1. Review Everything: Your current Policies, Strategies, Systems, Processes, Specifications and Service Levels were all designed for a different climate. New times require different solutions. The rule book has been torn up. Fixed costs need to be variable. Cost centres need to become profit centres. Business drivers have changed and strategies need to change in response.
  2. Take a Close Look at Your Supply Chain: Can you afford the luxury of intermediaries? Could you do some things cheaper in-house? Is bigger better or would you get more focus from smaller local suppliers? Are you getting the economies of scale that a national supplier ought to deliver? Review your choice of service providers, outsourcing models and performance management systems.
  3. Take an Even Closer Look at Your Own Team: Do they have the competencies required for the tough challenges ahead? Can you invest in upskilling/multi skilling them to reduce external spend? Should you capitalise on an employers’ recruitment market to trade up and say goodbye to those who are not fully engaged? This is no time for carrying passengers!
  4. Challenge your Churn: Constant moves and changes can be really expensive and need to be justified by business need. The best way to reduce churn costs is to cut the number of moves. If space is well planned, churn levels fall. Where moves must take place in the interest of the business minimise the cost of the move itself through smarter systems and processes and minimising business disruption.
  5. Collaborate and Negotiate: There will not be enough time for lengthy tender exercises and adversarial battles with suppliers and service providers. You need to move swiftly. Find common ground with like-minded partners and develop win/win solutions. Consider using the BSI Collaborative Working Standard PAS 11000 to extract value from your relationships.
  6. Embrace Sustainability: This is no time to ditch your commitment to the green agenda. But don’t make it about grand statements on social responsibility. A sensible environmental awareness programme will reduce costs. Focus on buying less stuff and using it more. Reduce energy and travel costs. Pay less landfill tax. Get revenue from recycled materials.
  7. Streamline your Operation: Be lean and fit for the journey. Capitalise on a buyers’ market by moving to smaller premises on more flexible terms. Rent out your spare space if you can. Sell off excess equipment. Trim any fat from your budgets and from your team. Eradicate inefficiencies in your processes using Lean Management methodologies.
  8. Get Creative and Be Flexible: The innovative idea that was too risky to try last year may be your only hope for survival in this years’ climate. Encourage creative problem solving skills in your team. Innovation thrives when the rules have been suspended. Try new things and be prepared to make changes if they don’t deliver results immediately.
  9. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Take control of your communications with all stakeholders. Listen furiously to their needs and wants and promote the positive contribution that Facilities and Property Management is making to the organisation. Make sure you know what is happening in your business and the wider marketplace and move swiftly in response.
  10. Don’t Delay: There will be those tempted to hide in a cave until things “get back to normal”. Some of them will survive, many won’t. Those who take direct action to address the challenges of a different economic era can make a genuine contribution to the success of their organisation, will enhance their own value as professionals and capitalise on the opportunity that change always offers.