Staying Three Steps Ahead

“Anticipate your clients’ needs”

From classroom teachers to architects to engineers to office managers to facility managers. We have all heard the phrase but must digest this command in different ways. 

In many circumstances, professionals in a multitude of capacities immerse themselves in the worlds of their clients in order to get to know them through positive, productive relationship building techniques including quality time and in some cases even questionnaires. 

How Facility Managers Balance Complexity and Relationships 

Interestingly, in the facilities management field there are several other components that must be taken into consideration.

Not only are managers tasked with getting to know the individuals working in and operating the diverse facilities that they oversee, but they also must get to know these inanimate structures, their mechanics, and their idiosyncrasies.

In the world of facility management, buildings and boilers become personified as getting to know their every detail is important to maintaining and improving productivity. 

With this in mind, managers might wonder, what next? And, where to begin?

Pierre Nanterme, an accomplished and respected businessman once stated, “ We are always looking ahead to anticipate what’s next, and our unique innovation architecture enables us to take an innovation-led approach to help our clients invent the future.”

Though Nanterme spoke in relation to Accenture, an innovation and consulting firm, the same forward thinking  and anticipatory approach can be applied to other industries.

3 Key Steps Leading Facility Managers Are Taking Today

Below are three “Key Steps” innovative facilities managers are taking to get the  job done and win at the game of anticipation.

These points create space for less missteps leaving room for innovation and future building.

Much like surfers who anticipate the seemingly unpredictable currents of the ocean, so to can managers ride the waves of their facilities to come out on the other side of the barrel.

1. Put out today’s fires.

Tactfully navigate and prioritize the sea of work orders at hand in order to ensure that immediate needs are met and resolved.

Gather all of the orders and tasks to decide which are the most necessary and in what order. Sometimes parting the waters a bit and remembering the ultimate end goal can also be useful in order to prioritize.

Whether it be the company motto, mantra, or mission statement, remember what matters most to the individuals that you work for when creating the list of priorities. 

To continue with the surfing metaphor, novice riders will often rely on the knowledge of experienced surfers. In these scenarios, emphasis is placed on honoring and learning from older and experienced generations.

Translated into the business world, individuals can rely on the institutional knowledge of senior and seasoned tech to maintain the facility can work toward the benefit of managing the here and now. 

2. Carve out time and money for preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance activities are important to the information accumulation that is needed for existing and future technicians to work efficiently.

This is where truly getting to know and understand the intricacies of the diverse systems within a facilities is extremely vital.

Compiling a database of all of the maintenance needs including routine service checks, filter replacements, cleanings, inspections, etc. will help not only with remembering these tasks but also scheduling them in advance.

According to Ray Steeb, CEO and founder of eFacility, currently technicians will do the preventive maintenance and record the locations of utility isolation, motor control centers, and other important information for future use by those less familiar with the facility.

That way when subsequent work comes, the facility manager is ready for the technicians that have to work more efficiently to get all of the work done.

3. Get ahead of the shortages.

A future labor shortage is imminent and planning for it is hitting many facility managers now.

The shock of a mass exit of retirees is going to hit a lot harder later if businesses and managers don’t do something about efficiency and the retention of institutional knowledge now.

Utilizing tools such as eFacility to compile, store, and organize facility and project related data  could save from many of the pitfalls associated with turnover and transition.

Facility managers must analyze, anticipate and decisively move ahead now.

There will not be time for them to gather and organize information after experienced generations of employees leave, taking knowledge with them. The facility manager has to spend time finding new employees. In other words, if managers prepare when things are good, then when more challenging or transitional times arise, those situations will be more easily resolved. 

At the end of the day, much like in chess, anticipation is the name of the game.

If managers stay on top of  extinguishing current issues; plan accordingly for predictable and preventative maintenance; and prepare for employment deficits, they can stay three steps if not more ahead. 

If you’d like to get more work orders down while you capture institutional knowledge, schedule a 30 minute introduction of efacility today.

About Us

eFacility provides software for facility managers that need to capture and share institutional knowledge.

eFacility’s patented technology allows technicians to access the documentation necessary to complete a work order from a mobile device.

Geo-based documentation delivery ensures the technician can quickly access the important documentation for only the area of the facility in which they’re standing.


Vos, J. (1970, March 13). Accenture Brings to Life the Accenture Innovation Architecture at Mobile World Congress to Help Organizations. Retrieved from

Wave Tribe | Share The Stoke ®, C. (n.d.). Glossary of Surfing Terms and Surf Slang. Retrieved from

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash