Budgeting is a tricky balancing act for facility managers — it’s imperative to keep operational costs as lean as possible while simultaneously accounting for unplanned expenses. Although tempting to save money where possible, trimming and postponing building maintenance and repair line items is a risky endeavor resulting in much higher costs.
If not properly inspected and maintained, your most valuable — and expensive — building assets are more likely to experience catastrophic failures, which are significantly more costly than performing proper maintenance, with:
- Expensive labor overtime costs
- Increased likelihood of replacement
- Unscheduled downtime for your facility
Best Practices for Budgeting
As you build your facility maintenance budget, it’s important to build healthy allowances for several line items to ensure you stay on budget and have the necessary funds when the needs arise.
What routine maintenance of your building and life safety systems are you required to perform, weekly, monthly, annually, and at longer intervals.? Be sure to estimate and factor in these costs.
Is any of your equipment nearing the end of its expected lifespan? Even if you don’t plan to replace it this year, it’s a good idea to factor in additional funds for repairs that can be reallocated to a capital investment fund if not used.
Upcoming Renovations or Capital Projects
If you plan to renovate or take on a large-scale capital project, be sure to consider how that affects your maintenance and repair needs and budget for it.
Mergers and Business Model Changes
Are there any upcoming changes to the way your business will use your space? Whether due to an upcoming merger, additional facilities to factor into your budget, or increased numbers of people using the building, all play a role in changing your operations costs.
Reassess at Regular Intervals
Annual operating budgets aren’t something to set and forget. Instead, as priorities and realities change from month to month, it’s best to regularly revisit your budget to ensure that each line item is on track. In addition to ensuring that your operational expenses, repairs, and maintenance are covered, it will also help project an accurate budget for future years.