Navigating the World of Facility Supplies: Tips for New Managers

Manager conversing with workers

Are you a new facility manager? Starting a career as a facility manager is both exciting and…daunting. As the linchpin of operations, you’ll play a crucial role in ensuring that buildings and facilities run smoothly and efficiently in your new role. From managing supply chains to fostering strong supplier relationships and implementing sustainable practices, there’s a lot to learn.

Here are 15 essential tips to get you off to a solid start:

  1. Understand Your Facility’s Needs: Take the time to thoroughly understand the unique needs and requirements of your facility. Even if you’ve managed a facility before, this one is different; no two are alike. This includes assessing equipment, inventory, and maintenance schedules to develop a tailored approach to supply chain management. Walk through, meet your team, follow the processes from beginning to end. Ask lots of questions. Never assume you know what’s going on; see it for yourself.
  2. Prioritize Supplies Strategically: Prioritize supplies based on criticality and usage frequency. Identify key items that are essential for day-to-day operations and ensure adequate stock levels to prevent disruptions. Make sure you know exactly what supplies are needed to keep things moving and how you can keep those supplies flowing in. Indoff has the best facility solutions to help you get what you need when you need it.
  3. Establish Strong Supplier Relationships: Cultivate strong relationships with suppliers by fostering open communication, setting clear expectations, and addressing issues promptly. Building trust and rapport with suppliers is essential for ensuring quality products and timely deliveries.
  4. Negotiate Favorable Terms: Negotiate pricing, payment terms, and delivery schedules with suppliers to maximize cost savings and operational efficiency. Leverage volume discounts and explore alternative sourcing options to optimize your supply chain. Leave no stone unturned in your quest to get your facility the best terms and the best prices.
  5. Implement Just-in-Time Inventory: Consider implementing just-in-time inventory practices to minimize inventory carrying costs and reduce waste. This approach involves ordering supplies only when needed to maintain lean inventory levels while ensuring timely availability. But balance JIT goals with task #2 above; JIT is not a good strategy for supplies that will bring your operations to a halt if they run out.
  6. Embrace Sustainability: Integrate sustainable practices into facility management operations to reduce environmental impact and promote corporate social responsibility. This may include adopting energy-efficient technologies, implementing recycling programs, and sourcing eco-friendly supplies. And look at your lighting; switching to LED lighting can make a big impact on your footprint. Talk to the team at Indoff about lighting strategies.
  7. Stay Updated on Regulations: Stay informed about regulatory requirements and industry standards related to facility management, including health and safety regulations, building codes, and environmental compliance. Compliance is essential for avoiding fines and legal liabilities.
  8. Invest in Training and Development: Invest in training and development opportunities for yourself and your team to enhance skills and stay current with industry trends and best practices. Continuous learning is key to professional growth and success in facility management.
  9. Utilize Technology Tools: Explore technology solutions such as facility management software, asset tracking systems, and predictive maintenance tools to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Leveraging technology can help you make data-driven decisions and optimize resource allocation. Indoff has the experts you need to help you explore tech solutions for your facility.
  10. Address Common Pitfalls: Be proactive in identifying and addressing common pitfalls in facility management, such as equipment downtime, maintenance backlogs, and supply chain disruptions. Develop contingency plans and implement preventive measures to mitigate risks and minimize disruptions. The better you know your pitfalls, the more adept you’ll become at avoiding them.
  11. Empower Your Team: Empower your team by delegating responsibilities, providing clear guidance and support, and fostering a culture of collaboration and accountability. Effective teamwork is essential for achieving operational excellence and driving continuous improvement. Your team is your greatest asset; use them.
  12. Communicate Effectively: Practice clear and transparent communication with stakeholders, including staff, suppliers, and senior management. Keep everyone informed about changes, challenges, and successes to foster trust and alignment towards common goals.
  13. Monitor Performance Metrics: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track performance and measure success in facility management. Monitor metrics such as equipment uptime, maintenance costs, and inventory turnover to identify areas for improvement and optimization.
  14. Adapt and Innovate: Be adaptable and open to change in the dynamic field of facility management. Embrace innovation and explore new technologies, processes, and practices to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and resilience in your facility operations.
  15. Seek Mentorship and Guidance: Seek mentorship and guidance from experienced facility managers, industry associations, and professional networks. Learning from the experiences and insights of others can provide valuable perspective and support your growth and development as a facility manager.

manager explaining something to foremanYou’re Ready!

Managing a new facility is indeed a significant challenge, but armed with the right knowledge, skills, and support, you are more than prepared to tackle it head-on. As you embark on this exciting journey, remember to stay proactive, adaptable, and focused on continuous improvement. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Indoff is here to support you every step of the way. Our experienced team members are ready to provide expert guidance, innovative solutions, and personalized support to help you run your facility efficiently and effectively. Whether you need assistance with supply chain management, equipment sourcing, or implementing sustainable practices, we have the expertise and resources to assist you. Give us a call today to speak with a local Indoff partner and discover how we can help you achieve your facility management goals. Together, we can build a brighter future for your facility and your organization.

Courtney Brazell

Courtney joined Indoff in 2010. She brings years of experience in project management and tech solutions and is responsible for supporting our Partners’ sales efforts.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1291

Josh Long

Josh joined Indoff in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Allied Appliance, a nationwide appliance distributor. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of our appliance division that is comprised of Allied Appliance and Absocold, a manufacturer of refrigerators and microwaves that Indoff acquired in 2017.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1107

Jim Malkus

Jim joined Indoff in 1988 after spending 5 years at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in audit and accounting for privately-held businesses. Jim is responsible for the day-to-day management of Indoff.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1203

John Ross

John’s background includes the start up and acquisition of several successful business ventures, and he provides strategic planning and overall corporate governance.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1201