There aren’t many places on a Wednesday morning where you’ll hear a roar of laughter with this joke:

Q: How many managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Three. One to get the bulb and two to get the number to dial the electrician on-call to change it.

Where are such jokes being told? The Building Operating Management’s NFMT Conference in Baltimore this week. The National Facilities Management & Technology Conference (NFMT) showcases everything from the best urinal, to innovative technology to meter your utility usage. Classes range from how to build your building’s FM brand, to getting the most out of your CMMS or CAFM system.

Walking into the expo, one might be overwhelmed by the 600+ vendors. Do I need lawn care services? Do I need help making a choice between two HVAC sensors? Maybe the answer is yes, but most likely, no. Not every vendor or class will fit your building’s every day needs, but hidden in this conference are some very useful gems!

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After collecting an endless supply of stress reliever balls to give to all your coworkers, you’ll gain plenty of tips on keeping your CMMS system up-to-date. In a session called, “The Three Major CMMS Hurdles,” I learned several key items:

  • (Self-decided #1) CMMS systems don’t fix the problem – it assists, manages and regulates your process.
  • It can’t repair a pipe; people still have to do that.
  • System must be installed properly.
  • Your staff will not use the system if they don’t feel data is up to date, accurate and inclusive.
  • Data not managed is a system not used.
  • Validating the Design of System is validating your needs
  • Checking your system regularly, as technology evolves, is crucial.

These bulleted items highlight only one of several classes I attended at NFMT, but as you can see, there’s something for everyone here.