Facilities Management: The foundation for efficient and productive workplaces

Are you tired of dealing with the day-to-day problems of maintaining your commercial buildings? From water damage to electrical faults, facilities management can be a major challenge.

But what if there was a way to simplify these processes so you could get back to focusing on growing your business? Yes, with the right approach, you can turn your buildings and facilities from a source of stress and cost into a competitive advantage.

In this article, you will learn about all aspects of facilities management, including the different departments, how to make facilities management efficient, and all the important trends and developments you should not miss.

List of contents

What is Facilities Management?

Facility management involves the coordination of people, machines and processes to ensure that buildings function properly.

What is the meaning of facility management?

In practice, facility management means keeping buildings and their equipment in good condition and using them efficiently. Whatever the industry, facility management ensures that:

  • the operation remains in order
  • employees are safe
  • productivity is increased
  • the workplace remains friendly and welcoming to staff and customers

Who benefits from facility management?

Basically, any organisation that owns or leases a physical facility or infrastructure can benefit from facility management services. Facility management is particularly important for office buildings, hospitals, schools, factories and airports, for example.

This includes both private and public organisations, from small businesses to large corporations and government agencies.

The main areas of facilities management

There are several departments within Facilities Management that make a significant contribution to the efficient organisation and maintenance of buildings and facilities.

It is important that the facility management departments complement each other in the best possible way to ensure the holistic management of properties and facilities.

Working together, they ensure that both the technical systems and the infrastructure services function optimally, guaranteeing the well-being and satisfaction of all employees and customers.

The classic facilities management departments can be divided into the following categories:

  • Operations management: Operations refers to regular activities such as cleaning, inspections and minor repairs. Facilities management includes the development of work schedules and the monitoring of repairs and tasks.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance refers to major repairs, such as the replacement of components or systems. Facility management also includes preventive maintenance.
  • Security and risk management: Facility management includes the implementation of security measures such as cameras, access control systems and emergency plans. This ensures that employees, visitors and customers are safe and protected.
  • Stakeholder management & business relationships: Facility management brings together different stakeholders. This includes managing expectations, resolving conflicts and reporting regularly on the ongoing repairs and maintenance of the building. Facility managers manage contracts, negotiate prices and ensure that suppliers meet service level agreements.
  • Space management: Efficient space management can give you a huge competitive advantage. Facilities management ensures that space within a facility is used efficiently and effectively. This can include office design, furniture and equipment layout and storage solutions.
  • Energy and sustainability management: Sustainability is an important issue worldwide. Modern facilities management therefore means taking into account the energy consumption and environmental impact of buildings and facilities. This can include implementing energy efficient practices, reducing waste and managing the use of natural resources.
  • Budgeting and financial management: Facilities management includes developing and managing budgets, tracking spending and ensuring that costs are kept under control.

What is the difference between Facilities Management and Building Management?

The terms “Facilities Management” and “Building Management” are often used interchangeably in the English-speaking world, leading to confusion and misunderstanding. While both terms refer to the management, maintenance and upkeep of buildings and facilities, the term “building management” is only one part of facility management.

Facility management is only used during the operational phase of a property. It is usually divided into the following areas:

  • Technical Facility Management
  • Infrastructure Facility Management
  • Commercial facility management
  • Land Management

Building management ensures the integrity of the building itself and its immediate facilities. That includes, for example, the maintenance of lifts, plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems.

Facility management, on the other hand, encompasses a wider range of activities and responsibilities. These relate to the productivity and objectives of the business, as well as the quality of life in the building.

In most cases, the term facility management covers key management and commercial cleaning, as well as budgeting, workplace management, space planning and project management.

What does a facilities manager do?

The facility manager has a wide range of responsibilities and his or her influence can be seen at strategic and operational levels. A facility manager’s role is multi-faceted, requiring a high degree of responsibility and coordination.

He is a:

  • Counsellor
  • Networker
  • Organizator
  • Leader
  • Security Expert
  • Technical Supervisor
  • Administrative expert

Although the role varies from company to company, the facilities manager is generally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of an organisation’s buildings.

The Facilities Manager ensures that these comply with legal requirements and health and safety standards. The focus is on sustainability, resources, and energy management.

Optimizing the facilities management

There are a number of ways to optimise facility management that can bring additional benefits:

  • Integrated facility management increases efficiency and promotes collaboration between different service providers and stakeholders.
  • Through strategic facility management, facility management activities are aligned with the overall strategic objectives of an organisation.
  • Improving the workplace makes people more productive.
  • A facility management software can deliver significant cost, time and labour savings.

Work more efficiently with integrated facilities management

Would you use multiple systems to accomplish the same task? No, and your facilities management should be no different.

The Integrated Facility Management approach brings together all facility management efforts under one common team. A team that is integrated into the business and works together. Instead of managing multiple service providers, you have one dedicated partner.

The facility management software from Wowflow centralises task and team management in one tool.

Wowflow supports cross-company collaboration and enables a functional and coordinated team, even if it consists of different service providers.

Want to learn more about our facility management software? Click here!

Achieving business goals through strategic facilities management

Through strategic facility management, a company takes a less reactive approach to the operation of its workplace, focusing instead on long-term plans and initiatives. This is definitely an exciting option for optimising facilities management.

At the corporate level, facility management is unfortunately often underestimated. The focus is usually on all the other aspects of a business: financial planning, marketing, product and service development, employee recruitment, etc.

More on the topic

However, according to IFMA, property and facilities services account for between 10% and 18% of the total costs of enterprise companies.

Although an enterprise does not own its buildings, it usually owns certain equipment and inventory needed for its core business. This forms a large part of the assets on the balance sheet and results in high costs in the form of depreciation.

So why not turn the workplace into an asset?

This is achieved through strategic facility management. Strategic facilities management links a business objective with the use and planning of the workplace.

Source: “Modern Facility and Workplace Management”, Alexander Redlein

Improved workspace for employee productivity

High-quality equipment, such as easy-to-use software or high-quality desktop devices, can have a positive impact on employees’ work experience. Good workplace equipment contributes to higher employee engagement.

Interruptions caused by IT errors or poor software selection can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity. Software should fit organically into the way people work and be tailored to their needs.

Choosing the right software is also an important investment. Try to visualise all the programmes your company uses. Most companies not only invest in bad software, they often don’t even use it.

According to data collected for the launch of G2Track, unused software costs organisations $40 billion a year in overspend.

Learn about the many advantages of Wowflow over traditional CAFM software. Read Guide!

Benefits of facility management software

More than ever, facility management teams need to capture accurate and accessible data, choose sustainable practices for their buildings, and prioritise building effectiveness and efficiency.

Facility management software makes the work of facility managers smoother and less error-prone. This in turn means they spend less time on unnecessary tasks and can focus on their core business. Facility management software also enables better data management, which leads to better decision-making and lower operating costs.

For example, the Service and Maintenance modules provide users with the ability to integrate detailed maintenance schedules for equipment, machinery and plant. The software automatically provides timely reminders for scheduled inspections and maintenance.

Many modules and software solutions for facilities management

There are several types of facility management software – CAFM, CMMS, ERP, EAM and IWMS. Each system has different purposes and functions, but they can overlap. All are now standard in facilities management.

A facility management software usually offers various modules, such as:

  • Operations management
  • Key management
  • Maintenance management
  • Order management (ticketing)
  • Facilities management
  • Staff scheduling
  • Functions for technical documentation
  • Reporting possibilities
  • Communication functions

Implementing the right facilities management software solution can be a game changer for teams and organisations.

Wowflow perfectly meets the needs of facility management.

Hundreds of facilities management companies use Wowflow’s intuitive and clear software solutions for:

How facilities management helps businesses? Top 7 benefits

As a direct result of good facilities management practices, many benefits can be highlighted for a business, we have summarised the top 7 benefits for your business.

  1. Increased efficiency and productivity
  2. Better compliance
  3. Cost savings and increased revenue
  4. Better customer experience
  5. Higher employee satisfaction
  6. Higher safety standards
  7. Fulfillment of sustainability criteria

Rapid technological advances mean that the facilities management industry is constantly evolving, and this year will see a number of new trends come to the fore.

The trends reflect the evolution of the facility manager’s role, so it is worth keeping an eye on them and gradually incorporating them into the facility management strategy.

But how do you make informed decisions and invest in the right technology?

We take a closer look at the key trends:

Facilities management: from reactive to proactive

Facility management software and technologies enable a clear shift from reactivity to proactivity. By reducing unexpected incidents, asset failures and safety risks, you can focus on your core business and strategy development. Preventive maintenance management becomes the core of facility management through monitoring tools and data analysis.

ESG reporting and sustainability

Today, companies are obliged to comply with ESG requirements and publish sustainability reports. One way a company can demonstrate its commitment to this goal is by using ESG reporting software. This tool is a must for producing comprehensive reports on sustainable practices and performance.

Mobile-first and paperless operations

Mobile-first building operations are becoming the norm, with a central app, a paperless approach and easier communication with tenants. Wowflow provides an intuitive mobile collaboration tool with the creation of image-based work orders and problem reports via QR codes.

Want to learn more about our mobile collaboration tool? Read here!

Maintenance 4.0 - on the way to a data-driven future

Facility Maintenance 4.0 is a concept that involves the integration of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics to optimise the management and maintenance of facilities.

This approach enables facility managers to collect and analyse large amounts of data in real time to make data-driven decisions and identify potential problems before they occur.

Another step towards increased reliability and efficiency of building systems, reduced maintenance costs, and improved overall building performance.

FAQ: Facilities Management

Hard facility management services relate directly to the building. They are inextricably linked to the building and are usually regarded as capital expenditure.

Soft facility management services are primarily concerned with improving the well-being of the people who use the facilities and enabling them to make the most of their time in the facilities.

The building supervisor is usually responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and cleaning of buildings and facilities, while the facility manager has broader responsibilities and is in charge of the strategic planning and management of buildings and facilities.

The profession of facilities manager requires technical training, such as in building services engineering, or a background in business administration, construction management, real estate management or energy management.

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