3 Intentional Strategies for Stewarding Your Ministry Facilities


In an unscientific “survey” by Sam Rainer (my publisher and eldest son of Thom Rainer) and myself (ok…actually it was more of just a conversation and not a survey) we believe that over 99% of all churches meet in a facility. Some may be an owned facility…others rented…others may be schools or store fronts, while yet others are homes. In fact, if you have an Internet based church, your servers and other IT infrastructure are likely housed in a physical facility.

Based on the above, as well as the fact that we have deep convictions that everything on earth belongs to God, and as such we are stewards of what He has entrusted to us, we must look long and hard at the means and methods by which we steward the ministry facilities God has blessed us with.

Here are 3 intentional strategies for this stewardship initiative:

  1. Use them – God did not provide you with these assets and resources to have them sit idle for hours or days on end. Physical space was meant to be utilized to fulfill a cause…in the case of the church, to fulfill a vision and mission. Can you imagine developing an office building but only allowing occupants to use it one day a week? This responsibility must come with an intentional means by which to facilitate the use. How do you create opportunities for groups, inside and out, to have appropriate space from where to assembly?
  2. Financial Prudence – We see this strategy being 2 pronged. First, do not encumber your church (and its mission) with excessive debt. With that said, I am not a “no-debt” disciple, but I am a believer in prudence when it comes to appropriate debt and its impact on the ministry. Second is future financial planning. Are you setting monies aside for the life cycle impacts of facility ownership? If you are not retaining $1-2/square foot annually in a capital reserve account, you will find yourself falling woefully short when the HVAC system needs replaced or the roof has aged out. A capital reserve fund is NOT a raining day fund. These are real costs that you will incur. Period!
  3. Care for them – Over a 40 year life cycle of a building, the cost of operations will likely exceed 70% of the total cost of ownership. When you couple the cost of construction, interest and operations (utilities, general maintenance, housekeeping/janitorial, etc) the cost of interest and construction pale in comparison to the cost of operations. If you spend $4M to construction a building, you will likely spend over $13M to operate it within that 40 year period…WOW…that is a huge responsibility!

That is a lot to take in, but we some great news!!!

eSPACE has just release a new (and affordable) software application to assist you be intentional…effective…and efficient in these areas.

Image an application that includes:

> Inventory Management – Track what you have in stock

> Vendor Management including a new Vendor PortaleSpace_Logo_Md

> User Portal for ease of requesting Work Orders

> Calendar view of Work Orders

> Document Library

> Robust Report Builder

> Unlimited Users Included with Advanced Packages

> Responsive Design/Mobile Friendly

> Single Login when subscribed to Work Order Management and Event Scheduler

> Fully configurable

If you have a facility and are intentional about stewarding what has been entrusted to you…you owe it to yourself to check out this new application HERE.

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Got CMMS? You Need To!

got CMMS

If you are not a Facility Manager, you may not be familiar with the term “CMMS”.  So as we get started, lets make sure we have a good definition.

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).  A CMMS software package maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations. This information is intended to help Management and maintenance workers do their jobs more effectively. For example, determining which equipment requires servicing/work, plan preventive maintenance and to help management make informed decisions.”

In short, it is a computerized system to help your staff, who is responsible for the care and stewardship of your physical facilities, respond to Work Requests, process Work Orders, track Equipment, manage Vendors, schedule and manage Preventive Maintenance.  It is a tool to assist the facility staff to be more effective and efficient in their implementation of their responsibilities.  Plain and simple!

There was a blog (and audio version) posted by facilitiesnet of an interview with Walt Petters, the Director of Maintenance and Plant Operations at Brevard County Public Schools, Rockledge, Fla.  It would be worth your time to hear the interview first hand.  The following are the questions and answers from the interview that I believe help to explain how a CMMS program can be a huge asset to any facility owner:

1. What are the main functions your computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) provides for your organization?
Our entire organization is focused around our CMMS. It is the way our “customers” (i.e. staff and facility occupants) communicate their needs. We document work efforts, productivity, reoccurring facility problems and the need to demonstrate a particular area of need. For example, if we have continuous work-order requests with roof issues, the CMMS allows us to demonstrate the need to create and fund a roof-replacement program.

2. What role does the CMMS play in your organizations preventive maintenance and work-order processing?
Everything we do is tied to a work order and categorized routine, service, vandalism, etc.  Preventive maintenance work orders are generated to document efforts in keeping warranties in place, such as monthly HVAC inspections and testing. We also use preventive maintenance work orders to generate repetitive work, such as mowing competition football fields.

3. When specifying a CMMS, what tools are most important for maintenance and engineering departments?

  • Flexibility: The systems should have a user-friendly report-writing system since everyone looks at and needs information in a different format.
  • Support: The user needs to have reliable, 24-7 support with quick response.
  • Training:  Ongoing training and feedback that comes from the vendor and user groups to help identify common operational issues that others have encounter and solved. That information helps make the system a collaborative effort between software and everyday personal experiences.

4. Can you talk about the importance of training technicians on the proper use of a CMMS?
Training the technician is paramount in the CMMS having validated data and providing usable information. The information provided from the technician must be accurate for the CMMS to have value. It is just as important for the supervisors and managers to evaluate the data and make decisions based on facts. It also helps eliminate the politics of who gets what.

5. How has the CMMS made your organization more efficient? Has it helped save money? Can you provide an example of how it helped save money?
Absolutely. We have created our own weekly productivity reports each supervisor reviews based on estimated man-hours. Supervisors use the reports to help discuss any large overruns in time or material with the employee. The reports assures everyone we are watching the “store”.

If your organization is looking for a more effective and efficient method to address your facility management and maintenance, then you need to explore a CMMS solution.  The recently released  eSPACE – Work Order Management is a “best-in-class” solution designed by Facility Professionals.  In addition, the Work Order Management module communicates/interfaces with our industry leading Room/Event Scheduler Software

For more information visit eSPACE.cool or call us at 1-888-448-5664






NEW SOFTWARE RELEASE: “Work Order Management”

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How do you manage work orders, repairs and preventive management issues at your your facility?

>Posit-It Notes?

>Paper forms?

>Drinking fountain conversations?

>Texts and e-mail?

>Hope and a prayer?


There is now a better…intentional…and simplified way!

eSPACE, a Cool Solutions Group company, is excited to announce the release of its new WORK ORDER MANAGEMENT tool.  Some of you are using our facilitEspace application…and we thank you for your support.  But the new eSPACE Work Order Management application is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous application.

Here are just a few of the features that you will want to check out:

> Faster and easier to use than the current facilitEspace product

> Inventory Management – Track what you have in stock

> Vendor Management including a new Vendor Portal

> New User Portal for ease of requesting Work Orders

> Calendar view of Work Orders

> Document Library

> Robust Report Builder

> Unlimited Users Included with Advanced Packages

> Revised pricing based on “Locations” and “Fixed Equipment”

> Responsive Design/Mobile Friendly

> Single Login when subscribed to Work Order Management and Event Scheduler

> Fully configurable

***COMING SOON – Interface with eSPACE Event Scheduler

If you have a facility and are intentional about stewarding what has been entrusted to you…you owe it to yourself to check out this new application HERE.

NOTE:  If you are a current eSPACE Event Scheduler subscriber, log into your account and click on the link in the top “banner” to test drive Work Order Management.

If you have questions, please contact us at info@eSPACE.cool or 1-888-448-5664


The Perfect Christmas Gift for your Facility Team

Perfect Gift

Welcome to November…which means we are less than 2 months from Christmas…so now is the perfect time to start planning your stocking stuffers and gift buying.

Who is on your list to buy for this year? Your spouse (I hope so)? Your kids (if they have been good)? Your boss?

What about your facility manager?  What about the people that you ask to tirelessly serve your organization to keep your facilities operational and functioning so you can ministry to those God has called you to?

Well…we have great news for you.  We have developed the perfect gift idea…our  Facility Stewardship Manual.  This is the ideal gift for every church that has a facility…and wants to be an intentional STEWARD of this resource.

This nearly 300 page exhaustive tool provides:Facility Stewardship Binder - Small

> Facility Management Check Lists
> Facility Maintenance Ideas
> Facility Team Job Descriptions
> Templates
> Glossary of Terms
> Best Practices
> Processes, Procedures & Tips
> Downloadable Resources
> Articles and Helpful Content


As an extra bonus, if you purchase your manual between now and December 15, 2015, we will include a free copy of the book “Why Church Buildings Matter.” This is a must have for every church.

Don’t be a Scrooge…show your facility team members how much you appreciate them, and at the same time, help them to be effective and efficient.

Get your copy to day by clicking HERE

5 Reasons Why a Year-End Giving Strategy Should be a Priority


Do you hear that sound…Tic Toc? It is hard to come to grips with the fact that 2015 is in its twilight.  In addition to planning how to steward your facilities for the seasonal change, now is the ideal time to consider your plan for Year-End Giving.

The most immediate benefit of a year-end giving project is, of course, increased giving. We can all celebrate this result, but planning this initiative with care and executing with excellence will add far greater value. So why should this project be a high priority?

Here are 5 reasons why properly planning is so crucial:

> It prompts spiritual growth. The intersection of faith and finances creates the opportunity for more individual spiritual growth than any other option. As a person’s finances finds alignment with his or her faith, huge leaps of spiritual growth take place.

> It normalizes the giving conversation. Most churches are very reluctant to talk about money. By avoiding this conversation, churches are actually ensuring a negative outcome when it comes to generosity, and limiting the natural opportunity for spiritual growth. When church leaders allow people to separate, in their minds, faith and finances, they effectively dismiss matters of finance from their spiritual lives. Silence is simply a bad option.

> It provides an opportunity to talk about mission and vision. Givers in your church constantly look at the church and wonder where and how they fit in. An annual vision weekend or generosity series rarely creates any long-term traction in the lives of your donor base. Donors want to play a part in the larger story. It is critical that you take every possible opportunity to discuss, in a meaningful way, the church’s mission and vision and the role finances play in supporting the ongoing ministry of the church.

> Holiday giving is a great opportunity for a person to give for the first time. If your church is attracting new people, presenting this year-end project in a compelling and creative way will encourage their giving sooner rather than later. If your church is like most, 50% or more of your regular members and attenders give nothing or close to nothing. An exciting and well- presented year-end initiative can help change that. A person must give a first gift in order to become a regular investor in the ministry of your church.

> It gives leadership practice talking about the church’s mission and finances. This type of project is a catalyst for an easy-to-understand conversation about the value and impact of generosity. It is a very natural on-ramp to giving and provides a great opportunity for your church’s members and attenders to invest in the mission and vision of the church. Year-end projects can serve as the perfect laboratory, giving you and your leadership a very safe and low-risk platform to communicate mission and vision and to challenge people to get involved.

Fortunately for you, my friends at Generis have developed a new e-book to help you navigate your year-end giving initiative. This resource is totally free…that is right, FREE!  Just click HERE and get your copy today.

year end giving

7 Deadly Sins of Being “Unintentional” With Your Facilities


If you have read this blog for long or follow me on social media, you know that I have 100% embraced the word (and its meaning) INTENTIONAL. We call our initial visioning session the “Intentional Workshop”. We have developed the “Intentional Church Series” manual and I use the hashtag #intentional with most of my posts.

I believe in being intentional…deliberate…on purpose.

The concept of “unintentional” was reinforced even more this past week when reading Leviticus 2:4 where the “law” addresses the steps a person had to take to be forgiven from Unintentional Sin.

George R. Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, Michigan), explains this passage (being unintentional) this way, “You have missed, not because you are wicked, but because you are stupid, silly, careless, inattentive, perhaps lazy, or more probably because you do not possess the proper aim in life.”

Did you catch those key words…stupidsillyinattentiveperhaps lazylack of proper aim.  I know we have all been guilty of being unintentional in many areas of our lives so I am not pointing fingers.

The reason I am so passionate about “intentionality” is because I have seen too many churches and organizations be unintentional…especially with their facilities. We are not going to discuss or debate if these actions (or lack there of) are “sins” of omission or commission.  That is for another day.

As I have reflected on the horror stories, significant missteps and resulting un-intentionality, there are 7 primary “sins” that I have seen churches commit related to their facilities:

1. Not Facing Reality – Lord have mercy…this is by far the most deadly sin. I shudder at how many times I have had churches tell me that they have “faith” to design/plan a facility that far exceeds their financial capability or they think they are the “fringe case” that will be able to build their facility for 20-50% lower than the market conditions reflect. REALLY?!?!?!?!  Or equally as horrifying are the churches that fail to understand the difference between the Building Budget and the TOTAL PROJECT Budget. Huge difference. Not facing the realities of the facility design, construction cost, Total Project costs, borrowing capacity, etc are death to a project. Period! I have witnessed thousands of churches that thought they could “beat the odds” of reality and end up with a set of plans in the pastor’s trunk of failed projects (that is right…plural).

2. Build it and they will come – This worked great for Kevin Costner, I have rarely seen this work for a church. Except in a very, very, very rare instance have I seen this ever work.   A building is only a tool to assist your church to fulfill its vision and mission…it is NOT an outreach tool or growth strategy.

3. DIY (or “I know a guy”) – How many pastors and church leaders do you know that went to seminary to study architecture, construction or facility management?  Not many! In addition, I hear churches constantly tell me that they “know a guy”. With rare exception, that is a formula for disaster. As I meet with churches, it becomes painfully obvious which groups took a DIY mentality in designing and building a facility as well as managing the life cycle of the facility. I have a client in Charlotte that adopted the DIY management style for caring for the maintenance of their facility.  The trustees would personally do most of the work.  As such, they have a 45 year old facility with millions of dollars of deferred maintenance. That is poor stewardship of what God entrusted to you.

4. Lack of Capital Reserve – Nearly every component of your facility will be replaced at some point in the life cycle of the facility.  That is not a “Tim-ism”…it is a fact of how God’s natural system of physical deterioration works.  You can’t avoid it.  So, with that as the overarching reality, would it not be prudent to save money for these known expenditures? This is not an “if” equation, but rather a “when”. Plan accordingly.

5. Being Reactive vs. Proactive – The majority of churches that our team meets with is in reactionary mode.  They are so consumed with the here and now that they are not being proactive to think about what they can do today to save time, money and other resources in the future.  Being proactive is less expensive than being reactive.

6. Not keeping records for the next generation (or the next hire) – The most common process for documenting facility management issues at a church is found captive in the mind of the current facility manager.  The next most common is the legal pad and Post-it notes. While this may be effective (not efficient) for the current staff, this is a poor way to plan for the future.  What is your “Get hit by a truck” strategy?  What if your facility director gets hit by a truck or has a heart attack or just quits tomorrow?  Where is all of that knowledge and information stored so that they next employee…and future generations, can access that data?

7. Lack of planning – While I have listed this as #7, I believe that if we had a list of only 1 Deadly Sin, this would be it.  Almost all of the above items could be a sub-point of this.  Planning is at the heart of every successful initiative. Whether considering purchasing land/buildings, leasing a facility, designing, financing, building and caring for a facility, the lack of planning can be the death blow (or at least a major setback or hindrance) to your church. Un-intentionality is simply a lack of planning. BAM!

I am sure we could develop a much more exhaustive list, but these are the biggies for me.

Are you being unintentional or intentional?  I know that I do not want to have to answer to my leaders and God (remember, we are HIS stewards of what He has entrusted to us) about being stupid, silly, lazy or inattentive.

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Unpacking the “Top 5 Facility Management Challenges”


Last week we identified the Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges.  While it is great to identify these challenges, we have had a number of requests from readers to provide some additional information and context.

You asked…we heard you.

The following are practical thoughts and commentary related to these challenges.  While I have concentrated much of my unpack on the “oh too often” under served church facility world, the “unpacks” have a multiple of application to other vertical markets.

> CHALLENGE #5: Vendor Management: Allocating work to the right vendors


1. Having the right vendors working on our facilities is important. Are they qualified? How do you qualify them? Where did you find them? The phone book? Do we know what their fee structures are? When was the last time you explored other vendors? These questions should be examined on a regular basis to ensure that we have the right people serving our facility’s needs.

2. When was the last time you explored the “real” cost of your vendors? The real costs include not only the invoice from the vendor but also include the cost of locating a vendor, scheduling the work, coordinating the work with your facilities scheduled events, overseeing the work, inspecting the completed work, reviewing the invoice, paying the invoice, addressing “call-back” issues with the work, etc, etc, etc. In addition, do you know what the real costs are when you have on-site staff perform certain tasks? It may appear that it is cost effective to have an on-site staff member address certain repairs or tasks like painting or the like. But is it really, or are you only making that leap based on only part of the information? What is the wage of that person? What is the cost of the labor burden/benefits? Do you also provide items such as a computer, vehicle, uniform, etc? How much does it cost to manage that person? Does the simplest of tasks take longer to get accomplished than if it was performed by a paid professional in that trade? It is critical to understand these real costs to determine if you are actually paying more that you realize.

3. Having insurance on all vendors on your site/in your facilities is critical. Not only is knowing that the vendor has insurance is important, it is even more important to have a copy of the insurance certificate and track the expiration dates of each. It is recommended that you obtain a Certificate of Insurance on each and every vendor including General Liability, Workers Compensation, Vehicle as well as an Umbrella rider. This is for the church’s protection from significant expense in the case of a claim as well as potential legal action. Then, you should keep a record of all vendors along with a log of expiration dates. It is recommended that you require vendors to give you a copy of an updated certificate prior to expiration

> CHALLENGE #4: Making changes without having enough reliable data


1. As a general rule…at least from my experience…most churches do a substandard job of tracking the real costs associated with their facilities. While I know some churches that have retained full time professional Facility Managers that have invested in CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) software for the tracking of maintenance issues, repairs, work order management, preventive maintenance and historical data retrieval, most do not. Most churches use a spreadsheet, Post-it Notes or a legal pad, if anything at all. There is no way for you to stay on top of trends or even plan for the future without a deliberate and proactive process for tracking and projecting facilities issues. (I am sorry if that feels like a hand slapping…)

2. Without this kind of historical data, how can we realistically project future year’s budgets? Do we just guess? Do we put enough money in the budget for Band-Aid issues only and then cross our fingers and hope for the best? We would suggest that a more proactive and forward thinking process be implemented into you budgeting process. However, you cannot implement this kind of thinking without clearly knowing the life expectancy of your systems and components or without knowing the real costs of maintaining your facilities.

3. The data that is needed is far more than just historical…it is also real time. How long does it take your team to respond to a repair issue? Do we wait for the trustees or deacons to have a monthly meeting to address these issues? How long is the downtime caused by repairs and how do these times impact our ministries? Do we have systems and process in place to reduce the downtime? In church “speak” we do not often consider the “costs” associate with downtime. If we were operating a hotel and the air conditioning went out or we own a retail store and the plumbing floods the building, we could determine the exact cost that every minute, hour and day that downtime would have on our financial bottom line. What about the “eternal” bottom line for our ministries. Is that not even more costly than the monetary loss of a retail store?

> CHALLENGE #3: Getting more work done with fewer resources


1. I have seen many churches reduce staffing over the past several years. Most has been in the area of business/financial administration and facilities related staff. This means that the staff left in the wake of these cuts are having to do more…with less. Less budget…less resources…less money. Yet their organizations expect the same level of work to be accomplished or that their facilities remain in the same, if not better condition. This is a juggling act that is becoming very challenging. I have met with several FM’s that are frankly overwhelmed with the level of tactical responsibilities that are now on their plate which robs them (and their organizations) from their ability to think and plan strategically. They have become “firemen” and not managers. If we need firemen…then we can hire them for far less than the cost of a professional FM…so what do we want our administrators and FM staff to really do? Each ministry needs to ask and answer this questions and face the realities and ramifications of their answers.

2.  I am a firm believer of documenting salient discussions and communications. It is far to easy to get busy and not document what was discussed, what was the agreed upon ETA for the work or the anticipated cost, does the vendor have the adequate insurance and so on. Having a system for documenting vendor interaction that interfaces with your historical tracking is critical for the understanding of the issues associated with your vendors; their performance, their costs and their reliability, their insurance.

3. Vendors are going to come and go…particularly in today’s economic environment. What is your plan for interviewing, qualifying and utilizing new vendors? Are you merely going to let your “fingers do the walking?” I like the quote, “Dig your well before you get thirsty.” That applies to this as well. Have a plan as to how you address vendor turn over (or even church members who are doing work that leave the church). Don’t wait until the last minute.

> CHALLENGE #2: Finding ways to extend the life of existing assets


1. For many churches and ministries, this is a tough truth to grasp. When times get tough, we generally will cut or reduce what may be called the “non-ministry essentials.” This may be staff positions, programs, or possibly functions. The grass may not get cut as often. The IT director is laid off. A decision is made to change your HVAC preventive maintenance from quarterly to bi-annual. Regardless of the item, these are the types of items that get cut first. On the other hand, when we are in an upswing and we are ahead of budget, and have excess cash, most churches do not stop and think about setting up a capital reserve account or reviewing their life cycle cost projects (as if they have those anyway) or increasing the maintenance budget. We immediately think that we should add more ministry staff or look at a new building (even if our old buildings are not well maintained). Again – don’t misunderstand – we need to add staff and add facilities and the like. However, we need to balance that with the need to maintain the tools and resources God has entrusted to us.

2. As I indicated earlier, most churches do not have a good system or process for tracking real costs of preventive maintenance. If you do not track and document life cycle costs and the costs of preventive maintenance (PM) vs. repairs, how will you be able to determine if you are spending too much on repairs? How will you be able to determine if $1,000 a year of PM could extend the life of an asset by say 5 years. For example, if you could spend $1,000 a year to extend the life of a 10 ton HVAC unit (that would have a replacement cost of about $20,000), would that be wise stewardship? But if you are not looking at your assets from that perspective, how will you ever know. I am sure you have heard the saying that “Knowledge is Power.” In this case knowledge if is more than “power”, it is wise stewardship.



1. How many times in this past year have you called a vendor to address an issue to later find out it was the wrong vendor, as a result, you had to call someone else? Did you have to pay both companies even though the first vendor was the wrong one?  “We have stained ceiling tiles so it must be a roof leak.” is a claim of church leaders that is repeated far too often. While a leak in the roof is a possibility, it could also be a plumbing leak or a fire sprinkler leak or an HVAC condensation drain/pan leak. In order to know who is the right vendor to call so that you only pay for the RIGHT service, your facilities team must be able to recognize and evaluate these issues and make a determination based on that evaluation. Now, I am not suggesting that you (or anyone for that matter) will get it right every time, but if you can reduce your service calls by even one, that is real dollars saved.

2. Warranty calls can be a real irritant…particularly if you have vendors that do not live up to the warranties they committed to provide. But as above, prudence and diligence to understand what labor and materials are under warranty can save the church real dollars. Warranty items are not just associated with new construction or new equipment, although that is the most common. Most labor performed on repair services should have some level of warranty unless expressly agreed to otherwise in writing. When a vendor gives you a quote and you agree to use their service, ask them to include their warranty provisions on the quote that you both sign. GET IT IN WRITING!!!! While verbal warranties “might” hold up in a legal battle, written is always better and gives you the documentation to enforce the warranty with that vendor or possibly their suppliers/manufacturers. Don’t just give in and pay for warrantied work because it is too much of a hassle. There may be emergency situations where you have to involve another vendor to remedy the situation, but keep records or your attempts to resolve the issue with the warranted vendor as well as your costs from the performing vendor and work to collect these funds after the emergency has passed. Again, these are resources that God has entrusted to us…do not take them lightly.

The above only scratches the surface related to the challenges FM’s face every day. It is a huge responsibility to be entrusted with these resources. Be Intentional!

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Top 5 Facility Management Challenges


In an article published by Corrigo Inc, who specializes in work order and time tracking solutions, they shared the findings of a survey of the Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges based on a survey they conducted of over 1,200 organization. Here is a summary of their report…with a little commentary from me:

  • CHALLENGE #5: Vendor Management: Allocating work to the right vendors

A major trend from previous surveys was the issue of outsourcing. While this topic has not gone away, it is not the driver behind operational change.

Summary From Survey: Improved vendor management increases the control you have over your operations, and by implementing price controls, can reduce your costs.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Making vendor decisions based on performance feedback
• Recording and comparing information on vendor pricing
• Maintaining searchable records of vendor certifications

Conclusion for Challenge #5: There are a lot of details to address when considering vendors and the real cost of using outside vendors as well as staff resources…and be vigilant about the insurance.


  • CHALLENGE #4: Making changes without having enough reliable data

Approximately 30% of survey respondents considered the capturing of reliable data as one of the top two pressing needs in their organizations.

Summary From Survey: Capturing and then making use of the information associated with all your service and maintenance work equips you to make informed and effective business decisions.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Comparing spending trends across their organization
• Using historical repair data to inform new equipment and warranty purchase decisions
• Monitoring real time progress on important repair work

Conclusion for challenge #4: Historical and real-time data is critical for our ministry facilities. Develop or buy a system that can track this kind of data, or partner with someone that can do this for you. An Excel spreadsheet will most likely not work unless you have a very small facility.


  • CHALLENGE #3: Getting more work done with fewer resources

One factor contributing to the increased burden on facility management teams is the reduction in their company’s field technician staffing. This may seem counter-intuitive, but as budget cuts move more work to vendors, the burden of vendor recruitment, selection and management falls to the facility management organization.

Summary From Survey: Doing more with fewer resources is not a temporary situation. To succeed in this environment, you need tools that extend your reach and productivity.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Moving away from ad hoc communications by phone, fax and email
• Sharing a common platform with their staff and vendors to process work requests electronically
• Automating vendor tracking/assignments via intelligent systems

Conclusion for Challenge #3: Develop, buy or subscribe to a system that allows you to communicate with your vendors (not as the only form of communication) and tracks their ETA, pricing, PM work and other work order management.


  • CHALLENGE #2: Finding ways to extend the life of existing assets.

It’s not just operational budgets that are being squeezed – capital expenditures are down substantially, and that translates into keeping existing equipment and assets up and running longer.

Summary From Survey: Spending the right amount on preventative maintenance and being able to back up that decision with accurate data can turn a facility manager into a cost saving hero.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Comparing preventative vs. repair costs on all asset types and adjusting PM spending accordingly
• Using accumulated repair data to implement intelligent, PM schedules
• Applying proactive maintenance on mission critical equipment

Conclusion for Challenge #2: Preventive Maintenance, rather than corrective repairs, is a far better approach to caring for the resources God has entrusted to us.



#1 for from this survey was, without a doubt, saving money. When asked how they would like to accomplish this objective, the responses of facility managers tended to be grouped into one of three general categories:

  • Call avoidance
  • Warranty work management
  • Price control

Summary From Survey: Facility Management may be considered a cost center, but it also holds tremendous potential to impact a company’s profitability. A dollar saved by a facility management team goes directly to the bottom line. Which is why cost savings is the bottom line concern for facility management professionals.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Avoiding unnecessary repair costs through client self-help systems and knowledge bases
• Flagging all assets and equipment under warranty to prevent unnecessary payment
• Establishing and monitoring not-to-exceed pricing agreements with vendors

Conclusion for Challenge #1: I believe that in today’s economy (frankly it should be in EVERY economy because we are stewards of something that does not belong to us) we are looking for ways to save money. Sometimes we cannot see the obvious items that will allow us to be more efficient and effective. The principles addressed in this article are right in front of us.

These are not rocket science, but you do have to be intentional!
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10 Reasons to Tear-up Your Old Event Scheduler

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Are you still using a paper calendar to schedule events and rooms at your facility?

When we developed eSPACE, our team thought for sure that our biggest competition was going to be the large scheduling systems.  However, over 50% of our net new partnering opportunities are from organizations that still use a paper calendar, wall calendar, or sundial (just kidding about that last one).

Some have graduated to an “electronic” based tool like Excel, Outlook or Google Calendar (quasi schedulers). While that is a step in the right direction, you may still be functioning in the Dark Ages compared to how proactive organizations manage the use of their facilities and what solutions are available to assist you.  Many of our clients and churches and we have learned that that not every facility opens their doors on just Sunday AM, Sunday PM and Wednesday nights and nearly every organization has a slightly different schedule. The more diverse your organization, the more likely the complexity of space utilization is magnified.

In order for you to meet the demands of your organization, you need to re-think how you schedule your facilities/events and what tools must be incorporated into your systems and processes.  Don’t fall slave to the dreaded “7 words of a dying organization”  (you know – We Have Always Done It This Way)…there are better ways to schedule your facility…and it won’t break the bank.

Here are 10 reasons why it may be time for a change:

1.  A cloud-based calendar can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The cloud is here to stay…embrace it.

2.  Identify and manage scheduling conflicts…this is so critical and is a key component that paper schedulers and “quasi” scheduler can not provide.

3.  Team members and stakeholders can view a calendar of activities in the facility in real time.

4.  The organization determines who “controls” and has access to the calendar.

5.  Event requests go through an approval process before being finalized on the calendar.

6.  Avoid two groups needing the same space at the same time. Nothing worse than double booked spaces.

7.  Intentionally plan events to ensure all necessities are available for the event and already placed in the appropriate part of the facility (tables, chairs, sound system, child care, etc).

8.  Push the responsibilities to request events and determine the spaces, resources and services by those who need the space and not just a single contact person. The day of the “gate keeper” is quickly passing us by.

9.  Empower staff, team members and  leaders to resolve their own scheduling conflicts before “the boss” has to get involved.

10.  Reduce the duplication of entry…let your scheduling software also populate your website calendar(s) so you only have to enter data once.

BONUS: The right scheduling solution can also schedule your HVAC systems!!! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Now…those are just the top 10 (and a bonus)…we assure you there are many more.

If you are looking for an easy to use and yet cost effective room/event/resource scheduling tool, consider eSPACE. You can try if for FREE for 30 days…or you can just KICK THE TIRES.

What do you have to lose?????