If you’ve landed on our blog here at Infraspeak, you’ve surely heard about facility management. But in a field as broad as facility management, it’s not always easy to understand exactly what a facility manager does. So today, we’re facing this question head-on: after all, what is facility management?
What does facility management consist of?
Facility management is mainly divided into two types — the first is the maintenance of facilities and buildings, which includes the organization of space, equipment maintenance and the management of routine tasks, among others. The second is the management of organizations and people, which covers catering, cleaning, human resources, and IT and communications.
By properly maintaining a company’s assets and optimizing 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. And when customers are happy, they return, give referrals and your business grows sustainably.
Let’s get practical: what are the real day-to-day changes?
The benefits we mentioned above are capable of sparking the interest of any manager. But what does it mean in practice? What implications will a routine infrastructure management system have? It depends on your company and your needs, of course. Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you manage a hotel with 300 rooms. Your cleaning staff needs to know which rooms are going to be vacated, where do you need to replace a light bulb and which guest requested an extra blanket.
Generally, each guest communicates directly with the reception. The reception then relays the information to the person in charge of the cleaning staff, who, in turn, has to forward the request to the person in charge of each wing. Finally, the last employee in charge of executing the task will be informed. In all, there are at least 4 steps and 3 opportunities for communication failure. Not to mention, this also requires each person in the chain of communication to spend time on the same particular task.
That’s one way to do it (but please don’t). The more efficient way is to have a computerized infrastructure management system where information can enter the system directly and schedule tasks automatically.
Let’s now consider a shopping center, for example. When what’s at stake is a facility where hundreds of people work, nothing can fail. Maintenance teams need to control escalators, elevators, the cleaning of common areas, the alarm setups and beware of periodic inspections, 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 in the maintenance team. All of this under the watchful eye of the maintenance manager, of course, who can spot errors and knows how to improve the machine that’s keeping the company running.