As colleges and universities work hard to keep tuition low, facilities managers are being asked to do more with less. You know that your campus is the best recruiting tool your institution has, so how can you keep costs down while still keeping the campus in tip-top shape? An article in APPA’s Facilities Manager, “7 Facilities Maintenance Practices Costing You Money,” identifies 7 areas to focus your time and energies on which will lead to the biggest impact. We have picked 3 areas that we find to be especially important. This week is the third and final installment in the series.
Part 3 - Failure to Budget for Capital Maintenance
Having a realistic and accurate budget is important, but many organizations are still basing their budgets on gut feelings. As mentioned in APPA’s article, “[Many] well-intentioned leaders may make a conscious allocation of funds for facilities capital maintenance, but often this allocation of funds for facilities is either intuitive of based on what they think they can afford.”
Long gone are the days of “guesstimating” facilities needs or costs. We live in a data-driven world and stakeholders are expecting accurate, data-driven budgets. Facilities departments should spend more time researching and properly budgeting for capital maintenance. Utilizing a dynamic and customizable long-term forecasting model to provide full visibility into your facilities’ needs and costs is critical. According to APPA’s article, “For every dollar of capital maintenance money that is diverted to other uses, a dollar is added to the backlog of deferred maintenance.” Therefore, every decision made in the budget and planning process has a direct impact on your organization’s assets and needs.
If your college or university decides to use a dynamic capital forecasting solution there are 3 common paths for gathering data for your model.
Path 1: Answer three simple questions to start building your life cycle:
- Age of building?
- Square footage?
- Building type?
Path 2: Input your existing assessment
Depending on your state or other requirements, you may already have an assessment prepared.
Path 3: Input elements to track
You may already track life cycles of assets and other aspects of your buildings. Upload the data into your lifecycle model tool for a complete picture of your properties’ future needs.
With whichever path you choose, make sure to put your data into a clear, customizable, and actionable model. Look for a solution that is built on lifecycle best practices, and that can take your snapshot data and create dynamic reports. SchoolDude’s capital forecasting solution, CapitalForecastDirect, gives you the power to predict future projects and prioritize current ones.
*Facilities Manager, “7 Facilities Maintenance Practices Costing You Money;” APPA,http://www.appa.org/files/FMArticles/34-37.pdf