Every company has a different organizational model, there are as many models as companies, since every model is unique. Taking into account their needs, the company defines an organization chart where relationships and dependencies between departments are set up. Regardless of the organization model, there are some departments that will be found in any company and the Facility Management department is one of them, although sometimes it is difficult to identify them directly in the organization chart.
The Facility Management department structure is usually determined by the company size. In large organizations, the FM department is often made up of smaller departments that have their own responsibilities (Energy Management, Space Management, Property Management, etc.), while in smaller companies the Facility Management department has all those responsibilities together in one.
The higher the specialization, the larger the team that works at the Facility Management Department (or departments that the FM department consists of). While in smaller companies just one person can carry-out all the tasks by himself, in larger companies a Facility Management department can consist of many people, each one of them being responsible for different tasks or areas.
It is a very common mistake to identify the Facility Management department with just maintenance responsibilities. It is true that maintenance is one of the most commonly known tasks of an FM department, but usually this departments does not only deal with maintenance. Amongst their duties there is a wide variety of tasks that allows this department to manage building and services in a holistic way. Within these tasks we can find Energy Management, Space Management, Risk Management, Building Management, Service Management (help-desk, parking, security, etc.). These lead to the aforementioned specialities that make up the Facility Management department.
Some studies have identified over 30 professional profiles within the Facility Management discipline, with clearly differentiated responsibilities, but many companies do not realize the true potential of Facility Managers and it is everybody’s task to make the discipline and its scope more visible.
The Facility Management department responsibilities depends very much on the business model and the company needs. Even if the FM department does not have the management and coordination responsibilities, it will always have the responsibility of delivering good service.
In smaller companies FM departments do not usually have the most strategic tasks, which are usually carried out by other departments such as Purchasing or Human Resources. It is in larger companies where Facility Management departments hold a more strategic role within the company organization chart.
CIFMers (International Congress for Facility Managers – Congreso Internacional de Facility Managers in Spanish, as it has a Latin-American origin) will allow FM professionals to have first-hand information about different Facility Management departmental models, leaving aside the old perception of a Facility Manager as the “maintenance guy”.
At the congress, which will be a meeting point to every FM professional, it will be possible to share experiences and good practices within the areas that make up the discipline: Property & Real Estate, Energy and Sustainability, Workplace, Technology and Tools and Service Provision. Furthermore, it will be a great opportunity to get to know the last trends in our sector.
Photo by: Álvaro Ibáñez http://bit.ly/1GsvG62