What is Facility Management System?
3 min

What is Facility Management System?

Posted by: TÜV SÜD Expert Date: 02 Feb 2023

What is Facility Management?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) defined facility management (under ISO 41011:2017) as “the organisational function which integrates people, place, and process within the built environment to improve the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.” [1]

Simply put, the facility management systems support the people, ensuring the comfort, safety, efficiency, and functionality of the buildings and surrounding infrastructure. Facility management standards and systems ensure that all the systems work in harmony and that people have the best and safest work experience to improve productivity.[2]

Importance of Facility Management

A safe, welcoming, and efficient working environment is critical for people to feel engaged with their work and perform their best. Facility management plays a critical role in building and maintaining such an environment. Singapore’s facility management systems market is anticipated to record a CAGR of 5.2% between 2022 – 2027.

Focusing on aspects like space optimisation, energy management and maintenance, lease accounting, guiding capital projects, and workplace experience, facility management systems contribute not only to the sustainability and productivity of the workplace but also to the organisation’s bottom-line revenue.

Effective facility management can result in up to:[3]

  • 30% real estate cost savings
  • 45% overall project costs reduction
  • 59% less staff turnover
  • 17% more productivity
  • 41% less absenteeism
  • 30-50% overall cost savings


How does Facility Management Operate?

Facility management systems in Singapore deal with several aspects surrounding the planning, evaluation, and maintenance of various building systems. For effective facility management, a facility manager must responsibly plan, maintain, and evaluate tasks like:

  • Building operations (housekeeping, security, grounds management, and infrastructure maintenance)
  • Return-to-work policies and procedures for injured or ill workers
  • Emergency response and disaster mitigation
  • Business continuity planning
  • Sustainability planning
  • Budgeting and project management for capital projects
  • Real estate management
  • Space planning, organisation, and optimisation

These tasks contribute towards the seamless functionality, operational efficiency, and productivity of a workplace, making facility management one of the most critical facets of modern businesses.[2]

Types of Facility Management

Facility management is not a stand-alone activity but an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to creating a safe and hospitable working environment. As a result, facility management services and activities can fall under two categories, hard facility management and soft facility management.[4]

Hard facility management deals with the physical aspects of the working environment, like the management and maintenance of office buildings. These services are mandatory under legislative regulations as they are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of the workers. Examples of hard facility management services include:[4]

  • HVAC systems
  • Lighting and electrical systems
  • Plumbing and drainage systems
  • Mechanical systems
  • Gas
  • Lifts, escalators, and conveyors
  • Fire safety systems
  • Overall building maintenance

Soft facility management, on the other hand, deals with the services that employees can use or interact with. These facilities are not mandatory but contribute significantly to making the workplace more engaging, secure, comfortable, and efficient. Examples of soft facility management services include:[4]

  • Security
  • Car parking
  • Catering
  • Landscaping and interior decoration
  • Building fabric cleaning, maintenance, and repair
  • Mail management
  • Waste management

Functions of Facility Management

The scope of facility management is broad as it covers many aspects of the working environment. However, four principal functions of facility management are:[5]

1. Supporting People: The fundamental objective of facility management is to create a comfortable and welcoming work environment for workers. Facility managers act as a bridge between employees and the workplace, supporting people in any situations arising during the workday and emergencies.

2. Establishing Processes: A workplace runs on multiple processes, and facility managers are responsible for identifying the governance areas, establishing standard operating procedures and perfecting the processes for seamless workplace functionality.

3. Facilities Upkeep and Improvement: Management, upkeep and improvement of workplace facilities is the core responsibility of facility management systems. This involves not only maintaining the physical buildings but cultivating vendor partnerships, asset management, and sustainability planning to build a competitive advantage.

4. Technology Integration: Facility managers can leverage technological solutions – like IoT – to collect and analyse data to better understand the workplace and identify potential areas for improvement. A seamless integration of technology and facility management can foster a positive working environment, higher productivity and optimal ROI of the workplace.

Standards Related to Facility Management

ISO 41001:2018 is the primary international standard guiding facility management systems around the globe. This facility management standard addresses the second biggest expense for most organisations and helps them boost efficiency and reduce maintenance costs by implementing high-quality facility management procedures and practices.

Some of the key focus areas of ISO 41001:2018 include maintenance, operations, procurement, catering, energy, heating and cooling systems, and technology integration.

ISO 41001:2018 offers a common platform and a uniform approach for facility management across all industries and organisational departments – irrespective of their type, nature of work, size, or location – allowing organisations to either manage their own facilities or offer facility management services to others.[6]

ISO Certification for Facility Management System

An ISO 41001:2018 certification demonstrates that the facility management system is effective and efficient in supporting the objectives of the organisation, meeting the needs and requirements of the concerned parties, and contributing towards sustainable competitive advantage.[7]

With the benefits of effective facility management becoming evident every day, organisations are seeking to implement facility management best practices and get ISO 41001:2018 certification that can help them:[6]

• Enhance workplace well-being and productivity for a high-quality working environment.
• Increase profitability by focusing more resources and efforts on core revenue-generating business functions.
• Boost efficiency and lifespan of assets to deliver higher cost benefits.
• Improve marketability with a service consistency promise with support from effective facility management systems.


Conclusion

Facility management systems are one of the most critical operational elements of modern business organisations, making the second most expensive business facet more efficient and cost-effective. An ISO 41001:2018 certification, proving your adherence to the international facility management standards, can help you ensure a safe, comfortable, and sustainable workplace where people, places, and processes harmonise to improve productivity and build a sustainable competitive advantage in the modern international business landscape.

With our decades of experience and a dedicated expert team, TÜV SÜD is uniquely positioned to help you get your facility management systems certification, ISO 41001:2018, with the utmost professionalism and adherence to international guidelines and standards. With your assessment and certification complete, you can continue to perfect your facility management practices, foster an efficient and productive working environment, and build a sustainable competitive advantage.

References:

1. ISO.org facility management
2. IFMA, What is facility management
3. IBM What is facility management
4. EQUAL What are the types of facilities management services
5. SpaceIQ Functions of facilities management 
6. TÜV SÜD ISO 41001 facility management system
7. ISO.org facility management requirements

 

 

Related services:

ISO 41001 Facility Management System Certification
ISO 41001 Facility Management System Awareness Training Course
ISO 41001 Facility Management System Implementation Training Course

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