Successful Capital Planning: Facility Data and Metrics

The job of decision makers is difficult. They are responsible for the allocation of resources, including tax-payer money, donor money, investor dollars, and time and effort of their employees. How can they balance a variety of variables in the capital planning and budgeting process while accurately allocating capital resources?

Analyzing accurate facility data is the only way to accurately plan capital expenditures. Many facilities lack precise facility management metrics, which can lead to millions of dollars being poorly spent or even lost.


Lack of accurate data is the first obstacle to capital planning. This data is essential for properly assessing facility needs. Traditional facility capital plan processes are dependent on gathering multiple sources of information because facility conditions assessments don’t reflect current trends.

This is how capital planning for facility facilities usually works:

  1. Inaccurate Information Is Collect from Various Sources Facility directors’ sort through piles facility condition assessment (FCA), work orders, repair statuses warranties, physical ledgers and workers’ memories. They also review poorly updated spreadsheets, sticky notes and various data management and software systems.
  2. Ballpark Statistics are Used
    These inaccurate data are then combined with maintenance and ballpark depreciation metrics, as well as facility management metrics that are based on regional equipment trends. These statistics don’t take into account facility conditions like heat, humidity and vibration. While also not taking into account a facility’s history of maintenance.
  3. Shoddy Estimates Are Produced
    The combination of ballpark metrics and inaccurate data is used to create estimates for maintenance and replacement plans. However, these estimates can be off by a lot. This can result in unnecessary maintenance being done and/or critical maintenance and repairs being overlooked.
  4. The Best Guess Budget Is Required
    These estimates are then added to an Excel final capital budgeting request. Sometimes the margin of error/fudge factor is baked into the base numbers, and sometimes it’s explicitly called out in the spreadsheet–sometimes both.
  5. This Less-Than Accurate Request Is Approved
    Budget holders and capital planners assume the facility director has requested more than they actually need, and so grant the request. It’s worse that budget holders and capital planners assume that the facility director has asked for more than they need. Without accurate data, it’s viewed as a line item. There’s no way to accurately communicate the urgency of specific requests.


Incorrect facility data can be costly. It can:

  • Feed misinformation by asset managers to facility directors
  • Overestimation of equipment’s stamina can lead to improper maintenance deferments, and unexpected major costs
  • Safety or operational ramifications
  • Incorrect prioritization of components of the capital plan
  • Customer dissatisfaction can result
  • Assets that are beyond their useful lives can be used indefinitely, which will cost more to maintain than if they were replaced.
  • Executives in the C-suite are prone to making poor budgetary decisions, mismanaging capital reserves, or failing to realize investment gains.
  • Forcing facility directors to start the budget planning process and reassess capital allocation at every budget cycle is a waste of time.


It can be expensive and time-consuming to keep facility condition assessments up-to-date. If they aren’t, organizations don’t have a single source of truth for budget planning. Facility directors can’t gather all the data they need from their facilities, such as maintenance history, status, weather, preventive maintenance and current delayed maintenance in order to create a master plan. Facilities can transform their capital planning by using facility management software that make use of existing connected technologies.


Get the details you need to make capital planning decisions right now. Also, create the foundational architecture for automating facility data collection and aggregation in the future.

Don’t rely on educated guesses. Only a proper facility management software like CloudApper Facilities can ensure that your facility data are available, accessible, current, and accurate.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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