Cost control: How FMs can benefit from keeping an eye on expenditure

As scrutiny of the bottom line becomes increasingly intense, facilities managers can play a pivotal role in helping companies to minimise costs related to building systems.

Picture the scenario: a meeting is called that will involve a company’s departmental and divisional heads, as well as financial executives and senior managers. The main topic: finding ways in which costs can be cut as operational expenses increase and the broader economic outlook remains uncertain. As a facilities manager, what are you going to say when it’s your turn to suggest possible savings?

This is one specific situation in which having a firm grasp of costs – both current and probable future – can be of significant advantage to an FM. Not only can it make it possible to contribute positively to budgetary discussions, it can also indicate that facilities are being well-managed in every respect – technological, practical and financial.

It therefore follows that the more astute FMs wish to have a complete understanding of where money is being spent, and why. This kind of knowledge allows them to identify areas where building systems can be used more efficiently – for example, to schedule downtime for lighting or air-conditioning on certain levels of a tower building when they are not in use.

For these reasons it makes sense to engage the services of a specialist who has always maintained a specific focus on the cost implications of their systems from the very start of the purchasing process – and at Greenlite we do mean ‘from the very start’. For example, we work with a number of financiers to help companies secure funding to assist in the acquisition of new systems, with payback periods calculated to ensure that unwelcome spikes in outgoings are avoided.

We then work to minimise the expense and time impact of the installation process. Once the fit-out has taken place we can schedule technology upgrades, system checks and other support and maintenance functions to ensure that costs are spread out over a long period of time. This is by no means a standard offer in the industry at this point, but it is precisely the kind of thing that FMS find useful in budgetary meetings!

As the desire to drive down costs and, in particular, reduce energy expenditure continues to intensify, the good news is that FMs now have the means to ensure their departments can more than pull their weight.