What are ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ Facility Management Services?

Every business has unique needs and requirements to perform optimally. The job of a facility management company is to ensure that all facets of a building are taken care of, from front to back, whether it’s HVAC and plumbing repairs or landscaping and window cleaning. 

 

All FM services can be split up into two broad categories: hard and soft FM services.

 

What is the Difference Between Hard & Soft Services? 

Hard Facility Management Services 

“Hard services” are any maintenance or repair services that are integrated into the building, part of the infrastructure. 

 

  • Plumbing 
  • Electrical
  • HVAC maintenance
  • Fire safety systems
  • Mechanical repairs

 

Soft Facility Management Services 

“Soft services” aren’t essential. They are for the purpose of making the office more comfortable and functional for employees. 

 

  • Janitorial cleaning 
  • Trash pickup 
  • Landscaping
  • Office layout organization 
  • Building security 
  • Catering 

 

How Do I Know Which Services Are Necessary?

Answer these questions and you’ll know how to choose your services:

 

  • Is it critical to my facility’s operability? 
  • Are there legal or regulatory requirements to complete this service? 
  • How much could I stand to lose (potential liability) if I don’t pay for this service? 
  • Is the service in my general jurisdiction? 

 

Hard services directly benefit your building and your organization as a whole, ensuring you have a highly functional and agile infrastructure. A well-functioning plumbing, HVAC, or electrical system, for example, is critical to your bottom line.

 

Soft services, on the other hand, won’t directly impact the bottom line.

However, they will benefit your company culture, and your business’s atmosphere. You’ll have a more livable building, as well as happier, and more productive employees. It’s more of an indirect benefit to your organization.

 

How FM Companies Help You Decide

An experienced facility management company will give you a high-level overview of your building’s energy performance capabilities and help you to identify the most cost-effective choices for your facility by creating a comprehensive strategic maintenance plan that incorporates the strengths and weaknesses of your existing infrastructure. 

 

Hire Facility Management Services in Cincinnati, OH.

If you’re looking for integrated facility management services in Greater Cincinnati, consider partnering with Omnia360, an experienced FM firm that provides hard and soft services for your building: (833) 360-6642.

How Facility Management Services Lower Your Energy Bill

The fundamental goals of most facility management services are to lower your business’s monthly energy expenses and promote a more profitable facility

What’s the number one expense for any commercial building? Energy. According to energy.gov, over 30% of U.S. energy consumption is from commercial buildings. Understandably, office buildings require a lot of electricity to run.

Just about everything from heating and cooling to lighting and electronics require large amounts of energy. 

Utility companies know this.

That’s why they’re known to level a “demand charge” on buildings to ensure that there are enough energy reserves to be used for future high-use times. It’s measured in how high your kilowatts (kW) peaked during the month. 

Facility management companies can help you to lower your kWh and give you month-by-month insight into your energy consumption

Omnia360, a facility management company in Cincinnati, Ohio, gives you six ways that integrated facility management can lower your energy bill

 

1. Create Standardized Energy Use Rules (Internally)

Experienced FM professionals can serve as consultants, providing high-level insights into what energy-consuming assets in your facility can be addressed. 

 

After garnering more contextual information, you and your employees should come to an agreement on how much energy should be used and for what duration. You may decide to reduce the frequency of use or completely eliminate the use of heating and cooling appliances like refrigerators. 

 

2. Strategize a Preventative Maintenance Plan

Developing a preventative maintenance plan gets you ahead of any potentially disastrous damages or costly repairs. These eat up your energy use. With a comprehensive plan, you’re better equipped to identify energy leaks. 

 

When creating a PM strategy for your building’s energy performance, our processes are similar to the energy management procedures outlined by EnergyStar.gov.

 

3. Get Insightful Data from a CMMS

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a critical piece of technology that garners data-driven insights into the performance of your assets and areas of energy use that can be cut back or eliminated for optimal energy use. 

 

4. Request Submetering From Your Utility Provider

Take a look at your utility bill. Your energy usage is reported in gross – showing the energy for the entire building. Request submetering for the individual floors of your building. 

 

The more submetering you can do, the more granular and detailed you can get when tracking your energy performance. This is just one more way to garner in-depth analysis of your energy consumption. 

 

You might find out that the insulation or energy assets on a particular floor are outdated, old, worn out, or have poor performance due to a malfunctioning component. 

 

5. Reduce Electricity Use After Working Hours

If you’re not in peak working hours, there’s no need to use the same level of electricity, be it for floor lights or AC. You can also automate the process by integrating an automation system to the building. 

Related Post: How FM Solutions Boosts Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

6. Use IoT to Remote Monitor Your Energy Use 

Integrated IoT (internet of things), another word for a bunch of processes, technologies, and softwares, is something you can use to streamline your energy audits and identify the most cost-effective maintenance strategies for your building.

 

Lower Your Building’s Energy Bill Today with FM Services

Our team of cross-trained specialists are able to provide you with a comprehensive maintenance plan that is aimed at lowering your energy consumption. Contact us today for more information: (833) 360-6642

5 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Commercial Buildings

So, you’re operating a commercial office building, or maybe even an industrial plant, and you need to make sure it’s running efficiently. Omnia360, a comprehensive facility management company in Cincinnati, Ohio can give you five preventative maintenance tips for commercial buildings. 

FM services usually consist of some hard and soft maintenance: hard meaning any HVAC repairs or landscaping upkeep, and soft meaning janitorial or sanitization work throughout the office. Building repairs are costly. Solution? Prevent them from happening to begin with. 

One of the easiest things you can do to ensure your building stays in great shape is to monitor the interior and exterior components of your facility. 

1. Interior & Exterior Inspections 

Before you contact your facility manager, take a brief look at the interior and exterior portions of your building: roof tiles, gutters, landscaping layout, light bulbs, and windows. 

It’s not just the energy efficiency and functionality of your building that should be inspected, it’s the safety too. Both inside and out, you, your staff, or an FM company can check the facility for any red flags. 

Parking lots are notorious places for accidents between pedestrians and through traffic. Situations akin to this can be avoided with maintenance services spanning from asphalt repair, exterior pressure washing, landscaping, lot sweeping, and more. 

  • Check the entry and exit pathways to the building.
  • Are the emergency lights working?
  • Are electrical panels covered and properly marked?
  • Are your computer and electronic equipment placed in areas to avoid damage should an electrical surge occur? 

 

2. Pest Infestation Prevention

Do the little things, like not leaving food out in common break room areas or cleaning up spills on the carpet or tile flooring. Pests can chew up wiring, leave bad-smelling odors to travel through your building’s ductwork, and more. 

Rather than spend more of your FM budget on pest control and removal services, take preventative steps to avoid infestations altogether. One of the best ways is to invest in “soft” FM services like janitorial cleaning and sanitization services. 

Critters are drawn to food and water. Make sure employees or staff do not leave food out in the open for long periods of time. Nearly any facility management company will have a weekly cleaning service with their bundled package to help with this. 

There are a few other things you and your staff can do to prevent costly pest infestations: 

  • Set up mouse traps in key areas
  • Apply insect-killing dust to the foundation of the building
  • Seal any foundational cracks, leaks, or entry points 

 

3. Smart Use of Thermostat and Energy-Consuming Appliances 

Keeping your thermostat in a good shape by using it at optimal temperatures depending on foot traffic and time of year is an easy way to maintain an energy-efficient building.

A well-tuned commercial HVAC system will likely be a high-impact way to lower your energy cost. Do preventative maintenance to ensure it’s operating at maximum efficiency. If it’s low on refrigerant, has a clogged air filter, or is overheating from a stuck motor fan, your utility bill is bound to be higher at the end of the month. 

Look into installing some modern, LED lighting fixtures within your facility; these can lower energy consumption on the margins. Replacing some windows that see copious amounts of sunlight and heat with insulated, tempered glass can also do the trick. 

 

4. Implement Preventative Maintenance (Based on Seasonality)

Routine maintenance on the hardest working elements of your facility aren’t optional, they’re mandatory – especially if you want to cut your operational costs. 

Spring and Fall seasons are the BEST times to get your HVAC system checked. The summer and winter months are harsh and can mean you’re freezing with a broken heat pump or drenched in sweat with a damaged AC unit component. 

Take seasonality into account when creating your preventative maintenance plan for anything and everything:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical 
  • Roofing
  • Garages
  • Access/security controls 
  • Parking lot & pavement

Preventative maintenance for certain sections of your building (individual assets & equipment included) will save you money in the long run, avoiding those costly emergency repairs. 

With a qualified facility management company, you’ll be able to diagnose cost-saving areas of your building and maximize its performance, turning it from a liability for your operations budget into a money-generating asset. 

Top Benefits: 
  • Decreases downtime 
  • Reduces costs 
  • Improves safety 
  • Increases equipment efficiency
  • Increases reliability 

 

5. Strategic Maintenance Deferment 

There’s only so much time and money to invest towards a building’s upkeep. Eventually, you’ll have to defer some issues to a later date. In the world of facility management, deferring maintenance is usually a no-go — but only if done incorrectly. 

Knowledgeable and experienced facility managers, like those at Omnia360 facility solutions, can identify which high-impact areas of your building need attention first. We strategically prioritize your maintenance plan based on several factors, including operational cost savings. 

Depending on the scope and scale of issues faced by your building, you may not be able to defer certain tasks. You may just need to expand your budget to manage them all.

 

Contract Facility Management Services at Omnia360

Save money and cut operational costs today. Get comprehensive facility maintenance for the interior and exterior parts of your commercial building. Contact us at (833) 360-6642 for a free assessment.

How Facility Management Boosts Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

A facility manager’s job is to find ways to save on a commercial or industrial building’s operational costs. Optimizing a facility’s energy efficiency is the first step.

 

Facility management companies like Omnia360 in Cincinnati, Ohio, achieve this through accurate data-based asset management and maintenance, managing everything from HVAC to plumbing and electrical. 

 

Why Does Your Building’s Energy Efficiency Matter? 

According to Energy.gov, 35% of electricity in the U.S. is consumed by commercial buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.” 

 

Wasting energy means wasting money, dollars that could otherwise be put back into your facility management budget or dedicated towards another growth opportunity. 

 

Not only that — implementing facility maintenance strategies to reduce energy consumption can: 

 

  • Reduce operating costs 
  • Increase a facility’s net operating income (NOI)
  • Provide a more comfortable environment for employees and customers
  • Reduce risks of early equipment failure and wasteful, unexpected downtimes

 

If you’re saving on energy bills due to modern light fixtures or a well-optimized commercial HVAC system, those cost savings can be reinvested into your business. In fact, our experts at Omnia360 help with capital asset management.

Related Post: 6 Ways Facility Management Can Lower Your Bill

How Omnia360 Checks Your Building’s Energy-Efficiency

We work with your building’s unique architectural and energy system design in mind to create an effective maintenance plan that can greatly reduce your monthly energy consumption. 

 

First: We assess all levels of your building’s equipment and controls: checking pressures, temps, power settings, flows, and lighting use. 

 

From there, we create strategies that are implemented by priority to improve energy efficiency. 

 

Then, to ensure accuracy and continuity, we document operations: changing control strategies, sensor set-point, or sensor locations. 

 

Lastly, we track the savings. By doing this, any savings can be reinvested towards your facility’s operation and maintenance efforts. 

 

Commercial HVAC Repair and Maintenance 

Maintaining your building’s HVAC system is the number one way to save on your monthly utility bill. Your potential cost savings are enormous. According to the DOE, HVAC systems use nearly 35% of a building’s energy. 

 

Our HVAC technicians arrive on-site and perform an inspection of your building’s HVAC unit, identifying areas of concern and improvement that will maximize energy efficiency. 

 

  • Regular, routine maintenance checks 
  • Comprehensive preventative maintenance plans 
  • Checks for any seal leaks or damaged insulation 
  • Install smart windows or blinds 

 

Upgrading and Managing Your Facility’s Infrastructure & Energy Assets 

Facility managers look to analyze a building’s infrastructure from the ground up, identifying cost-saving opportunities in all facets of a building, everything from lighting and water usage to the type of on-site materials and equipment used by a facility. 

 

Lighting. 

It’s one of the best ways to ensure your building saves operational costs. Updating lighting systems with energy-efficient LED lighting from various sources.

 

Sustainable Materials. 

Using eco-friendly materials with energy-efficient devices (along with constant checks and evaluations), ensure maximum energy efficiency.

 

Water.

The goal is to reduce the monthly or annual water bill by assessing and fixing existing plumbing structures: showers, sinks, taps, pipes, and toilets. There’s also the use of rain sensors to irrigate the plants and fields on your property.  

 

Sub-metering.

Power submetering is a method that accurately monitors a facility’s energy output. A tracking system also allows technicians and facility managers to be alerted to any impending component failures and initiate proactive repairs. 

 

Asset Monitoring Technologies Measure Your Building’s Total Energy Use

FM companies typically utilize computer-aided facility management software (CAFM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) technologies to identify areas, processes, and people that consume substantial energy and set a baseline energy usage by installing power metering devices in the facility. 

 

Leveraging automated solutions through detailed and data-driven analysis of a building’s functionality and energy consumption, on the whole, facility managers can create an energy management plan that sustains cost and energy savings over time. 

 

  • Assisting with protocol changes to energy maintenance plans.
  • Identifying incentives or rebates a building can qualify for. 

 

Lower Your Demand Charge with Better Energy Audits 

An FM company can perform an energy audit as part of the run-of-the-mill asset assessment. Energy audits let you know where you stand. They also help FM professionals identify ways to lower monthly demand charges. 

 

What’s a demand charge? 

It’s a fee that applies to electrical bills during “peak usage.” Here’s how it works…

 

Just like a bank that needs to ensure there are enough dollars in the vault for people that want to withdraw their money, a utility company has to make sure they have enough energy available to give to commercial buildings during any unexpected, high-energy use periods: “peak use periods.” 

 

Your monthly demand charge fee acts as a type of insurance fee of sorts in order to cover this. It’s based on the highest energy consumption during a given time period. 

 

How does the cost go up? 

Let’s say your commercial or industrial building had a particularly hot summer month and spent an enormous amount of money on AC. Your demand charge will go up, as it is calculated based on the highest spend period. 

 

Many people don’t know this. But you can dispute a demand charge! That’s money back in your pocket. But here’s the catch: you’ll need quite a bit of paperwork and energy auditing (tracking your building’s usage). To dispute the charge, you have to present several months or years of energy use data to the utility company to prove your threshold is low. 

 

Long story short, it’s easier to let a skilled facility management company perform an audit of your building’s energy infrastructure and develop a comprehensive maintenance plan that takes into account cost-saving initiatives that can lower your demand charge: 

 

  • Solar panel cleaning and upkeep 
  • HVAC troubleshooting and maintenance 
  • Duct system cleaning and sanitization 
  • Thermal, insulated, low-e glass repair or replacement 

 

Assess Your Building’s Energy Efficiency with Omnia360

Want to save on your building’s monthly costs? Get comprehensive, integrated facility maintenance services 24/7 by teaming up with a leading FM company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Contact us today for a free assessment at (833) 360-6642. 

What is CAFM Software? (Computer Aided Facility Management)

Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) gives facility managers and FM companies the tools to streamline and automate their internal processes, tracking, managing, reporting, and planning all facets of a facility’s operations.

Here are a few of the core areas that facility managers can analyze and control with a CAFM: 

  • Asset management 
  • Reactive and planned preventative maintenance 
  • Operational facility services 
  • Roomer reservations 
  • Space and workplace management/coordination 

At Omnia360fs in Cincinnati, Ohio, we offer comprehensive facility maintenance services using the latest technologies and softwares in the facility management industry — including a CAFM. It helps to streamline data collected from a variety of sources and allow FM managers to take accurate, results-driven action from it.

CAFM softwares are also web-based and can store a variety of data collected from various technology integrations

  • Building information models (BIM)
  • Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) 
  • CAD systems
  • Object-oriented database systems

Leveraging a CAFM is the best way to go about creating reports, analyzing data, and organizing internal work orders while sharing your results across various platforms and devices. 

Reasons to Use a CAFM

  • Supports strategic operational management 
  • Helps FM managers ensure organizational assets are being utilized at the lowest possible cost for all phases of a building’s lifecycle. 

Benefits of a CAFM Software 

  • Improve communication 
  • Automate routine internal processes and work orders 
  • Improve FM time management 
  • Reduce space, maintenance, or operational costs
  • Manage assets and equipment

Challenges Faced by Facility Managers 

FM is more challenging than ever:

  • Shrinking maintenance budgets
  • Resource constraints
  • Political priorities
  • Unfunded mandates
  • Distributed data and data disparities
  • Organizational stovepipes

To work against these obstacles, you’ll need good CAFM software.

But how do you choose the right fit?

Best CAFM Softwares on the Market Today 

Choosing the right CAFM solutions software will depend on several factors, including your FM company’s goals and your stakeholders’ goals included.

Here are some notable mentions: 

  1. FMX
  2. MaintainX
  3. Procore

Related Post: Top 5 facility management solutions software for 2022.

Why CAFM Is NOT CMMS

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) focuses on organizing and ordering maintenance requests, pending projects, and updates for specific assets in a building. 

For example, ensuring that a commercial property’s HVAC unit has been “inspected, maintained, and repaired” falls under the domain of a CMMS. 

CAFM software pertains to this but encompasses more avenues that give detailed information about a facility as a whole: information about the staff, building sections, and equipment connections. 

CAFM vs. IWMS

Integrated workplace management system (IWMS) operates much like a CAFM. The core difference is that CAFM softwares allows seamless integration between tech platforms and devices, giving a unified experience during workflows. 

CAFM vs. EAM

Enterprise asset management software, EAM software, is similar to CAFM but focuses and specializes in asset management capabilities. CAFM, however, offers more solutions for energy monitoring and space management. 

Features & Tools of a CAFM

The features and tools available in a CAFM will depend upon the software. However, most of the software is quite advanced, offering advanced automated FM functionalities and links between external analysis packages. 

Interactive Graphics

Interactive graphics integrate with mobile tools and allow for the drafting and modifying of facility layouts and other visual documents. They can be accessed and shared on multiple platforms, saving the FM team time and money. 

Data Management Tools 

Tools allow you to organize, reuse and reorganize existing data to better convert it into useful, actionable information. 

Interactive Database

Data is at the heart of any facility management practice, hence why it’s important to get full access and usability from data. It allows for a fully-interactive database of data that can be reformatted and exported into visualized reports. 

 

What Can a CAFM System Do for Your Operation? 

Inventory management: 

Routine repairs, preventative maintenance, and emergency repairs can be clearly defined and classified per equipment or asset category. 

Strategic planning: 

More data-driven insights from all angles allow FM teams to strategize and coordinate their building management efforts in a way that maximizes profitability, performance, and cost savings. 

Operations: 

Get extensive information on your operations by analyzing your spending, benchmarking data, creating historical overviews, and identifying trends. 

Building assessments: 

Risk assessments, security vulnerability, and conditions reporting are made possible to share and distribute across platforms for various stakeholders. 

Energy performance analysis: 

The software allows you to get a 360-degree view of your building’s assets and their functionality, including their energy performance, granting key insights to FM teams on how to optimize energy efficiency. 

Vendor management: 

The software allows you to add vendors to your system, making it easy to coordinate, organize and delegate work orders and process updates for various vendors. 

CAD drawings: 

Computer-aided design drawings (2D or 3D illustrations) allow you to see how the space is laid out, including a room’s safety features, assets, or equipment; they can be used as quick reference points by an FM team. 

Capital project management

It gives managers the ability to deal with budgetary constraints and construction needs by storing information about the building’s assets, infrastructure, and equipment used to make data-driven decisions. 

 

Get Integrated Facility Management with Omnia360

Hire an experienced facility management company to take care of your building’s needs. We work with you and your team to ensure an energy-efficient and productive commercial building. Call us at (833) 350-6642 for a free assessment today

4 Risks to Assisted Living Facilities Without Facility Management Services

Increasing costs are becoming a major factor for businesses across the country to contend with, and the search for money-saving opportunities is becoming more important. This is especially true for assisted living facilities and retirement care centers. Many of them are struggling with challenges in the industry: 

  • Increasing resident numbers
  • Higher costs for operating profitably
  • More complex care structures 

Faced with that, finding solutions is difficult. The search to bypass higher costs might lead to assisted living facilities no longer paying money to third parties for various services — for instance, facility management services.

In today’s post, Omnia360 Facility Solutions discusses the four primary risks associated with retirement homes neglecting facility management and building upkeep. 

1. Risks to Health and Safety 

Assisted living facilities focus heavily on patient care, safety, and quality of life. Saving money by foregoing contracting with a facility management company can be detrimental to a facility’s core values and cause.

FM companies like Omnia360 ensure the building’s specs are up to date and compliant with state regulations, bolstering the health and safety of residents and employees alike. Services range from janitorial cleaning to skilled trade maintenance on every part of a building’s infrastructure. 

If the duct system is compromised, it’s not just your energy bill that you’ll have to worry about. Senior residents might be unable to get cool or warm air to their rooms, or they might experience worsening breathing problems. Conditions like these put pressure on your labor force, and resources (oxygen tanks, pain management supplies, etc.). 

Even something as small as a window seal leak, if left unchecked by a professional, allows moisture to creep in and mold to develop. That spells bad news for a resident’s lungs if their bed is near the window. 

Plus, you don’t want residents sweating and immobilized by the debilitating heat and humidity. Hiring an FM company to troubleshoot and maintain your building’s commercial HVAC system is critical. 

2. Working Conditions and Employee Turnover 

FM services take the pressure off of employees who may be asked to do more work related to facility management as a means of saving costs. 

Instead of contracting out “soft” facility management services, like trash pickup and window cleaning, assisted living managers may choose to overload their current staff with janitorial and cleaning duties on top of their caregiving responsibilities. It can lead to burnout, productivity loss, lower-value patient care services, and (most of all) turnover. 

The turnover rate for nursing and assisted living facilities staff is high. According to experts at Senior Housing News, it rose to 53.11% in 2020. Turnover eats into a facility’s expense budget. FM services help to ensure an easier, healthier, and more amicable working environment that helps deter turnover (and its associated costs). 

Obviously, a major factor in turnover is an employee’s working conditions. Is the workplace a clean, breathable, well-lit, and temperate location? Neglecting HVAC or electrical issues can make for the opposite.

Comprehensive FM services give employees safer and more comfortable working conditions by ensuring that services like plumbing, electricity, and janitorial tasks are all completed with accuracy, timeliness and professionalism. 

3. Energy Loss, Inefficiency, and Operational Costs

FM service managers work with you to strategically assess your facility and find out what services can benefit it in the long-run, in terms of functionality, energy efficiency, and profitability. 

Assisted living facilities could be losing money on their utility bills alone and not know it. Having a regularly-scheduled maintenance crew with an FM company could mean identifying your building’s structural issues early and fixing them, leading to some major cost savings. 

In an effort to save on expenses, “hard” FM services, like HVAC or electrical maintenance might get ignored or put on the back burner. Later on, however, a building can wind up with an unexpected issue requiring emergency repair services (often more costly than preventative). 

4. Negative Resident Experience 

Customer experience matters. Besides, people talk. And in the internet age, where online consumer reviews and social media shares rule and reign, it’s important to give customers a great experience from start to finish. 

Facility management services can provide assisted living facilities with exterior grounds maintenance that improves the building’s curbside appeal and gives visiting families a great sense of what the place has to offer. 

Skilled technicians are also available 24/7 to alleviate any emergency outages or malfunctioning equipment on site. It’s an added benefit that takes the stress off of residents and employees, uplifting their experience and simultaneously giving your building a more beautiful and functional atmosphere. 

The better experience residents have, and the more satisfied their families are with the quality of care and the building’s upkeep, the better your reviews are. It’s just good for business. 

Get 360 Degrees of Facility Maintenance and Upkeep Now

Our facility management service contracts ensure that your entire building stays in optimal condition and has great performance. Contact us today for more information about our service packages and a free assessment at 833.360.6642.