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Upcoming Benchmarking & Best Practices Meetings

Scheduled group meeting and Facility Issues conference sessions in 2019 include:

  • August – Combined summer EUG/WUG meeting, Hosted by Xcel Energy, Minneapolis MN.
  • September – The 2019 IAMFA Benchmarking Workshop (pre-conference session at annual IAMFA meeting) in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • September – The 2019 Critical Facilities Workshop (TBD due to schedule conflict with Critical Facilities Summit)
  • October – Facility Issues presentation at IFMA UC Spring meeting, Phoenix, AZ

These meetings are great opportunities for benchmarking participants to learn about the best practices of their peers, and gain networking opportunities in addition to any specific content presentations. Check your program to see your eligibility to attend these meetings.

Information on specific meetings is available in the schedule section for each benchmarking group.

2019 Utility Council Benchmarking Clarifications

Thank you all for your feedback on the revised template and identification of areas needing attention or clarification.  Here are some references in response to specific questions:

  • Two columns in an early version of the data template had incorrect pick lists  – if you used this template here is the fix: Fix for UC template
  • Clarifications on Property Areas (garages), property types, and property natures: Clarifications 2019UC Benchmarking

I will have a webinar on August 7, at 1:00 pm EDT to review the draft report (see the progress of data, and solicit your feedback on changes and improvements).  Here is the meeting link:

IFMA UC Benchmarking Steering Committee 
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone. 
United States: +1 (872) 240-3412 
Access Code: 715-408-317

Here are some of the questions we have received that will take discussion at the EUG/WUG meetings and with Steering Committee.  Please send me additional questions or your thoughts on these.

  1. This year all the capital costs are included in one field – would you prefer to split capital by type of building?
  2. We will be discussion project metrics at the August EUG/WUG meeting – any requests?
  3. Project Types: Capital Maintain, Capital Improve
  4. Confirm that cost include labor fringes, fleet charges to FM from clearing account; NOT costs of fleet repair operation for utility business.
  5. Is there value in continuing to split internal vs. contract costs by type? (custodial, maintenance…)




We are continuing the direction we have shared at the past several meetings of more fully integrating our benchmarking program with your ongoing facility metrics and increasing the usefulness of the results.

  1. Data is being collected by “content” type (rather than activity topic) to facilitate future enhancements enabling more automated data feeds from your source systems.
  2. Property data has been separated from organization/operations data.  This allows quick review/minimal update of organizational info that does not change annually and data collection by individual properties (to the degree you wish).
  3. Some of the legacy practices sections are being standardized across groups (i.e. food service) to allow broader comparisons; others will be removed from the cost survey and added as special practice surveys for topics that are of interest but which don’t change annually.

We continue to look for comments and suggestions about how to make the process simpler and the results more useful.  Take our survey to provide feedback.


Instructions for the program can be found here.


Integrate Your Facility Data for Valuable Insights

Most organizations have a wealth of data about their facility assets and operations. This data can be used for strategic planning, management by exception, and benchmarking but often it is fragmented among different systems making it difficult and time consuming to analyze.

Don’t miss my session “Integrate Your Facility Data for Valuable Insights” at NFMT 2019 on Wednesday, March 27 at 9:15 am. This session will discuss how you can integrate your data into a consolidated FM “scorecard” and some example uses for those who manage multiple facilities.

Visit NFMT.com/Baltimore to register for free.  If you can’t make it, come back here after the conference for the presentation.

Critical Facilities Benchmarking Workshop Nashville, TN – October 2018

People from a dozen different organizations including Microsoft, Disney, Capital One, and University of VA attended this pre-conference workshop at the TradePress’s Critical Facility Summit in Nashville TN. “This is an opportunity for participants to establish key benchmark metrics specific to critical facilities and learn how other organizations maintain the reliability of these types of facilities.” said Bob Lambe.

Discussion topics included a review of the Benchmarking Program with emphasis on how no proprietary data needs to be shared (see illustration). Inquiries and suggestions are being taken from all interested parties (see https://facilityissues.com/critical-facilities/ for more information or contact us).


IAMFA Benchmarking Workshop Los Angeles, CA – September 2018

The 2018 Benchmarking Workshop was held the day before the annual IAMFA Conference as usual, at The Getty Center in Los Angeles CA. The 52 participants overwhelmingly rated the meeting highly, with excellent discussions throughout the day..

Group Photo

Roger Rudy presented on Fire Protection for cultural facilities (issues, pitfalls, and lessons learned). David Brooks shared an in-process project using Internet of Things data and Ambient Intelligence for HVAC cost efficiencies. The new business intelligence benchmarking reporting tool was reviewed by Bob Lambe.

There were also break-out discussions on Sensors/IoT devices, BMS Analytics, Condition Assessment, and Staffing Strategies. The Town Hall discussion remains the most popular part of the meeting (where else can you ask a “panel” of 50 international cultural facility experts about your problem/project?


WUG Meeting Sacramento, CA – August 2018

9 people representing 5 companies attended the WUG (Western Utilities Group) Meeting hosted by SMUD at their Sacramento, CA Headquarters.

The meeting included a tour of their LEED Platinum East Campus Operations Center. Discussions included SMUD’s office renovation project, re-lamping projects, IWMS system conversions, alternative office space layouts, recycled furniture, and Facility Condition Assessment program approaches.

RFB Meeting Oak Ridge, TN – June 2018

9 people from 7 organizations attended the annual RFB (Research Facilities Benchmarking) best practices meeting hosted by the Oak Ridge National Lab.

Discussion topics included an update of the Benchmarking Program by Bob Lambe, a demo of big data analysis in the Everest Room, presentations on facility sustainability and building material research programs,”mini-presentations” by each participant, and the normal “Hot Topics and Best Practices” discussion.

The new super computer coming online in 2019 The "Everest Room" presentation showed visualization and analysis of big data Tour of the 3D manufacturing research center

There was an unprecedented number of impressive facility tours included the Super Computer center, New Chemistry Building, Spallation Neutron Source Linear Accelerator, and NTRC 3-D manufacturing research lab. A special pre-day of tours included the fabrication shop, metrology lab, High Flux Isotope Reactor, and REDC “hot cells.”


2018 Benchmarking Program Updates

We made some significant changes this year, making it easier than ever to assemble and enter your data and interact with the report data to gain useful insights.

  1. The website is now mobile responsive so you can read articles or even review your data on tablets or smartphones (full disclosure: the small screen is pretty challenging for some things).
  2. You can now enter your data into an Excel template and upload it into the system (all at once or by section as completed) with just a couple clicks of the button.  The online forms remain and you can still use those to review and edit your data.
  3. We have implemented the Microsoft Power Business Intelligence tool for reporting.  This year is a beta test of that platform, with the traditional reports still available.  Please send me your comments and suggestions as you use this!

If you did not attend one of the Q&A webinars, see the various reference documents we have provided to help your and your staff use the website, templates, and reporting tool.


FM Metrics for Dashboards and Scorecards

Metrics and data are increasingly available to and used by Facilities Managers as part of dashboards and scorecards.

At the NFMT conference in Baltimore on March 20, 2018, Bob Lambe presented a session on different types of metrics, which are most useful for different purposes, and discussed the differences between dashboards and scorecards. Download a copy of this below to help your team use FM metrics.