A Comprehensive Take on Facility Management

Jamshed Karkaria, Head - Facilities & Admin, Honeywell Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company that invents and manufactures technologies to address tough challenges linked to global macro trends such as safety, security and energy.

What is Facility Management?
My experience in a lay man language Facility Management is working and taking responsibility of anything and everything which does not fit into HR function. Facility management Personnel are involved right from facility to Admin to transport to medical help, real estate, security, travel, compliances, government relations where the scope does not end.

Facility management (FM) is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology. The International Organization for Standardization defines FM as the "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.

What do Facility Managers do?
Facility managers(FMs)can have many different titles and arrive in their profession through a variety of career paths. They're responsible for making sure systems of the built environment, or facility, work harmoniously.

FMs contribute to the organization's bottom line through their responsibility for maintaining what is often an organization's largest and most valuable assets, such as property, buildings, equipment and other environments that house personnel, productivity, inventory and other important elements of operation.

What Skillsets do Facility Managers have?
Even though FMs don't always have similar titles, they share common roles within their respective organizations, including: Occupancy and human factors, Operations and maintenance, Sustainability Facility information and technology management, Risk management, Communication Performance and quality, Leadership and strategy, Real estate, Project management and support to HSE

Facility management is a position that requires a unique set of duties that are unmatched in many ways. For instance, facility managers hold one of the only positions in large organizations that require communication with virtually all corporate levels from C-suite executives to temporary contractors. In this way, it's a thrilling and powerful position, but it's also one that requires an immense amount of responsibility, from the overseeing of basic building maintenance to sophisticated software deployments. These tasks are often managed with the aid of comprehensive facility management software, but the role is still a complex and multifaceted one requiring a highly competent professional to manage the many aspects of running a facility.

Because the wonderful world of facility management changes and evolves with today's technology, it's important for even the most seasoned facility managers to keep abreast of the latest trends. That's why facility managers often attend facility management conferences, and even the most seasoned professionals find value in continuing education. Facility managers also find value in reading about the latest trends and expert insights published in industry publications.

The implication of effective facilities management will help identify potential problems with regards to maintenance and running costs

Facilities management is responsible for co-coordinating all efforts related to planning, designing and managing buildings and their systems, equipmentand furniture to enhance the organization's ability to compete successfully in a rapidly changing world.

Only in the last two decades or so has facilities management become a recognised and essential process within organizations.

Facilities Management as a profession as well as a practice is continuing to develop to provide management services that meet specific short term and long term goals of corporate organizations. Facilities Management, if correctly implemented, can deliver productive, humane and cost effective work environments.

It enhances the skills of people within the facilities management sector, creates career opportunities, and enables new working styles which is important in this technologically driven world. All these benefits will enhance the organization's image and brand name thus becoming more competitive in their market. This is vital for the success of any corporation.

Facilities management includes the integration of the planning and management of a wide range of services both ‘hard'(e.g. building fabric) and ‘soft'(e.g. catering, cleaning, security, mailroom, and health & safety) to achieve better quality and economies of scale. The definition continues to expand to include the management of an increasingly broad range of tangible assets, support services as well as people skills. Facilities professionals must have the desire and ability to work well with people as well as be able to improve the day to day activities of the inhouse staff. Large corporations often require a structured way to deal with project budgets, planning, project delivery and internal coordination, capital purchasing programs, as well as building or site management issues. This is where facilities management is beneficial. The facilities manager will deal with these issues and translate corporate customer facility requirements into a cost effective, environmentally safe and aesthetically pleasing workplace.

Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day 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, catering and vending, health and safety, security, utilities and communications infrastructure, space management & project 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. Responsibilities are often broad, covering several departments, as well as central services that link to all the teams in the organization.

The implication of effective facilities management will help identify potential problems with regards to maintenance and running costs before they result in a complete component breakdown. It provides a structure for the evaluation of the many relationships between the decisions and the satisfaction of the end users of the specific property. The sole aim of facilities management must not be just to optimise running costs of buildings but also to increase the efficiency and management of space and other related assets for people and processes so that the organization's goals can be met through the combination of efficiency, cost and quality.

Last and the least, Facility Manager is involved in anything and everything and is responsible for employee, customers, vendors, contractor from the time they come inside the facility until they go out safely.