Facility management is the coordination of building operations and systems. This can include tasks such as maintenance, security, utilities, and more. Facility managers work to ensure that buildings are safe and comfortable for occupants while also being efficient and cost-effective.
Facility management is a growing field, as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of having well-maintained and efficient buildings. Facility managers must be able to effectively communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including building occupants, maintenance staff, and executive leadership.
What is Facility Management?
Definition: Facility management is defined as “the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organization it houses.” Facility managers (FMs) are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s buildings and grounds are well-maintained, safe, and comfortable for occupants. FMs must also be able to effectively manage a wide range of stakeholders, including building occupants, maintenance staff, and executive leadership.
Facility management is a growing field, as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of having well-maintained and efficient buildings. In order to be successful, FMs must have strong communication and organizational skills. It encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, business continuity, and safety of occupants in a built environment.
Facility performance is a critical success factor for any business. Facility management is the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of an organization. It integrates the principles of business administration, architecture, and engineering. Facility managers are responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and productivity of their organizations’ buildings and grounds.
History of the Facility Management
The origins of facility management can be traced back to the early days of the industrial revolution. Facility managers were responsible for managing the large factories that were popping up all over Europe and America. Facility managers had to figure out how to keep these factories running smoothly, which was no easy task.
The phrase “facilities management” was coined by IBM alumnus and Electronic Data Systems founder Ross Perot in the 1960s to refer to network management of IT systems, and it quickly broadened to include all elements of commercial space administration.
As time went on, the role of the facility manager evolved. Facility managers began to focus more on the people working in the buildings, rather than just the buildings themselves. This shift was driven by the recognition that happy and productive employees are key to a successful organization. In 1980, the National Facility Management Association (NFMA) was established to separate the entire industry from a single company. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) was formed in 1982 as an offshoot of the NFMA.
Today, facility management is a growing field, as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of having well-maintained and efficient buildings.
Responsibilities of a Facility Manager
The specific responsibilities of a facility manager will vary depending on the size and type of organization they work for. However, there are several core responsibilities that are common to most facility managers, including:
FMs are responsible for ensuring that all building systems are properly maintained. This can include tasks such as HVAC maintenance, electrical repair, and plumbing.
FMs are responsible for ensuring that buildings are secure and safe for occupants. This can include tasks such as security patrols, locked doors, and alarm systems.
FMs are responsible for managing the utilities for a building, such as water, electricity, and gas.
FMs are responsible for ensuring that buildings are clean and comfortable for occupants. This can include tasks such as janitorial services, waste removal, and landscaping.
5. Space planning
FMs are responsible for ensuring that the space in a building is used efficiently. This can include tasks such as office layout, furniture placement, and storage solutions.
Why is FM more Relevant in Today’s Time?
Facility management is more relevant than ever before due to the growing importance of sustainability and energy efficiency. Facility managers are responsible for ensuring that buildings are designed and operated in a way that minimizes their impact on the environment.
Facilities management is required in most of the popular types of businesses like real estate, construction management, behavioral and engineering sciences, project management, business administration, property management, maintenance programs, etc. Additionally, FMs must be able to effectively manage increasingly complex building systems. A few social trends that are strongly linked to, and influenced by, facility management:
1. The rise of the knowledge economy
The growth of the knowledge economy has led to a need for more flexible and collaborative work environments. Facility managers must be able to create spaces that facilitate collaboration and creativity.
2. The aging workforce
The aging workforce is leading to a need for more accessible and comfortable work environments. Facility managers must be able to accommodate the needs of an aging workforce, including those with disabilities.
3. The growth of the gig economy
The growth of the gig economy is leading to a need for more flexible work environments. Facility managers must be able to create spaces that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate changing work patterns.
Importance of Facility Management
Organizations exist to fulfill a fundamental purpose, whether it is to generate money or to serve the needs of a community. Facilities management is the fundamental backbone of any successful entity, working in the background. They lend their support in a variety of ways:
The first and most important task is to make sure that the personnel, staff, and tenants are able to effectively do their tasks. This entails keeping the area tidy, structured, and ready to use. It also includes ensuring that when necessary, vehicles, equipment items, and technology are working properly.
2. Comfort & safety
Safety and comfort are closely linked to productivity. Making sure that all building occupants are safe and comfortable is critical to lowering legal exposure and risk. Facilities managers also keep an eye on how a facility may improve occupant comfort.
Facilities management is frequently the most costly because of its wide reach throughout the company; any efforts to reduce unnecessary operational expenditures are vital for the company’s financial health.
Facilities management is at the forefront of ensuring that changes go smoothly as organizations develop, expand their capital assets, relocate, or adapt to changing work environments (as an example). To properly advise on new possibilities, the team must know the facility inside and out, as well as its personnel and assets.
Facilities managers are under a social responsibility to encourage more environmentally friendly practices in their organizations, above and beyond EHS (environmental health and safety) compliance. This could mean curbing waste, improving energy efficiency, or adopting new best practices. Sustainable facilities management protects the company’s reputation while also reducing its overall energy consumption expenditure.
What skills do I need to be a successful Facility Manager?
In order to be a successful Facility Manager, you will need strong communication and organizational skills. You will also need to be able to effectively manage a wide range of stakeholders. Additionally, it is important that you have a strong understanding of building systems and maintenance.
Some specific skills that will help you in this role include
Facility managers need to be able to effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including building occupants, maintenance staff, and executive leadership.
Facility managers need to be highly organized in order to effectively manage the many different tasks associated with this role.
Facility managers need to have a strong understanding of building systems and maintenance. This knowledge will be essential in ensuring that buildings are properly maintained.
Facility managers need to be able to effectively interact with a wide range of people. This includes being able to build relationships, resolve conflicts, and offer customer service.
Future of Facility Management
The future of Facility Management is very exciting. Facility managers will play an increasingly important role in the design and operation of sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Additionally, FMs will be responsible for managing increasingly complex building systems.
As the world becomes more focused on sustainability, facility managers will need to be at the forefront of this movement. They will need to be able to effectively manage buildings in a way that minimizes their impact on the environment.
Additionally, FMs will need to be able to effectively manage increasingly complex building systems. This will require a strong understanding of both technology and building management.
Facility managers who are able to effectively adapt to these changes will find themselves in high demand. Those who are not will find themselves struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
Challenges faced by facility managers?
A certified facility manager faces a number of challenges, including:
- Ensuring that buildings are designed and operated in a way that minimizes their impact on the environment
- Managing increasingly complex building systems
- Accommodating the needs of an aging workforce
- Creating spaces that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate changing work
Facility Management Software
Facility management software is a type of computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) that uses computer databases and other information technology to perform Facilities Management functions. Facility management software typically includes modules for space management, asset management, inventory management, and work order management.
Facility management software can be used to track the location of assets, schedule maintenance tasks, and generate reports. Additionally, it can be used to create floor plans and 3D models of buildings. Facility management software is an essential tool for facility managers. It helps them to effectively manage their buildings and facilities. Some of the features of facility management software are-
- Simplified Work Order Management
- Staffing Support
- Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform
- Spend Analysis
- Third-Party Integrations
- Easily Source and Credential Contractors
Benefits of Facility Management Software
Facility management software can help facilities managers optimize their operations and ensure that every location is well-supported 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also allows them to understand maintenance costs and resource allocation in greater depth. The following are some of the main advantages of using facilities management software:
1. Repair & Maintenance Management
Facility management software can help managers keep track of repair and maintenance requests. This ensures that all repairs are completed in a timely and cost-effective manner.
2. Space Planning & Allocation
Facility management software can help managers plan and allocate space more effectively. This allows them to make the most efficient use of every square foot of space.
3. Energy Management
Facility management software can help managers reduce energy consumption and costs. This is achieved by tracking energy usage and implementing energy-saving strategies.
4. Security & Safety
Facility management software can help managers ensure the safety of both employees and visitors. This is achieved by tracking security incidents and implementing security measures.
Facility management software can help managers communicate more effectively with employees, vendors, and other stakeholders. This is achieved by providing a central platform for communications.
Trends in Facility Management
The following are some of the main trends in facility management-
1. The rise of technology
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the world of facility management. Facility managers are using technology to streamline operations and improve communication.
2. The rise of sustainability
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important concern for both businesses and consumers. Facility managers are under pressure to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
3. The aging workforce
An aging workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing facility managers. They need to find ways to accommodate the needs of an aging workforce while still maintaining high levels of productivity.
4. The changing nature of work
The nature of work is changing, and facility managers need to adapt accordingly. This includes accommodating the needs of a mobile workforce and creating flexible workspaces.
Facility management is a critical function in the facilities department of today’s businesses. The facilities manager is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of buildings and grounds. They use technology to streamline operations and improve communication.
Additionally, they need to be aware of trends such as the rise of sustainability and the aging workforce. By understanding these trends, facility managers can create workplaces that are both productive and enjoyable. The services offered by a facilities management organization can vary, but typically include building maintenance, operations and repair, janitorial services, security, and energy management.