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What is Facilities Management? Responsibilities in 2020


Facilities Management responsibilities are evolving.

Over the past five years, the expectations tacked onto the job descriptions of facilities managers have risen both in number and complexity.

And it’s only going to continue down this path.

There is good news, though. By understanding the scope, being proactive about planning, and automating manual tasks, you can accomplish facilities management in the least amount of time, effort, and expense. 

In fact, a facilities management system has the opportunity to impact your business significantly, driving ROI and contributing to the bottom line. And because of that, we’re diving into what you need to know about facilities management in 2020 not just to survive, but to thrive.

Facilities Management Responsibilities in 2020

Facilities management is often treated as a bucket where miscellaneous or unwanted tasks get thrown. Because of this, expectations for what the department does have expanded. 

In fact, facilities management responsibilities in 2020 fall into 11 main categories:

  1. Leadership and strategy
  2. Operations and maintenance
  3. Finance and business
  4. Sustainability
  5. Project management
  6. Occupancy and human factors
  7. Real estate
  8. Facility Information Management & Technology Management
  9. Risk management
  10. Communication
  11. Performance and quality

While traditionally operations and maintenance have been a staple of facilities management, tasks related to areas such as sustainability are newer. Owning the strategy, project management, and performance of the team have also recently been added to the facility manager’s checklist.

Although this underlines the fact that more and more work is being placed on facilities management teams, it also means companies are looking to FM to influence how the business operates. In 2020, facilities management finally has a seat at the table to weigh in on important issues. 

While there’s a bright side to the increased workload, the truth is that for what is normally a small team, these facilities management responsibilities can be overwhelming. That’s where automation can help.

Automation to the Rescue

It’s time to stop clinging to spreadsheets and manual processes for facilities management. These tools are outdated and ridden with manual errors. They’re time-consuming to update, difficult to train new team members to use, and aren’t accessible by all stakeholders.

Spreadsheets just don’t work for facilities management.

What works? Automation. The 21st century has ushered in the dawn of technology that makes millions of jobs simpler, faster, and more accurate. 

This includes facilities management. 

With a snap, you can track contractors, staff, assets, work orders, service requests, locations, environmental conditions, and service level agreements. Anything you need tracked, managed, or stored is put on autopilot. 

Facilities managers oversee mountains of data every day. It just can’t be monitored succinctly using emails, spreadsheets and phone calls. Too much is going on and there are too many areas of responsibility to cover. 

Automating the entire process ensures busy facilities managers are doing their jobs correctly and consistently. Gone are the mistakes. Gone are the man-hours eaten up by manual data entry. Gone are the headaches caused by too many to-do list items.

Facilities management technology is a no-brainer.

Measuring Success

Perhaps one of the most recent additions to the list of facilities management responsibilities is measuring success. Performance and quality metrics are now something that need to be tracked and improved upon. 

Without these numbers, facilities managers can’t properly develop strategy, lead their teams, and improve their output. And without constantly improving numbers in the right areas, the place they’ve earned at the decision-making table will evaporate.

Teams should start simple when it comes to tracking and understanding the numbers. There are three main areas they can focus on for the most impact.

1. Maintenance Costs

Spend is, of course, going to be a main topic of concern. The facilities management department uses a lot of the budget in its daily routine. This includes parts for printers and appliances, as well as larger items such as building repairs, fixes to HVAC systems and lighting systems, and landscaping work. Facilities managers will have to estimate the cost of these repairs based on their knowledge of how much time it takes to maintain each item and how much time it will take someone to fully replace it, in addition to the cost of new parts.

2. Productivity Costs

Measuring productivity is tricky. But it can be done with specific expectations set for specific tasks. Start with chores your employees execute on a daily basis. These simple maintenance activities shouldn’t take more than a set time. Another metric to track in this section is down time. This can be related to a piece of equipment, the internet, or another technology the company uses. Assign a dollar amount to each hour related to these tasks so you can understand real bottom-line numbers when it comes to time lost or gained on productivity.

3. Sustainability Costs

Since sustainability is an industry-wide hot topic, it’s important for facilities managers to measure their competence in this area. While this may seem vague, there are actually concrete metrics you can tie to sustainability: electricity consumption, heating and cooling costs, water usage, and amount of recycled waste. Tracking all of these – and lowering them – will help facilities managers understand the company’s carbon footprint.

Conclusion: The Future of Facilities Management

Facilities management responsibilities in 2020 have inherited old tasks and welcomed new ones alike. This department is fast becoming the central nervous system of businesses, touching each team in a variety of roles.

Smart facilities managers understand the evolving expectations attached to their roles, rely heavily on automation as an extra set of arms to get the job done, and focus more time on measuring success in key areas. 

By doing this, they’ll be prepared to face the challenges of 2020 and proactively anticipate more of the changes undoubtedly headed their way in the future.

NETfacilities is a leader in facilities management software. With over 20 years in the industry, our team of experts has the know-how to help you tackle facilities management responsibilities in 2020 and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive, easy-to-use CMMS system, just schedule a demo today.