Everyone is a facility manager. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Each and one of us are facility managers to some extent. But how?
Imagine your house. Now imagine it not being cleaned periodically, the lighting not functioning, the sanitary equipment broken, grass not cut, unpaid utility bills, etc. We are all facility managers – but at a smaller scale. We manage the daily requirements of our living facilities. So how does this apply at larger scales?
Millions of square meters to attend to
Now imagine that your house has around 100.000 square meters and complex electrical, HVAC, sanitary, metering equipment and systems. Also, some hundred types of regulations from fire protection to functioning permits that need to be respected in acceptance to the law. Additionally, you have a relatively small budget to make sure everything is 100% functional and working in an optimum manner, and also that you are fully compliant with the current legislation. On top of that, add several thousands of neighbours (tenants) that have various needs that need your attention.
This seems like a big step up from managing your own house, but how can anyone manage thousands of square meters of complex and unfriendly real estate construction?
The daily business of a Facility Manager
We are all facility managers – but keep in mind, only to some extent. Facility professionals are trained individuals with solid technical background and exceptional managerial skills. This is true, at least in theory. The activities of facility managers vary from one country to another, from one continent to another, but their main focus is to maintain and ensure proper functioning of the facility that they handle.
Of course, thousands or millions of square meters cannot be maintained by a single person. Teamwork is key when handling complex real estate structures. Facility managers have teams – teams that are usually made of one or several assistant managers and on-site technicians, cleaning, security and gardening staff. The complexity of the teams vary according to the complexity of the facility.
But what does a professional facility manager do all day? The answer is hard to define at general scale. In short, he makes sure every system and equipment, that are in his care, are functioning perfectly and tenants / beneficiaries requirements are met in a timely manner. He also tends to his teams, ensures project management for fit-out works, delivers maintenance reports, reacts promptly to daily deficiencies, creates maintenance plans for equipment and systems, oversees cleaning, gardening and security activities, ensures health and safety measures are applied by his teams but also by third party contractors that execute works on his facilities, etc. Also, he does that within a budget.
To conclude, we are all facility managers. But that is true only to some extent.
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