Budget planning for a facilities management function is challenging. A facilities manager must plan for the reality that facilities will require oversight and maintenance throughout the year. Building needs, especially if they are occupied by tenants, will not conform to normal business hours.
Types of Budget Items
Three major types of budget items are part of a facilities budget plan. A facilities manager must plan for recurring expenses, such as the cost of electricity and maintenance staff salaries. He must also plan for one-time expenses, such as the purchase of a new air conditioner, and capital improvement expenses, such as financing a major building renovation or purchasing a backup generator for the whole facility.
A strategic plan in an organization means in part that it will plan how to strategically align budget resources with central goals. This is better than choosing a proactive or reactive approach to planning and managing buildings as an organizational resource. Life-cycle costing can help an organization plan not only for up-front construction costs, but also for costs over the life of the building.
Divide the Planning Function
An organization with many buildings might use a team approach to facilities and budget planning. One strategy is to assign a manager to each group of buildings or to assign a manager to each facilities management function. Managers must coordinate building needs to fit into an overall budget, and they must consider diverse needs of building occupants. These competing needs will be weighed by the senior management of the organization.
A facilities management director must create a strategic plan that will mesh the functions of the department with the company's main goals. She will assist senior management with developing a long-term capital improvement plan that ensures buildings and renovations will be ready for new or reorganized operations. Careful budgeting means that you earmark part of each annual budget for a capital improvement, or building, fund.