I am sure you have heard the adage that to some people every task looks like a nail, as such the only tool you need is a hammer.
I have been in the church construction and facility management/stewardship world for over 30 years and I have never seen a construction professional or a FM professional that did not perform their best work without having the right tools in their tool box. I, on the other hand, have tried to use a screwdriver handle to drive a nail and hacksaw to demo a wall instead of a Sawzall. Big mistakes. What should have been a 3-4 minute task took far longer and the results were equally as incompetent. FAIL!!!!!
So, why are so many churches and other facility owners/managers not as intentional with their facility managerial tools? I believe the same applies to these tools as to the above example. Why would you try to process and manage work orders and preventive maintenance with antiquated or inefficient tools when the “right tools” are available? Are we just stubborn with a mindset that “what worked in the past is good enough now?” Or is it a lack of knowledge as to what is available?
Regardless of the reason…there is a better way. Below is a list of tools that should be in every facility owner’s toolbox. Remember, these facilities have been ENTRUSTED to you to STEWARD. Should we not be using the right tools?
- The Right Mindset – In her book, “Switch On Your Brain”, Dr. Caroline Leaf says – “Your mind tells your brain what to do. It is mind over matter.” In short, your mind is the catalyst for everything that we do. The same applies to Facility Stewardship. If you believe, in your mind, that being a good steward requires intentionality and diligence, then being proactive will come natural. However, if your mindset is based on “just get by” or “DIY” paradigms, you will likely be playing catch-up constantly.
- Others…don’t go it alone – There are thousands…maybe millions…of facility managers in the country and my guess is that there are dozens right in your back yard. I love the quote by Ken Blanchard – “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Find other professionals to gain information and lessons learned. Join groups like IFMA, BOMA or The Church Network. Don’t go it alone.
- Proactive Facility Management Check list – This is a simple, and free recourse to get you started. DOWNLOAD HERE
- Event Scheduling Software – I have been surprised how many organization still use a paper calendar or a whiteboard or Outlook/Google Calendar. If you use your facility more than one day a week, they you need a tool to help you be proactive in managing its use. Here is an article on the 10 Reasons to Tear-up Your Old Event Scheduler. This is an easy step for you to gain control as to how your facility is utilized. Check out an affordable and intentional tool HERE
- Work Order Management Software – How do you track and process work requests at your facility? Legal Pad? Excel spreadsheet? Post-it Notes? Cross your fingers, then hope and pray? There is a better way! There are a number of CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) available on the market, but only one developed by church facility professionals…check it out HERE
- Life Cycle Calculator – How much should you set aside each year for capital improvements? Check back with me in January 2017 for my recommendation on an incredible tool.
- HVAC Integration – For most churches, 50-75% of your utility cost can be attributed to HVAC usage. That is a big number and one that should get your attention. If you are looking to save operational dollars, this is the most obvious place. I suggest finding a tool that will allow you to integrate our Event/Room Scheduling software to your HVAC system to reduce energy consumption and increase staff efficiency. Here is a great example of such a TOOL.
- Facility Stewardship Manual – If your church owns your facilities, then you must get this 300 page manual. If you are not up for the full manual but want a primer…get this FREE e-book to get you started.
Don’t steward your facilities with the wrong tools. Be intentional!