Facilities management is a field that has seen a rapid adoption of lean principles. There’s a good reason for that too, considering how integral facilities management is to the operation of a typical company, and how much lean can do to transform the operations of these departments into something much more productive. There are plenty of ways to harness the full potential of lean when it comes to facilities management, and it’s important to explore your options carefully and as thoroughly as you can.
1. Regular waste reduction
Reducing the waste in your operations is one of the most critical tasks you’ll face as a leader in any organization, and this is particularly true for facilities management. It’s crucial to ensure that waste is brought down to a minimum, and there are many types of waste in this field, some of which can be more challenging to identify. It’s not just about physical resources – sometimes companies end up wasting a lot of talent, for example. Identifying these points and knowing how to take appropriate steps to remedy the situation is something lean can be very helpful with.
What’s more important though is that lean will help you prevent those problems from reoccurring, and it will give you a well-structured workflow for eliminating waste from the work of your company in an ongoing manner. Compared to some other problem-solving methodologies which tend to only address waste in a short-sighted manner, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at what lean has to offer you.
2. Better task organization
Another common problem seen in the work of facilities management groups is the lack of proper organization in the handling of tasks. Far too often assignments are grouped incorrectly or assigned to people that are already overburdened, and it’s not always easy to identify where those problems are coming from exactly. The situation can get even messier in a larger organization with multiple departments and employees, especially when communication between them is made more difficult for whatever reason (such as a company spanning across multiple distant locations). In these cases, ensuring that everyone involved in facilities management gets the right task and at the right time can be a very demanding task.
With the help of lean, you can introduce various proven task management techniques and tools in your workflow in order to optimize it and ensure that people are working to their full potential. Using the Kanban method, for example, can lead to very quick results that are easy to quantify as well. Lean offers much more than that when it comes to organizing the duties of your workforce, so make sure you explore your options carefully.
3. Reduction of setup times
Last but definitely not least, lean can help you reduce the setup times of the different processes involved in your facilities management very effectively. Again, you’ll find that it offers multiple well-established tools for this purpose, and it’s actually a very deep and thorough field when it comes to the topic of setup time reduction.
It’s true that this particular point depends on the exact field of your work, and sometimes it’s much more challenging to bring setup times down to an acceptable level. But when you have a good understanding of why these problems occur in the first place, and you’re able to trace the root cause efficiently, you’re going to see a large portion of those issues simply disappearing. When you take a look at setup times in a systematic manner and see everything in a connected way, it becomes much clearer where you need to look in order to address the more problematic parts of your job.