(8:10) What to do when you take over Facilities Management
(15:58) Kari shares about how mentors have helped her professionally
(17:29) Prioritizing as a new FM
(20:10) How FMs can help their relationship with vendors
(23:05) How preventative care can save you trouble
(25:39) How to make the most of a relationship with a vendor
(35:35) Avoiding being overwhelmed by a new position
(39:13) Wrap up
“You always have your main vendor, but have a backup, because you may have a vendor that is dealing with an emergency at another restaurant chain...So have a second vendor, have a third vendor. And being honest, I think with those vendors is another really big thing.” (9:16)
“I’ve had vendors get on site and be like, ‘Kari, if the health department show up, they will shut you down. Like we need to do this, this, and this in order to avoid that.’ Hey, you’re my boots on the ground, my eyes in the sky. I need that type of feedback. So being direct and being honest and having an open relationship with the vendor is huge.”
Facilities was Dumped in Your Lap, Now What?
COVID-19 has led to changes all across the board in the facilities management universe. One change we are commonly seeing is facility management duties being dropped in the hands of people who would not usually be responsible for them. These new responsibilities are quite overwhelming for people without experience, but they are not unconquerable. By following these tips and tricks, you will be on your way to becoming a master at facilities management.
The first step in your journey to mastering facilities management is relatively straightforward: Get connected with other industry people. By getting connected with other FMs, you will be able to craft a support system of peers and mentors around yourself. These people will be integral in your growth as you can ask them questions and look to them for advice. Finding a mentor can be crucial. Having someone to walk you through your new position and responsibilities while teaching you lessons along the way is invaluable.
If you are unsure how to make connections in your new field, look no further than the Restaurant Facility Maintenance Association. RFMA’s goal is to assist in the growth of restaurant FMs, and it is an excellent resource for new FMs looking to establish a network of connections.
It is normal to be overwhelmed by a new FM position as well as the responsibilities and after-hours calls that come with it. It is commonly known that this is a 24/7 position, and it rarely ends at 5:00 pm, like the traditional workday. A key to staying calm in this position is prioritizing tasks. Without organizing and prioritizing tasks, everything will feel like an emergency.
A key in prioritizing is remembering the three S’s: Safety, Sanitation, and Sales. In other words, if a problem is getting in the way of one of these three things, it needs to be prioritized. After that, it is essential to know which tasks require your focus now and which jobs can be handled later.
One last thing that can keep your new position from being overwhelming is preventative maintenance and care. While it can cost more upfront and raise the bottom line, proactive action saves money, stress, and time in the long run. Look at it this way, a small amount of work now can keep a disaster from happening in the future.
Have relationships with vendors
Maintaining quality relationships with vendors is essential to having success as an FM, and the key to doing so is good communication. First of all, it’s helpful to communicate with the vendor if they are your primary vendor or a secondary or tertiary vendor. It is a smart idea to keep secondary and tertiary vendors around because a day will come when your primary vendor cannot get to a job, and you will need the other vendors.
Secondly, it is good to communicate with your vendor your procedural expectations. When the vendor knows how you operate, they can better serve your needs. For example, will you want them to fix an issue immediately when they diagnose it, or do you want a quote?
Lastly, it helps communicate with a vendor when you are not satisfied with their work or if you have questions about it. More often than not, if you are unsatisfied with the job done, it was a mistake on their end, and they will make it right. If you have questions about why a job was done a certain way, it is always best to allow the vendor an opportunity to explain their work to you rather than merely writing that vendor off in the future.
While new FM responsibilities can be overwhelming and intimidating, they don’t have to be. To see success in your new position, remember to get connected, prioritize your tasks, and maintain relationships with vendors.