Facility management services encompass multiple specialities to ensure the functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology.
Facility management makes sure corporate and regulatory conformity plus the proper operation of all the facets of a building to create the finest optimal, safe, and cost-effective environment for the inhabitant to function. This is accomplished by managing the following activities.
- Health and Safety Issues:
The facilities management department in an organisation that is required to control and manage the many safety-related issues. Inability in doing so could lead to injury, prosecution, loss of business, and insurance claims. Worse, the confidence of investors and the customers may also be shaken by bad publicity that the media so yearns for.
- Fire Safety Concerns:
Threats that arise from breakout of fire have one of the highest risks to loss of life, and the possibility to damage, or the even end of business. The facilities management department will have in place maintenance, inspection, and testing for all of the fire safety gear and systems, keeping reports and certificates of conformity.
- Security Issues:
For any organisation, in this current volatile world scenario, security is of paramount importance to protect the employees and the company, and most times this falls under the wings of the facilities management department, especially this includes the maintenance of hardware infrastructure.
- Maintenance, Testing, and Inspection:
Maintenance, testing, and inspection schedules are needed to make certain that the organisation is safely and efficiently operated, to maximize the life of equipment used, and also to reduce the risk of breakdown. There are also statutory requirements that are needed to be met. The work is premeditated, frequently using a computer-aided facility management system.
- Housekeeping and Cleaning:
Cleaning operations are often undertaken after business hours, but stipulation could be made during times of work hours for the cleaning of toilets, stocking up consumables like soaps, toilet rolls, room fresheners, etc., and also debris picking and immediate response. Cleaning is planned on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
The facilities management department has the duty of running of the building, day in and day out. These tasks may be subcontracted or accomplished by directly-employed personnel. This being a policy issue, but because of the immediacy of the response needed in many of the activities concerned, the facilities manager will need to keep tight control, most times necessitating daily reports or an escalation system in place.
There are a few issues though that requires more than just periodic maintenance; for instance, issues that can halt or hinder the productivity of the business or those that have safety inference. Many of these are handled by the facilities management help desk. The help desk can be contacted either by telephone or E-mail. The reply to help desk calls are prioritized but could be as simple as lights are not working, too hot or too cold, rain water logging, coffee spills, photocopier jammed, critter intrusion, vending machine problems, etc.
Help desks may also be used to book meeting rooms, bike and car parking spaces, and a lot of other services, but this most of the times depends on how the facilities department is organised. The facilities department may be divided into two sections, often referred to as “soft” and “hard” services. Soft services would include reception, post room, cleaning, etc., whereas hard services include mechanical and electrical services.
The facilities management team will look to periodically re-tender their contracts, or at the very least standardise them to make sure that they are getting value for money. In order for this to happen, it is essential to have an up-to-date list of equipment or assets to send out with the tenders. This information is most times kept on the same computer as the maintenance schedule and updating may be overlooked as equipment gets changed, replaced, or new items installed. The asset register is also a vital tool for budgeting, used to for life cycle costing and for capital expenditure forecasting.
- Commercial Property Management:
The building may be owned by the occupier or leased. Leased properties will be subject to periodic rent reviews.
- Business Continuity Planning:
Every organisation should have in position a continuity plan so that in the occurrence of a fire or major failure, the business can recuperate quickly. In huge organisations, there could be a situation where the staff would need to move to another site that has been set up in order to model the existing operation. The facilities management department would be one of the main players should it be essential to move the business to a recovery site.
- Space Allocation and Changes:
In a lot of organisations, workplace structures are subject to repeated changes. This process is referred to as churn rate, shown as the percentage of the staff shifted during a year. These shifts are usually planned by the facilities management department using computer-aided design. Apart from meeting the needs of the business, conformity with statutory requirements related to office layouts include the minimum amount of the space to be provided per staff member; fire safety arrangements; lighting levels; signage; ventilation; temperature control, and welfare arrangements such as toilets and drinking water. Consideration may also be given to vending, catering, or a place where staff can make a drink and take a break from their desk.