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Last edited 28 Aug 2020
Facility procurement standards
For facility management professionals, procurement standards provide guidelines for making consistent, effective purchasing decisions. In some instances, procurement standards can be complex due to the types of facilities, such as, healthcare and education facilities.
By having accepted programme of procurement standards for key items in place, facilities managers are able to easily maintain an adequate inventory of equipment, parts, tools, supplies, furnishings and so on. This allows them to handle repairs on vital equipment efficiently and to respond quickly to service requests from building occupants.
Facility procurement standards programmes generally cover all aspects of operations including the physical structure itself through to the soft furnishings inside and more elaborate systems that keep the facility running. Whether purchasing new equipment, updating furniture, replacing building components or performing preventive maintenance, facility professionals can establish a standards programme to deliver a consistent level of supply and so a reliable level of comfort and service.
Procurement standards programmes should be flexible and wide ranging, as organisations may have (particularly those with multiple sites or facilities) different types of buildings of different ages, construction, purpose and so on. In organisations that focus on technology and innovation, these procurement programmes can become obsolete quickly. In a hospital, there might be a standards programme specifically for products and services associated with HVAC systems, lighting, health and safety, fabrics and finishes and other components that are directly related to the delivery of a certain level of care for patients.
 Why are facility procurement standards helpful?
A standards programme can help plan projects, maintain continuity of the organisation’s services and save time on purchasing decisions. Some facilities professionals even opt to publish the organisation’s procurement standards so employees can have reasonable expectations. Without procurement standards, organisations would have to go through a complex selection process for each maintenance, renovation or construction project.
For some organisation, the most difficult aspect of creating a procurement standards programme is knowing where to start. A simple first step is to check if other organisations within the same business sector have made their programmes available online. Networking connections can help to expedite this process.
There are also established standards programmes, such as those set by the LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. This voluntary, consensus based standard is specifically designed for developing high performance, sustainable buildings. For more information, visit this link.
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