Facilities management guide

There are many definitions of Facilities Management. The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) describes it as “the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.”

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) further describes it as “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”

FM impacts on corporate objectives in five major areas:

1. Compliance
2. Image
3. Productivity
4. Efficiency
5. Business Continuity

Given this long list of opportunities to add real value to an organisation’s success, it is disappointing to note how frequently FMs complain of lack of credibility and insufficient clout to make a difference. In reality the route to gaining credibility is really quite simple.

First the FM has to deliver added value through proactive, self-generated initiatives and a focus on personal professional development. The resultant benefits must be visible, measurable and realistic. Then the message must be communicated. If this approach is adopted with passion, energy and enthusiasm then the evidence will be clear that any building can be turned into a productive asset when properly managed by a professional Facilities Manager.

FMs work in a growing market. In early 2014, the UK FM market was valued at just under £119bn in annualised terms. The UK Facilities Management market has steadily grown in value since the mid-1980s, reflecting the general trend toward companies seeking to outsource non-core activities in order to focus on their primary business activities. The trend towards reducing costs and improving efficiencies has become increasingly common, underpinning the market and preventing further decline.