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New Research Reveals Urgent Need for Strategic Partnerships in Facilities Management Among State and Local Governments, K-12 Schools

January 23, 2024

A comprehensive research survey closely examined facilities planning and management for government agencies and K-12 public schools

Roughly one-half of facilities leaders in state and local government and decision makers in K-12 schools lack a clear and actionable understanding of the overall condition of facilities they oversee, according to the results of the nationwide survey of state and local government agencies and K-12 public schools.

The 2023 survey was conducted in the third quarter by Forrester Consulting, part of one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. It was commissioned by Gordian, provider of data-driven solutions for all phases of the building lifecycle.

The research was gathered through double-blind surveys for two distinct audiences of professionals:

  • 215 facilities planning and management leaders at state and local government agencies.
  • 204 facilities planning and management decision-makers from K-12 school districts with 5,000 or more students.

Key findings of the research revealed trending challenges:

  • 49% of state and local government facilities leaders and 51% of K-12 facilities leaders said they lack clear understanding and direction of the overall state and management of their facilities.
  • Roughly one-third of state and local leaders and nearly one-half of K-12 leaders reported they are falling behind on achieving their top facilities objectives.
  • Only 3-5% of state and local leaders and 1-4% of K-12 leaders have approved budgets to support comprehensive assessments, facilities and technology upgrades and preventative maintenance programs.

Forrester researchers found that while leaders strive to update and improve the facilities their communities rely upon daily, they lack the resources to prioritize, build the case for, fully fund and execute the projects that would most significantly move the needle. According to the research, leaders see strategic partners as having a key role in helping them plan, procure and optimize facilities in a cost-effective way.

“Understanding the evolving needs of facilities leaders in state/local government and K-12 entities is critical today given the lasting effect of the pandemic on supply/demand balances and the reliable pricing of essential construction components,” said Kris Gorriarán, President of Gordian. “These dedicated public servants leverage exceptional skills and foresight to navigate complex landscapes and serve a diverse array of facility needs. At Gordian, we’re committed to providing them with the data-driven insights, strategic services and partner ecosystems needed to optimize the impact of constrained budgets and foster thriving communities. This research supports our commitment to understanding and addressing today’s unique challenges in creating resilient and vibrant communities.”

The research revealed a consensus among state and local leaders and K-12 administrators on the value of obtaining additional insights from external partners to help guide their strategic decision making.

  • Over half of state and local leaders (56%) acknowledge falling short in facility objectives due to a shortage of suitable partners and/or internal expertise (53%), expressing a desire to collaborate with strategic partners to help achieve key goals.
  • Similarly, K-12 leaders also report a deficiency in proper partnerships (55%), access to data (54%) and in-house expertise (50%), with a significant 84% seeking strategic alliances to enhance operational efficiency.
  • Additionally, the majority of both state and local leaders (77%) and K-12 leaders (85%) showed a strong preference for partnering with a smaller number of providers, seeking a more streamlined and efficient approach to facilities planning and management.

In its ongoing commitment to driving industry knowledge and empowering decision-makers, Gordian is proud to announce the release of these in-depth research studies, conducted by Forrester Consulting. To explore the findings and gain a deeper understanding of the current landscape, we invite you to download the full studies.

Access the full insights by following the links below:

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to access this valuable research and take the first step towards optimizing your facilities management strategy.