THE FUTURE OF WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT – FACILITY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

facility-management-servicesAs the nature and objectives of emerging business establishments are undergoing radical change to stay afloat in volatile economic scenarios, the ways of managing all the aspects associated with the business of a company are also evolving. Any business enterprise is established not only on the apparently short-term simple objective of Profit-earning, but also making sure that the activities undertaken by the company are sustainable so as to be productive in the long run. In order to achieve harmonious operation of all the functionalities of a business, companies are seriously considering implementation of the emerging scientific discipline of Facility Management or Facility Management Services (FMS). These services involve management of all the supporting components of a business, so as to optimize its primary functions, enhance its productivity, and give the company a definite and measurable competitive edge in a particular business sector. Since, the functioning and requirements of different business sectors vary so do the implementation and scope of Facility Management Services in relation to them.

Fundamentals of Facility Management

The operations of any business enterprise comprise of broadly two types of activities or aspects – Core & Non-core. Whereas the Core business activities take into account the products of the business, which can be any commercial product or services/business solutions provided by the company at specified costs, the Non-core activities encompass all the supporting activities, like real estate and HVAC maintenance, cleaning, security, and health & safety of staff. Facility Management relates to the optimization of the latter type of business activities with the aim of enhancing performance or output of the former activities. Earlier, companies could distinguish between the two fundamental activities, but did not appreciate their interrelationship. The significance of the Non-core activities lies in their ability to add value to the Core activities, if properly managed. This is the essence of Facility Management Services. The effective implementation of FMS at corporate level of a business firm can achieve realization of Strategic & Operational objectives of the company.

Standard Definition of Facility Management

Although there is no consensus on a standard definition of Facility Management, in 2006 all 29 European countries of EU agreed to use the following official definition of facility management: “Integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.” (EN15221-1: 2006 Facility Management – Part 1: Terms and definitions)

Advantages offered by Facility Management Services

Although there are various distinct advantages associated with the use of Facility Management Services, the most important of them are as follows:

Ø   Enhancement of productivity of a business by improving efficiency by adding value to the Core activities and reducing downtime expenses

Ø   Minimization of the Running Cost of a company

Ø   Reducing losses associated with mismanagement of Non-core activities

Ø   Creation of a better and efficient workplace environment for employees, in terms of Occupational Health, Safety, and Work Culture

Ø   Ameliorating the image of an organization so as to instill faith among its current and prospective clients

Business Sectors requiring FMS and scope of work for Facility Managers

Depending upon the type of business that a company is into, and its scope of work, the specific requirements and mode of execution of Facility Management Services vary. Some of business sectors using FMS are as follows:

·   Real Estate

·   Retail & Shopping Malls

·   Offices of companies belonging to IT, telecommunications, and other service sectors

·   Hospitals & Medical Clinics

·   Chemical Manufacturing Units, Quality Control Laboratories

·   Embassies & Hotel Chains

·   Schools & Universities

·   Sports Complexes

·   Recreational parks & Resorts

The scope of responsibilities for Facilities Managers is extremely varied and the services provided by them can include the following:

·      Business Management, both Operational & Strategic

·      Business Support

·      Installation Services

·      Optimum utilization of Space, Interior Designing

·      Health and Safety Audits of cafeteria, kitchens etc.

·      Ensuring Compliance of the organizational activities with the various regulatory       requirements

·      Ensuring overall cleanliness of the organization

·      Security

·      Performance Measurement

·      Procurement

·      Property Management

·      Strategic Planning and Advice

·      Outsourcing

·      Business Relocation

·      Utilities and Services

Future scope of Facility Management

Successful organizations in future will approach FM as an integral part of their strategic plan. The success of business organizations in the future will depend heavily on the way they implement the discipline of Facility Management to manage their core and non-core activities. The implementation can be done either by hiring experienced FMS professionals or by outsourcing the work to companies specializing in this field. Outsourcing can be a better option for companies who can not afford to hire these professionals due to limited finance. Companies specializing in FM can develop customized services to satisfy a firm’s business needs and consolidate its support activities. It must be kept in mind that FM is a scientific discipline and various standards are being drafted to make its implementation meaningful. Proper understanding and application of FMS can make a company achieve its objective using optimum quantity of its resources.

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