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What is Facility Management?

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  • Post last modified:March 30, 2022

The facility management industry is a rapidly evolving industry globally. Facility management also known as facilities management or FM is a strategic business discipline. FM is beyond the traditional maintenance of buildings and equipment, it is essential to business successes as it improves employees’ productivity. It manages the processes that ensure businesses focus on their core competences. Effective facility management reduces the costs of running business which goes back to the business as profits while meeting business goals.

An organization requires a range of FM services. The FM services an organization requires can either be outsourced or provided in house. The decision of an organization to outsourced its FM services will depend on:

  • Its nature of business;
  • The size of its buildings; and
  • The competencies require to effectively manage the facilities.

Soft FM and Hard FM

Facility management operations are grouped into soft FM and hard FM. Both soft FM and hard FM services are essential part of FM.

Soft FM: Soft FM are FM services that ensure a safe and healthy environment for all facility users. Soft FM services include: catering; cleaning; pest control; waste management; car parking; etc.

Hard FM: Hard FM deals with the physical assets such as building systems and equipment. Hard FM services include: plumbing; lighting; building maintenance; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); fire safety systems; etc.

Definition of Facility Management

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines facility management as an “organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.”

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) defined facility management as “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”

People, place, process and technology represent an organization’s physical workplace from which facility managers determine the requirements for a safe, healthy and productive workplace.

Roles of Facility Management

Facility management plays an important role in an organization. 

  • FM ensures that an organization’s workplace environment functions properly.
  • FM helps to increase employees’ productivity and job satisfaction.
  • FM leads to improved financial outcomes.
  • FM helps to attract and retain employees.

Facility Management Standards

The technical committee, ISO/TC 267 was formed, representatives are drawn from different countries to come up with international standards for the facility management profession. This has led to publication of the ISO 41000 series of facility management standards.

Facility management professionals worldwide should utilize the ISO 41000 series of FM standards in their organizations to promote a common language and approach for FM strategy and practices.

FM standards provide specific guidance for individual teams and organizations to demonstrate a commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a robust, systems approach to managing the support services needs and working environment of the demand organization.

Industrial Sectors Facility Management Serves

  • Healthcare.
  • ICT
  • Agriculture.
  • Oil and Gas.
  • Education.
  • Financial services.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Construction.
  • Real Estate.
  • Transportation.
  • Tourism and Leisure.

Facility Manager

Facility managers take care of the built environment, they ensure effective day-to-day running of facilities and equipment.

Facility managers are required to effectively apply competencies to help drive organizational successes and ensure all facilities users are kept safe by implementing a number of sustainable measures. To be competent, facility managers require a broad range of knowledge, skills (both technical and business skills) and abilities. This is so because facility managers have a wide range of job responsibilities in different functional areas. The job functions of a facility manager will depend on the sector s/he is working.

Challenges of Facility Management

Facility mangers are challenged on:

  • Working towards sustainability to decrease the negative impact buildings have on the environment and natural resources, and their occupants.
  • Operating and maintaining facilities as building technologies grow more complex.
  • Addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance as a result of the global economic downturn in recent years.
  • Being prepared for potential man-made or natural disasters that could damage facilities, injure occupants and interrupt business operations.
  • Analyzing the growing quantity and complexity of facility management data.
  • Recruiting and retaining top facility management talent, a critical step in ensuring the future of the organization.
  • Raising the status and perceived value of facility management within the organization.
  • Keeping skill sets and understanding of business current as facility management requirements evolve.
  • Improving the workplace to increase workers’ productivity.
  • Contributing to policy changes for alternative workplace environments.
  • Working with customers to understand their challenges and space, growth or contractual requirements.

Facility managers must have adequate knowledge and skills (both technical and business skills) on the following:

  • Building maintenance and management.
  • Health and safety.
  • Security.
  • Space planning and management.
  • Financial management.
  • Sustainability.
  • Business continuity.
  • Operations and maintenance.
  • Project management.
  • Human resource management.
  • Leadership.
  • Real estate acquisition/leasing.
  • Planning and design.
  • Building systems.
  • Construction.
  • Code compliance.
  • Cost estimating.
  • Energy management.
  • Facility management technology.
  • Commissioning.
  • Life-cycle analysis.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Asset management.
  • Finance and accounting.
  • Contract monitoring.
  • Procurement.
  • Risk management.
  • Contingency planning.
  • Ethics/law.
  • Marketing.
  • Professional development.
  • Organizational planning.
  • Architectural plans.
  • Customer/client relations.
  • Emergency response.
  • Facility financial forecasts.
  • Facility plans.
  • Move coordination.
  • Policies and procedures for facility users.
  • Renovations.
  • Soft services (catering, housekeeping, landscaping, laundry, etc.).
  • Telecommunications.
  • Vendor relations.
  • Contract management.
  • Human capital.
  • Emergency management.
  • Utility management.
  • Communication.
  • Benchmarking.

International Facility Management Training Providers

In other to be effective as a facility manager, s/he needs the right knowledge and skill sets that are learned through education and experiences. The following organizations provide quality FM education that are globally recognized.

  • International Facility Management Association (IFMA): Through the FMP, SFP and CFM Credentials that are based on the IFMA’s 11 competency areas.
  • Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM).
  • Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI): Through the ProFM Credential which is based on the ProFM Body of Knowledge.

Facility management is also thought in the universities as a first degree program and at masters degree level.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. sureworks

    Facility Management is the office the executives business is a quickly developing industry worldwide.

    1. Kazeem Olugbade

      The future of FM is bright.

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