By Dave Clifton
While small businesses don’t have the budgets or the resources that Fortune 500 companies do, they do have competitive advantages. Agility is one—particularly when it comes to physical workplaces. Small companies need to make the most of limited space and don’t have the luxury of allocating to X, Y, and Z. Instead, SMB facility management revolves around maximizing space through multipurposed governance, emphasis on space utilization, and ROI-minded decision-making.
SMB facilities management is as much proactive problem-solving as it is adapting. To keep the company agile and its workplace efficient, facilities managers at smaller companies need facilities that transform based on demand. This is only possible through intelligent space planning, workflow orchestration, keen workplace governance, and technology-driven operations.
Here’s a look at how smart SMBs approach facilities management and what it takes to keep facilities aligned with a company that’s growing—often quickly and on a tight budget.
What is small and midsize business (SMB) facilities management?
The goal of facilities management is to keep the workplace functional and efficient through smart governance. Do you have the right desking concept to enable productivity? Is there proper space allocation across different business units? Are the desks, chairs, and other workplace amenities comfortable and accommodating? Facilities management touches anything that enables employees to do their best work.
For SMBs, facilities management comes down to adapting the workplace to the changing needs of the business. As it grows larger and becomes more complex, the business’ operations will change—and so will the way it utilizes space. Facility managers recognize the need for change and help growing companies adapt by ensuring the workplace supports new operational demands.
Through strategic facilities management, SMBs are able to provide a safe, functional, comfortable, accommodating workplace that enables growth by enabling productivity. It turns the workplace into a true asset to justify the cost of overhead by increasing ROI.
Benefits of facilities management for SMBs
When approached with foresight and tact, facilities management unlocks a bevy of potential for small and growing businesses. Being proactive about facilities not only mitigates bottom-line costs, it can also raise the bar for top-line growth by enabling better productivity. Some of the most important benefits of facilities management include:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate business growth
To understand the complete scope of facilities benefits, companies need only to look at the focus areas of facilities management: technology, health and safety, culture, environment, maintenance, and operations support. Emphasis on strong facilities management practices equates to benefits in these areas—which ultimately serve to drive the company forward.
How does SMB facility management software help?
Facilities management has become an increasingly involved process as digital technologies connect physical workplace attributes to digital insights. The bridge between physical and digital comes in the form of SMB facility management software. Companies need a way to aggregate workplace data, cost information, maintenance and support tickets, and various other aspects of facility oversight. Software offers this centralized platform and gives administrators a window into understanding the workplace and its needs.
The chief benefit of management software is as a control dashboard. From floor plans and asset management to utilization insights and cost center monitoring, software brings facility insights together and makes them actionable. This helps not only facilitate responsiveness from facilities, it also ensures that the actions administrators take support the mission of the business in the right way.
Software also offers the added benefit of scaling with the company. As SMBs shift, evolve, and grow, their needs change just as fast. Facility management software follows this agility and allows workplace managers to act in tandem. Instead of waiting for the needs of the business to force changes in facilities, administrators can meet those needs proactively and with confidence. The result is a smoother, more stable path to growth and less time spent catching up.
Facilities management is the key to SMB growth
Used right, the workplace is a competitive advantage for any company. For small businesses especially, facilities are a foundation for growth and success, and support critical operations at-scale. To do this, they need to be as agile as the company, which takes keen emphasis on facilities management. The ability to plan for growing operations and take a cost-conscious approach to maximizing facilities is what gives SMBs an edge over larger companies.
Thankfully, facility management is becoming simpler for SMBs thanks to accessible software and a growing recognition of its importance. Any company poised for growth and reliant on facilities needs to look at their operations through the lens of facilities management and ask a simple question: how can well-managed facilities support a fast-growing company?
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