Top challenges faced by facilities managers

Facilities managers might seem like unlikely superheroes but the best of them are capable of dealing with any challenge. Facilities management might be primarily concerned with keeping the built environment functioning smoothly, but if you work in FM you need to remain alert and flexible enough to deal with the latest trends.

Juggling responsibilities

Keeping on top of so many responsibilities is one of the biggest challenges facing managers. Ensuring that the built environment is functional and safe and that it meets HSE and government standards can be tough and makes FM recruitment a top priority for any business.

Changing standards

Just when you’re on top of one set of standards and regulations, the goalposts move. That means more compliance issues and industry changes to stay on top of, plus resources, staff and budgets to juggle. The way to meet this particular challenge is to stay up to speed on the changing landscape and make sure your training and accreditation are up to the job.

Ageing systems

Machinery, inventory and structures all degrade as they age. And that can lead to breakdowns, loss of productivity and threats to structural integrity. Proper budgeting coupled with planned and preventative maintenance can help to soften the blow when things need to be replaced.

Make resources work harder

FM is all about making resources work harder and more effectively, a real challenge when those resources are scarce. The pressure to perform in circumstances where budgets are stretched raises expectations that facilities managers need to find ways to meet.

Cutting costs

If FM is all about doing more with less, another challenge is to actively cut costs across facilities to increase revenues. Proactive managers can look to energy conservation and increasing the lifespan of equipment through proper maintenance. Close tracking of inventory and assets are other effective ways to control costs.

Managing security

Does your organisation have a proper recovery plan if there’s a major incident in your facility? Another challenge for FM can be coordinating emergency preparedness planning across the entire facility. These security-related responsibilities focus managers on disaster recovery planning and emergency evacuation, adding additional responsibilities to the workload.

Sustainability

As energy costs continue to soar and concerns about the environmental impact of ageing infrastructure continue to grow, FM faces an increasing challenge of adhering to an organisation’s sustainability policies and finding new and innovative ways to shrink the existing carbon footprint. Reducing energy usage and finding better ways to manage waste through reuse and recycling are top priorities for managers who will also need to consider lifecycle sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

Time management

Being a facilities manager can seem like being a superhero without the cape. There are a million things to do and never enough time to do them in and that’s without attending budget meetings and answering emails. Add in management concerns, employees questions and issues to be addressed and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That makes developing effective time management strategies one of the biggest challenges facing any facility manager.

Flexibility, diligence and creativity are all qualities the best facility managers have in spades. Because the way in which facilities management faces its myriad challenges can define not only the success of the individual but the organisation as a whole, which makes a great recruitment strategy critical.