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You May Think You’re a Facilities Manager, But…

You May Think You’re a Facilities Manager, But…

No matter what your job description is, you’re in sales. Sure, you studied construction management or engineering, but if you’re a facilities manager, sooner or later you’ll find yourself selling a proposal to the people who sign off on your budget.

Some sales are easier than others. An impressive new building or a news-worthy green initiative gives your bosses a chance to shine in the public eye. It’s tougher to get funding for less visible, tangible projects. Writing in Facilities Maintenance Decisions, Dan Hounsell suggests creating a “marketing plan” for your low-profile projects. He offers 4 starting points for creating such a plan, using the example of one of the least glamorous aspects of FM: deferred maintenance.

Hounsell recommends emphasizing (1) long-term cost savings; (2) sustainability; (3) job creation/retention; and (4) responsible management. Cost savings in particular can be a deciding factor, and a well-presented case for “spend a little now, save a lot later” can produce a quick approval.

These selling points are effective for any proposed expenditures that lack a “glam factor,” such as better spare parts management, or (dare we say) new storage systems. Give this marketing plan a try on your next budget request, and let us know the results!


Photo © beeboys – Fotolia

Planning for the “Next-Gen” Lab

Planning for the “Next-Gen” Lab

As science and technology advance, research facilities are having to decide how they will adapt – do they have the built-in flexibility to modify their laboratories, or will they have to do a top-to-bottom redesign? Writing in Lab Design News, Jeffrey R. Zynda, describes a “next generation” laboratory, one that is reconfigurable to meet the increasing need for computational research, as well as promoting the well-being of researchers themselves through social, collaborative environments.

A flexibility plan is essential to an effective next-gen lab. Reconfigurable casework and movable benches are a good step toward flexibility, as Greg Muth discusses in “Flexibility – It Takes A Plan.” Without good planning, however, the flexibility rarely lives up to the expectations.

Muth notes that a good flexibility plan defines who modifies the space – the users, the maintenance staff, or an outside vendor – and how long the modifications will take. He points to the example of Genentech, who developed “SWAT teams” of contractors who know the casework systems well and can make frequent modifications quickly and easily.

Creating a sound plan with the assistance of a knowledgeable vendor will help next-gen labs maintain their usefulness for years to come.

Photo WavebreakMediaMicro © Fotolia

Is Telecommuting a Smart Business Move?

Is Telecommuting a Smart Business Move?

Business managers have long weighed the pros and cons of telecommuting. Reduced office space and less office furniture represent substantial facilities savings, but the lack of face-to-face “water cooler” communication can reduce productivity.


Now another factor is added to the equation: employee health. HR experts are concerned about a new study showing that commuting is eroding employees’ health and productivity. Writing for Business Insider, Jacquelyn Smith cites some of the major negative effects of commuting to work, including elevated cortisol levels – the stress hormone associated with heart attacks – which, along with reduced sleep and less exercise, leads to higher BMI, elevated cholesterol and diabetes.

It’s a conundrum that many business owners and managers are solving by staying flexible:

  1. Identifying jobs/projects that can reasonably be done off-site.
  2. Analyzing employees’ abilities to work unsupervised, and their need for daily interaction with co-workers.
  3. Seeking out reconfigurable office furniture that can adapt to an expanded on-site workforce, and fold away in small storage closets when not needed.

Every business is different, and every employee is different, but a commitment to a flexible workplace can keep your team productive and healthy, while giving your business the added bonus of lowered facilities overhead.


Photo © AntonioDiaz – Fotolia

Local Installation of Keyless Lockers

Local Installation of Keyless Lockers

A large IT company needed to provide secure storage for their employees but metal lockers did not fit the decor or company image – so they looked to NOS to help them create the right solution.


Laminate lockers proved to be the best solution and allowed for storage of personal belongings, laptops, and other small items for permanent and temporary employees.  In addition, the modularity of the lockers themselves allow them to be relocated when and if required, creating the ultimate facilities situation – a solution that can work now and in the future when the need and the workspace changes.


To avoid the pain of lost keys and keeping a locksmith handy, the locks are a keyless combination mini pad lock which flashes green when empty. Each locker user can key in their own combination.

The client is delighted with how the lockers blend so well with their overall design look, and appreciate the sturdy construction and overall flexibility.


NOS and Denise Cruz was honored to serve the client and provide a solutions that was a win-win for all.

Storage Challenge: Truly Unusual Museums

Storage Challenge: Truly Unusual Museums

Museums typically fall into a few well-known categories: art, science, and history. But there are some museums specializing in genuinely obscure collections. The Travel Channel’s online magazine offers a selection of some of the most unusual, including:

  • A circus museum
  • A firefighting museum
  • A museum of garbage
  • A spy museum
  • A Pez dispenser museum
  • A museum of bad art

These museums all share one thing in common – as well as creating a roster of ever-changing exhibits, they have to safely store all the fascinating items that aren’t on display. A well-designed high-density storage system is often the best solution for storing the wide variety of shapes and sizes of a museum’s overflow collections. See below how one museum solved their storage problem, then let us know about your strange-storage story.

Photo © Vladimir Wrangel – Fotolia