Category Archives: Facilities Management

We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker for the Orlando lineup of events – Patrick V. Fiel!

Join Patrick V. Fiel, Founder at PVF Security Consulting LLC,  as he’s discussing risk assessments of the workplace, the shooter’s behavior, innovative security solutions and preparedness, aimed at mitigating this risk.

 “Before, During and After the Active Shooter Event – Are You Prepared?” seminar  is to be presented by Patrick  on December 3rd&4th 
at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL

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Patrick V. Fiel, Sr. has over thirty years of experience managing security and law enforcement organizations, and is a nationally recognized expert in campus security for both K-12 and higher education clients.

Patrick will present current information that will help organizations prepare for a potential crisis situation involving an active shooter. Patrick will speak on risk assessments of facilities, innovative security technologies, and the shooter behavior. The presentation will present ideas and solutions that will help organizations mitigate the risk of an active shooter event. The ideas presented will address what an organization can do to prevent such an event from occurring as well as what steps can be taken before, during and after a crisis situation such as an active shooter.

What will the attendees learn from the program?

1. Ways to prevent a crisis situation from occurring: Attendees will learn how a risk assessment can identify potential short falls in their organization’s security as well        as what innovative security technologies and other solutions are available to address these short falls.

2. Ways to deal with an active shooter prior to police arrival: Attendees will learn what steps can be taken to handle an active shooter situation as it is occurring and prior to police arrival.

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Standing up to Moisture Intrusion in the Peak of Hurricane Season.

Although facility managers should always be on the lookout for potential sources of mold growth, rainy fall weather and peak hurricane season makes moisture control and mold prevention a top priority in building management.

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It is essential that facility executives address  moisture and water damage a promptly manner. These problems will not go away by themselves and are strong indicators that a building is prime for indoor mold growth. Left unchecked, indoor mold growth can cause serious damage to building materials and furnishings and may cause people to get sick. In addition, it is far less disruptive and expensive to clean up mold as soon as a problem is found than later when the infestation may be more extensive. It is also important to remember, that any cleaning efforts will be futile if the underlying moisture problem is not identified and eliminated.

(more about examining mold risk here ) There are several ways to prevent indoor mold from taking over your building, here are the most essential, as listed  in two great articles on mold prevention by  www. FMlink.com and www.buildings.com

Fix Leaks. Facility managers should check for leaky roofs, foundations, faucets, and pipes on a regular basis, making sure they aren’t allowing extra moisture to accumulate in these areas. Leaks should be fixed as soon as they are found.

Assess current drainage and slope directions. As much as possible, drainage and slope should head away from the foundation of your building. If your building is located at the bottom of a hill, make sure internal and external drainage systems are adequate, clean, and functioning properly.

Keep humidity under control. The ideal humidity for a building is between 30% and 50%. Relative humidity can be measured with an inexpensive moisture or humidity meter.

Remove wet materials as soon as possible. If a building has experienced flooding or other water damage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends removing all porous items, such as carpet, upholstery, drywall, and ceiling tiles within 48 hours. If an area larger than 10 square feet has been affected, the EPA recommends hiring a qualified mold remediation specialist to help with removal.

Perform HVAC systems inspections and routine maintenance. Properly inspected and maintained HVAC systems affect your building operations on many levels, including positive IAQ—a key factor in moisture control. Humidification and dehumidification systems must be kept clean to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria and fungi. Poor or no water treatment in cooling towers can result in the growth of hazardous organisms that will then filter into the HVAC supply ducts. An accumulation of water anywhere in the system can result in harmful biological growth that can be rapidly distributed throughout the entire building. Drip pans for equipment must always be clean and unobstructed in order to ensure proper water flow.

Perform unscheduled maintenance. If you have recently experienced flooding, water leakage, or heavy rains, don’t wait for your scheduled inspections to look for mold growth. Remember, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours, so don’t delay. The extra effort you put forth immediately can save you from major building damage, significant money output to clean up mold, and the headaches and stress involved in a full-blown mold remediation process.

Watch for ground water. Checking the exterior of buildings regularly will help avoid the accumulation of ground water, which can cause mold. If found, route water away using downspouts and re-grade to slope water away from the building.

Ensure proper housekeeping. Dirt on surfaces supplies mold with the nutrients it needs to grow. Cleaning and disinfecting with nonpolluting cleaners and antimicrobial agents can provide protection against mold growth.

More on mold:

There’s a Fungus among Us!

How to Prevent Mold in Your Building

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Workplace Law releases ‘Leadership in Facilities Management’ report.

2013 Workplace Law’s FM leadership report  is  based on an annual research study measuring  how FMs today can go beyond compliance and deliver real business value to their clients and stakeholders. Earlier this year, Workplace Law ran a series of focus groups in which 30 key people in the sector gave their perspective on the way great FM delivers value.

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This in depth report was complied after gathering 242 survey responses from suppliers and facilities professionals across a wide spectrum of  leadership roles (including human resources, sustainability, health and safety performance).

A key objective of the research was to test whether the priority issues facing facilities managers matched the priorities of those running facilities services companies, in terms of how value is delivered through FM. The responses to the survey were therefore analyzed comparing the ‘client’ perspective with that of the ‘service provider’ or ‘supplier.

This year’s results confirmed some of the issues  and trends highlighted in the 2012 research. Workplace Law states that the goal of these reports is to build  a bank of  information about the perspectives and current performance of the profession upon which future surveys can build.

The report is available for purchase

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The FM Juggler – still hilarious

The famous series of three Juggler videos was produced by Steelcase in the early 1990’s and they present the most amusing take on the facilities management profession. Although the video format is dated and the resolution is poor, the point  they made is absolutely current  and they remain the funniest and truest explanations of the “Art of FM” around.

Here’s the first one in the series. Enjoy!

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Tips for Restaurant Sustainability Improvements

As emphasized by The National Restaurant Association’s top trend for 2013 , sustainability should remain a  primary concern for restaurants, as it occupies a top position in consumer’s expectations.

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In this highly competitive food serving market, owners have no choice but deliver up to these high standards. Unfortunately, the  primary approach of going green in the restaurant business revolves around utilizing locally-sourced foods from nearby farms, and it often overlooks the operational side of the spectrum.

Here are a few tips on enhancing restaurant sustainability through facilities management efforts.

1. Think ‘Floor Care’ 

a)    Implement an effective matting program that will protect entryways and transitional areas will limit the transfer of internal contaminants, such as dirt from the kitchen into the dining room areas. Keeping floors in better condition limits the maintence needs and hence,  reduces water and energy waste.

b)    Choose reusable cleaning products/tools Restaurants with washing machines or laundry service access should consider dusting wands or mops that can be laundered and used over and over. The same goes for brooms and brushes.

 2. Think ‘Reusable Ware’  – When making decisions about disposable flatware and dishware, be sure to consider products made from renewable materials, post-consumer content and products that are compostable.

3. Think ‘ Sustainable Disposables’ – Use environmentally preferable napkins and other disposable products. Avoid Polystyrene products and waxed cardboard.

4. Think ‘Cleaning Chemicals’. Many foodservice operators purchase cleaning chemicals in ready-to-use form, which creates unnecessary packaging, transportation and waste. Using a package-free chemical top-off service ensures chemicals are always available, and reduces waste associated with storing chemicals or improperly diluting chemical concentrates

5. Think ‘Water Efficiency’ – the following practices should be performed at the facility:

• Undertaking a periodic leak inspection program

• Operating dishwashers only when full

• Hand scraping food scraps

• Using water-efficient sink aerators;

• Using water-efficient dishwashers

 6. Think (HVAC) Systems’  – To reduce energy consumption and the volume of makeup air for kitchen ventilation, the following strategies are recommended:

• Use demand control ventilation for kitchen exhaust hoods and makeup air units.

• Use variable speed drives (VFDs) to control fan speed for ventilation hoods and kitchen makeup air units, instead of two speed on-off fan control.

• When installing kitchen exhaust hoods, select a custom-designed hood that meets the specific exhaust airflow requirements needed by the facility. Selecting a properly sized

To read more about these and other improvements , check the Sustainability “How-to Guide” Series – Aramark

Free LEED Certification for First Platinum Projects

With the aim of accelerating the growth of sustainable development in new markets and encourage optimum, cutting-edge green building practices globally, the US Green Building Council is offering free LEED certification to the first Platinum projects that certify using the new version of LEED.  Image

The announcement was made by the USGBC Chief Operating Officer, Mahesh Ramanujam on June 27 at the at the USGBC Asia Pacific Members’ Meeting in Shanghai.

Earlier this month, USGBC launched its “LEED Earth” project, which  offers free Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to the groundbreaking projects abroad to introduce the idea of  better performing buildings in countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

To learn more about the LEED Earth, participate in the program and register a project, visit www.usgbc.org  Share your involvement in the campaign or follow updates on Twitter with hashtag #LEEDEarth.

Tips on marketing to busy Facility Managers

With the ever-expanding responsibilities of a facility manager and the economy that requires cutbacks in operations and maintenance, facility executives became a time-starved audience – always on the go and impossible to get a hold of.

managementWhich naturally makes selling products and solutions to facility managers, at best, challenging.True, the situation requires a serious shift in the marketing approach and  presents solution providers with a fair load of homework, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!The starting point is  a profound multi-dimensional understanding of the end user: where do they put their trust and why, what do they value, where and how do they connect with their peers, how do they find out about building products and solutions, and  why do they prefer certain brands over others.To connect with facility managers you will also need to demonstrate a great understanding of their time limitations and the issues of importance to them Here are some tips on how to become the supplier of choice for the busy facility executives:

Enable connection between peersconsider hosting an online forum or a LinkedIn group, where you can enable productive dialogues  between FM colleagues, simultaneously giving yourself the opportunity to interact with facility managers, study their needs, and learn firsthand what drives their decisions. If your time is limited, join one of the existing forums/groups and monitor it and participate. Which takes us to the next point.

Networking is a mustin todays market no one gets a significant sale out of the Yellow Pages.  It’s meeting people and building business relationships that  provides you with referrals and gets you in the door. Consider networking through relevant social media outlets,  memberships in the major associations, or during industry’s events. Makethe right connections with the right people to expand your business or increase sale. The bottom line is – network, but do it wisely!

Present yourself  less as salespersons and more as helpful source.  Although facility managers often have no time to spare, they still want to stay up to date with the latest technology and best practices and they still need to source for services. They key is to provide 2 in 1  – educate them on the latest solutions that will make their life easier while marketing your products.  A good way to do that is arranging ‘Lunch-n-learns’ (incorporating tablets) to increase knowledge on product, trends or solutions.

Take advantage of the Online modules.  Available through websites such as the International Facility Management Association and BlueVolt, online modules are a valuable way for suppliers to reach out to facility managers, employees and distributors and are a prime example of how media has shifted and filled the needs of a target audience. Those online resources are useful tools to gain and renew accreditations without having to miss work to receive classroom instruction.

Stay tuned to trends and challenges in the industry and try to meet the evolving needs.

As in most areas of business today, many of the facilities are trying to reduce product costs and maximize productivity, in short  – to do more with less. One key trend to meet cost, productivity, and consistency needs is the simplifying of the supply chain. Previously, FMs had to juggle getting supplies and equipment from multiple vendors. Today, they can streamline procurement with large, holistic suppliers and get everything they need from one source.

 Have strong processes in place to effectively measure service performance and client satisfaction.

According to International Facilities Management Association, one of the more significant missed expectations as communicated by various clients across multiple market segments continually revolves around the same premise, namely, that service providers lack a well-documented, quantifiable, and objective process to measure service.

How do you know whether or not you are fully aligned with your customers in overall cost, quality, delivery, and safety performance? What the clients want to see are steady improvements through objective metrics, deliver that and you will get increased longevity in the client relationship.  (Further reading: What every service provider must know)

You can find more  ‘trends to use with facility managers’ in this  whitepaper

Check out this unique opportunity to spend to days meeting  one-on-one with up to 30 pre-qualified and actively souring Healthcare Facilities Executives.

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