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Top Nine reasons your company needs a Facility Management Professional like you

Does your Company know why a Professional Facilities Manager like you is essential to get the best value out of their Facilities?

Facilities represent a large part of any company's assets and expenses yet doesn't usually receive the same attention that other parts of organization receive.

Having a professional facility management resource to provide strategic direction and stewardship is critical to getting results, lowering costs and minimizing risk.

Facility Management is a Profession, but it's not always recognized by some companies and only recently have College and University programs become available. However, with increasing awareness of the importance, costs, risks and opportunities inherent in owning or leasing facilities, it's gradually shifting from simply being a job description to being a strategically important professional role.

The following are Nine reasons your company needs a Facilities Management Professional:


Facilities are one of your company's larges assets and a represent a significant cost of doing business. A Facility Management Professional has the knowledge to maximize value and minimize costs, adding directly to the bottom line.


Facilities and the environment they provide employees, processes and systems have a large impact on productivity. A Facility Management Professional understands the copany's business and the interaction with the Facility necessary to maximize productivity.


Facility accommodations, whether in growth mode or not, require strategic planning to minimize costs and maximize value. A Facility Management Professional provides strategic direction and development or leasing guidance to achieve the results the company needs.


Sustainability is critical to the environment for the company and its employees as well as corporate image. A Facility Management Professional provides the stewardship required to maintain leadership on the environment.


The environmental and legislative complexity of owning or leasing Facilities represents a huge risk to the company. A Facility Management Professional navigates the requirements and mitigates the risk.


Facilities require an entire team of generalists and specialists to provide services. A Facility Management Professional understands how to make these resources work together to maximize value, reduce risk and minimize costs.


The Facilities that house your business can absorb considerable effort to manage effectively. A Facility Management Professional takes on this burden and frees up other resources to fully focus on what makes the company successful in delivering its core business and generating bottom line results.


Managing Facilities with an administrative resource or line manager means it won't get the attention it deserves and may put the company at risk. A Facility Management Professional has training, background and experience in all areas of the complex issues and services required to provide safe, effective stewardship to the companies Facility assets.


A Facility Management Professional has the experience and overall oversight for Facilities issues, enabling them to see patterns, track changes and identify risks that may have a future negative impact. Their knowledge enables them to take corrective action now to reduce your risk and costs.

Strategies for facilities management

Organisations must think strategically if they are to do more than simply survive in todays increasingly competitive marketplaces. This thinking applies to both core and non-core business. In the case of the latter, facilities management has a pivotal role to play in support of the core business and must be closely coupled with the organisation's strategy overall. KEYWORDS facilities, facilities management, strategy, outsourcing, core business, support services, business Time equivalence: 30 minutes (article only); 2 hours (article and exercises). LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Present a working definition of facilities management. 2. Distinguish between an organisations core and non -core business and appreciate the relationship between the two. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Describe the range of services covered by facilities management. Understand why different organisations will have different facilities management needs. Explain the importance of developing a formal strategy for facilities management. Describe the three key stages to creating an effective facilities management strategy and implementation plan. Understand the need to gain a complete financial picture of the direct and indirect costs of both in-house and outsourced service provision.

Facilities management has developed in the past decade into a major, thriving business sector and discipline and continues to grow in many countries. The term facilities management or facility management if one adopts a US perspective has become accepted by governments, the business community, educationalists and researchers as an essential component of todays business world. Facilities management is of significance to organisations of all kinds and, as an emerging discipline, it has become the focus for the important issues of best value and customer satisfaction within the management of supporting services. Well-managed services enable an organisation to function at its most efficient and effective level, offering real added value improvements to the organisations core business. Facilities management is being elevated to a strategic level of importance and is therefore being given the task and opportunity to contribute to business success

and to aid the delivery of competitive advantage. Indeed, in recent years, the range of services covered within the remit of facilities management has become more complex, as facilities management has moved into the core operational functions of client organisations. It is necessary for facilities management service providers and their customers to acknowledge the role of facilities management in the or ganisations strategic operations. This article presents the core concepts of facilities management with particular attention being given to the role of outsourcing.

What is facilities management?

Most real estate represents substantial investment for organisations and has to accommodate and support a range of activities, often taking into account competing needs. Within those activities is the owner or tenant organisations core business, for which an appropriate environment must be created in buildings that may not have been designed for the purposes for which they are now used. Yet, no matter how well focused an organisation might be on its core business, it must not lose sight of the supporting services its non-core business. Facilities management places the non-core business at the service of the core business in such a way as to protect an organisations capital investment in real estate and helps turn a cost item into one of added value. Organisations may have already considered the distinction between their core business and non-core business (such as security, HVAC maintenance and cleaning) as part of the drive to deliver and achieve best value and customer satisfaction. Since running costs account for a significant part of annual expenditure, second only to payroll, there will be pressure to look for savings in non-core business areas. Cutting operating budgets may be an attractive, or financially expedient, short-term measure but may not foster the organisations long -term development. Since the running of an organisation involves complex, co-ordinated processes and activities, it is necessary to take an integrated view. A piecemeal approach to cutting costs is unlikely to produce the required savings and may harm the organisations ability to deliver the most appropriate services. For facilities management to offer maximum support to core business activities, the organisation must, therefore, recognise that cost and quality are inextricably linked and should not be considered separately. Facilities management can accordingly be summarised as creating the optimal environment for the organisations primary functions, taking an integrated view of the business infrastructure, and using this to deliver customer satisfaction and best value through support for and enhancement of the core business. Thus, facilities management can be described as something that will:

deliver effective and responsive services; enable changes in the use of space in the future; sweat the assets, i.e. make them highly cost effective; create competitive advantage for the organisations core business; and enhance the organisations culture and image. Several definitions exist. The following cover what in this article is meant by facilities management: DEFINITIONS an integrated approach to operating, maintaining, improving and adapting the buildings and infrastructure of an organisation in order to create an environment that strongly supports the primary objectives of that organisation (Adapted from Barrett and Baldry, 2003) The practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organisation. It integrates the principles of business administration, architecture and the behavioural and engineering sciences (The British Institute of Facilities Management BIFM) management of a vital asset the organisations facilities. (The International Facility Management Association IFMA)

Typical approach to facilities management

There are common themes and approaches to facilities management, regardless of the size and location of the real estate, although these may not necessarily result in common solutions. In some cases, real estate services are outsourced (for example, contracted out) and in others retained in house, for good reason in each case. Some organisations operate what might be described as a mixed economy, where certain services, even the same ones,

are outsourced as well as retained in house. There is no general rule, rather a need to define the thinking, practice and procedures that will lead to best value for an organisation. DEFINITIONS Outsourcing the contracting out of the facilities management services required by an organisation to external service providers. In-house provision supply of facilities management services within the client organisation - the in-house team may or may not be an independent body. Whichever course of action has been taken retain in house or outsource the primary concern is the basis of the decision. It is not the outcome that needs to be looked at closely, but the efficacy of the decision-making that leads to it. It is, for example, always necessary to stress the importance of a careful evaluation to determine the merits of the case for outsourcing. Where the organisations approach has been arrived at through, for example, demonstrating better value (for money) from one approach as opposed to the other, facilities management can be considered to be working effectively.

Strategy overview
Managing facilities efficiently and effectively requires that a robust strategy is developed within the context of the organisations business plan and space/accommodation strategy. These should involve development of strategic objectives and a plan for the facilities management, with proper reference to the overall business plan and space/accommodation strategy within which it might be contained. A strategy (or business plan) for facilities management should:

consider the needs of the organisation, differentiating between core and non-core business activities; identify and establish effective and manageable processes for meeting those needs; establish the appropriate resource needs for providing services, whether obtained internally or externally; identify the source of the means to finance the strategy and its practical implications; establish a budget covering short term needs and best value over the long term; and recognise that management of information is key to providing a basis for effective control of facilities management. The three main stages in the development and achievement of a workable strategy for facilities management are: 1. 2. 3. analysing requirements top level analysis; developing solutions finding the best option; and implementing solutions putting the plan to work.

The aim of the analysis is to establish a thorough understanding of the present state of the organisations real estate and facilities management. This means assembling all material facts including:

the organisations objectives, needs and policies (from the business plan); physical assets and space utilisation achieved (from the space/accommodation strategy); a review of resources, processes and systems to provide a broad picture of the current provision of services; and a cost analysis.


Once information from the analysis stage has been assembled, a robust and structured approach to the interpretation of the information can be adopted. It is essential that the interpretation of information derived from the analysis is open and allows new ideas and innovative solutions to be developed. The recommended approach is:

generating options; assembly of criteria for judging options; evaluating options; and selecting preferred option the organisations actual facilities management strategy.

Policy statements can be developed into operational plans and implemented through a process that is capable of managing change. The change management process should be undertaken adopting best practice in human resources management. The implementation plan should include programmes, milestones, performance measurement and risk analysis. The risks to successful implementation should be identified and responsibilities for managing these assigned. In summary, the plan should encompass people and systems, communication, resource planning and procurement/purchasing.

Selecting a strategy
The starting point for managing facilities is, as previously noted, the organisations busi ness plan and its real estate (or space/accommodation) strategy. These should be kept up-to-date and used to determine the nature and level of services support. The facilities management strategy must reflect the organisations business objectives, needs a nd policies, as well as practicalities, such as its current real estate in general and space in particular. This formal strategy should include descriptions of the approach to measuring how the business objectives and needs have been met. The selection of the approach through which service provision will take place should be based on the ability of that approach to satisfy those attributes that an organisation considers most important to its success. However, as the circumstances, which the organisation is subjected to, are subject to change, the most appropriate option will be the one that can also accommodate change. Naturally, there will be advantages and disadvantages in providing services either in house or by outsourcing. The organisation must, therefore, decide the route that provides best value for itself in the long term. This is achieved by taking full account of the implications especially the true cost of all options. Debate on the benefits or otherwise of outsourcing has been running for decades. Although it is now generally agreed that outsourcing can stimulate innovation and can present cost savings through the harsh realities of competition, it cannot be assumed to be the best approach in all cases. The merits of outsourcing each service must be considered until the optimal mix of outsourced and in-house provision is attained.

Management issues
The decision to outsource or provide services in house must take into account both the capability of service providers and the effort required to manage them. An organisation that takes the decision to outsource can delegate the direct supervision of work and service operatives to the provider. The role for the organisations representative then becomes one of managing the output from the service provider. The representative should act as an informed client managing performance against service specifications and service level agreements (SLA). Organisations need to consider their approach to this new management role carefully. DEFINITIONS Service specifications quantify the acceptable standard of service required by the customer (or end-user) and will generally form a part of the contract with the service provider. Service level agreements (SLA) build on the service specification by amplifying, in practical terms, the obligations of each party. A service specification quantifies the acceptable standard of service required by the customer and will generally form a part of the contract with the service provider. Its production is a prerequisite for drafting a service level agreement

(SLA). Specifications set out standards covering organisation policy, department requirements, statutory requirements, health and safety standards and manufacturers recommendations. The specification may also outline the procedures needed to achieve required technical standards. A service level agreement (SLA) builds on the service specification by amplifying, in practical terms, the obligations of each party. Technical and quality standards will usually be defined in relation to industry standards or manufacturers recommendations, whereas performance will be related to the specific requirements of stakeholders, that is, frequency of activity and response times to call outs. This agreement need only include, at the bidding stage, a framework setting out the overall performance parameters with detailed procedural issues to be evolved and refined during the life of the contract. Whilst the scope must be made clear, detailed day-to-day operating procedures can only be refined as the knowledge and experience of each service partner is built up over time. SLAs must be kept upto-date. In contemplating a mix of support services such as cleaning, security, building and mechanical and electrical maintenance, it is easy to see the diversity of tasks involved. This may mean that a manager or supervisor who is trying to cope with such a range of services may not be competent in all. This could prove to be a problem for smaller organisations where, although the tasks are not extensive individually, their diversity is great, requiring the manager or supervisor to be multi-skilled. For larger organisations, specialist management and supervision may be cost effective and efficient, because more of it is required.

Cost factors
Indirect cost In choosing the approach to service provision, total cost is often under-reported. In evaluating the comparative cost between in-house or outsourced service provision, organisations should identify all costs, both direct and indirect. A common mistake is for only the direct costs to be reported. Indirect costs include those incurred in the internal management of external contracts and the ongoing training and development of in-house personnel. Furthermore, the full administration of the services such as permit-to-work procedures, competent and approved person regimes, together with the technology to operate them, all attract a cost that must be recorded. Organisations also need to consider the costs of financial administration. For instance, a small number of labour and material contracts means that invoices can be processed more cost-effectively than in situations where invoices are many and frequent. Clearly, the method of procurement has an implication for the accounting function. Direct cost By contrast, direct cost is easier to ascertain. In the case of an outsourced provision the contract sum is a figure that is readily available. For in-house provision, the direct cost calculation would include salaries, including benefits. As noted above, these more obvious costs should not be looked at in isolation from the associated indirect costs. Control Linked closely to the management variable is the issue of control. For many organisations considering outsourcing, the greatest concern is that of a perceived loss of control. The level of control that can be achieved is closely correlated with the method of procurement and the contractual relationship established between the organisation and the service provider. Through a more traditional contract the level of control is limited. For more control, a partnering arrangement may be appropriate. Whatever arrangement is put in place, technology has a part to play in the delivery of reliable management information. It is through available and accessible information that many of the control issues can be solved. In so doing, value can also be added if the management information is delivered as a consequence of service provision and is therefore available without cost or, at least, for a nominal sum.

Implications of outsourcing
Any significant change in the number of services that are outsourced will have an impact on the structure of the department or organisation; in the case of outsourcing all real estate services, a small core management team is required to control and co-ordinate the activities of the external parties. In this instance, the role of management changes from direct management to the management of the output of others: the performance measurement of deliverables. The main tasks then become the management of the respective contracts and the definition and development of policy and procedures. These, along with relevant standards, are vital if the respective contracts are to meet the expectations of customers and are not to encourage malpractice or other kind of irregularity. The most appropriate management structure will be the one that ensures both economy and control for the organisation over its facilities. Clearly, the management of contractors is different to the supervision of directly employed personnel and should not demand as high a level of resources. It is acceptable that some personnel will

have to be retained even where the organisation has opted for total facilities management by a single contractor since the informed client function (ICF) must be maintained. This should be a major factor in the drive to have personnel who are trained to act as competent client representatives and, if organisations find such expertise lacking, they should adopt recruitment policies that recognise the specialisation of facilities management and seek individuals who have undergone appropriate education and training. The role of managing the client-contractor interface includes the following duties:

maintaining and enhancing the informed client function; defining real estate and space standard policies and monitoring space utilisation; understanding and monitoring customer requirements and keeping customers informed; planning projects involving new or additional works; and managing the approvals process and payments to the contractor. Where services are retained in house, it is essential to ensure that the management structure facilitates a split between purchaser and provider, with the purchaser acting as the objective and informed client in order to monitor the performance of in-house service delivery. Policies and procedures must be formalised within this management structure to ensure that customer expectations are met and malpractice and other kinds of irregularity are actively deterred. The most appropriate management structure will be the one that ensures both economy and control for the organisation over its facilities. This means that organisations will need to determine exactly the number of personnel and their functions for managing the provision of services.

If buildings and other facilities are not managed, they can begin to impact upon an organisations performance. Conversely, buildings and facilities have the potential to enhance performance by contributing towards the provision of the optimal work and business environment. There is no universal approach to managing facilities. Each organisation even within the same sector will have different needs. Understanding those needs is the key to effective facilities management measured in terms of providing best value. Furthermore, once established the facilities management strategy should be a cornerstone of an organisations accommodation strategy, not adjunct to it. In choosing the most appropriate solution consideration must be given to direct and indirect costs of both in-house and outsourced service provision so that a complete financial picture is gained, with comparison made on a like-forlike basis to enable a decision to be taken on best value grounds. A long-term and integrated view of service provision is essential to effective facilities management. EXERCISES 1. Does your own organisation (company or institution) have a clear understanding of its facilities management? Write down the key aspects of your organisations understanding or views of facilities management. 2. Try to differentiate between the core and non-core business in your organisation. Write down a short description of the core business and then list the main non-core business activities. 3. Write down the most important services in your organisation and rank them according to their importance to the ongoing functioning of the organisation. 4. In your own organisation, which are the services that present the greatest difficulty/difficulties in terms of having in place the appropriate manpower and supervision? 5. In your own organisation, what do you know or believe to be the ratio between direct cost and indirect cost for services? Express your figures as percentages (e.g. 80:20, 90:10)? REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Atkin, B. and Brooks, A. (2009) Total Facilities Management. Third edition, Oxford: Blackwell Science. Barrett, P.S. and Baldry, D. (2003) Facilities Management: Towards Best Practice. Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell Science. Booty, F. (ed.) (2009) Facilities management handbook. Fourth edition, Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Role of a Facilities Manager

X By Bruce Smith, eHow Contributor

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Facilities managers organize and maintain buildings and the space they contain.

The facilities manager "plans, designs, and manages buildings, grounds, equipment, and supplies," according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. The facility manager acts as the liaison between the building occupants, and the organization, contractors and regulators.He could work at a large organization or a small firm. In addition to maintenance, this person also manages space allocation, security and safety.

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Duties of a Facilities Manager

1. Job Scope

A facility manager could oversee a single building or more than a million square feet, reports the "Facility Management Handbook." He works in apartment complexes, nursing homes, for state and federal government, or at a university. Hospitals, private industry and corporations employ facility managers. All of these organizations require someone to manage the interior and exterior of the building, including sidewalks, landscaping and parking facilities. The facilities manager does not necessarily do the work, but he supervises or interacts with those who do.

Space Management

The company or organization decides whom to hire, but a facility manager finds them a work space. Depending on the organization, the manager might assign the occupant to living quarters, a laboratory, an office or clinical space. She has the duty of planning space allocation needs, moving existing occupants or removing unwanted occupants. Sponsored Links

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The facilities manager has the responsibility to maintain a clean, healthy working environment. As such, he makes sure housekeeping duties get done--toilets flush, air conditioning works and trash gets removed. One of his duties includes preventive maintenance. In a larger organization, he works with the employees responsible for doing things such as changing air conditioner filters. In a smaller organization, he may change the filters and fix the toilets himself.

Construction and Renovation

Facility managers work with architects and contractors to build and renovate space.

An additional duty includes planning for organizational growth. If the company needs a new building, the facility manager works with the architects and construction management team to design and build it. She represents the occupants, and their needs, and relays this information to the designers and builders. In existing buildings, new occupants may need their space renovated. The facility manager negotiates the contract specifications and price with the contractor. She also provides the contractor with access to the space and ensures that the contractor does not bother existing occupants. She inspects the renovation and signs off on the completed project.

Safety Management

Facilities managers help with environmental health and safety compliance.

In some organizations the facility supervisor also serves as the safety officer. She works with government officials to guarantee the building and residents comply with state and federal regulations. These rules cover building codes, food codes and fire code. She organizes and supervises fire drills and inspections. In a research building this could include chemical safety and bio-safety compliance.

Security Management

Facility managers help design and maintain building security.

Facility managers control access. They have the responsibility of assigning keys or electronic access including card swipe and biometrics. Some federal agencies require facility managers obtain a security clearance. They oversee the installation of security systems. They work with police on lockdowns and in other emergency situations.

Job Changes

Facility managers must adapt to a quickly changing environment. Safety, access and surveillance methods require an increased knowledge of technology. Buildings have become more sustainable and energy efficient. At one time, facility managers needed only experience. Today, many facility managers have advanced degrees, and in some cases they need LEED certification. The

International Facility Management Association offers classes and training programs to earn facility manager certifications.

Read more: Role of a Facilities Manager | eHow

Facilities manager: Job description

Facilities managers are responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organisation. They ensure that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities. Duties vary with the nature of the organisation, but facilities managers generally focus on using best business practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs while increasing productivity. This is a wide field with a diverse range of responsibilities, which are dependant on the structure and size of the organisation. Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Likely areas of responsibility include:

procurement and contract management; building and grounds maintenance; cleaning; catering and vending; health and safety; security; utilities and communications infrastructure; space management.

Facilities managers are employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work may be reflected in different job titles such as operations, estates, technical services, asset or property manager.

Typical work activities

Responsibilities for facilities managers often cover several departments, as well as central services that link to all the teams in the organisation. In smaller companies, duties may include more practical and hands-on tasks. Many facilities management professionals are employed on

a consultancy basis, contracted to manage some or all of these activities by a client organisation. Typical tasks may include:

preparing documents to put out tenders for contractors; project management and supervising and coordinating work of contractors; investigating availability and suitability of options for new premises; calculating and comparing costs for required goods or services to achieve maximum value for money; planning for future development in line with strategic business objectives; managing and leading change to ensure minimum disruption to core activities; liaising with tenants of commercial properties; directing and planning essential central services such as reception, security, maintenance, mail, archiving, cleaning, catering, waste disposal and recycling; ensuring the building meets health and safety requirements; planning best allocation and utilisation of space and resources for new buildings, or reorganising current premises; checking that agreed work by staff or contractors has been completed satisfactorily and following up on any deficiencies; coordinating and leading one or more teams to cover various areas of responsibility; using performance management techniques to monitor and demonstrate achievement of agreed service levels and to lead on improvement; responding appropriately to emergencies or urgent issues as they arise.

Corporate and thousands of others.

Facility Management Law & Legal Definition

Facility management is the coordination of the physical workplace with the people and work of an organization. It is the integration of business administration, architecture, and the behavioral and engineering sciences. In the most basic terms, facility management encompasses all activities related to keeping a complex operating. Facilities include grocery stores, auto shops, sports complexes, jails, office buildings, hospitals, hotels, retail establishments, and all other revenue-generating or government institutions. Responsibilities associated with facility management typically include a wide range of function and support services, including janitorial services; security; property or building management; engineering services; space planning and accounting; mail and messenger services; records management; computing, telecommunications and information systems; safety; and other support

duties. It is the job of the facility manager to create an environment that encourages productivity, is safe, is pleasing to clients and customers, meets government mandates, and is efficient.


The term "facility" is used to refer to a broad spectrum of buildings, complexes, and other physical entities. "The only thread common among these entities is the fact that they are all places," wrote Alan M. Levitt in Disaster Planning and Recovery: A Guide for Facility Professionals. "A 'facility' may be a space or an office or suite of offices; a floor or group of floors within a building; a single building or a group of buildings or structures. These structures may be in an urban setting or freestanding in a suburban or rural setting. The structures or buildings may be a part of a complex or office park or campus." The key is to define the facility as a physical place where business activities are done, and to make facility management plans in accordance with the needs and demands of those business activities. After all, the facility needs of a movie theatre, a museum, a delicatessen, a plastics manufacturer, and a bank are apt to be considerably different, even though there will likely be certain basic needs that all will share (furniture, office space, air conditioning systems, light fixtures, etc.). Good facility management is concerned with addressing those needs in the best and most cost-effective ways possible. Indeed, facility management encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including the following:

Monitoring organization efficiency. The coordination of personnel, machines, supplies, work in progress, finished products, and deliveries must all be done if your plant is to be successful. Ensuring that the business receives the most it can for its facility-related expenditures (this is often done through standardization of company-wide needs so that high-volume purchases of necessary products can be made). Real estate procurement, leasing, and disposal (or facility construction, renovation, and relocation). Ensuring that the divergent processes, procedures, and standards present in a business complement rather than interfere with one another. Monitoring all aspects of facility maintenance and upkeep so that the business can operate at highest capacity. Tracking and responding to environmental, health, safety, and security issues. Ensuring facility compliance with relevant regulatory codes and regulations Anticipating future facility needs in areas as diverse as fluorescent light procurement, new space for expanded assembly lines, automation, and wiring for new computer networks. Educating the work force about all manner of standards and procedures, from ordering office supplies to acting in the event of a disaster.


Facility management has traditionally been associated with janitorial services, mailrooms, and security. Since the middle of the twentieth century, facility management has evolved into a demanding discipline. Factors driving the complexity of the facility manager's job are numerous. For example, facilities have become much larger and more complicated, often relying on computerized and electronic support systems that require expertise to operate and repair.

Personal computer networks, sophisticated telecommunications systems and other technological tools have significantly increased the requirements of facility management in the past 20 years. Of course, many other factors have impacted on the challenges of facility management in recent years. For example, the newfound corporate cost-consciousness that emerged during the 1980s has generated an emphasis on operational efficiency. Writing in IIE Solutions, Steven M. Price summarized the facility manager's situation thusly: "Facilities professionals are being asked to contain costs while achieving maximum beneficial usethat is, to achieve more with less." In addition, philosophical changes such as increased reliance on teamwork, cross-functional teams, and telecommuting have created new spacing and infrastructure demands. Finally, the responsibilities of facility managers have continued to broaden into all areas of facility upkeep, including insuring that the business adheres to regulatory requirements in such areas as handicapped access, hazardous material handling and disposal, and other "safe workplace" issues. The end result of new technology, efficiency pressures, and government regulations has been an expansion of the facility management role. By the 1990s, facility managers were often highly trained and educated and prepared to wear several hats. Depending on the size of the complex, the manager will likely be responsible for directing a facility management and maintenance staff. In addition to overseeing the important duties related to standard maintenance, mailroom, and security activities, he or she may also be responsible for providing engineering and architectural services, hiring subcontractors, maintaining computer and telecommunications systems, and even buying, selling, or leasing real estate or office space. For example, suppose that a company has decided to consolidate five branch offices into a central computerized facility. It may be the facility manager's job to plan, coordinate, and manage the move. He or she may have to find the new space and negotiate a purchase. And he or she will likely have to determine which furniture and equipment can be moved to the new office, and when and how to do so with a minimal disruption of the operation. This may include negotiating prices for new furniture and equipment or balancing needs with a limited budget. The facility management department may also furnish engineering and architectural design services for the new space, and even provide input for the selection of new computer and information systems. Of import will be the design and implementation of various security measures and systems that reduce the risk of theft and ensure worker safety. The manager will also be responsible for considering federal, state, and local regulations. He or she will need to ensure that the complex conforms to mandates associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), clean air and other environmental protection regulations, and other rules. The ADA dictates a list of requirements related to disabled employee and patron access with which most facilities must comply, while clean air laws impose standards for indoor air quality and hazardous emissions. Similarly, other laws regulate energy consumption, safety, smoking, and other factors that fall under the facility manager's umbrella of responsibility.


Analysts have suggested that evolving business realities in the realms of process improvement, cost containment, speed-to-market accelerations, quality control, and workplace arrangements and concepts will all have a big impact on future notions of facility management. The challenge for facility managers will be to integrate knowledge workers into a dynamic business

environment of global competition, technological developments, security threats and changing values. Writing in IIE Solutions, Steven M. Price, in the IIE Solutions article entitled "Facilities Planning: A Perspective for the Information Age" laid out four primary precepts that will likely form the underpinnings of future financial management planning:
1. Understanding the evolving nature of knowledge-based business"The new workforce and the content of its work is migrating from a bureaucratic control of resources and the movement of materials through a process toward a highly flexible and networked organization whose added value is exploiting specialized knowledge and information to solve complex problems," wrote Price. 2. Understanding workspace trendsPrice and other business analysts believe that computing and communications technologies are fundamentally transforming the workplace landscape. As shared jobs, telecommuting, home-based businesses, flexible work hours and other trends make further inroads in the business world, facility management philosophies will have to keep pace. 3. Understanding how new technologies have removed old restrictions on conducting business This, said Price, basically entails recognizing that "the removal of physical limitations caused by transportation and communications technology has changed the scope, strategy, and structure of the business world." 4. Understanding "Job Factor" basicsPrice noted that IBM and other companies have developed facility management philosophies that study the interaction of all job factors, including those of physical environment and job content.


Increasing numbers of large businesses are choosing to outsource their facility management tasks to specialized facility management companies that operate the complex for the owner on a contract basis. This arrangement has become more common in part because of the increasing scope and complexity of facility management. Companies that hire contract managers prefer to focus on other goals, such as producing a product or providing a service. Many of these firms find that outsourcing facility management duties to a specialist reduces costs and improves operations. Contract facility managers may be hired to manage an entire complex or just one part of a large operation. For example, some companies hire contract managers that specialize in operating mailrooms or providing janitorial services. In any case, the company expects to benefit from the expertise of the manager/management firm it hires. A contractor that manages data processing systems, for example, may bring technical know-how that its employer would have great difficulty cultivating in-house. Likewise, a recreation facility owner that employs a facility manager specializing in the operation of sport complexes may benefit from the contractor's mix of knowledge related to grounds keeping, accounting and reporting, and sports marketing, among other functions. Besides expertise and efficiency, several other benefits are provided by contract facility managers. One such benefit is the reduced liability to owner's or occupant's for personnel. By contracting a firm to manage one of its factories, an organization can substantially reduce its involvement in staffing, training, worker's compensation expenses and litigation, employee benefits, and worker grievances. It also eliminates general management and payroll responsibilitiesrather than tracking hours and writing checks for an entire staff, it simply pays

the facility management company. In addition, a company that hires a facility management firm can quickly reduce or increase its staff as it chooses without worrying about hiring or severance legalities. Whether a small business chooses to outsource or maintain internal control of its facility management processes the ultimate goals are the same. As Raymond O'Brien commented in Managing Office Technology, "both the in-house facility management department and outsourced services must recognize that the facility management business is changing. While, traditionally, interior planning has been driven by preconceived notions of what is appropriate, business today increasingly is not being conducted in a traditional manner or in traditional locations. Changing roles, combined with changing technology, drives the environment of the future." Although he concurred that the field of facility management is in a state of flux at the moment, O'Brien argued that quality facility management could became an even greater advantage for attentive businesses in the future: "[Facility management] offers those with entrepreneurial spirit enormous opportunity. Whether working within a corporation or as an outsourced service provider, imaginative facility managers can find myriad ways to improve service to the company or the client while creating an interesting, challenging position for themselves."

Alder, Steve. "Disaster and Recovery Planning: A Guide for Facility Managers." Security Management. June 2005. Brown, Malcolm. "Rulers of the New Frontier." Management Today. March 1996. Friday, Stormy. Organization Development for Facility Managers. AMACOM, a Division of the American Management Association, 2003. Huston, John. "Mastering the Facility." Buildings. December 1999. Kruk, Leonard B. "Facilities Planning Supports Changing Office Technologies." Managing Office Technology. December 1996. Levitt, Alan M. Disaster Planning and Recovery: A Guide for Facility Professionals. John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Lewis, Bernard T. and Richard P. Payant. The Facility Manager's Emergency Preparedness Handbook. AMACOM, a Division of the American Management Association, 2003. O'Brien, Raymond. "Facility Managers Provide Invaluable Services." Managing Office Technology. September 1995. Price, Steven M. "Facilities Planning: A Perspective for the Information Age." IIE Solutions. August 1997. Sopko, Sandy. "Smaller Staffs and Budgets Boost FM Outsourcing." The Office. August 1993.

Tuveson, Kit. "Facility Management in the 21st Century." Managing Office Technology. May 1998.

Understanding Facility Management's Role in Business

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A good facilities management team is worth their weight in gold, in terms of value to both the governing real estate owner as well as to the tenants that depend upon them. To fully understand the role of the facilities management team, one must first realize that collectively they have many bosses and people to whom they are responsible to on a daily, if not hourly basis. Every single tenant and visitor have a justifiable right to present their opinion on the appearance of the physical plant, and expect an expedient response in a timely and professional manner. The role of facilities management ensures that the daily function of all business operations within the physical plant run smoothly, and without distraction. Understanding facility management's role in business begins with a close look at exactly what tasks they perform. Facility management is responsible for every aspect of building maintenance, janitorial and custodial services, grounds keeping and security as applied to the physical operation of a facility. In this context, it oversees everything from burnt out light bulbs being changed to trash removal, and general safety and cleanliness within and outside of the structure and grounds. They are the corporate entity that governs and supervises all facility employees and outside vendors that do any type of maintenance, and as such shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that work is completed with a minimum of inconvenience to tenants, and in a cost-effective manner.

Facilities management is in the people business, both in terms of maintaining good relationships with tenants and visitors and in problem resolution when issues arise. Dependent upon tenant contractual agreements, the facilities management team may also negotiate terms of leases, structural modifications to rented spaces, and extra amenities beyond what the standard landlordtenant lease may encompass. A competent facilities management team is nearly invisible - their role is to provide exemplary service with a minimum of distraction or interference to their tenants daily operations. They also on occasion serve as mediators in tenant/tenant disputes, and are usually quite adept at this function. Finally, the role of facilities management is to promote a professional atmosphere that is conducive to the business practices of those they serve. The service provided by facilities management is invaluable to their clients, and removes a burden, clearing a path to concentrate solely on individual business concerns.

The facilities management

The late 1980s saw a growing awareness and increased recognition for facilities management both in the public and private sectors. Corporate strategies for competitiveness have caused businesses to relook at all their processes and restructure them in a way that decreases costs and improves efficiency. (Alexander, 1994)

Definitions of Facilities Management

There are many varying definitions of facilities management. The British Institute of Facilities Management perceives it as "the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities" (BIFM, 2010) Price describes facilities management as an integrated approach to operating, maintaining, improving and adapting the buildings and infrastructure of an organisation in order to create an environment that strongly supports the primary objectives of that organisation (Price, 2000; Baldry, 2008) The facilities management movement can be summarized as a belief in potential to improve processes by which workplaces can be managed to inspire people to give of their best, to support their effectiveness and ultimately to make a positive contribution to economic growth and organizational success. (Alexander, 1994)

The Role of Facilities Management

The role of facilities management is gaining recognition within the economy. Government policies in a market economy, such as competitive policies, deregulation and privatisation, have each had an influence on the growth of facilities management over the years. In the Japanese economy, facilities management is already considered as a key element for economic success. They place a greater importance on office

productivity and therefore facilities management is seen as a way of improving the efficiency of office workers in Japan. (Alexander, 1994) Alexander, (1994) says that the role of facilities management should be defined by the relationship of facilities to the core business of an organisation in which success is measured by the degree and quality of support they provide to achieving key business objectives or goals. The role and responsibility of facilities management will vary in different organisations. Selecting the correct role of facilities management is critical to the success and effectiveness of an organisation. Creating a facilities management profile based on a case specific basis should potentially lead to successful facilities management practice. The growing pressures of the competitive business world have made organisations realise that they must gain some form of competitive advantage from every section of their organisation. This must also include the costs of running the working environment. In these organisations, facilities are no longer allocated insignificant time but the strategic role of facilities management is widely recognised as well as the benefits of effective management (Baldry, 2008). In the past businesses were operating within a fairly stable economic environment. However the evolution of technology, cost of space, global competition and the greater impact of making mistakes has forced organisations to manage their resources effectively. This issue has given rise and placed more importance on the concept of facilities management. The biggest challenge facilities managers come across is the management of resources in a rapid and constantly changing environment. (Barrett, 1998) As Alexander (1996), emphasizes, the role that facilities management plays in its contribution to the success of the organisation has gained increasing importance since the start of the facilities management concept. Initially facilities management was managed as an isolated activity and considered as an expense like any other cost within a business. Now facilities management is managed as an integrated activity, with the commercial, manufacturing and marketing function of the organisation. Facilities management has bought to the surface many opportunities to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. Therefore, it seeks organisational effectiveness to help organisations to allocate their resources in a way that allows them to flourish in the very competitive markets. This has therefore encouraged management and business owners to realise that for organisations to benefit from their huge investment in facilities, they have to manage them actively and creatively, with commitment and a broader vision (Amaratunga, 2001) The Centre for Facilities Management (CFM) describes facilities management as "the process by which an organisation delivers and sustains a quality working environment and delivers quality support services to meet the organisation's objectives at best cost" It is accepted that facilities management covers a wide range of services and the success or partial failure of an organisations business is dependent on the management of those services (Chotipanich, 2004). Such services can include property management, financial management, change management, human resources management, health and safety management, in addition to services such as building maintenance, domestic

services (cleaning and security) and utilities supplies. The essence of facilities management lies in the ways in which facilities are adjusted to business needs and in the effectiveness of the systems that ensure non-core activities deliver value for money (CFM, 1992). At a national level, the strategic objective of facility management is to provide better infrastructure and logistic support to businesses of all kinds and across all sectors. At a local level, its objective is the effective management of facility resources and services in providing of support to the operations of organisations, their working groups, project teams and individuals (Nutt, 2000). Therefore, according to Nutt (2000), the primary function of facilities management is resource management, at strategic and operational levels of support. McNaughton 2007 says "Facilities management provides an opportunity for businesses and large conglomerates to focus on their "core business" leaving the secondary services of security, mailing and cleaning in the hands of the facilities management experts". If implemented correctly, facilities management can benefit your company in the following ways:

Reduced risk and increased productivity Reduced operating costs by focusing on core business structures Encourages and sustains a healthy and safe corporate culture Delivers sustainable resource utilisation Optimise asset utilisation

Operational and Strategic Facilities Management

Facilities management can be divided into two sections, namely operational facilities management and strategic facilities management. Operational facilities management is the interaction within the facilities department itself (i.e the facilities manager and the various functional units such as maintenance, interior planning, architecture etc). The various functional units can be in house or outsourced. Each functional unit should be aware of current techniques and regulations within their specific area of work. The facilities manger is expected to communicate with the core business regularly to identify current facilities requirements. The facilities manager will then benchmark facilities service currently in practice within the organisation against other facilities management organisations and see where an improvement can be made (Barrett, 1998). It can be said that the primary function of facilities management is the operational side as it is the most visible. The function supports the regular needs of the core business. (Chotipanich, 2004) Strategic facilities management looks at the future. The facilities manager will interact with the core business to establish future changes that might occur to the business due to external factors such as competitors etc. The facilities manager will also identify possible developments within the facilities management arena. Interaction between strategic and operational facilities management must occur and the aim is to synergistically balance current operations with the needs of the future. (Barrett, 1998)

The figure above (Barrett, 1995) is a generic facilities management model developed by Barrett. It clearly shows the different relationships and communication lines as well as the difference between operational and strategic facilities management. The separation of the core business and facilities management is clear in the above diagram and this emphasises the fact that facilities management is only beneficial if it supports the primary business objectives. It also distinguishes between the current and future environment and makes it easier to understand how facilities management is conducted. Linkages 1, 2 and 3 are at an operational level and 4, 5 and 6 are at a strategic level. The structure of facilities management is related to the needs, environment and circumstances of the organisation at the time. Its practice and composition are particularly important to the characteristics and contexts of the organisation. (Chotipanich, 2004) Barrett (1998) suggests that facility managers should not just select service items from the standard list at random, but provide only those services that are needed by their particular organisation. Facilities management practice is seen as adapting to its situation. Barrett (1998) also stands by the fact that facilities management practice needs to be personalised to a specific organisation. The facilities managers are involved in strategic planning i.e plans for the future as well as daily operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Responsibilities and duties may vary depending on the type of corporation but the most likely responsibilities include:

contract management procurement management maintenance of the grounds and buildings general cleaning of the facility and refuse disposal catering and vending health and safety security utilities and communications infrastructure

Facilities management is a very important concept in this competitive business world. If this concept is not managed correctly or neglected, it will be to the detriment of your organisation. In the past businesses were operating in a stable economic environment and as a result the setting of goals were done and not redone for a considerable amount of time. In this current economic state, the goals of organisations often change as the economic environment presents new challenges. The increase in competition, employee expectations and the changes in technology forces businesses to manage their resources effectively to stay profitable.


Baldry, D. (2008), Knowledge management practices in facilities organisations: a case study, Journal of Facilities Management British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM). (2010), Accessed 22 March 2010 Alexander, K. (1994), Facilities Management Theory and Practice Alexander, K. (1996), Facilities Management Theory and Practice Amaratunga, R.D.G. (2001), Theory building in facilities management performance measurement: application of some core performance measurement and management principles Centre for Facilities Management (CFM), (1992). An Overview of the FM Industry Part 1 Chotipanich, S. (2004), Positioning facility management, Journal of Facilities. Nuttt, B. (2000), Four competing futures for facility management Journal of Facilities McNaughton (2007), Accessed 25 April 2010 Barrett, P. (1998), Facilities management. Towards Best Practice. Barrett, P. (1995), Facilities management. Towards Best Practice. Price, I. (2000), FM and Research, Journal of Facilities.

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