You may have researched and decided what CAFM solution is right for your team, you may be confident in the partner you’ve selected but there’s still another hurdle to overcome. You need to secure the budget internally to pay for the software. And that’s the moment where some FMs can come unstuck.
We know Facility Managers are great at what they do - but their core competency is not necessarily procuring digital solutions. Even so, many FM are doing just that right now, going through the process of sourcing and selecting CAFM software to help them navigate the looming management and compliance challenges of the next few years. But extracting the budget to pay for the software is another challenge altogether.
When you’re looking to adopt a CAFM solution there may be a lot of different people within your business you’ll need to convince before you can proceed. From the IT team who want reassurance that your software choices won’t add work to their plate or compromise security, to the finance team who need to balance the books, to the C-Suite who will carry the can if it all goes wrong.
You need to persuade all these stakeholders that the CAFM license fee, and the time and resource spent implementing the solution will be worth the investment.
You need to show them the system you’ve chosen is:
- Necessary for the business
- The best value option for your business
- That it will deliver demonstrable ROI
- That it will bring commercial insight to increase profitability
We know a lot of FMs can struggle to win these arguments internally. After all, it’s hard to do your full time job, while assembling a compelling pitch for a sizable software purchase. But it’s important to ensure you’ve got the arguments ready and the right data on hand, so that you can make the case to the right people when it matters.
So, what should go in a formal pitch to your BODs?
Here are 7 things your BODs will need to hear when you pitch a CAFM solution
1. Will it save the business money?
Budgets are tightening, every business wants more for less, the BOD need to know that they will get value for money from the solution you’ve chosen. The C-Suite may be impressed that you’ve chosen a ‘low cost platform’ or that you’ve negotiated a great deal with a supplier. But that’s not the whole story. You need to demonstrate that the CAFM will actively save the business money. Getting these figures will take a bit of research, but your CAFM supplier should be on hand to help you work it out.
How much money do you currently waste, and what percentage of your current costs will you will save against the following:
- Missed callouts
- Duplicate callouts
- Failed first time fixes
- Breached SLAs
- Asset lifecycle extension
- Equipment downtime
If you can put a figure on these (an expected percentage of your budget you’ll save every year) your CAFM pitch will be instantly more convincing to the BODs.
2. Will it add value?
How will the CAFM continue to add value to the business? For example, will the extra visibility around contractor management allow you to slim down long lists of suppliers and select the ‘best value’ operators for long term gains. Will the stats you’ll have access to allow you to reward and sanction contractors more effectively based on performance? Will you be able to proactively manage the way you hit team and organisational targets?
This is not just about avoiding mistakes or reducing waste, but involving your entire team in a process of continuous improvement that increases profitability through smarter use of resources.
3. Will it help your business innovate?
The C-Suite is expecting more innovation from their FM. It’s become a bit of a cliche that Facilities Managers have emerged from the ‘boiler room’ as the heroes of lockdown. But it’s true. They’ve demonstrated how they can reinvent spaces and redistribute assets in new ways, to respond to crises and support new revenue models. It’s just this kind of entrepreneurial thinking that will help you make a business case for investment in digital tools that will keep a business agile and turning a profit in an increasingly unpredictable world.
What kind of innovation will the CAFM you are proposing bring to the business in the future?
For instance, will it allow you to integrate into:
- Your Building Management Systems (BMS) to instantly raise work requests before a human even knows it’s a problem?
- Your Accounting or ERP system in order to automate Quotes, Purchase Orders and Invoicing?
- Your major service provider systems in order to speed up the time of response and receive quicker communications and updates?
- Your Business Intelligence (BI) software so that you can perform trend and predictive analysis, helping you better deploy your Capital Expenditure?
And will the software help you to be:
- Agnostic: By implementing those innovative changes?
- Efficient: By automating your workflows and communications?
- Scalable: By mobilising new sites, users and service providers quickly?
- Commercial: By managing and tracking your budgets more effectively?
- Strategic: By utilising your data-driven strategy to save time, save money, improve your service and reduce your risk?
Will your CAFM then help you report back to your BOD with the financial proof that your innovations have been successful?
4. Will it support strategic objectives?
Wider businesses objectives of digital transformation can be supported through FM software. In fact, we would argue that a company’s digital transformation can’t be complete until the FM team has mobile first tech, the ability to automate their processes and a system that can integrate with other technology to power smarter operations.
If the strategic objectives of the business is to grow operations or reinvent their offerings - they need to know that the CAFM you invest in will be able to support them in this.
Does your chosen system have the flexibility to add new locations and assets quickly and easily? Can the system be localised for foreign markets? Can you add new teams and users without incurring costs. Will your CAFM supplier be able to help with bespoke changes to support new business initiatives?
Is your chosen CAFM system going to help you meet and report on commercial as well as administrative goals?
You should be able to demonstrate how your new solution can help your overall operations become more efficient, frictionless, agile and accountable.
5. Will it take long to implement?
No one wants an open-ended development timetable. Big promises from suppliers about business transformation and massive integration projects could just equal 12 months of waiting around for delivery and the loss of momentum.
The BOD will want reassurances that the process of implementing the system is not going to end in disruption to teams and that you’ve got training worked out.
Your BODs will be reassured by a high level time-line and a realistic assessment of what can be achieved and by when. A staggered approach to implementation and release could help you achieve ROI more quickly than a company wide release, so might be more persuasive in your pitch to release funds.
6. Will it reduce compliance risk?
Compliance is a major reason to invest in a CAFM.
Breaches in H&S compliance, equipment and building failures can result in massive fines for businesses and even imprisonment for senior management, should they be shown to have been negligent in fulfilling their obligations. Currently the average fine incurred for H&S breaches in the UK is £150K.
Your BODs will want to see exactly where your current compliance risks lie and how the CAFM will reduce this risk in the short and long term.
When you present your pitch to the BODs, comparing the costs of the CAFM against the potential costs of compliance breaches can focus their attention on the urgency of the need.
7. How will the BOD see the benefits?
What are the kind of reports the business is going to be able to see? Can you easily schedule and distribute visuals of the dashboards you and the BODs will have access to?
Will you be able to develop and report on meaningful metrics around contractor management, equipment uptime and customer satisfaction that will add new insight for the whole business?
Reporting to the board with charts and graphs that clearly demonstrate progress around financial and operational KPIs will represent a major advantage for data driven BODs.
A CAFM system is a sizable investment. It’s a big time and resource commitment for any organisation. When you are pitching to the C-Suite you need to keep in mind their specific needs and priorities. You need to clearly demonstrate the:
- Financial upside of the investment
- Its operational benefits
- Its commercial benefits
- The risks involved in not investing
- A clear time-line for implementation
- A clear plan to report back on the success of the project