With the award-winning TV competition, The Great British Bake Off (GBBO), stealing many of the headlines in Britain over the last week, it seems surprising that a humble baking show has risen to such prominence. In this respect, many parallels can be drawn between GBBO and facilities management: each has become more influential in recent years, the contestants and FM departments both work under strict time constraints and each are judged on the tasks they complete. And of course, both their jobs are made easier by following the right processes and supported by the use of technology.
- Failure to plan is planning to fail
All too often on GBBO we see bakers make avoidable mistakes which cause them to leave the competition. Be it missing out key ingredients, leaving a pot of caramel to burn on the hob, or running out of time due to lack of planning, a lapse in organisation means a lot can go wrong. The consequence of poor planning in FM, however, can have repercussions across the whole organisation – for example failing to comply with health and safety compliance or not prioritising requests as they are reported. Where bakers rely on pen and paper for planning, Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software can assist a facilities manager with their planning and strategy. Such a system can provide reports colour-coded by urgency, integrating stock control with purchase orders to aid re-ordering, and tracking contract and warranty renewals with automated reminders, and more, meaning the FM team are prepared for anything.
- A mixing pot of ingredients
The best bakers stand out due to their flavour combinations and choice of ingredients, and the same is true of FM. The ingredients for successful management of a building are a combination of high quality data mixed with different contractors and operatives with a variety of skills and qualifications. All this can be blended in a CAFM system, producing meaningful information for reporting and scheduling, allocating each task at the correct time to the correct engineer and ensuring good results are achieved.
- Asset management
Under-performing, frequently failing assets are a problem for efficiency, productivity and budget. The Great British Bake Off manages this problem by baking a Victoria Sponge in each oven, every day, to ensure that the ovens are are performing to the required standard. While the ample cake must keep the team happy, this is not the most cost or time effective use of resources. Facilities management software can highlight the most cost effective method of maintaining an asset – PPM (Planned Preventative Maintenance), reactive maintenance or refurbishment – as well as identifying actions to increase lifespan, improve performance and report on maintenance costs for each asset.
- Technology for results
When it comes to the crunch, bakers and facilities managers can perform better with the aid of technology. A baker may be technically excellent in the kitchen but will still chose to use a Kitchen Aid or a steam oven to produce the required results. The same is true in FM; a facility can be managed using paper or spreadsheets, but using CAFM software makes the task so much easier and streamlined. This means a facilities manager can work ensuring the smooth, efficient operation of the workplace rather than being stuck behind a desk.
- The proof of the pudding
The end result is key, and on GBBO Paul and Mary are the clients who need to be impressed. The contestants use their feedback to improve their bakes for the next time, but evaluation and performance improvement are managed more technically in FM. CAFM measures results against KPIs and SLAs, producing complex reports at the touch of a button to highlight any areas of improvements. Comparisons can be made quickly and easily with previous years, and recommendations can be actioned in order to ensure continuous improvement and high service levels for all clients.
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