Blogs

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I spent a few days at the Connex, previously known as PRSM (Professional Retail Service Management) show in Denver in the spring, and I confess I failed to connect some dots until I stumbled up on this 15-second video on Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:ugcPost:6532237799628910592 On my way to the show, I stopped in an airport snack shop in Newark, picked up a bag of nuts for the plane, and was at first taken back by the lack of a cashier.  I soon found the self-check-out scanner and was on my way…in seconds. When I landed in Denver, I stopped in a similar snack shop, but this one was staffed conventionally by a single, visibly annoyed, ...
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Necessary Changes

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Adding foodservice requires FMs to switch up their strategi
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Co-Founder, 23 rd   Group LLC “The FM industry is not for everyone. It’s a tough and challenging field, fraught with stress, but so amazingly rewarding.” On Cofounding the 23rd Group “I was inspired to build a superior facility management company, whose commitment and ethos is firmly rooted in solving industry challenges, confronting industry norms and implementing bold solutions to advance customer objectives.” Words of Wisdom “Listen to your customers about their challenges, pain points and what keeps them up at night. Then, deliver for them.” Advice for someone starting out? “Be committed to industry education and personal improvement ...
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RFMP, Senior Manager, Facilities Maintenance, The Fresh Market 16 years Facilities Experience “I plan to stay in the FM field for the foreseeable future. I enjoy developing people and processes to support our operations partners. Every day is fun and exciting as the team solves issues and continues to increase their knowledge.” Thoughts on the restaurant retail trend? “Today’s guests want more experiences and to be able to do more tasks in one place. Our mission at The Fresh Market is to inspire our guests to make everyday eating extraordinary.” Benefits of being a Connex member? “Connex is a great resource for learning information about ...
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Annual report launches this fall. Coming this September: Connex’s industry-leading report on the latest trends driving the facilities management industry. These include regulatory and M&A trends; labor shortages, diversity and women in FM; retail-tainment; financial and technology trends; microgrids; and new store concepts. These trends are driving change across the industry and will require facilities executives to adapt new strategies and tactics to succeed. Look for the print and digital versions this fall.   Keep an Eye Out Visit connexus.connexfm.com for more infor
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New online education helps FM professionals succeed. Are you new to Facilities Management (FM)? Are you assuming a new FM role? Are you looking for traditional FM roles explained in easy to understand terms? Competencies of Facilities Management in Multi-Site & Retail   is an intermediate online education series that features eight comprehensive courses of general skills needed by facilities management professionals. The series, developed by Michel Theriault, Principal, Strategic Advisor, FM Insight Consulting Ltd., provides updated information previously found in the “RFMP Study Courses.” “The Competencies of FM is a resource for seasoned ...
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A faster way to find the perfect match.   Match.com helps people find the perfect date. When facility managers need to find the perfect supplier, it can be challenging. Connex now has the answer: the new “match.com” for FMs — otherwise known as the Connex Online Buyer’s Guide. The new Connex Online Buyer’s Guide is unlike any online directory in the industry. Created under the guidance of the Connex Sourcing Committee, it empowers users to search using specific criteria, such as services, products or consulting, and by location, state/region or across the nation. The more criteria entered, the more accurate the search results. “The Connex Sourcing ...
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  How to navigate the process of permitting when adding foodservice to multi-site facilities. From redesigning the floor plan and layout of the store to coordinating electrical, plumbing and construction, facility managers (FMs) adding foodservice to their multi-site facilities have a seemingly endless number of tasks — many of which require permits. And while these permits may seem like an annoying formality on a long list of to-dos, they’re actually a vital part of a safe and successful expansion into foodservice. Ignoring them could mean safety hazards, exorbitant fines, delayed construction dates or, worse, complete project shutdown. So what steps ...
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Clean Eating

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Retailers adding foodservice to their stores face unique cleaning challenges.   In retail, a dirty store can lead to a sullied brand. In foodservice, however, the consequences can be much more dire, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2018, it conducted a study to determine the total costs of foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants from 2010 to 2015. It found that when accounting for lost revenue, lawsuits, legal fees and fines, a single outbreak of foodborne illness affecting 250 people can cost upwards of $2.5 million.  As more and more retailers add foodservice operations to their stores — everything from cafes ...
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Retail and foodservice are colliding in the most delicious way. When mail-order catalogs reached peak popularity in the 1960s, pundits predicted the end of brick-and-mortar retail. When televised home shopping arrived in the 1980s, observers again put physical retail on the endangered species list. And when e-commerce reared its head for the first time in the 1990s, traditional retail stores received yet another death sentence. But brick-and-mortar retail isn’t expired, obsolete or extinct. In fact, 86 percent of U.S. retail sales still happen in physical stores, according to market research company Forrester. These days, one of the most delectable ...
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What FMs should know before outfitting a foodservice space.   When upgrading appliances or constructing a new foodservice space, FMs have many options. However, due diligence is critical to securing the best fit for multi-site properties. Josh Zolin, CEO, Windy City Equipment, offers his tips for a top-notch experience. 1)       Power Source.   The first determination a FM must make is whether a kitchen will be powered by gas or electricity. “Some fully operational commercial kitchens can be 100 percent electric, such as restaurants in airports, and there are many reasons why some choose electric over gas,” Zolin explained. “Sometimes gas isn’t available, ...
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Unwanted Guests

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From pests to fires, experts dish out advice for facility managers adding foodservice experiences to multi-site facilities. When multi-site retailers add foodservice to their stores, there are several moving pieces to consider and many priorities at play. But the health and safety of customers and staff should always be the top priority. Two essential elements of foodservice safety are pest control and fire prevention. Connexus spoke with experts in both fields for guidance in handling these important safety issues. Here’s their advice.   Infesting and Nesting Adding a kitchen to a property often attracts unwelcome tenants due to the new ...
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     The Wisdom of Bruce Springsteen   “There was 57 channels and nothin’ on.” — Bruce Springsteen  As Connex continues its Road to 2023 and beyond, we are working diligently to deliver to you — our Connex FM community — content and resources you can use to navigate the FM world of today and tomorrow. Selecting that content is becoming increasingly complex and important if Connex is to remain “The Multi-Site Facilities Network” of record. We know your time (and bandwidth) are in short supply. So what we share and how we share it are crucial.  Curating what we share.   Late last year, senior Team Connex leaders spent a day at VaynerMedia ...
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Hello to the Connex community near and far! My name is Lisa DePass and lighting is my game.  My hope for this blog is manifold.  First, for those of you who feel somewhat inept or clumsy in your lighting knowledge, I hope to bring some encouragement and a forum for you to bring your questions to.  Second, for those of you who have been making the transition to LED, please share your successes and challenges.  We can all learn from each other.  Third, this is an opportunity to help our online community to grow, even just a little. Note: To my American friends, please excuse my spelling…it’s Canadian J With the massive shift to LED, retailers have found ...
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President, Facility Plus   32 years with Facility Plus  Benefits of being a Connex member? “It’s an awesome educational resource and a great way to learn from what others have experienced. The networking events, tradeshows and coast-to-coast marketing opportunities are invaluable. We’re big fans of giving back to the association.”  Thoughts on energy management? “It is the way of the future. If you’re not energy-conscious you need to change your way of thinking. This is an amazing time to be a part of this industry — if you’re open-minded, creative and interested in rapid change.”  A Typical Day “I believe in working on your business as opposed ...
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Former VP Store Maintenance, Luxottica Retail; current Consultant, NBFM Solutions, LLC   Thoughts on energy management? “I see this as an interesting and challenging field within facilities that could potentially save your company a lot of money.”  Benefits of being a Connex member? “You can increase your industry knowledge, your credibility and your industry network.” Advice for someone starting out? Define your responsibilities, goals and deliverables, and share them within your organization. Measure and report on your successes and opportunities throughout the year. Align yourself closely with Store Operations and Finance to ensure ...
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Volunteers and donations alike help those in need.    The Connex Foundation took it over the top during the Connex2019 National Conference. It exceeded the original individual fundraising goal of $5,000 and raised more than $11,500 in individual donations to support Foundation programs. Foundation volunteers completed a renovation project that changed lives.  An additional $21,000 was generated through sponsorships. The title sponsor of Connex Foundation activities during the conference was Facility Plus, which donated $8,000.  Foundation activities kicked off with a Top Golf tournament on Sunday that saw almost 100 attendees compete on the digitized ...
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Eight companies were honored at this year’s National Conference.   The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) presented its Advanced Roof Top Unit (RTU) Campaign Awards during the Connex National Conference.  The RTU Campaign is a recognition and guidance program designed to encourage building owners and operators to take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency RTUs. This effort is a collaboration between ASHRAE and RILA, with the U.S. DOE providing technical support to Campaign participants (through the Better Buildings Alliance and the Federal Energy Management Program).   The winners of the 2019 DOE Advanced RTU Awards are: Walgreens, ...
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Connex welcomes its new leaders.   The 2019-2020 Connex Board of Directors assumed office on April 30 during the 2019 Connex National Conference in Denver, Colorado. The new officers are:     Chair: Myriah Kingen Director, Facilities Management, DaVita Kidney Care Vice Chair: Matthew Whelan President/CEO, W Services Group Treasurer: Shawn Browning RFMP, FMA, LEED Green Associate, Facility Manager, Nike, Inc. Secretary: Jaclyn Frenzel Vice President, OnSite, Inc.     Immediate Past Chair: Jonathan Bauer Senior Director, Store Development, Gap, Inc. As Director of Facilities Management for DaVita Kidney Care, Kingen, Connex’s new Board ...
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The dedication of committee members does not go unnoticed by our association and the FM Industry.   Connex committee members are the driving force that continues to make Connex successful. We want to ensure every committee member is recognized for their hard work and dedication to the association, and we would like to extend a thank you for your service to Connex during the 2018-2019 year. Your time and energy has helped Connex provide quality programs, resources and valuable information to Connex members and the FM industry.  Benchmarking Committee Chair: Michael Bowman, LCBO Tom Flanagan, Academy Locksmith, Inc. Steve Goyette, Telgian Corporations ...
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