Let’s Rewind — What is Facility Management?

If you’ve landed on our blog here at Infraspeak, you’ve invariably heard of facility management. But in such a broad field, it’s not always easy to understand exactly what a facility manager does. Today, once and for all, we will answer the big question: What is Facility Management?

What does facility management consist of?

Facility management is divided into two main categories.  The first is the maintenance of facilities and buildings which includes the organisation of space, equipment maintenance and the management of routine tasks and interventions. The second is the management of organisations and people, which covers catering, cleaning, human resources, IT and communications.

By properly maintaining a company’s assets and optimising routine tasks, facility management will contribute to healthier profit margins. But wait, there’s more. Facility management is also at the core of good customer service. A happy customer is far more likely to return to your company or refer you to their clients and friends, which in turn leads to organic growth for your company.

Let’s get practical: what are the real day-to-day changes?

These benefits should tickle the fancy of any manager. But what does it actually mean in practice? What are the implications of a infrastructure management system? It depends on your company and your needs. Let’s imagine that you manage a hotel with 300 rooms. Your cleaning staff need to know which rooms are going to be empty, where to replace a light bulb and which guests requested an extra blanket.

Generally, each guest communicates directly with the receptionist. The receptionist then relays this information to the person in charge of the cleaning staff, who then has to forward the request to the person in charge of each wing. Finally, the employee in charge of executing the actual task will be informed. In total, there are at least 4 steps which equates to at least 3 opportunities for communication failure.  Not to mention the time wasted as each step of this complex process is executed.

There is way and then there is the more efficient way. A computerised infrastructure management allows you to automatically input information directly into the database and skips out all the bureaucracy involved in the scenario described above.

Now let’s consider the case of a shopping centre. This is a facility which caters to the needs of hundreds employees and where there is very little allowance for failure. Maintenance teams need to control escalators, elevators, the cleaning of common areas, alarms among many other tasks. Can you imagine monitoring all of this manually?

As companies grow, acquire more equipment and expand their teams, there is less room for error. Facility management is essential to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that there is real synergy between everyone on the maintenance team.