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    Do Different Industries Have Different Facilities Management Requirements?

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Much like the Facilities Management profession, the global business sector is a very diverse group. Along with the varying industries, companies range in size, overall goals, and how they engage with those looking to support them. Some embrace technology while others look to maintain the status quo, sticking with the old methods that worked for generations before. Even within the FM field, job titles vary as much as the scope of their duties. But do one industry’s requirements really vary that much from the next?

    The Facilities Manager’s Role

    Regardless of the specifics surrounding a company, each require a Facilities Manager to ensure the day-to-day operations go off without a hitch. The FM of a small office may have a title that does not represent their facilities management skills and they may have many other duties associated with their title. But there is future-of-workspacealways at least one person charged with ensuring the lights are on, the equipment is working, and the employees have what they need to do their job. A global corporation likely has a team of managers to support these everyday needs. And because there are so many details to tend to, this is typically their primary role. Regardless of the size of the team, the title they carry, or the scope of their duties, the role of the Facilities Manager is critical to a company’s very survival.

    While An Organization’s Specific Needs Vary, Their Basic Requirements Do Not

    You can read twenty different company mission statements and each will communicate very differently from the others. An organization’s mission is designed specifically for them, their goals for the future, their workforce, and the product or service they offer. Much like the mission, a facility’s needs reflect each of these variables and are as diverse as their unique set of circumstances.

    Take Companies A and B for example- both are from the same industry and maintain the same basic sized facility, yet their culture and internal processes are very unique. They still need tools to manage their companies, yet use them differently.  Both have the need to visualize space and how it is used, yet one needs move management, while the other needs a room reservation app.

    Company A utilizes more of an open seating layout where employees are able to reserve space for the day.  Most employees are assigned to neighborhoods but have the ability to locate to varying spaces within the neighborhood throughout the day.  Space utilization is tracked at a neighborhood/departmental level for allocation and visualization. Daily headcount is tracked through employee check in/badge scan and, therefore, a hefty move process is not supported.

    Company B supports the more traditional setting with assigned seating and a more robust move process.  Users/Managers request moves through the facilities team and FMs approve and fulfill these requests.  Space plans are kept up-to-date with actual location of occupants to a specific space.  Space utilization is tracked by occupant assignment and space allocation is based on the assignment of the employee.  

    While these two companies work within the same industry and their basic requirements are the same, each has a unique set of needs based on their current position. Whether a large, corporate insurance office employing thousands of people, or a medical facility serving a huge city, the key requirements are remain consistent. Each needs to track space, move people, schedule work orders and track assets. Every company has the same data analysis needs, yet one may call it something different than the next. Aligning yourself with a software vendor who has the experience to know what works, what doesn’t, and the ability to build a solution designed specifically for your needs.

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    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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