The right strategic and tactical facilities management objectives transform facilities management from cost center to revenue stream.
Well-managed facilities and distributed sites function efficiently and effectively, and the right tools and plans are tantamount to developing a winning facilities management. As the importance of sustainability and cost-effectiveness grows, reports Deloitte, more facilities managers are turning to the use of both strategic and tactical facilities management processes. Although similar, tactical and strategic facilities management reflect different concepts, methodologies and techniques to help an organization control costs and activities. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two concepts and how understanding them better will lead to better overall facilities management practices.
What's Strategic Facilities Management?
Strategic facilities management is a concept in which an organization strives to attain a better, more proactive delivery of services from facilities management, explains the U.S. Department of Energy. Often, strategic facility planning (SFP) is conducted by members of upper-level management and considers the long-term benefits versus costs of facilities management decisions.
What's Tactical Facilities Management?
While a strategic facilities management plan is great, how does an organization reach its goals? The answer to this question derives from tactical facilities management. Tactical facilities management describes the tools and resources to avoid in order to control short-term costs and activities that eventually lead to the attainment of long-term goals in strategic facilities management.
For example, an organization seeking to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent has a strategic facilities management goals. To reach this goal, the facility team must begin to manage energy-consuming systems, especially HVAC systems. As a result, the facility team implements internet-enabled HVAC sensors within their distributed portfolio so that they can effectively track per-unit usage and determine the equipment’s total energy consumption versus the projected energy consumption.
Unfortunately, identifying high-energy consuming devices and systems only provides a quick snapshot of existing facilities costs. Tactical facilities management must also consider the long-term operating costs of such systems, including maintenance, repair, replacement and upgrade costs. Thus, connected systems must leverage small, often perceived as insignificant date to create meaningful insight. In other words, strategic and tactical programs must work together to derive value.
Combined Strategic and Tactical Programs Enhance Overall Facilities Management Goals
Facilities management technology is rapidilly changing, and new technology, processes, procedures continue to reshape facilities management and the role of the facility manager, explains Phil Wales of Facility Executive. To determine the correct tactical facilities management tools necessary to attain the company’s overall business and strategic facilities management goals, the company must consider its existing versus planned activities. This is part of envisioning, and a company must identify existing facilities management activities in need of optimization. Afterward, the company can leverage tactical facilities management tools, such as an energy management system (EMS), managed services, analytics and internet-enabled devices, to build a facilities management program based on both strategic and tactical plans.
Develop a Winning Facilities Management Plan Now
The strategic and tactical facilities management goals may not always align perfectly, and as a result, businesses may need to re-evaluate strategic and tactical use of facilities management resources. In other words, facilities managers should always have their eyes on the prize, reflecting the company’s strategic vision of boosting productivity, asserts Dan Hounsell of FacilitiesNet. If the company seeks to further reduce its carbon footprint, all systems and assets within the facility must be managed effectively and efficiently.
Moreover, the users and benefactors of your facility, such as tenants in the corporate real estate space, says a Deloitte Case Study, or consumers in retail, need to understand how your facility’s goals align with their needs. In turn, your strategic facilities management plan may include public reporting and lowering of product costs, but the key to implement an effective facilities management plan goes back to the union of both strategic and tactical facilities management processes.