How to Deliver Excellent Occupant Services
One of the greatest aspects of life is having a safe and conducive shelter over one’s head and when affordable a luxurious shelter it can be in form of a personal building rentage or lease what ever the case may be management of occupancy is ineveitable.as the world evolves a tremendous number of residential buildings, estates are being erected daily and that increases the demand for professionals that can manage these residential buildings and deliver an excellent occupancy service. But the rate at which these professionals can be found can not be match with the rate at which these buildings are being erected. And this is because of the skill gap that exist in the FM industry. It would be of great significance if we understand distinctly the what and why of occupant’s service are before diving into the how.
In the 2020 edition of IFMA operational and maintenance course, student guide the term occupant service was defined as anything that facility occupants or visitors might need beyond the operational maintenance of the hard assets of the building and its system. It further stated that these occupants or soft services are the critical activities through which the facility manager directly affect the user of the building when competently performed these activities are invisibles to occupants yet the occupant service themselves are highly visible and present the image of the organization to the rest of the world. Occupant services include but not limited to.
This involves light and deep cleaning of all parts of the building and its furnishings of indoor and outdoor environment, pools gyms panel room/mechanical room, warehouses and storage centers, etc. vacuuming, dusting trash removal and restroom refreshment.
This involves the collection, recycling, disposal/incineration of waste and hazardous materials
Such as provision of coffee, food ready-to eat, cafeteria, dining room, banquet etc.
Such as pickup, delivery, vehicle security, parking space management.
This involves vehicles cleaning, maintenance acquisition, lease, disposal, resale.
Such as reservations itinerary and transportations.
These includes personnel watch, protection, building access.
Such as fire, medical disaster, natural disaster, terrorism, hazardous substance, risk management
Such as media files.
Creating an asset register, and routine inventory of
Such as gardening, ornamentals, lawns, fountains etc.
Space Management and relocations
Such as moves and changes, shipping, unpacking, sorting, and setup.
Such as maintenance, operations, disposal, information management, like email and server support, planning, design, and so forth.
But these services vary according to the service level agreement of the contract with the demand organization. These services might even extend beyond the service a facility manager is expected to perform depending on the business.
In order to effectively manage and oversee these services the facility manager must first understand the service according to the service level agreement and what is in the scope to deliver and then determine what vendors or contractors to utilize and what technology or software to integrate as technology aid in the efficiency of management, from operations to maintenance, strategic decision making and even in managerial functions. These are some of the how of delivering an excellent occupant service.
1. Develop usage and Service level guidelines: Level of service refers to the amount and quality of service provided to meet the occupant or customer needs as stated in the contract of agreement between the facility management company and client or demand organization, without hindering the mission or profitability of the facility. The facility manager should create guideline for achieving the set service level even before assuming the contract and implementing it. service level happens to be one of the basic matrixes for performance measurement. So, for a facility manager performance to be excellent it must not be below the service level agreement.
2. Identify needs and expectation: the facility manager needs to clearly and distinctively understand the needs and the expectations of both the occupants or customers or client /demand organizations in order to ensure that the management is supplying the quality of service required. These services are to be delivered Without compromising the missions of the organizations but rather all task decisions from operational to strategic must aligns with the companies’ missions and visions. These needs can be gotten through survey or interviews from the occupant and then a plan will be crafted based on the analysis gotten and what is financially feasible to achieve.
3. Evaluate and communicate: these involves the accessing and evaluation of complaints these evaluations should be timely and responded to likewise to avoid escalation at all costs. There should also be a proper and immediate communication of the workflow and process between affected parties. proper communication goes beyond responding to complains but in the general management process passing of information with clients, communication with team and so on these should be done timely and at the required pace.
4. Proactiveness: this is vital in all managerial process, beginning from operational to strategic level it involves creating and implementing an operational and maintenance schedule/plan. adopting and implementing the maintenance plan that is suitable across your portfolio. I could be either preventive, predictive or reliability centered maintenance plan. according to what suit the asset and cost effective. This is to aid the outmost performance of all assets that are used by the occupants, prevent frequent breakdown at a cost-effective rate.
5. Implement plans: Occupant service plans should formalize service satisfactions requirements so that expectations are clear. this helps to make the delivery of occupant service measurable, consistent and of recognized quality just as with the O&M service that sustain the building system and equipment.
6. Measure Performance: the importance of performance measurement can never be over emphasize as it stands as the bed rock of improvement. performance can be measured and improve by the following;
• Monitor parameters
• Check progress/benchmark
• Correct variances and variations
7. Determine and apply standards: every industry like the facility management industry have set standards, policies, rules and regulations. Which needs to be understood and meets. These standards can serve as basis for measuring results and are a way to identify trends that might suggest the need for change.