Building owners have seen a steady increase in the number of vacancies. In turn, facility managers are under increasing pressure to reduce operating costs. However, they are still expected to solve a wide variety of comfort and air quality problems on a very limited budget.
In order to understand a facility manager’s mindset, and to feel their pain, it is important to learn the problems they have experienced trying to manage HVAC maintenance with a shrinking budget. To do so, you must ask many, many questions, probing beyond the initial responses to uncover the real issues.
I am certain every facility manager has various problems, but isolating their distinct issues can be the most nagging. Be prepared to discuss the differences between Reactive, Preventive and Predictive Maintenance with your prospect in financial terms. Return on investment, or R.O.I., is a key term for financial decision makers.
Long-term ROI is not dead, even with a stalled economy. If maintenance products are presented as an investment, be prepared to discuss how the maintenance will extend equipment life, reduce energy costs and improve indoor air quality. Analyze the data you receive from your probing questions, and calculate that into dollars saved. Dollars saved are as good as dollars earned.
When you show this figure to a facility manager, financial decision maker or building owner you will also be showing them that you can speak their language. Showing R.O.I. helps move the facility manager away from an “I will fix it when it breaks” mindset and breathes life into a proactive understanding of HVAC maintenance.
Have you found certain techniques more effective than others when dealing with facility managers? What are your thoughts concerning ROI? I’d love to hear more about them in the comment section below.
Phil Hritzak, Application Specialist of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina. CRT is an IFMA CSP, an EnergyStar Partner and manufacturer of independently-certified Green products for HVAC maintenance. Since 1986, CRT has been creating leading edge HVAC maintenance products that have become industry standards, used in thousands of commercial buildings world-wide. CRT employees are members of BOMA, ASHRAE, ASHE and the American Chemical Society. www.cleanac.com