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11/05/2012

What Does a Facility Manager Manage?

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Just what do facility managers manage?  It's more appropriate to ask what they don't do, since their responsibilities are often varied in scope.

The question is paradoxical in nature, because although the answer is simple and finite in one regard – i.e., “the facility” – it is actually vast and seemingly endless.

As budgets continue to tighten, and with increasing regulations dictating decisions, it is helpful to analyze the wide-reaching responsibilities of facilities management teams.

Day-to-day Tasks Are Important

Operations and maintenance represent a major effort that needs to be organized well and made to run like clockwork.

“A medium-sized, major headquarters can have 50,000 requests for service annually and four times that number of preventive maintenance items corrected,” notes The Facility Management Handbook Third Edition.

The space occupied must be tended to at all times. That requires systems to be maintained, repaired, altered, or renovated constantly. Furniture is moved or swapped out. Lighting fixtures are relamped. HVAC systems break down. Operations and maintenance are a high volume part of the business.

Dollars, Sense, and the Bottom Line

Planning and budgeting are an important aspect of FM responsibility, but sometimes it gets overlooked.

Many facilities managers cling to their technical backgrounds where it would benefit them to be more business-oriented. Treat FM as a business – gather systems requirements, arrange them into programs, and finalize them in a budget.

Be proactive instead of reactive. Familiarize yourself with strategic and annual planning. Doing so will help you prioritize various goals and projects, as well as anticipate costs and expenditures. Facility planning should be an integral part of the organization’s business plan, not just an add-on, the handbook advises.

Sustainability Equates to Viability

Going green isn’t a fad. In fact, it’s an essential part of the job that has far-reaching benefits.

Among the major benefits of going green are reduced costs, improved employee satisfaction, and an enhanced business image. Use lifecycle analysis and other facts about carbon emissions and energy consumption to organize a sustainability program that’s in synch with your organization’s goals.

Becoming more sustainable and energy efficient achieves both short- and long-term savings, giving the facility manager a brand new area of focus. In fact, sustainability manager and energy manager are new job titles that are becoming more and more common on facilities management teams.

Be Prepared and Secure in Case of Emergency

Emergency preparedness is a managerial function that commonly falls on the facility manager’s shoulders. You should have a proper framework in place within your organizational community to reduce vulnerability to hazards and disasters. The safety of both the facility and its occupants is essential to smooth operations.

Any facility in any location is can be subjected to nature’s forces, technological failures, or man-made destruction, the handbook notes. Security programs enable you to prepare your company for worst-case scenarios. Your facility needs to be protected from any disastrous occurrence, whether it’s a fire or vandalism.

Implementation May Require Partners and Technology

Unless you can apply all the technical aspects of the profession effectively and efficiently, you won’t be successful in your role of facility manager.

You must be a skilled communicator and know when it’s appropriate to outsource or partner on certain projects. Know how to best utilize your existing personnel and when it’s time to call in reinforcements.

Technology also helps with communication and other aspects of facilities management. Building control systems and information technology will become essential to your performance if they haven’t already.

Looking Ahead

What does a facility manager do? You’re responsible for operations and maintenance, budget and business planning, lifesafety and security, and so on. Buildings are commonly likened to living, breathing entities, and you’re responsible for keeping it alive.

By implementing sustainability practices and energy efficiency measures, your role is growing, but so is the longevity of your building.

Sure, a facility manager manages a facility. That, and so much more.

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
04/16/2014

The U.S. Army plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25% of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

04/15/2014

The EPA's annual greenhouse gas emissions report is now available.

04/14/2014

Are you what some would call a “climate-change denier”? If so, you'll want to read this.

04/10/2014
Los Angeles has remained the top city for ENERGY STAR certified building since 2008, while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new list released by the EPA.
04/09/2014
Green construction has grown massively over a short period of time.
04/07/2014
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy-efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the U.S. Navy, helping it meet energy goals.
04/03/2014
Building owners in Chicago now have more options when it comes to getting their building energy data verified.
04/01/2014
According to a new report from Eaton, such outages are up 15% in 2013 over 2012 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.
03/31/2014
The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aims to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing, and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
03/27/2014
Facility managers face an every expanding array of sustainability choices and challenges, but for the next generation of FMs, green practices could be second nature as sustainability literacy enters the K-12 school system.
03/25/2014
While the economic recession explains the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to fall.
03/24/2014
University of Washington (UW) scientists have built the thinnest known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
03/21/2014
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2378 into law, effectively enacting the state’s first building code.
03/19/2014
In an attempt to improve building energy performance, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a web-based tool called the Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx.
03/18/2014
Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?
03/13/2014
Worried about workplace violence in your facility? Researchers have discovered that “mindfully observing” high-risk employees can avert danger and workplace violence.
03/11/2014
Through the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program, every dollar the DOE has spent on building energy codes over the past two decades has resulted in $400 in energy cost savings.
03/07/2014
It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space, according to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
03/05/2014
Is your building prepared to handle an emergency?
03/04/2014
NASCAR revealed five newly installed charging stations for employee use.
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