Understanding Facility Management’s Role in Business

July 1, 2011

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A good facilities management team is worth their weight in gold, in terms of value to both the governing real estate owner as well as to the tenants that depend upon them. To fully understand the role of the facilities management team, one must first realize that collectively they have many bosses and people to whom they are responsible to on a daily, if not hourly basis. Every single tenant and visitor has a justifiable right to present their opinion on the appearance of the physical plant, and expect an expedient response in a timely and professional manner. The role of facilities management ensures that the daily function of all business operations within the physical plant run smoothly, and without distraction.

Understanding facility management’s role in business begins with a close look at exactly what tasks they perform. Facility management is responsible for every aspect of building maintenance, exterior painting, janitorial and custodial services, grounds keeping and security as applied to the physical operation of a facility. In this context, it oversees everything from burnt out light bulbs being changed to trash removal, and general safety and cleanliness within and outside of the structure and grounds. They are the corporate entity that governs and supervises all facility employees and outside vendors that do any type of maintenance, and as such shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that work is completed with a minimum of inconvenience to tenants, and in a cost-effective manner.

Facilities management is in the people business, both in terms of maintaining good relationships with tenants and visitors and in problem resolution when issues arise. Dependent upon tenant contractual agreements, the facilities management team may also negotiate terms of leases, structural modifications to rented spaces, and extra amenities beyond what the standard landlord-tenant lease may encompass. A competent facilities management team is nearly invisible – their role is to provide exemplary service with a minimum of distraction or interference to their tenants daily operations. They also on occasion serve as mediators in tenant/tenant disputes, and are usually quite adept at this function.

Finally, the role of facilities management is to promote a professional atmosphere that is conducive to the business practices of those they serve. The service provided by facilities management is invaluable to their clients, and removes a burden, clearing a path to concentrate solely on individual business concerns. In an objective view, a facilities management team discretely makes the business of doing business possible.

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