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November 17, 2016

Facility Managers and Football: Great preparation is half the work

Being the head coach of a football team is about more than just directing and managing the players when it’s game time. The coach must always be aware of the players’ health and well-being. He must also know his opponents and produce a new battle plan each week adapting to specific strengths and weaknesses. He must surround himself with knowledgeable staff to help him map out future plays and strategies to keep his team on top. And he also has to keep the fans happy with his player lineup and game-time decisions. Although it’s essential to have a clear strategy and an explicit vision leading up to every game, there’s always a chance that a key players gets injured. So, as the head coach, how do you adapt to changing situations to ensure the game is ultimately won?

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The expectation is that a football coach prepares for the unexpected. In the case of losing a key player, a great head coach will have a well prepared secondary player on standby who is more than ready to prove he’s first string material. The coach can also make gameplay adjustments that best suit the players on the field and the defense they’re up against. Football coaches prepare their teams for this, they are trained in alternative solutions and the players on the field know what’s expected from them. These kinds of preparations and lessons are also worth their weight in gold for the field of facility management. Because facility managers must also be able to anticipate unexpected situations and must be able to respond in the right way at the right time.

Prevention is better than cure
What may seem like a minor consequence of a poor decision at the beginning of a process chain, can actually have major consequences at the end of the chain. The modern facility manager strives to be more of a director, where he or she has insight into and control over the processes and can make adjustments and act as a guide along the way. Optimizing, digitizing, and automating are the key words here. From the director’s chair, a manager can see what’s happening on a dashboard, and can be warned when he or she has to take action.

Every facility manager wants to avoid having to repair things later which could have been spotted earlier Whether it’s an expired rental contract, inefficient planning by the cleaners, or a failed server; being able to act efficiently at the right moment avoids any unnecessary expense and contributes to customer satisfaction. Imagine a situation where a server fails, bringing service provision to a halt – (internal) clients will be the immediate victims. The manager would much rather be aware in advance that the server needs maintenance, so that he or she can take action before unplanned downtime is involved. In many cases prevention like this will cost much less than having to scramble for the cure. It’s not just about the physical replacement of a failed component, but also about preventing revenue losses because the business operations are not interrupted.

Performing optimally with the right tools
Keeping business operations running smoothly and uninterrupted must remain a top priority, so that all the organization’s stakeholders are satisfied and can function optimally in a pleasant environment. Every facility manager aspires to optimum control, which just so happens to also apply on the football field: when a football coach knows the condition of his players, he can take action ahead of time. With sufficient insight and the right tools to hand, both the manager and his players are able to perform to the fullest. And this can only be to the benefit of the fans.

Frank Rosendaal
Business Consultant Planon Netherlands