During a visit to the home of a friend of mine who happened to be a pediatrician, I was privileged to be an active listener in a conversation between a close doctor friend and his patient who also happened to be a friend. For about an hour, the patient kept complaining about how much money she has spent on her child but the effect of the capital expended on taking care of the child is not reflecting on the physical well-being of the child. All the while she was complaining, this doctor kept mute and just listened. She also was planning on increasing the amount that was budgeted to be spent on the said child may be the result will be obvious, the child will be able to actively compete with other children in his class or even outshine them when they are pitched against each other. After a while, the doctor started by saying he understands how concerned she was but the question wasn’t if she was investing in her child but was she investing right? Giving the child, a balanced diet is one but not the only way to enable the proper growth, others include exercises, adequate rest, recreations, games and social interaction. And after this, the woman realized that she has only been one-sided in her method of taking care of the child and if not for the discussion the child would have been malnourished in care.
The same goes for facilities we own, to get the best out of it, we need to take care of it in the best possible way not only based on how much we spent building it but taking care of it. A facility is likened to a child that needs to be fed, loved, clothed and even given medical check. In a nutshell, the role of a pediatrician to a child is the same as the role of a facility manager to a facility.
Facilities management varies from one organization to another but the core responsibilities are to ensure a good working environment while maximizing efficiency and minimizing expenses. The use of a variety of skills and experience in a different aspect of management which includes but not limited to finance, operations and real estate by the Facilities manager enables him to achieve this in the most professional way. The duties of a facilities managers are a mix of daily tasks such as monitoring climate control systems and long-term projects such as requests for bids on new office space or buildings.
From a general perspective, these are the 4 major roles of a Facilities manager:
As a facility manager, one’s major duty is to be deeply involved in the everyday management of maintenance of facilities in the premises. These duties extend beyond just managing the building, it also includes the management role; organizing these employees into teams to meet the goals of the business. You also may work to develop and implement employee schedules and deal with any minor problems that arise between employees. As a facility manager, you are also responsible for complying with all local and state safety requirements for the building including employee training, facility inspections and security of the premises.
Maintenance is an all-encompassing category that includes the building, premises and any equipment located on the property. It is one of the most important priorities for the facility manager to make sure that all of these areas are properly maintained and kept in good working order. Also, he responsible for the cleanliness of the property, making sure that any vending or catering that takes place on premises meets code requirements, and managing the space in the building so that it is used efficiently.
Facility managers are in charge of negotiating contracts with clients and vendors who work on company property. These contracts can range from advertising to lawn care and catering. Before agreeing to contract services from a vendor, as a facility manager, you obtain bids for the service from different providers to make sure that your facility is receiving the maximum benefit for the money that is being spent. Once a price is agreed upon, you are responsible for drafting and reviewing any necessary contracts as well as preparing documentation or presentations on the work being done for company owners. Once work has commenced, you must make sure that the work is completed on time and according to the contracted agreement. This part the responsibility of a facilities manager that is being undermined and not allowed full expression
Another large part of the facility manager’s responsibility is to manage operational costs. You have to search out ways to cut costs while adequately maintaining the business premises. You have to create a budget for all expenditures from your department and work throughout the year to keep costs within the budgeted amount, making adjustments on an emergency basis. As a facility manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that the business is budgeting effectively and that every expenditure works toward creating a more efficient work environment.
In conclusion, the responsibilities of a facilities manager span several departments. The manager can work with human resources to coordinate hiring plans with workspace availability, with the maintenance department for basic cleaning and housekeeping as well as for implementing and upgrading HVAC systems, and with corporate communications to transmit information to employees and the outside world. Ideally, the facilities manager has a sophisticated understanding of finance as well as hands-on knowledge of facilities including lighting, indoor air quality, windows and computer networking. The facilities manager often works with outside contractors such as caterers, vending services, architects or construction companies and is expected to keep abreast of government regulations on worker health and safety.