Posted on 05/14/2015

When it comes to seeing the future, none of us – even with a crystal ball – can predict exactly what will happen. In the case of facility management, this lack of certainty can be frustrating as budgets shrink and resources dwindle.

A chiller can suddenly go out, or a roof may need to be replaced. But just like when your car needs a repair, there are usually warnings along the way that little issues may become big problems – and budget drainers. For facility managers, knowing what's coming around the corner can be just as important as finishing today's to-do list.

By using a facility capital planning solution, you can gain insight into the future, for example:

  • How much useful life is left in the air handler?
  • What will it take to replace that section of roof damaged in a recent storm?
  • How will you prioritize your capital expenditures to use your budget in the best way?

Take the First Step

When it comes to facility capital planning, the first step is knowing what you have. If you manage numerous locations, you may rely on your staff to provide an inventory of assets and create a list of capital requirements. This approach may not include all the assets within the facility because often only the most problematic assets are remembered.

Conducting a detailed assessment of what you have can be revealing in itself. Linking this information to an automated facility and maintenance management solution ensures that you can conduct and track maintenance activities against that information. As a result, you have a detailed record of issues and visibility into asset performance that can feed into your capital planning requirements.

Make Informed Decisions

Once you have the information in front of you, it's time to make decisions. What should be put at the top of the priority list? How much will it cost to fix the issue?

A software solution like VFA.facility can do the hard work for you. The software takes the information you have gathered and prioritizes where to focus your capital budgets, based on rules that you set (e.g., how much you want to invest for the year and what are the priorities). For instance, banks may invest more money in improving the aesthetics of their branches to increase customer satisfaction.

VFA.facility helps streamline your work and provide justification for your budgets by offering clear insight into how you will use your capital budget – something that your finance team will be happy to hear.

Using the Information

Now that you have a plan set in front of you, how will you execute that plan?

If you integrate your capital planning information with a facility maintenance management solution, you have the opportunity to inform both sides as you conduct preventive and reactive maintenance activities. In addition, you can create a checklist of sorts as you work on various capital projects. This process allows you to manage your budgets and timelines. As a result, you can closely track your capital budgets to better understand where you are investing your dollars.

By integrating your capital planning and facility and maintenance management solutions, you can create visibility across your portfolio. No longer are decisions based on "nice to have," but on facts that help your team smartly use its budget while improving your efficiency and operations.

Learn more about Accruent's capital planning solution and facility and maintenance management solution.