KPIs, or key performance indicators, help you understand the successes and failures within your operation. By tracking different critical aspects, KPIs give you a clear picture of which areas need improvement and which are operating well. Therefore, they are crucial to maintaining a well-performing organization.

So how do they help in facility management? Not only do you have many things to keep track of daily to ensure everything runs smoothly, but you also have to be able to face challenges head-on at a moment’s notice. You have to be able to adapt to any situation that may pop up, and being a step ahead of maintenance helps you be more efficient and save money. 

Let’s take a look at how tracking KPIs helps you stay ahead trouble.

What does a facility manager need to know?

First off, metrics and KPIs are not the same thing.


Single data points that don’t show a path to long-term goals


a measurement of data and gives a roadmap of how to reach your business goals

Although metrics are sometimes included in KPIs to create plans for meeting goals, KPIs are more in-depth and give clear views of how to achieve them. KPIs help managers see where their weak points are to find a solution that works for them and get back on track faster. Managers use KPIs for goal setting.

For example, a budget metric is just a simple data point that shows how much you spent on maintenance, resources, or other assets. A budgetary KPI shows you how much of your budget you’re actually spending on those assets and gives you a clear picture of how much is wasted or how much to extend.

This is where a CMMS helps you cut down on the amount of work you have to do. Instead of gathering all the data you need, slapping it into a spreadsheet, and trying to analyze it, you have all the information you need already gathered for you in the CMMS. With a CMMS, it is updated in real-time without you having to constantly collect and update it yourself.

Another thing that managers need to ensure they are spending more time on proactive maintenance and not reactive maintenance. If you’re spending more time on reactive maintenance, there is something going on within your operations that you need to fix. Usually, that means you need to organize better and understand your day-to-day operations and what’s going on long-term. This way, you fix current problems to optimize better and set better goals for the future. 

By prioritizing proactive maintenance, you’ll be staying ahead of schedule and limiting the amount of downtime and minimizing any costs that could arise from emergency repairs. Knowing your KPIs is the best way to learn how to improve.

What  are the duties of a facility manager?

As a facility manager, it’s your job to ensure that you meet all your objectives and goals. Additionally, you need to make sure all departments get their funding, everything is running smoothly, and be ready to tackle any challenges that may arise at any given time so that there isn’t a cascade of failure.

To do this successfully, you have to have a good understanding of your KPIs because only this way you know how on or off track you are from your goals. KPIs help you see and fill the gaps in your organization so you get back on course for your future business objectives. 

For example, see how long it takes your team to get an asset back up and running when you’re tracking your reactive maintenance KPI. If it takes a long time, you may need to provide more training or call the manufacturer to see what the issue is with the asset if it gives you repeated problems. 

By taking those extra steps, you cut down on the amount of time wasted in the future, which helps you cut costs and be more efficient. By bettering your organization now, you help propel it on the right track for the future.

What are some examples of facility management KPIs?

There are six KPIs facility managers need to track:

  • Backlogged work orders
  • Budget
  • Completion times
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Reactive maintenance
  • Reactive VS planned maintenance

Let’s take a look at each one more closely.

Backlogged work orders

The term “backlogged work orders” gets a bad reputation, but it’s all about how you’re viewing it that makes it positive or negative. 

Simply put: If you’re thinking of backlogged work orders as all the work your team has yet to accomplish that is now overdue, then it’s bad.

If you’re viewing backlogged work orders as work that’s already approved on a list of things that needs to be done but is defined by priority, then it’s good

Either way, don’t worry if you have backlogged work orders— all companies do. And if you have overdue work, a CMMS helps get you back on track by organizing all your overdue and current tasks.

Whether it’s critical or non-critical, all maintenance has to get done, and all maintenance has to be done specifically for each asset.  It’s a serious problem if your backlog gets too long because things inevitably fall through the cracks, creating unplanned repairs that have to be immediately addressed, more future risks, and wastes time and money. 

A critical review of your backlog helps you choose which backlog to prioritize and which to tackle more slowly, so you cut down the length of your list. But keep in mind the most important thing about your backlog isn’t the size but the direction it’s headed.


Additionally, if you have no backlogged tasks at all, this too could be a problem. Usually, this means you’re spending too much money somewhere that you don’t need to be — whether that’s having too many machines when less could do the trick while saving you money or you have too many resources.

Whether you have a large backlog or no backlog at all, using KPIs organized with a CMMS helps illuminate your gaps and find the root cause. This way, you know the right steps to fill in those gaps to improve efficiency and minimize downtime.

Facility managers should, of course, prioritize their critical work over non-critical, but keep in mind that by letting those non-critical tasks slip further down the to-do list, the higher the chance the lack of maintenance could lead to critical repairs in the future. 

Set a goal of accomplishing their non-critical work within a 4 to 6-week timeframe, so they don’t get behind — an uncontrollable backlog is very detrimental. Always aim to have a predictable and stable backlog and a CMMS to help you keep things organized and in check.


Maintaining your budget is one of a facility manager’s most important duties. Make sure you stay within your budget, that all departments get their funding, the money you spend is being spent on necessary things, and all reports are accurate. 

You need to access detailed records to see where you need to cut back, where you’re spending too much, where to stretch costs, where to cut resources, and where to invest more money. A CMMS helps you do this while also saving you from having to do a lot of work.

A CMMS lets you view all of this information in one place that is updated in real time. It’s accessible by anyone you give access to, and it’s updated across the board for all managers and supervisors. This way, you ensure that all budget-related data is up to date, your reports are always accurate, and you’re making the best budgetary decisions for your organization.

Completion times

Completion times are exactly what it sounds like. They’re the amount of time it takes your team to complete work orders.  

By tracking this KPI, you identify what gaps you have in your operation. Is one piece of equipment taking longer than others to do a routine job? Is an employee not doing a job right and taking longer than necessary? Tracking your completion times helps illuminate these weak spots, so you know if you need to provide more training or call a manufacturer and inquire about an underperforming piece of equipment. 

For example, suppose you monitor how quickly certain equipment is performing a function and find one that is significantly slower than others. In that case, reach out to the manufacturer to see if repairs or replacement may be needed. This way, you directly find out if a warranty covers the cost instead of paying out of pocket. 

If the machine goes unnoticed and breaks down and causes delays, this could cause a loss of revenue and delays. It could have been paid for by the warranty and not out of pocket and could have been taken care of at its own pace and not as an emergency repair that causes more delays.

Additionally, by figuring out the average completion times, you set a benchmark for how long things should be taken per asset so you know when things begin to fall behind. This way, you get things back on track without having too much wasted time. 

Preventive maintenance

When it comes to reactive or preventive maintenance, it’s important you focus on preventive maintenance instead. Being ahead of your maintenance and inspection schedules helps reduce the amount of reactive maintenance in general, enables you to be efficient, and reduces downtime of unexpected repairs. 

For example, if you’re ahead of maintenance, there won’t be any surprise breakdowns in machinery that throw a wrench in your organized plans. By being on top of your inspections, you ensure your equipment is in the best working condition possible to minimize possible downtime.

Tracking this KPI helps you establish the right timeframe in which work needs to be completed, so you know when things begin to slow down or when things need to be adjusted. This helps you gauge how well your organization is doing overall to find under-performing areas and make necessary changes.

Reactive maintenance

Reactive maintenance is how quickly your team responds to emergency repairs or critical work orders. The goal of tracking your reactive maintenance is to know how long this takes to have a plan to decrease downtime.

Not only does this reduce employee and asset downtime, but it also helps ensure the best customer service and preserves your organization’s good reputation. Knowing how fast your team accomplishes emergency repairs on important assets helps prevent cascade failure, minimize downtime, and reduce the risk of future breakdowns. 

Reactive vs planned maintenance

Preventive maintenance is not only more cost-effective than reactive maintenance, but it helps you and your team set and adhere to achievable, solid goals. This type of maintenance enables you to stay ahead of schedule to minimize downtime and future risks, which means improved efficiency and less wasted funds. 

Preventive maintenance helps you identify any patterns in your data. For example, if you see that a certain work order is often placed, dive deeper to get to the root cause to make necessary repairs or changes, reducing the amount of maintenance down the line for that asset. 


CMMS helps you plan and organize your preventive maintenance schedule, so all your data is available to all that needs it and is always up to date across the board. Having your data always available helps you know when to take action and what to plan for to make your organization more efficient. 

How are facility manager KPIs calculated?

How KPIs are calculated varies by which you are tracking, but generally, it depends on the asset and available data. If you track your budget KPI, it depends on the data you receive about where and how you’re currently spending money.

For example, if you want to track your completion times, it’s calculated by the ratio of total hours of work completed and the total attempted hours of work. You’ll have to have the most up-to-date and accurate data across all departments, and a CMMS helps you access this data.

If you’re tracking your reactive maintenance KPI, it generally is calculated based on the available data for things like how long your downtime is per asset when problems occur or how long it takes your team to repair certain assets.

Next steps

The best way to decide is to talk with something from the industry. All you need to do is find the right provider.

Hippo’s here to help you get the solution that works best for you, including answering your questions about maintenance management software, helping you book a live software demo, or even setting you up with a free trial

CEO summary

CMMS software solutions help maintenance departments keep critical assets online for less money by streamlining processes and capturing and leveraging reliable data. Unlike older management systems, a modern CMMS lives in the cloud, ensuring everyone has access to up-to-date data. Organizations across industries can see concrete benefits from the systems, including more uptime and less wasted time and money. When choosing a CMMS, it’s important to consider not only the features but also the complete user experience, including implementation, training, and ongoing support.

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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