Facilities management, by its very nature, does not mean the same thing globally, nationally or even within different types of organizations. The capabilities of the supply side have evolved in different ways in different countries, as has the quality of service they provide. Client expectations have equally evolved from a local to a national perspective, and are now becoming globally much more consistent. Delivery methodologies continue to develop at their own pace from the ground up in each country.
However, globally capable service providers now exist, and corporations that operate internationally are increasingly seeking more consistent delivery and costing of support services through facility management techniques.
As the newest professional discipline in business and real-estate sectors, facilities management bespeaks a clear need for organizations to improve their compliance and operational efficiencies. Professional facilities management, as an interdisciplinary business function, aims to coordinate the demand and supply of facilities and services within public and private organizations. Facilities management refers to a broad range of activities, such as building services management, environmental issues, workspace management, procurement, financial management, etc.
While facilities management is currently one of the fastest-growing professional and operational disciplines worldwide, it suffers from a general lack of knowledge and awareness; thus a framework that articulates “what it is” would be extremely beneficial to emerging markets. Work on the first two International Standards has finished and the forthcoming publication of ISO 41011, Facilities management – Vocabulary, and ISO 41012, Facilities management – Guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements, should correct the situation. The new management system standard ISO 41001, Facilities management – Management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is currently under development and will further increase awareness and support the development, implementation and maintenance of effective facilities management regimes in all sectors of industry and commerce worldwide.
ISO 41001 is about recognizing the scope of responsibilities and creating a management structure and resource appropriate to the needs of the organization. Its main focus is to provide a framework and criteria against which facilities management teams can be measured as being “fit for purpose” for the organizations that they serve.
Good facilities management for efficient organizations
Facilities management is a professional discipline that touches every organization, large and small. As such, it has a significant influence on how efficiently companies function in a number of areas.
- In financial terms, facilities management constitutes the second-highest cost for any organization with few exceptions and can, where relevant, make a considerable contribution to the bottom line on an ongoing basis.
- In efficiency terms, facilities management has responsibility for the management, operation and maintenance of business assets, thus influencing their life cost and usability.
- In compliance terms, facilities management is responsible for the health, safety and building management ensuring the organization fulfills its obligations to those who use the workspace and are likely to be affected by its operations.
- In environmental and sustainability terms, facilities management is responsible for operations in the workplace as well as the impact that its operations have on the local and overall environment.
The ISO standards, are
- ISO/CD 41001 – Facility management — Management systems
- ISO/FDIS 41011 – Facility management — Vocabulary
- ISO/FDIS 41012 – Facility management — Guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements
- ISO/DTR 41013 – Facility management — Scope, key concepts and benefits