The management and maintenance of large commercial buildings, institutional buildings, office complexes, factories and other kinds of buildings is known as facilities management. And, the people who carry out these activities are known as the facilities managers.
A lot of people do not tend to be aware of what facilities managers do, and the responsibilities and tasks that fall upon the shoulders of these people.
Facilities management activities usually vary from company to company depending on the size and the type of organization. But here is a list of key responsibilities that tend to be common to most businesses:
- Purchasing and maintaining the equipment that the organization needs
- Safety and security precautions
- Maintenance, purchasing and repair of office furniture and vehicles
- Maintenance of office building
- Vendor management
- Cleaning and lighting
- Janitorial tasks
- Office fit outs
- Utilities and communication infrastructure etc.
There may be other activities covered within the scope depending on the structure of the organization that the facilities manager may need to perform or supervise.
It is also important to discuss that these services can be owned and managed by the organisation. This means that the business will have to take care of all aspects of the management of its facilities in addition to carrying out its daily operations.
Alternatively, there are many companies that instead of hiring their own facilities manager outsource these responsibilities to facilities management companies. These professional service provider companies have experienced and qualified employees who can manage the facilities of different kinds of organizations in an expert manner.
Once a company outsources the responsibility to an independent service provider it can concentrate on the main activities of the business without having to worry about the non-core activities.
The service providers are then responsible for making sure that the office building or the organizational space is properly equipped and everything that is required for the organization to operate well is present and available at all times. It is the job of the specialist service provider to make sure that the employees are provided with an appropriate and effective working environment.
Whether to outsource these responsibilities or not is solely the decision of the management of the organization. This decision depends on many different factors for example:
- the nature of the organization it is,
- the size
- and the number of buildings it owns.
Smaller organizations usually do not bother with outsourcing these responsibilities.
Whatever the context, this is a very important undertaking that enables the core business function. As such, any decision relating to it must be taken with a lot of caution.
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