Tricks Of The Trade: Staffing Demands

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By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the September 2009 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I am fairly new in my position, and one of my responsibilities is to speak for the need of more manpower before the personnel committee. That committee is dominated by budget folks who demand justification with cold numbers. It is not enough to point out that we are adding 150,000 square feet of new building to our inventory this year, as three new building projects are completed and two major parks are added. They look for confirmation that we are not overstaffed presently. The examples of personnel to square feet, or managed acres, or vehicles, or inspections per day are all over the place.

Do you use or know of a formula that equates number of maintenance personnel with square foot under roof? Can you point me in the right direction of recognized guidelines for my use? I am also looking for similar information on number of: ground maintenance personnel per landscaped acre, mechanics per vehicles in a fleet, and number of inspections per day for building, electric, plumbing.

Tom Rio
Director of General Services
Carroll County Government
Westminster, MD

A Your best bet on staffing would come from the benchmarks available from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Benchmarks V may help you in your budget quandary.
Here are some of the items covered in Section 3 of the survey:

  • Janitorial Costs
  • Janitorial Staffing
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Roads and Grounds Costs
  • Facility Operating Current Replacement Value (CRV) Index
  • Utility Costs
  • Utility Consumption

If you visit the Web site for Fleet Research Online, you may be able to find additional benchmarks on fleet costs and staffing requirements.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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