Hi, Can anyone send me the exact role of Facility Manager. Regards, R.Raja
From India, Bangalore
The facility manager’s role has evolved beyond that of a general handyman to that of resource manager. An important fallout of the happenings in the IT sector is the changing role of a facility manager. Tremendous growth in BPO set-ups and call centers or contact centers is drastically changing the role of FMs.

Earlier a facility manger was a junior guy in the office set up but now the demands of the business has turned him into the lynchpin around whom the whole set up revolves. Right from planning the real estate, floor planning, office equipment to transport and catering comes under his ambit.

It is a FM who decides on a CBD (Commercial business district)or non-CBD locations, lease vs buy options, demographic study etc.

In a multidisciplinary company there are various business units or entities. Like the sales & marketing set-up, service centres with their own location demands and ensuing logistics problems of proximity to commercial hubs, parking and transportation etc. It is a FM who decides and works out the solutions like carpooling, hiring etc.

Selecting a location for the facility is a very sensitive topic and has to be handled carefully. While cost can push for a location outside the city, the human angle, transportation and other services have to be considered. Indirect study of demographic is recommended to keep a balance between cost and employee satisfaction.

Financial Analyst

Real Estate decisions have a long lasting impact on Operating Cost. Any wrong decision taken cannot be reversed easily. A very robust financial analysis is required to pick the right option. Earlier such skills were not needed. Now all FMs are required to undergo a training on ‘Finance for non-finance’ to perform better.

People aspect

A high degree of people handling skills, sensitivity to “internal” customers are the new soft skills a facility manager has to develop. Catering, transport, security, power, A/c, toilet - you name it, FM is the first person employees can think of, to lodge a complaint.

Liaison with Government Agencies

This is one aspect which is becoming better and better. More and more government departments are changing their operating style for good. This may vary from state to state but by and large things are improving.

Major portion of FM’s time goes in dealing with approvals be it land, building, telecom, power, fire department etc.

Environment, health, safety & Security (EHS)

All MNCs and large corporations are paying importance to this. New sites are first cleared by EHS team for safe location, seismic studies, soil testing etc. Crisis Management Teams are formed to face any disaster. BCP (Business Constituency Plans) are made to decide an alternate site or city for operation in case there is a problem with existing site. The office layout is approved by an EHS audit team for the safety and easy evacuation. Regular audits are carried out to ensure the site is safe for employees.

IT Infrastructure

A very close working with the IT department is extremely critical for the success of FM. It is important for FM to keep abreast of fast changing technology. Wireless LAN, date centre requirement as per business needs etc are common things FM has to fully understand.

Open Office

The FM has to keep office ergonomics in mind when planing an office. Open office environments, no partitions between two seats, 1200 llayout instead of 900 traditional layout are common problems to be kept in mind.

E-cafe, gym with essential equipments, huddle room, quiet room, and smaller meeting rooms for one-on-one are the new fad features. All these measures are resulting in lower cost of operation, more employee satisfaction, better customer relationship and finally higher business results.

These are some of the challenges that a facility manager faces in today’s environment.
source:businessgyan - Changing role of Facility Manager

From India, Bangalore

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