With uncertainties looming in 2009, facility management in the short term is critical. Here are three areas we are working with clients on in the coming months –

1. Cost-effective spaces

Many people are holding back on expansion plans and looking at downsizing to reduce expenses. However, this is also an opportunity to create more efficient space. Instead, look at spaces that haven’t been working efficiently and reconfigure the layout.

By identifying over- or under-used areas and reconfiguring spaces into a more effective layout, you can reduce waste, inventory and inefficiencies. This can also potentially add value by using the areas for a variety of purposes.

2. Instead of building new - update

You may find yourself with older buildings that simply may not create the right efficiency of space because they don't and possibly cannot meet codes or are not wired to handle current technology needs.

Rather than build new – update. A slow economy may be the ideal time to begin transitioning to a wireless or paperless workplace. And, improving an aging facility can add value to the bottom line.

3. Think outside the box

In 2009, look for new opportunities. Move past traditional thinking and consider an alternative competitive plan or different strategies for your existing facility uses and design. Consider seeking assistance from an outside organization to evaluate and explore ideas and opportunities that you may not be aware of. Take the opportunity to match your facility plans to your strategic plans.