Cut costs, not staff
When margins are already tight, it’s essential to look harder for backroom efficiencies that you can achieve with your current workforce. And they’re easy to find, if you know where to look.
This whitepaper takes a look at how you can increase productivity by maximising the value of your existing staff and use technology to make time and cost savings.
Track your workforce’s time
You may think you know how much time your workforce has spent on various tasks each week. However, research shows that only 17% of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time.1 Do you really know which of your clients uses up the most hours in a month? Are you aware of what your teams do between tasks? Do you know who worked the most hours in a week and who worked the least? By using a workforce management solution like Timegate, which is built specifically for facilities management, you can retain visibility of your workforce, and of the status of your contract delivery. It offers facilities management (FM) organisations significant advantage by enabling a real-time overview of operations.
In this way, you can see how much you are achieving with the same people by working with new technologies. It will help you pinpoint the value of your data by providing a focus on T&A, scheduling and rostering, budgeting, and management intelligence.
Avoid multi-tasking (it wastes time)
Interestingly, researchers have found that productivity drops by as much as 40% when subjects try to do two or more things at once.2 In the past, the ability to multi-task has been seen as a useful skill to increase efficiency. Now, the opposite may be true as psychologists have found that trying to do several tasks at the same time can result in lost time and productivity.
Employees should actively be encouraged to give a single task their full attention before they move on to the next thing.
Learn how to manage interruptions
This leads on to the next point, which is how to reduce the number of distractions and interruptions each worker experiences in the course of their working day. A study has found that people take 25 minutes to resume their work after being interrupted in their task.3 And nowadays distractions are everywhere. Phone calls, emails, instant messaging, social media are ever-present. A typical office worker will check their email 50 times and use instant messaging 77 times every day.4 Another main cause of disruption is your co-workers. It’s important to let your colleagues know when you are concentrating and should not be disturbed. Minimising interruptions may actually mean scheduling time in your calendar for email, messaging and talking to your fellow workers.
If you know there will be times of the day when you will almost certainly be interrupted, then you should allow the time for that activity in your calendar.
Outsource time-consuming tasks
Lowering operational costs and freeing up internal resources to focus on higher value tasks are two of the main reasons for FM organisations to outsource some of their functions.
Outsourcing allows you to focus on your core business and delegate mundane time-consuming tasks to external agencies. This strategy can deliver significant savings and also give you access to a new and different knowledge base.
The new skills that you tap into could actually lead you to expand into new market areas and broaden the services you deliver to your clients.
Gain detailed visibility of your operations
A challenge for many facilities management companies is obtaining the degree of visibility they need to tightly control workforce activity and make informed decisions.
With a detailed understanding of what happens on the ground of a facilities maintenance operation, efficiencies can be made. A software solution such as Servicetrac has audit functionality that provides an accurate assessment of service delivery and records compliance – enabling you to meet all the contractual and statutory standards your business may require.
With Servicetrac, you’ll have visibility of everything from the number of cleaning inspections performed to how well you are performing against an agreed SLA. From this, you can quickly make fact-based decisions to ensure you maintain contract performance.
Servicetrac also removes the need for paper-based reporting and spreadsheets. Instead, it provides data visibility in the form of easy to use online reports and dashboards. This high level viewpoint gives you everything you need to reduce costs, improve service delivery and speed up failure resolution.
Use specialist FM technology
By incorporating specialist software for facilities management and support services into your IT infrastructure, your organisation can take control of many of the above issues.
When working to make your operations more efficient, you need to align your internal staff processes with the software systems you use – and ensure they combine to ensure the harmonious delivery of service level agreements.
In this low margin sector, applications that support the granular cost control of workforces will help you make considerable savings and take fact-based decisions on future investments. This will enable you to address the many specific challenges that FM organisations face.