There are many federal and industry standards in place governing how facilities should operate - covering everything from emissions to energy efficiency to air flow and contamination control. In light of this, it makes sense that the more complex a facility is, the more essential it is that the facility management department take a more overarching role in operations.
As Dale Woodin, senior executive director for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, told Health Facilities Management magazine, the facility manager’s knowledge is crucial in helping building administrators and executives minimize design, construction and operations costs by optimizing each aspect.
More and more, facility management needs to be seen less as a separate and distinct department and more as a perspective through which the management of a building should be approached. Viewed in this way, facility managers can be seen as valuable cost-saving assets for a building.
A two-way street
It is important to note that the push for a greater relationship between the executives and facility management should be viewed as a symbiotic one. Incorporating facility management into higher-level building operation can help keep design, construction and operating costs down.
Perhaps above all else, effective building operation requires clear communication between the executives and the facilities team. On the facility management side, maintenance staff needs to be kept aware of budgetary restrictions or any other high-level factor that could influence performance or maintenance operations. On the flip side, administrators who are in charge of setting budgets need operational information to be as in-depth and up-to-date as possible. Facility managers are in the best position to provide the most accurate data on how and where maintenance budget is spent and energy usage - not just to explain what the costs are, but why they are so high or low. Facility managers who share this information and foster a relationship with the C-suite position themselves as a resource who can have an impact in the facilities operations now and in the future.