In most school districts, the new budget cycle begins in January. This is the time of year when department heads sit down and talk about goals and objectives for the coming year, and, perhaps more importantly, discuss funding for the services and tools they need to get the job done. Budget planning sessions provide the perfect opportunity to introduce facilities management software to these key stakeholders.
We’ve all experienced – just in the last decade or so – the great advances in technology that allow us to use our time and resources more productively. Schools are no exception to this influx of useful technology. Students routinely use laptops and tablets in the classroom and to complete homework assignments. Most schools have embraced tools like online grading systems that eliminate the need to record grades with pen and paper. And more and more, school districts are turning to facilities management software to cut costs and improve efficiencies in their operations.
Budget planning sessions, then, are ideal for introducing the value of systematic facilities management to your teachers and staff. As with most new substantial line items, you need a champion – maybe the superintendent or the facilities manager – who can explain why the software is necessary and the benefits the entire district will realize. It is important to emphasize that:
- ALL departments – curriculum, finance, student services, transportation, maintenance – will benefit from the software; and
- ALL departments will share in the expense of implementing and running the system.
It is easy to justify why facilities management software – particularly FMX – is a good investment. It is:
- Simple to install and use
- Flexible and customizable to fit specific requirements
- ‘One-and-done’ with no major upgrades required
- Easy to get buy-in from users because it saves time, is hassle-free, and leads to significant savings
- Accessible to everyone
At the present time, many districts have little, if any, technology in place to take advantage of the new advances in facilities management software. The return on investment, however, is easy to demonstrate and “sell” the idea of using this technology. Just by turning off systems and equipment overnight or when they are not in use can save thousands in energy costs, and the ability to schedule after-hours events and charge other organizations for using school facilities can generate previously untapped revenues. These are huge selling points.
Of course, it is essential to get buy-in from the key stakeholders. By introducing the concept of facilities management software in budget planning sessions and providing a demonstration of how it works, everyone has a stake in getting the system approved and implemented. They will readily see – and be able to convince others – that a workflow management tool will help everyone do their jobs more easily and with greater control over their time.
Energy Solutions Consultant
Dynamix Energy Services