We get a lot of questions from new clients about creating a successful facility management plan. Here are three things that every organization should know before meeting with a facility management company:

1. Your Organization’s Vision

The most important thing for any organization to know is their operations, mission and vision. If you don’t have those foundations in place, begin by determining your core competencies and identifying markets and audiences. Then determine what you can do to create a difference for that market and client base and outline what you hope to accomplish. From there, put together or clarify a mission and vision that is a stretch but realistic.

Tip: It’s easier – more cost effective – and sustainable - to create a facility management plan around an organization’s existing strategy than to working backwards and creating a strategy to fit around a facility management plan.

2. Your Facility’s Challenges

In order to create an effective plan, it’s imperative to have a good grasp on the parts of your organization that don’t work well. What have you learned to live with but would like to change? Are the hallways too long and narrow? Are things not positioned where they should be? Are the patient rooms and exam rooms too small? Do you have enough – or not enough – storage space? Does your facility enhance your operation or is it a detriment to it? Understand what your patients and staff expect to see and feel at your facility, and contrast that with what they actually do see and feel.

3. Timing is Everything

If you are planning a project or expansion in the future, these plans need to be part of the overall management plan.

Before starting any type of project, have a good sense of the timeline from beginning to end. Know what you want to accomplish and when, then make sure that you’ve allowed enough time and are starting early enough in the process so you don’t feel pressured or pushed to meet deadlines.

If a remodel, retrofit or rebuild is in your plans, meet with your developer and lay out a timeline before talking with the architect about plans and designs. It is much easier to design to a plan than to plan to a design! Ask questions and be sure you understand your decision making process, the project’s structure and schedule.