The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability and risk exposure that facilities management (FM) leaders and their organizations face in the global parts and materials supply chain. Ongoing global supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and geo-political issues create a downstream strain on FM organizations. Unmanaged, highly volatile, and reactive supply chains with a decentralized, fragmented supply base have created operational inefficiencies and increased waste, leaving little room for innovation. Read: How Digital Supply Chain Technology Can Improve Facilities Maintenance Labor & Resource Planning.

SDI’s Chief Growth Officer, Jim Owens, recently discussed the importance of managing FM parts as a strategic supply chain in Connexus Magazine. In the interview he also talks about how a decentralized approach to parts management has an impact beyond facilities management and asset life cycle, also affecting energy usage, sustainability initiatives, and customer experience. Break the Chain: Demanding more from multisite facilities supply chain, Dec 2022, Connexus Magazine.

SDI recently worked with a research group from Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business Applied Professional Experience (APEX) program to further explore the various elements of the mobile maintenance supply chain. The objective of the research was to 40 understand the cost differential between an ecommerce supply chain model, where repair parts are drop-shipped to the facilities technicians, vs. the traditional will-call model where the facilities technicians pick up their parts order at the local supply house. The APEX research group additionally collected various data to understand the ESG implications of one channel vs the other. The group’s preliminary research findings show significant cost and carbon embodiment savings in moving from a will-call model to a drop-ship model. While this study makes assumptions and only scratches the surface, it demonstrates the impact of these evolving supply chain models and indicates a clear need for additional research and innovation to improve processes, eliminate waste, and build more sustainable solutions. Related whitepaper: Leveraging the Digital Supply Chain to Support ESG Goals.

As the economy evolves from the pandemic, pressures on the supply chain will put unprecedented strain on the availability of materials, many of which are critical to the maintenance of the FM built environment. SDI has partnered with the IFMA Foundation to launch the Supply Chain Scholarship Program as part of the Eric Teicholz Sustainability Facility Professional® (SFP®) Scholarship Program. The goal of the SFP Partner Program is to provide additional opportunities to a generation of facility management (FM) leaders committed to environmental best practices through better supply chain management. Learn more about the Eric Teicholz Sustainability Scholarship.

“Facilities Managers, Building Owners, Suppliers, Technicians — all work in silos in the FM ecosystem, resulting in suboptimized processes and inadvertently creating millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases,” said Jim Owens, Chief Growth Officer at SDI and Advisory Board member for Penn State’s Center for Supply Chain Research. “We’re excited to work with the IFMA Foundation to empower the FM leaders of the future to engage in climate action by aligning and improving supply chain processes and reimagining how supply chain can work for everyone.”

About SDI SDI is a supply chain solutions and services company that specializes in helping large, multi- site facilities and plant maintenance leaders reduce costs and risks while driving overall performance results and outcomes. Over SDI’s more than 50 years of experience, the Company has helped hundreds of organizations align and integrate their parts supply chain with their FM and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) strategies to drive improvements. Learn more at