Technology has changed many fields, and facility management is no exception, If you have not reviewed the role of your facilities management team recently, you will be surprised to note just how may factors and benefits a professional management team can bring to the table. Learning what a facilities manager can do for you — and what to expect from a high quality team — will help you get the most from this cost saving and efficiency boosting process.
Buildings are becoming more integrated with technology – and smarter every year. It’s not just new builds, existing structures are getting rid of legacy and outdated systems and upgrading to smarter, more efficient systems. In fact, according to Navigant Research, the smart building market will create worldwide revenues in excess of $8.5 billion in 2021; this is almost double the size of the market just a few short years ago in 2016.
All this change means you need to have a tech savvy, capable and dedicated facilities manager in place. Understanding the role of a facility manager can help you determine just how much this professional individual or team can do for you and what you can expect from the process. If you want to increase your efficiency, eliminate redundancies and boost your cost savings, discovering what a facilities manager does is an important first step.
What Does a Facilities Manager Do?
A facilities manager is responsible for caring for your organisation’s buildings and physical structures. While specific duties and functions may vary Facility Managers (or FMs, for short) are in charge of making sure a brand’s public and private structures meet or exceed all legal requirements. These can include everything from physical requirements to health and safety standards, and a complete system of integrated facility management.
Your facilities manager could be an employee or a service; no matter what format you are using, they will likely perform or contribute to some or all of the following tasks:
- Property and Building Management
- Compliance and Inspection
- Testing and Maintenance
- Infrastructure, including Communications
- Tenants and Space Management
- Environment, Health and Safety
- Physical Security
- Contract Management
- Strategic Long Term Planning
- Managing Refurbishments, Upgrades and Renovations
- Business Continuity and Emergency Planning
Some specific details will vary, depending on your needs, your corporate setup and your preferred style of management. In many cases, a facility manager will contribute to or be fully responsible for the following tasks:
- Providing or sourcing workers for functions and for the overall care and maintenance of the facility or facilities.
- Find and plan for ways to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness
- Manage the teams that work within the facility
- Maintain the grounds and the surroundings for both safety and aesthetics
- Planning for and responding to emergency situations
- Creating and managing effective budgets
- Overseeing both long term and short term projects, refurbishments and renovations
- Creating reports and updating the management team on progress, challenges and ongoing situations
- Strategically planning for future purchases and expenses
What are the Traits of a Successful Facilities Manager?
A successful facility manager will be able to handle a variety of tasks and be exceptionally focused on details. They will have excellent communication skills and will be able to create and maintain ideal relationships with other employees, vendors, tenants and contractors.
Since the work performed by a facilities manager can be incredibly varied – they need to be responsive to current situations, plan for the future and be able to report accurately on past issues and performance. Most successful building manager candidates have already worked with and learned from other skilled facilities management teams and in a variety of disciplines.
In addition to the core competencies and an eye for efficiency and detail, a successful building manager will also have outstanding communication skills. They will have an innate and well informed understanding of technology, both legacy and emerging and have superb time management skills.
Leadership and motivational skills make it easy for a facilities manager to ensure that a team is working productively and that the brand has the right company culture and morale.
Education matters as well, but once core skills and competencies are learned, a commitment to the job, dedication to detail and outstanding people and communication skills may be more important and impactful.
Many facilities management team members come from other disciplines; in some cases, they have begun as engineers or other technical workers, then proceeded to earn Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credentials. Others come from a strong business background and excel in managing people, finding and eliminating inefficiencies and putting solid business skills to work for their chosen clients or brand.
Could your Business Benefit from a Facility Manager?
If you are constantly struggling with compliance, maintenance and other issues, then having a dedicated team or employee in this role can help you save time, money and hassle. If you find yourself reacting to unexpected situations without a plan, are surprised by routine inspections or feel like your facility is out of control, a facilities manager will likely help get everything in order.
If you’re experiencing tenant turnover, are not happy with the look or functionality of your facility or have concerns about cleanliness, aesthetics and how your brand is perceived, a facilities management company can have a huge impact on your business.
Overall, a facilities manager makes a business look and operate at its best; they often also alleviate work and headaches for other executives and find unexpected savings and improvements your brand may not have considered.
If any of the above situations sound like your business, it is very likely that a qualified professional management team or individual will have a significant impact on the look and function of your facilities.