Facilities Management – Everything You Need to Know

For a business to operate as best as it can, it’s essential that it uses its physical spacing and infrastructure as efficiently as possible — which is where our Facilities Management Online Courses come in. Facilities managers are responsible for managing all workspaces and equipment in a business, including maintaining and upgrading them to maximize productivity.

Facilities management can be defined as the upkeep and improvement of the physical infrastructure and built environments of the business. That said, here is everything you need to know about facilities management.

Why are facilities managers important?

The exact role of facilities management varies from company to company based on the size of the business, the industry it works in and their goals as an organization. Larger companies can be especially reliant on them due to the size and complexity of their operations, which is why they may outsource the role to a dedicated facility management firm to ensure the highest standards.

Regardless of whether the role is handled by an internal specialist or an external facilities management company, facility managers play a vital role across many aspects of the business.

Maintaining and improving efficiency

One of the most important responsibilities of facility managers is to maximize the efficiency of the business by monitoring the daytoday operation, maintenance and management of workspaces so that they continue to run efficiently. They may also play a part in space planning, ensuring that space allocation is designed to optimize different departments.

A good facility manager helps to keep productivity high by implementing effective workplace management systems and ensuring that the employees’ experience at work is a positive one, in turn helping the company reach its goals.

Ensuring safety

Various EHS (environment, health and safety) measures need to be strictly followed to keep employees safe, prevent accidents and keep workspaces operational. Facility managers are equipped with the knowledge and training to maintain proper health and safety standards in order to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. This in turn keeps the facility safe and productive.

To ensure safety, facility managers make sure that all building systems and equipment are functioning safely, procedures are being followed, and all surfaces and systems are conditioned for the weather. Doing so ensures that workspaces are well-maintained and safe for their occupants.

Minimising costs

An effective facility manager has detailed knowledge of the daily running of their business, and so they can help to streamline operations to reduce cost. They can do this through facilities upkeep and management to maximize productivity, track budgets and expenses to avoid overspending, removing overlapping or redundant services and operations, negotiating more favorable contracts with suppliers, and replacing existing assets or technology with more efficient options.

Strategic planning

Thanks to their hands-on knowledge of daily operations, facilities managers are well placed to help upper management to plan and strategize. They can help to find the necessary vendors and resources for projects, collect and analyze data on productivity in different areas of the business, and create new strategies to improve output and productivity.

Facility managers also play a key role in business continuity planning to identify and create continuity plans for potential threats to the company’s operation.

 

 

What are the primary roles of facilities managers?

There are a number of facility management tasks that are vital to a business’ operation. The specifics of these tasks may vary depending on the type of facility management in question, but the following activities make up the general scope of facilities management responsibilities.

Manage daily operations

The main responsibility of facility managers is ensuring that the day to day operations of the business are carried out effectively. They carry out inspections of workspaces and equipment, direct a maintenance team to respond to technical issues, and coordinate with workers and administrative staff to deal with any problems that arise.

Assets management, proactive maintenance and building management

In some ways a facility manager’s role overlaps with property management, in that keeping track of equipment and facilities that need repairing, replacing or upgrading is another critical task for facility managers. As well as keeping an inventory of all of their facility’s assets, they also need to plan and research potential replacements for equipment and systems which may increase productivity.

They are also in charge of scheduling necessary building maintenance activities to minimize disruption to the business and workers. This should include not just reactive maintenance to fix problems as they arise, but also preventive maintenance measures to avoid issues occurring in the first place. It’s therefore important for facilities managers to take a proactive property maintenance strategy to reduce maintenance costs.

Manage partnerships with third parties

Another of the functions of facilities management is to handle the company’s dealings with vendors and other third parties to guarantee the business has access to the right resources through contract management.

They negotiate contracts with third parties and ensure the company’s needs are fulfilled. As such, they are essential in developing and maintaining good working relationships between the company and its suppliers and other associates.

Handle emergency issues

A facilities manager puts contingency measures in place for emergency situations in order to maintain the safety and security of the facility and its workers. Preparing for emergencies may involve keeping physical systems like fire safety alarms in working order and implementing building security systems, or establishing processes such as evacuation instructions.

Plan for the future

As well as the day to day operation of their facility, facilities managers also need to look at the bigger picture, helping upper management to plan ahead to meet the company’s long term goals. They may help to plan and present future projects, or provide technical advice on what resources the company may need to meet its future aims.

 

 

What skills does a facilities manager need?

To fulfil their duties effectively, facility managers need a number of skills. These are often split into “hard facilities management” or “hard FM” skills (detailed technical knowledge and skills specific to facilities management) and “soft facilities management” or “soft FM” skills (more general skills which can serve a facility manager well). Both hard and soft FM skills are vital to keeping the business running effectively.

Communication skills

A facilities manager should have good communication skills and the ability to empathize with others, as much of their job involves coordinating with others, whether they be managers, workers or third parties.

They need to be able to communicate effectively with workers in order to direct smooth operation and address any problems; coordinate with upper management teams to create future strategies; and effectively reason and negotiate with vendors and third party associates to ensure the company’s needs are met.

Leadership skills

It’s essential for a facilities manager to be a good leader who can guide and oversee daily operations and maintenance planning. They should be able to influence and assist workers in their facilities to fulfil their roles and responsibilities and to meet the company’s goals. It is vital for facilities managers to be able to handle stressful situations and guide others through them, as they are a figure of authority to whom other workers will look to when problems arise.

Problem solving

In any company, problems will inevitably occur, which is why a facilities manager must be skilled in handling and overcoming unforeseen problems. They must identify the cause of problems and utilize critical thinking skills to figure out how to solve them. This might mean trying different methods of problem solving to find the right approach, considering different perspectives when necessary, and gathering and analyzing data to find solutions.

Technical skills

As well as soft skills, facilities managers should be trained in technical skills to aid them in maintaining and improving the running of their facility. For example, they should be experienced with Computer Aided Facilities Management software (CAFM software) and Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) to allow them to monitor maintenance and operation issues digitally.

Facility managers can also use their technical skills to implement an integrated workplace management system to further optimize the use of workplace resources. This type of facilities management system integrates people, processes and data through an online platform, allowing much easier tracking and management of daily operations.

Facilities management qualifications

There are a number of facility manager and facility maintenance certifications offered by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the global accreditation organisation for the industry. These may not be necessary for every role, but can help establish a facilities manager as a trained professional. These certifications include:

  • Facilities Management Professional (FMP): The basic level of facilities management training.
  • Certified Facility Manager (CFM): Demonstrates more advanced knowledge.
  • Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP): Expertize in sustainability practices.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate: Proficiency in sustainable design, construction, energy management and operations.

These certifications can help open the door to more senior roles. For example, higher-ranking positions may require candidates to be facility management professionals or have a facilities management CFM.

Facility manager salary

Facilities managers have access to high salary ranges even at the start of their career path - the average base salary for facilities management is $63,389 per year, compared to the national average salary of $51,168. The overall average facilities manager salary, meanwhile, is $100,008, and the most experienced facilities managers earn upwards of $127,000.

A facilities manager salary can vary based on the manager’s experience, qualifications and time in the role, as well as their specific role titles, jobs and career paths. As a comparison of what different facility management roles can expect to earn, here are some of the salaries for different facilities jobs:

  • Facilities maintenance technicians earn starting salaries of between $41,296 and $52,786 at lower levels, rising to $55,488-$68,462 for the most experienced technicians.
  • Facilities engineering roles have an average salary of $77,000, although the overall pay range is between $55,000 and $108,000.
  • A maintenance supervisor can expect to earn roughly $53,550.
  • Asset management is one of the higher paying facilities jobs, with a pay range of $48,000-$117,000 and an average salary of $73,000.
  • Office manager salaries average $80,482.
  • Administrative services managers earn an average $63,000 per year, with a pay range of $43,000-$92,000.
  • The average operations manager makes between $80,338 and $108,776 each year.
  • A facilities coordinator will usually make between $49,053 and $62,670.
  • A director of facilities is one of the most senior facilities management jobs, and can earn anywhere between $99,413 and $166,385 depending on the company.

The median salaries listed are only estimates, and in real terms may vary due to the cost of living in different locations, but if you’re job searching and you come across job openings for facilities management positions, then it might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Enroll in an online facility management course today

A facility management career can result in an extremely rewarding salary with a wide range of exciting job promotional opportunities. The decision to become a facility manager will ultimately come down to your qualifications, technical skills that are best suited for your personal career aspirations.

To kickstart your veterinary career, enroll in the Courses for Success ‘Facilities Management Online Courses’. This course will help gain all of the knowledge and skills that’ll prepare you to become a facility manager. kickstart your facility manager career, right from the comfort of your own home. Check out the course units of study and enroll today.

The CFS Team
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