Facility management can find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to upgrades and improvements. Even services like regular maintenance and repairs, or services like audits that could substantially improve efficiencies, have to go through mechanical service approval to receive funding.
Naturally, companies have to be careful about what they spend, and accountants tend to curb spending when they don’t understand the payoffs. As a project manager, part of your job is using your technical knowledge to help business owners, building owners, executives, boards, accountants, and others understand why spending a little now can ensure savings in the long run. Here are just a few tips for explaining requests and creating comprehensive proposals that ensure mechanical service approval.
Any time you consider adding mechanical services and increasing expense, you’ll likely be called on to persuade those who sign the checks. While you know your job like the back of your hand, and you’d never ask for additional expenditure without reason, the people in charge of keeping the company solvent don’t have your same background, and they’ll need an explanation to get on board.
The first thing you need to do is show them that there’s a problem (or problems) that can be solved with the additional services you’re requesting. You need to convey your ultimate goals in adding new services and increasing costs. Whether you’re looking to minimize waste and increase operational efficiencies, prevent mechanical failures and downtime, extend the usable life of equipment and increase safety, or all of the above, you need to be able to communicate your ultimate goal to those in charge of company expenditures.
The best thing you can do is align your goals with company goals. Think about your company’s mission and review both the short-term and long-term business goals. The more you can overlap your goals and those of your company, the better position you’ll have to argue that the expenditure is necessary and beneficial.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Before you present your case to accountants, executives, or owners, you need to make sure you have a solid foundation of proof that your proposed expense makes good financial sense for the company. This means crunching numbers to show that the savings will far exceed the expenditure in the long run.
For example, compare expenses (one-time or recurring) to what you’ll save on operational inefficiency, equipment repair and replacement, downtime, and even employee productivity. You need to be prepared to explain the return on investment (ROI) the company will enjoy due to this added cost, proving that spending a little now saves a lot over time.
Speak to the Layman
As an expert in your field, you have a strong understanding of the technical language associated with your industry, and this helps you interface with technicians, mechanics, engineers, and other industry professionals. However, you need to keep your technical jargon to a minimum when presenting your case to those who don’t have your same level of expertise.
Creating understanding is essential to gaining approval. You need those in charge of spending to agree with your proposal, and that means speaking in a manner that makes sense to your audience. Distilling information into bite-size chunks by including bullet points and visual aids (graphs, charts, etc.) can make your presentation easier to understand and help you to accomplish your goals.
Practice Your Presentation
This is a must. Whether you feel comfortable presenting to a group, or the thought of public speaking leaves you lightheaded, practicing your presentation helps to improve your confidence. When you’re comfortable and confident, and you know your proposal from every angle, you can prove your authority, answer questions with ease, and secure mechanical service approval.
Once the services have been approved, you’ll need an expert to help by providing that service. Contact the experts at Tate Engineering, and we’ll be happy to help you keep your facility in top shape.