing a facility, while it may include many unexpected “hats” to be worn (project manager, emergency preparedness expert, civil engineer, customer service manager, environmental impact guru, and financial strategist) does have some expected costs. Repairs, routine maintenance, cleaning, and replacement of furnishings as needed are all a part of building ownership and management. 

While there are expectations for “routine” expenses, when it comes to tightening the budget belt, facilities management is the first to feel the pressure. So, the question remains, if and when budget cuts trickle in your direction, what can you do to assure that your facility continues to maintain a high standard of quality? What can you do to save costs now, as well as down the road? 

Below you’ll find some strategies to effectively reduce facilities management cost per square foot without compromising the quality of operations:

How Can Facility Management Reduce Costs?

As a facility manager or building owner, regulating the cost of operations is remarkably important. Here are some surprising – and not so surprising ways you can reduce overall facility management costs:

Reduce Reactive Maintenance Needs – Keep on top of routine maintenance inside and out (without overlooking the smaller details) to reduce reactive maintenance needs. 

Reactive maintenance simply means, for example, you ensure that: 

  • Light fixtures operate properly
  • Locks open smoothly
  • Doors close and seal 
  • Toilets flush 
  • Drinking fountains are clean and flowing well
  • Air filters are routinely changed

Create a routine checklist or use a facility management and maintenance software to track, record, and update routine maintenance that has been performed. Staying ahead of the game with a solid routine maintenance and cleaning cycle can greatly reduce reactive maintenance needs. 

It will also reduce costs by eliminating after-hours emergency repairs because of equipment failure due to a lack of maintenance, and lengthening the life of mechanical equipment, fixtures, and even carpets and furnishings as a result.

Hire Maintenance Experts – A big problem in the facilities management world in regards to costs is using maintenance staff or contractors that aren’t fully trained or even knowledgeable enough to handle the extensive maintenance needs that many buildings require. 

This results in jobs having to be done over repeatedly to get it right, jobs taking excessive amounts of time due to a lack of knowledge and efficiency, and even situations where a problem needs more extensive repairs after a failed attempt at repair or maintenance. Hiring well qualified, trained maintenance staff and contractors can save time and money by getting things done right the first time.

Make Energy Efficient Upgrades – Upping your buildings’ energy efficiency with even small tweaks can save thousands. Some of the biggest areas you can make adjustments for higher energy efficiency are lighting and HVAC. This Buildings.com article has extensive case studies and ideas that you can implement either gradually over time or at once. 

One of these ideas includes transitioning older, high wattage incandescent bulbs and less efficient older style fluorescent bulb/ballast systems with modern LED or fluorescent fixtures and control systems to monitor the occupancy of the space and switch the lights off and on accordingly. 

You could also consider replacing the HVAC handling units. At first, it’s a large expense, but many case studies show the return on your investment can be quick and the cost savings dramatic. 

facility management

How can facility management be improved?

On top of making cost-saving changes, what can you do to improve your buildings’ facility management overall? Many of the things that will create cost savings will also generally make your operations more efficient and improve your overall facility management, as well as the client/customer and employee experience. 

Planning Ahead and Scheduling Maintenance/Cleaning Before It Is Needed – Making improvements to your routine maintenance and cleaning schedule to include extensive lists of preventative maintenance and cleaning tasks for staff and contractors to perform will not only save your building money over time with lower reactive maintenance needs, you’ll also improve the efficiency of the facility management. 

Over time, maintenance tasks will become quicker to complete as your team grows more efficient. Early in a newly scheduled maintenance cycle, many jobs will take longer, as some things may have been left untouched for years. As time goes by, keeping these tasks up won’t be nearly as difficult or time-consuming.

Contract Out Janitorial Services To A Reliable, Well Qualified Company – It’s hard to consider giving up the reins to a major area of tasks that truly make or break the appearance and even the health of your building. This is one area where well-trained professionals can provide a higher level of efficiency, and even though you are hiring out, can also save your company money in the long run. 

Cleaning mistakes made by untrained or insufficiently trained staff members can be costly.  Using the wrong solution to remove a spot from carpeting can destroy the flooring; not following correct protocols for disinfecting restrooms can result in not only offputting smells but sick employees and patrons.  Mixing the wrong cleaners together can cause a significant health hazard and even require your building to be evacuated for a time. 

Not having a consistent cleaning schedule can result in excess wear on surfaces and fixtures that could be avoided with a thorough cleaning routine. Avoid these costly problems altogether by hiring a janitorial service that hires qualified individuals, uses the most productive practices, and has systems in place to ensure they are meeting your needs. 

CSG offers commercial cleaning and full janitorial services to care for your building inside and out, including sometimes overlooked areas like air ducts, lighting maintenance, and park lot care. If you are the Facilities Manager or building owner for a facility in the grocery, retail, educational, medical, or even a typical office building, request a quote from CSG. We look forward to working with you soon!

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