Facility Benchmarking Programs

We discussed why leading organizations participate in facility benchmarking programs, how the benchmarking process works, and how you can use benchmarking results to improve your facilities and operations. Now we will describe the facility benchmarking programs offered by Facility Issues.

Facility Issues offers facility benchmarking programs suitable for facility managers of all organizations. The main reason most organizations participate in facility benchmarking is to understand if their facility-related costs are reasonable. Our benchmarking programs include many categories of facility-related costs which are often scattered across different budgets, to allow participants to see the total cost (TCO) associated with their facilities.

However, in addition to Cost (CapEx, OpEx), there are several other facility performance objectives you may want to consider:

  • Space Ratios & Quality
  • Occupant Satisfaction
  • Sustainability Criteria
  • Asset Condition & Reliability
  • Cleaning Service Level & Compliance
  • Maintenance Service Level & Compliance
  • Environmental Control Service Level & Compliance
  • Service Delivery Time

Facility Benchmarking Programs by Facility Issues

Some facility benchmarking programs are suitable for facility managers of any organization. Facility benchmarking programs allow you to track your company’s improvement over time.

Core Metrics Program

This is the simplest and most affordable facility benchmarking program and is suitable for any size organization. It includes key facility operation metrics, and the small set of data required is feasible even for smaller organizations or those just starting to benchmark.

Facility Managers Round Table

The Facility Managers Round Table benchmarking program is our most comprehensive program suitable for all industries. Participants in this program have included 158 million square feet of space at 85 sites for a diverse set of companies and government agencies throughout the U.S. This program includes a full set of facility-related topics.

Industry Specific Facility Benchmarking Programs

Some facility benchmarking programs are oriented for facility managers in specific industries.

Museums & Cultural Institutions

This benchmarking group is designed for those who manage facilities for museums and cultural institutions. Over 130 institutions from nine countries have participated since the group started. The survey is endorsed by IAMFA, the International Association of Museum Facility Administrators. The standard program includes a full set of facility-related benchmarking topics as well as a workshop at the annual conference, with a core metrics option for smaller institutions.

Utilities Council

This is the benchmarking group of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Utilities Council. Active since 1995, the IFMA Utilities Council was created to share and develop knowledge among facility managers of electric, gas, water, and telecommunications companies. Benchmarking participants gather and share data and best practices related to managing utility company facilities.

Benchmarking Programs for Specific Facility Types

Some facility benchmarking programs are more about the type of facility being managed.

Research Facilities

This program is intended for those who manage research facilities. Participants in this group have included several of US DOE labs. Government, corporate, and academic organizations, and tend to have larger, complex facilities such as labs on a mixed-use campus. This program includes a full set of facility-related benchmarking topics as well as and annual meeting to tour facilities of the meeting host.

Critical Facilities

This benchmarking group is designed for managers of “critical” facilities – those that are always on 24×7 or mission-critical “can’t go down” buildings such as data centers, utility control centers, emergency service facilities, life care facilities, research labs, financial institutions, museums, transportation centers, power production, communication hubs, security centers, and manufacturing operations.  Many of the participants attend the Critical Facilities Summit where they share data and best practices on the operations of these important properties.

Custom Facility Benchmarking Programs for Your Organization or Association

For organizations with multiple facilities, it can be valuable to perform an internal benchmarking exercise as part of (or even instead of) peer group benchmarking. The best opportunities for benchmarking quality improvement/reduction are those “outliers” within your facility portfolio. We can use our system and expertise to help you accomplish this quickly and effectively.

Facility Issues provides custom facility benchmarking programs or studies for organizations who have multiple facilities, as part of merger studies, or for special purposes such as comparison of outsource facility service provider performance. The results of these studies are not made public.

Private Facility Benchmarking Programs

Contact us if you would like us to run a private and affordable facility benchmarking program for you/your member organizations.  This might apply if:

  • Your organization has many facilities and would like a third party to organize and manage an internal benchmarking program.
  • Your industry association would like to have a customized facility benchmarking program for your members.
  • You are a facility service provider and want to offer benchmarking as a service to your clients.
  • You are a facility software provider and want to add benchmarking as a service you offer.

What does a Facility Issues’ benchmarking program include?

Our programs include different levels of services depending upon your needs. We believe in continuous improvement, and the Facilities Benchmarking Program has evolved over the past 20 years. Further we continue to refine both the content and mechanics each year. Below we explain how we help with each of the key steps the process described earlier.

1. Establish Objectives to Clarify What You Want to Accomplish

Each Facility Benchmarking Program has a steering committee to guide what is measured in key areas of facility management and to identify best practices and industry trends. Each year the program is updated to address emerging concerns in addition to the core data related to space utilization, operations and maintenance, and best practices. Facilitation of your internal objectives is available as an additional service.

2. Collect (assemble and normalize) your Data

Our Facilities Benchmarking Programs use self-reported data entered in a web-based system to make them easy and affordable.  Facility Issues provides Excel templates with instructions and definitions to make it easier for your team to assemble your data. There is a Getting Started webinar and instruction document to help new participant and new staff make a quick start.

Facility Issues reviews the data for reasonableness, normalizes it, and compiles the results. Technical support and answers about the data or system are provided as part of the program.  Help “automating” the data from your corporate systems is available as an additional service.

3. Compare Data with the Group

All Facility Issues’ benchmarking program results are provided in a business intelligence system. There is a Results Review webinar and instruction document when the final report is available to help your staff understand how to use the system and interpret the results.

The facility cost Benchmarking Report contains graphs, charts, and tables for various aspects of facility management across the entire group – each participant is identified by an anonymous code (or custom ID you provide). Prior years data is included to allow you to assess trends. In addition to costs, reports will have other metrics and data (depending on the program. Click here to see an example in a new window.

Some of our programs allow you to load your data by property providing you with “internal” benchmarking of your own properties so you can see which of your properties are the ones with the highest opportunity for improvement with no extra work.

4. Identify Practices to Consider

Some of our programs include meetings where you can discuss common issues, share lessons learned, best practices, and ask questions of other participants. Some of the reports include charts on the “impact” of various practices as we work to try to quantify factors that contribute to improved facility performance.

5. Select & Implement Changes

This step is really up to you.  We provide suggestions on how to use the results, and can develop recommendations as an additional service if desired.

6. Track Your Progress

Benchmarking is most useful as an ongoing program to track and measure both incremental progress and step-function improvements.  Each of our reports includes the results for past five years so you can see the trends for years in which you participate.


APS has adopted the Facilities Benchmarking comparative process for a sustainable Facilities Management platform. We will continue to participate in the process towards constant Facilities improvement and budget analysis.” —Jay Buffkin, APS Real Estate & Facilities Management


Why Facility Issues?

Facility metrics and benchmarking are our primary business, so we are here to answer questions and help you find the information you need in your data.  Our programs are all designed to be very easy and affordable.

We understand that many facility organizations have limited analyst staff or need help with benchmarking. Facility Issues can help you participate in a program and get the most from it by providing additional services to support your facility benchmarking.

Unmatched Support from Facility Issues 

You can contact us anytime and we will answer your questions and offer suggestions on areas of concern. For new facility management benchmarking participants, we also include two one-on-one web sessions with you – one to review your data collection/input questions and one to review the report results to help you identify value for your organizations.

Your next steps:

If you are ready and one of our programs will work for you, Enroll in a benchmarking program now.

If you would like to start benchmarking but will need some help getting started, read about the benchmarking support services we offer.

If you are not yet ready to start a benchmarking program, join our mailing list to receive quarterly updates and participate in free special topic surveys.