Enterprise process improvement methods like Lean, Six Sigma and TQM helped drive earnings growth during the 1990s and 2000s. However, there are limits as to how much profitability can increase solely through efficiency. As Bain & Company executive Michael Mankin noted in the Harvard Business Review, “Without top-line growth, continuing to wring out greater profits through efficiency has become the managerial equivalent of attempting to squeeze blood from a stone.”
That’s not to say efficiency no longer matters. Instead, the idea is to create the most productive working environment and methods possible. In this light, efficiency is an operating expectation: Every person, place and thing in your organization should be poised to produce the highest-value effort and function. Moreover, if your mandate is to implement cost-cutting strategies, efficiency is a must-have.
The good news is that top integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) like IBM TRIRIGAⓇ have efficiency and productivity built into their DNA. Whatever cost-reduction strategies you implement, you’ll know you have a complete single view of all parts of your organization and that you’ll be making good long-term data-driven decisions. Scalpels, not chainsaws.
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Lease Administration
When a lease in your portfolio is up, and your people and assets move locations, will you get your $60,000 security deposit back? Will someone forget to ask for the money? That is a real thing that happens, and it’s a tiny fragment of what’s tracked in IBM TRIRIGA’s Real Estate Manager module. It’s part of how an IWMS enables global facility and real estate management.
Lease administration is a great place to look for cost savings, especially for large corporations with worldwide real estate portfolios. Legal and financial requirements can vary by country and specific locale, so you need a system to keep track of it all. Moreover, as corporate leases become capitalized, ensuring FASB compliance with an IWMS is a must. Without it, you’ll need to hire an army of specialists to comb through your data, which is not an ideal cost-reduction strategy.
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Capital Project Cost Management
There’s nothing quite like an out-of-control capital project to blow a hole in your budget. That’s why IBM TRIRIGA’s Capital Projects Manager is a must for large corporations. The program helps streamline facility construction and renovations. It also helps project managers finish on time, within budget and with reduced risk.
You can use the software to track your own team’s progress against budget and schedules, and also to track a project’s vendors—keeping them in contractual compliance and reducing delays. Capital Projects Manager helps you determine project risks upfront and set funding priorities across your capital project portfolio. It may also be used to:
- Reduce project schedule overruns
- Streamline project cost accounting
- Integrate all processes and analytics
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Space Management
Most industries aim to use at least 96% of their total square footage. The idea is to give yourself enough flexibility for reorganization or other moves, without creating opportunity costs by paying for a lot of unused space. Yet many companies only use 80% to 90% of their space. If you have millions of square feet in your real estate portfolio, that’s an enormous waste.
Unused space can result from good faith-efforts. If a lessor tells you there’s x amount of usable space in your location, your people may use that as a foundation to plan seating charts or equipment placement. However, with the Facilities Manager module of IBM TRIRIGA, they can use computer-aided design (CAD) facility drawings to make those decisions based on accurately-measured data instead of estimates. Facilities Manager includes a space management system that helps make operating costs predictable at every level: floor, building, regional and global.
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Workplace Reservations
In a world where everyone has a calendar on their phones and computers, conference room conflicts seem quaint. Yet this simple function can be an ongoing waste of time. That goes for reserving equipment, vehicles and other assets as well; if someone can’t use the equipment they need when it’s needed, that costs time.
Instead of a guessing game—will the room or asset be available when needed?—your organization would be served better by the office hoteling and other features in the Workplace Reservation Manager module of IBM TRIRIGA. Better yet, your team can make their requests via mobile.
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Facilities Maintenance and Assessments
One of the best IWMS cost-reduction strategies is the way it can be used to improve preventive maintenance. IBM TRIRIGA’s Workplace Operations Manager helps reduce maintenance costs over time while ensuring you continue to deliver high-quality service.
Scheduling regular maintenance and work orders automatically based on service-level agreements helps cut costs. Your assets and facilities will continue to get the regular attention needed to keep assets and facilities operating effectively—but not more often than needed. When something does need repairs, you won’t have to worry about multiple work orders submitted for the same task; the system will make sure only one worker or team is dispatched as necessary. Moreover, maintenance requirements are matched with a full database of warranties, leases and service-level agreements. No need to spend your budget on parts or replacements if something’s still covered!
The work orders themselves are designed to make the most of staff time as well. Your people will have asset and facility maintenance and service histories before setting out for the job site and will know which equipment to bring. These types of practical considerations add up to significant savings when used throughout your portfolio, and represent some of the highest returns on investment (ROI) for IWMS users.
Cost-Reduction Strategy: Energy Efficiency
Regardless of your whether your energy comes from fossil, nuclear or renewable fuels, you don’t want to pay for any more of it than needed. That’s why energy efficiency is always a great cost-reduction strategy. IBM TRIRIGA’s Energy Manager is a great tool for being as efficient as possible with your energy usage. If your organization is required to track and report CO2 emissions, Energy Manager will help do that, too.
Energy Manager opens up cost-reduction opportunities at every level. Building engineers can use it to manage day-to-day operations. Facilities managers can use it to establish energy efficiency metrics. Energy managers can optimize energy usage throughout your property portfolio. And building owners reap energy savings and improve lifecycle performance throughout the building.
Efficient. Productive. Profitable.
Every IBM TRIRIGA module will help you plan and implement cost-reduction strategies. However, the real power of any IWMS lies in a fully integrated system, to allow you to get all your information in a single view. A complete view of your underutilized facilities can help determine if you need that new capital project. A solid asset inventory and facility assessment can help you decide if newer equipment might run more efficiently, saving energy. For large corporations looking to reduce costs, operate as efficiently as possible and use every element of their portfolios as productively and profitably as possible, it’s a must.
eCIFM specializes in IBM TRIRIGA implementation and development. We have some of the world’s leading IWMS experts working continuously on improving its real-world performance and functionality. That includes mobile apps to extend TRIRIGA’s usefulness into the field. Our data migration and other tools help make the switch to TRIRIGA speedy and accurate.
If you’re looking to reduce costs, improve operating efficiency and optimize productivity, we’d like to hear from you. We’ve helped some of the world’s largest organizations do all of that through TRIRIGA, and look forward to doing so for you too.