Research Facilities Benchmarking – Best Practices Meeting

The 2017 RFB (Research Facilities Benchmarking Group) Best Practices meeting will be hosted by Battelle in Columbus, Ohio on  June 7-9.

This annual event is an opportunity to learn about the best practices of high-performing organizations.

Topics will include energy and utilities, maintenance, sustainability, safety, space planning, and more.

The most tangible benefit from attending the conference will be the networking opportunities you will gain. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the approaches the benchmarking participants have taken to improve their operations, reduce their costs or both. The RFB group has saved more than $158 million over a 5-year period — an average of about $1.25 per square foot annually.

Benchmarking offers other benefits, too and you will learn about them at the conference. It is a way to…

  • Measure your effectiveness
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Reduce costs and add value
  • Justify costs and practices
  • Practice continuous improvement
  • Identify the best practices for your facility
  • Establish goals for further improvements
  • Provide information for strategic planning
  • Challenge “business-as-usual” methods
  • Facilitate discussions about best practices between organizations
  • Learn from others so you can apply their techniques in your organization

Hotel information and a draft agenda will be provided.

Benchmarking for Small Cultural Institutions

A condensed benchmarking survey will be continued for smaller cultural institutions, those with  an area of less than 50,000 ft.² or 5000 m². The survey is designed to provide KPI’s (key performance indicators) for facility managers that do not have the staff or resources to participate in the  comprehensive IAMFA survey. The survey questions were developed with input from the steering committee that included:

  • Brent Adams, Library of Congress
  • Brian Coleman, Museum Victoria
  • Jennifer Fragomeni, Exploratorium
  • Kendra Gastright & Steve Hinz, Smithsonian Institution
  • John Glen, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Patrick Jones, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Guy Larocque, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Linda McMillian & Jack Plumb, National Library of Scotland
  • Rich Reinert, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Dave Samec, National Gallery
  • Tony Young, Carnegie Museums

Very positive feedback was received during a general session at the IAMFA conference in Boston, attended by about 100 participants . Nearly all the attendees  of smaller institutions indicated they would participate in a survey of this type and felt that it would meet their needs. There are 14 questions covering the critical aspects of benchmarking in the following sections.IMG_4780

  • Background
  • Space
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Janitorial
  • Security

These sections represent about 95% of the controllable operating spend for a typical institution. Most participants should be able to complete their data input in less than 30 minutes after they have collected their data.

The survey is priced at about half of the regular rate and includes a report, technical assistance, IMG_0369participation in the benchmarking workshop that is scheduled on Sunday before each annual IAMFA conference.

For more information please contact Bob Lambe at 1.928.213.9767 or email.