Controlling And Functions Of Facilities Management
We recently talked about the broad scope of facilities management organization and how there are a multitude of functions that go into running a property. For many businesses, these functions are spread across several departments. But for smaller businesses that have a dedicated facilities manager, effective facility management controlling is essential to ensuring everything gets done using the optimal combination of resources.
Facility management functions can be broken down into four primary components: buildings, people, processes, and technology that go into managing and maintaining a building.
Let’s take a look at each.
The What: Buildings
Maintaining the physical building is one of the most commonly known functions of facility management. And outside of employee compensation, facility maintenance is the largest expense that most companies incur.
Buildings must be maintained for many reasons. Critical systems like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC must be maintained to find and fix minor issues before they become costly repairs or replacement. Landscaping and parking lots must be maintained for the safety of customers and employees and to make a good first impression. Windows must be washed, trash must be emptied, and bathrooms must be cleaned. Seasonal tasks like snow removal and spring landscape cleanup must be anticipated and scheduled in advance. Even projects like keeping office furniture and decor in good condition and up to date is a task for facility management.
While some businesses have dedicated employees to perform these building maintenance tasks, most contract with third-party local vendors. This adds an additional layer to facility management: vendor management.
Searching for local vendors, vetting them, and reviewing multiple RFPs is a big task. Once you settle on a vendor, you have to schedule service calls, coordinate internal scheduling, and possibly purchase parts or materials in advance of the work. At the end of the month, you have a pile of invoices, all with different terms, that have to be processed and paid in order to maintain good standing with your preferred vendors. Every year, you (ideally) need to revisit every contract and look for ways to save money or improve processes.
The Why: People
Buildings exist to house a business’s operations, whether that’s manufacturing or production, retail, healthcare, or professional services. But computers don’t particularly care about the building around them — people do.
One of the primary objectives of facility management is to create a safe, comfortable, and accomodating environment for people: your employees, customers, and visitors.
There are many facility management tasks related to people, such as developing floor plans to optimize interior space, coordinating seating arrangements and employee workstations, and facilitating department moves and fit-outs into new spaces. Facility management is typically responsible for maintaining an employee directory, creating emergency plans, and training employees to be aware of them. Even tasks like building security and access control to ensure employees have appropriate access to certain areas of the building are part of facility management. And when you have thousands of employees, something like access control could easily be a full-time job itself.
The How: Processes
With so many functions to coordinate, it’s essential to have clearly defined processes in place and to make sure employees know what those processes are and how to follow them.
Clearly-defined and documented processes keep a business organized, minimizes frustration between employees and facility management, and helps accomplish tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Your business will dictate the types of processes needed, but typically there needs to be processes for submitting work orders (whether for a broken office chair or a security card needed for a new employee), processes for emergency planning and business continuity, processes for building visitors, and if applicable, processes for reserving meeting spaces and AV equipment. As part of each process, there will likely be touchpoints where other departments play a role — like IT, human resources, or security.
In addition to managing existing processes, facility management is also responsible for identifying opportunities to create new processes. For example, many companies had to adopt new processes and policies around cleaning, social distancing, and visitors during the pandemic — all of which would fall to facilities management to handle.
The Where: Technology
Facilities management records, plans, and processes no longer live in spreadsheets and filing cabinets (or at least they shouldn’t!). More than ever, it’s critical that facility managers adopt workplace management software and other technology to help them automate and streamline processes and make data-driven decisions.
Good facility maintenance software provides work order management, maintenance planning, and safety compliance, but any software is only good if you use it to its fullest potential. Part of facility management is working with IT to research technology that fits your budget, is easy to use, and will deliver a clear ROI.
IoT devices are one type of technology that can be integrated into many of your facility processes. Because IoT devices are constantly collecting data, facility managers can use this information to make decisions about maintenance, repairs, process improvements, and to understand how the facility can better serve your employees.
A good facility manager knows that the building, people, processes, and technology go hand-in-hand to create an accommodating environment while helping the business achieve greater productivity and efficiency.
Trillium Makes Facilities Management Simple
We can’t take away all the pain points of facilities management, but we sure can put a dent in them!
Trillium Facility Solutions a full-service provider with a nationwide network of vetted vendors standing by ready to help your business operate more efficiently. We offer 24/7/365 support with a 1 vendor, 1 call, 1 invoice business model to simplify your life. We’ve even created a proprietary facility management software called SimpleFM that further automates the process and allows you to submit and manage work orders at any time and from anywhere.
Find out why more businesses are trusting their facility management services to Trillium Facility Solutions. Get in touch with any of our amazing team members who are standing by ready to serve! Call (844) 818-5713 to learn more.