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Defining Facilities Management for the 21st Century

facilities management futureThe World of Facilities Management

The world of facilities management is dynamic and evolving. We are seeing rapid progress in technology, social aspirations, and our work environments.

The need for FM professionals to innovate, adapt and deliver value has never been greater, as more and more organisations are recognising the importance of the built environment to their core business.

Facilities Management makes significant contributions to business success and organisational effectiveness, but there are areas of focus that professionals need to develop further in order to truly deliver value.

Last year RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) published a research paper called “Raising the Bar”, which was a global study highlighting that the industry still needs to move beyond a cost-centre mentality, and build recognition for the value and ROI that excellent, well-supported FM can bring.

Our profession needs to take on the strategic challenge of championing workplace effectiveness, workforce productivity, and well-being. We must recognise the need for relationship management skills in addition to those of operational service delivery. Applying new technologies to enhance the management of facilities and to create new kinds of workplaces is also crucial.

Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Facilities Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) in particular is going to have a big impact on occupier clients and workplace. AI enables us to locate the most obscure information in a few moments, or scan emails and other files to extract appointment or contact details to add to calendars and address books.

It can be found, too, in a cluster of mainstream technologies that are having an increasing impact on our lives: self-driving cars, healthcare diagnostics, and targeted treatment, and physical assistance for the elderly.

AI has also allowed the virtual world of video games to grow from basic graphics into an industry larger than the movies with many practical applications in the built environment. AI is spurring the development of smart, efficient buildings, from design through construction and commissioning to operation and use.

These buildings offer real-time control over the internal environment, according to various climatic and occupant factors. Smart buildings can add value by improving comfort through adjustments to personal preferences, and thus have a direct, positive impact on individual productivity and wellbeing.

Technology is no doubt significant to the future of FM but of course, it is people that are at the heart of a good FM strategy.

FM is shifting from asset provision to service provision. Highly serviced hubs will replace more traditional office space to support mobile knowledge workers when they need to interact physically with their colleagues and managers and this is impacting procurement of FM services.

In July, RICS and IFMA (International Facility Management Association) published the Professional Statement on the Procurement of Facility Management.

Authored by a Director at PwC, Derrick Tate, the document sets out the value of raising standards in Facilities Management through a professionally run procurement process. Successful procurements will result in significantly improved contract delivery.

The standard is the first step to set out some comprehensive rules and guidelines that should be followed when procuring FM. It’s a framework of simple, straightforward must-dos and a set of guidance notes covering planning, the procurement process, and post-procurement activities.

Learn more at the Facilities Management Conference

This insight into facilities management was provided by Stephen Shallcroft, Director of Facilities Management Professional Group, RICS, and IFMA UK Chapter Board.

You can learn more from Stephen and stay ahead on the latest developments in FM by joining us at the Facilities Management Conference on Thursday 13th December.

Here you will learn about the latest developments in facilities management, smart buildings, their effect on the modern workspace and discover the implementable changes that you can make to enhance your organisation. Learn more and book your places here.

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