What is Facilities Management?
Facilities management consists in managing the physical infrastructure of an organization. This ranges from recurring services such as cleaning to security and maintenance (hydraulic, electrical, etc.). Therefore, good facilities management is essential for the well-being of employees and customers – after all, who would like to visit or frequent a poorly maintained environment?
Services in Facilities Management and who needs them
The area of facilities can be understood as more or less broad. Even so, the vast majority will certainly classify as facilities services those directly related to the maintenance of the physical space:
- Electrical maintenance
- Construction and renovation
- Internal logistics
Facilities management is therefore a complex operation, involving several professionals from different areas, and requiring spot-on coordination. This makes the good use of technology to integrate all these services indispensable, which is more critical the more infrastructure the company has.
In particular, businesses with infrastructure made to be “inhabited” have high costs to manage their facilities. Some examples are:
- Hospitals: inventory control, cleaning and hospital hygiene
- Shopping centers: cleaning, hydraulic and electrical maintenance, air conditioning, security, kitchen and restaurant infrastructure
- Hotels: cleaning (particularly of guest rooms), hydraulic and electrical maintenance, air conditioning, security, catering infrastructure
In the industrial sector there are also very specific maintenance demands, which may require very specialized professionals.
With these examples alone it is possible to see how essential facilities management is, and how much resources it moves around the world.
Challenges of the sector
The great challenge in facilities management has a name: efficiency. And not surprisingly, since it is a management task – its purpose is precisely to perform a task that would be performed anyway, but in a faster and cheaper way. The efficiency of the operation can be divided into two factors: the efficiency of the professionals in performing the service, and the efficiency of the manager in managing the professionals.
Finding qualified professionals
This is a problem for any organization: how to find good employees? If your business is developing facilities management internally, it will be your responsibility to recruit these professionals, and it will be in your interest that they are recruited well, so that you don’t have to look for new ones later on.
That’s why it’s worth investing in quality recruiting, looking at the disposition of employees and their reliability (especially for security collaborators).
There is always the choice, of course, to outsource this service. As much as this eases and abstracts the process of finding professionals, the quality control of the employees is also lost. In particular, if the facilities service provider itself outsources recruitment, it may be difficult to have any quality assurance, since the contracted company is also not responsible for the professionals. Therefore, look for reliable partners when outsourcing.
Managing the team
Far beyond planning, the management of a team of facilities employees also involves communication and control of activities. It is in these two topics that technology has become indispensable, precisely because it makes everything easier. At least in principle.
If you use spreadsheets to organize your operations, beware. They are very prone to error, and were not made to manage processes, but to perform calculations in tables. It is from this inadequacy that the need for dedicated software for process management arises.
However, in the current market, there is a vacuum of modern and customizable systems for complex operations such as facilities, but that are not extremely expensive and directed to giant corporations.
The facility manager today tends to be torn between limited and affordable software and software with too much functionality, but at exorbitant prices. Modern “process management” software (like Airtable, Asana and Coda.io) is usually targeted at technology companies, which do not have operational problems as complex as facilities management.
This is why Jestor, a platform for building internal applications for operations without the need for programming, is a game changer for facilities management. Our platform is not an off-the-shelf system; it allows you to quickly build (much faster than any software house) the applications your operation needs.
From tracking employee information to managing cleaning and maintenance processes, virtually anything you might need can be built with Jestor. We also have several automations that integrate with email and other services, empowering you to fully integrate your operation as you prefer.
We have a success case helping Nomah, a company of the Loft Group, to manage their housing facilities and manage their cleaning operations.
”I used to like spreadsheets. Now, when someone sends me one, I don’t accept it. I know that it’ll not be helpful to me or the organization. Jestor empowered me to build my own processes and automations by myself. I don’t want to lose it using Google Sheets anymore.”
Caroline Cinchetto Deltorto
Head of Operations at Nomah
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Facilities management is a vast and complex area that is aimed at keeping a company’s facilities (i.e. the physical infrastructure) in good condition. This includes services from cleaning to maintenance to security, and crucially requires skillful management of all the employees involved. Finding these employees can be difficult, and managing them efficiently even more so. If the latter is your problem, Jestor can help you have in-house applications to manage these operations efficiently.