A facility manager has a lot of responsibilities. He plays an important role in keeping an organization running smoothly. Here, we’ll discuss more about what a facility manager does and how a CMMS can help support these efforts.

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What is Facility Management?

Facility management is the maintenance of an organization’s buildings and equipment. The complete functions and responsibilities vary for every organization, but they all focus on maintaining the functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of a building environment and equipment located in that building.

What Do Facility Managers Do?

A facility manager can be a “jack of all trades”. He has a role that is essential to the organization—an operation cannot be run successfully without a facility manager, whose responsibilities use “hard” and “soft” skills. Some of them include:

  • Overseeing operations and maintenance for buildings, workspaces, and infrastructure
  • Managing facility budget requirements
  • Managing sustainability
  • Managing building renovations, space allocation, and system upgrade projects
  • Overseeing groundskeepers, maintenance workers, and custodial staff
  • Monitoring technology trends for equipment monitoring, software, and project management
  • Performing risk management involving workplace safety, contractor agreements, and equipment investments
  • Developing a facility management communication plan between the operations, maintenance, and other departments
  • Evaluating equipment and building performance and quality plans

All Types of Facilities Require Management

There are many different types of facilities, but all of them require some level of management. Examples of facility types include schools, fitness centers, warehouses, medical centers, and factories. Let’s take a closer look at two types of facilities.

Healthcare facilities function most effectively with aesthetically pleasing buildings and grounds. The people you will find there are doctors, nurses, patients, and other healthcare professionals. The interior consists of exam and patient rooms, emergency triage, operating rooms, waiting areas, and reception desks. The services they provide focus on maintaining and restoring patient health.

Now let’s use a manufacturing-related example, an oil refinery. In this facility, there are tanks, piping, and industrial structures that may not look the most attractive, but are essential for production. In a refinery, you will find operators, technicians, and engineers. The interior consists of control rooms, repair facilities, material storage areas, and production equipment. All of these elements are put in place to take crude oil and produce a refined product like gasoline.

Differences in Facility Management

There are many differences between facility management in a manufacturing environment and facility management in a commercial space where no manufacturing takes place. Manufacturing adds safety risks due to machinery needed for production and the potential for accidents. Manufacturing is always full of activity, meaning something is always moving, being upgraded, or taken out of production for repair. There needs to be a balance of focus between production efficiency, logistics, workplace safety, building maintenance, and keeping up with advances in the organization’s industry.

Commercial facility management needs to meet stakeholder expectations while remaining aware of operating costs and risk of business interruptions. Commercial environments may also have to work with customers going in and out and interacting with the public. Facility management in this case requires making sure buildings, grounds, and systems such as HVAC and security are up to par and equipped to handle these needs.

Finally, there are facilities that are not manufacturing or commercial environments such as apartment buildings, research facilities, and non-profit organizations. They have facility management needs that differ from both manufacturing and commercial buildings. In this case, facility management focuses on the comfort of tenants and employees (maintaining HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems), space allocation, and more.

Similarities in Facility Management Needs

While a hospital and a refinery have significant differences in form and function, they both require facility management and have some of the same needs. Both environments need to perform reliably, be concerned with safety, and be conscious of their energy consumption. Both of these types of environments also require climate control through their HVAC system, which must be maintained. Asset management, including maintenance, is a critical element of facility management. More importantly, asset management in both industries should begin by focusing on the fundamentals and tackling the most important issues in maintenance management. Whatever assets an organization uses, all of them require specific amounts of preventive and predictive maintenance, along with planned downtime.

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software is uniquely suited to both of these environments, and virtually every other type of facility.

CMMS for Facility Maintenance Management

Facility maintenance management, an important aspect of facility management, can benefit greatly from CMMS software. With so many assets, parts, and maintenance employees to keep track of, it’s important to have all of this data stored in one place. With features such as work order management, asset management, and inventory management, just about any type of maintenance can be managed. The ability to attach documents such as owner’s manuals, blueprints, diagrams, and warranties can be helpful for managing projects as well. The streamlined method of communication, ability to update the status of projects, and the ability to add notes to work orders and other records help keep projects on track.

Maintenance Request Portal

CMMS software has a maintenance request portal, which allows customers, tenants, and employees in the organization who work outside the maintenance or facility management departments to submit requests for repairs or other work to be done. These requests are submitted using a simple form, and the maintenance department receives the requests, approves or rejects, prioritizes, and assigns these requests as work orders.

Vendor and Contractor Management

Facility managers need to manage their list of vendors and contractors that provide maintenance related supplies, parts, and services. They want to keep track of who offers which products and services, delivery times, prices, purchase order history, and more. A CMMS has the data storage and organization capabilities to serve this purpose.

Mobile Access

Mobile access to the software is also important to facility managers. They are always on the go, whether that’s to different parts of their buildings or jobsites. They don’t always have time to sit at a desktop computer and enter data. When facility managers can use their mobile phones to access their CMMS, they can check on the status of work orders, manage vendor information, complete purchase orders, and more wherever they are during their work day.

Greater Visibility

A CMMS will make the facility management team more visible within their organization. Much of the maintenance departments activities are tracked in a CMMS. Since facility management oversees these departments, accurate records of this activity will reflect positively on everyone in the maintenance department.

Automated Preventive Maintenance Scheduling

In facility management, it’s important to maintain an organization’s buildings and equipment at a high level of availability and production. A critical part of this includes a master preventive maintenance plan with automated work order scheduling.

FTMaintenance for Facility Management

FTMaintenance is CMMS software that works well for all industries, including facility management. FTMaintenance is easy to use, mobile accessible, and available through cloud or on-premise deployment options. If you’re looking for a modern maintenance management solution, schedule a demo today to learn more.