Facilities management is a critical, strategic business discipline. Organisations increasingly occupy complex buildings and use sophisticated technology for communications and control. Professional FM is needed to plan, maintain and manage these facilities. It is part of the drive to meet the higher demands of organisations and individuals. Whether as employees, customers, students or patients, people have higher expectations of their living, working and leisure environments.
Good facilities management can deliver flexibility, adaptability and sustainability. It can help organisations respond to cost pressures or the need for greater security. Beyond buildings, it can enable remote working. Today facilities managers today are expected to understand their company’s core business and contribute to the bottom line—not only by reducing operating costs, but also by improving the productivity, revenue generating capacity and image of the entire organization.
Facilities management professionals, and the membership organisations supporting them nationally and internationally are good stewards of the earth’s limited resources. They engage best practices in sustainability whenever possible to ensure operations are energy efficient, environmentally sound and promote the wellbeing of occupants. They also help preserve natural resources, work to limit organisational footprints and prefer doing business with other similarly responsible organisations. At its best it is a real differentiator and in the commercial sphere can provide a competitive advantage.
Facility or facilities?
FM is generally interpreted as ‘facility management’ in the US, Australia and some other territories. In the UK and across much of Europe the term ‘facilities management’ is used. Both are used across the Global FM website, as content is contributed from many countries and sources. The difference is largely historical and not especially significant. However, ‘facility management’ tends to mean the management of a ‘facility’, for example a hospital or office complex, whereas ‘facilities management’ refers to a broader range of activities.