The relevance of facility (or facilities) management management services cannot be overemphasized , being the lifeblood of real property. The issue of adequate and effective management of a facility has become more engaging as the world continues to technologically evolve.
The initial conception of ‘facilities management’ by American businessman Ross Perot in the 1960s covered only network management of IT systems. It only widened in scope much later to accommodate the (effective) management of facilities.
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Responsibilities Of A Facility Manager
The basic responsibility of a facility manager as the link between his employer and staff is to ensure the safety of all through his multifaceted roles. In 2019, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) put the number of people with health challenges from workplace related-incidents at 1.4 million people.
The HSE report said the ill-health of that population was down to poor health and safety measures around their workplace facilities.
Thus, against the background of his delicate office, the facility manager’s responsibilities which may vary from one company to the other include the following:
- Constituting a synergy between staff across divisions or organisations
- Ensuring that all facilities are well-maintained at all times
- Attending to emergencies
- Ensuring that facilities meet all government standards and regulations for management services
- Providing by whatever means, various services like cleaning, security, parking for the facility
- Drafting of maintenance reports
- Managing budgets
Areas Of Facilities Management
Facilities management has two broad areas of operation and these are referred to as ‘Hard FM tasks’ and ‘Soft FM tasks’. These areas, defining the operations of the facilities manager, are distinct from each other by the aspects they relate to in facility management services.
Hard FM tasks relate to the control of the physical built environment with emphasis on workspace and building infrastructure. On the other hand, Soft FM tasks deal with the people and the organisation with a focus on work psychology and occupational physiology.
Instances of ‘Hard FM tasks’ are
- Facility plan of action
- Co-ordinating the facility on and off-site
- Administering the contract
- Space control
- Inspecting lighting, plumbing, and electrical installations
- Securing all the safety systems
- Making provisions for emergencies
Some ‘Soft FM tasks’ are
- Controlling the health and safety concerns
- Securing the facility
- Provision of waste management services
- Budget administration and control
- Providing a buffer for all categories of staff
- Workspace management
The main concern of this article is to take a look at the advantages of hiring a local facility management service as opposed to employing international commercial building management services.
Thanks to technology, distance is not a factor (major or minor) that can really determine who can clinch a facility management job. Not any longer. Across the globe, today are multinational companies and agencies successfully transacting business in countries other than theirs.
Conversely too, the proximity of a facility building management firm to a property in need of professional management does not guaranty the security of the job. You as the employer hold the ace to decide who gets your approval, after careful consideration of a whole number of factors.
In-House Or Outsourced Facility Management?
Within your company, you may decide to pick someone from your workplace who will serve as your facility manager. However, the implication in a setting like this is that the ‘improvised’ facility manager may be overwhelmed by combining his new role with his basic duty.
On the other hand, you may choose to outsource the maintenance of your company or facility. Giving the job to an outsider could be to ensure effectiveness; at the same time, it will be at an extra cost to you.
Outlook On Australia’s Facilities Management Market
The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the entire world in 2020 did not spare Australia, with the attendant effect on its facilities management market being a negative growth.
According to One News Page, the pandemic has forced policies like reduced facility operation and work from home, in the facilities management market. In addition, the lack of outsourcing culture has brought about sharp price competition and reliance on in-house facilities management service delivery.
However, you, like every stakeholder in the facility management sector may begin to brace up towards 2022 when the market is expected to stabilise again.
Where The Local Facilities Manager Holds The Ace
Technology and social media blogger, Shaon Shahnewaz, in one of his posts, ‘The top 10 types of facility management, listed ‘Emergency Situation Preparedness’ as one of them. For you to be able to prepare adequately for an emergency, you would need to physically be on the ground.
Though the current COVID-19 pandemic encourages working from home with technological devices, the local facility manager would most probably still be found within his locality. The non-indigene counterpart, relying on the provision of work at home, maybe far from the country of his place of work, since, after all, the work at home rule is in force.
With Shahnewaz also listing workplace and employee wellness as one of his top 10 types of facility management, the local building manager is bound to be more at home here.
Most of the soft and hard tasks under areas of facility management are environmental in nature and these would require pragmatic solutions by a similarly-inclined manager. That environment is like the back of the local facility manager’s palm, which he knows very well.
The local facility management company would get things done faster than the non-indigenes firm. While the local facility management company would hit the ground running in its assignment, the ‘alien’ company may have issues thrashing out secondary issues.
Another edge the local facility management company has over the other is in the area of the budget. As a company around the area of operations, its budget is reduced. This is unlike its foreign counterpart which budget is likely to be higher. The implication of this is that the local facility management company’s quotation for a job would be lower than that of the ‘foreign’ company.
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