The real estate ecosystem is changing; thus, Facilities Management (FM) roles are also changing. This is increasing the demand for FM services and professionals, thus raising and redefining the skills and competencies required to reach the apex of the FM profession.
Operations and maintenance represent a cost centre. It adds directly to the cost of an organisation but only indirectly to its profit. O&M produces a total expense second only to the salary or pay of occupants in a typical facility. This makes operating and managing facilities critical to the organisation’s overall success. An FM plays a vital role in this; hence they should know the long-term plan, or O&M operating plan, and be familiar with the plan aspects such as the expectations, set goals, and what has been prepared to realise these goals.
FMs should have a detailed and complete management plan. Planning is essential to anticipate both long-term or strategic and short-term or tactical requirements. In addition, it forms the basis of how facility O&M is successfully applied to all building infrastructure assets so that occupants/customers are satisfied and the organisation’s mission is accomplished.
FM must determine what building infrastructure assets are contained and the long-term plans to replace capital items. To know what exists and to anticipate its deterioration, ongoing maintenance needs, and replacement, the FM needs a complete and accurate inventory/register of facility assets.
FM should employ preventive and predictive maintenance and repair activities to lower costs and prevent expensive breakdowns by implementing a small proportion of unplanned or corrective maintenance. In addition, the FM should recognise when to contract professional resources such as structural engineers to use their experience to assess structural concerns or deficiencies identified during an inspection.
FM must know the item’s life cycle to maintain it effectively, determine when to end maintenance, and either repair or acquire a new item.
FM should use IT technology, such as CMMS/IWMS, to compare overall results against predetermined performance expectations. In addition, some best practices relative to a maintenance management policy can establish how the CMMS helps prepare a work plan.
Managing a facility can be incredibly stressful during peaks when resources may be strained. This is when FM becomes a leader and motivator to help staff and occupants manage demands.
Energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and air and water quality are all significant to facility management because they directly relate to issues that concern the facility’s productivity, efficiency, safety and code compliance. Therefore, FMs must not just be aware of these issues but must also be prepared to deal with them as part of their management responsibilities.