Facility Management – What, Why, How

Revolutionizing Operational Excellence through Integrated Facility Management


Property Management, Facility Management, Integrated Facility Management systems etc services  came into place during 1970’s and 1980’s as an initiative for cost cutting where  organizations began to outsource the ‘non-core’ services to the vendors and later on the core services such as HR, Finance, Material Management, Administration, IT etc.

Facility Management is a discipline which comprises of a wide range of services that were common to all organizations. These included both ‘hard’ services concerned with the physical fabric of a building, and people-centric ‘soft’ services such as catering, cleaning, security, mailroom management and health and safety. Over time, managers began to integrate the planning and management of these services in order to achieve better quality and economies of scale.      

Let’s have a look on the difference between Property management and Facility Management

Property Management is managing of income and expense for the clients which include budgeting, forecasting and reporting related to properties.  It is related to leasing property, collection of rent and common area maintenance charges, as well as overall operation and maintenance of all types of services related to the property which also includes Engineering, Housekeeping, Security, Horticulture, F&B, Fleet Management, various Risk Insurance coverage and Finance, front desk etc. All these depend upon the type of client requirement and contract agreement.

 Facility Management is only responsible for complete asset management and its operation and manages space utilization – ensuring that per square feet the staff and number of staff per office are fulfilled.

Now as we know that Facility Management is having various types of service contracts: one is comprehensive (SLA) and the other is non-comprehensive basis (Non SLA). Services are as in below.

  • Soft services like Housekeeping & Security Services and catering, mailroom management and health and safety, Front desk
  • Technical Services such as :F&B Services, Engineering, Operation and Maintenance services,
  • Fleet Management  services,
  • Laundry, and stores management, with other service dept  management
  • Officer Management Services such as: Printing and Stationary Services,  
  • Mail Room and Reprographics Management Services,
  • Event Management  and Travel Desk Management  services,
  • Biomedical engineering services, 
  • Information Technology dept services / Computer Infrastructure Management services/Tele communication Engineering 
  • Horticulture services and pest control services comes under common area maintenance,
  • Accounts and HR and Administration services, 
  • Store and material services have been outsource even in the present condition. 

In the above service few can be count under back office services.

Other key aspects of Facility Management are management of the Organization through proper planning and organizing quality staffing in proper direction with the help of proper controlling and evaluation of the process.

Facility Operations and Maintenance includes Operation, Maintenance and Repair, Security and Life-Safety Management, General Administrative Services, Construction Management is Architectural/Engineering, Planning and Design Construction Project Management, Alteration, Renovation, and Workplace, Workplace Planning, Allocation and Management.

To ensure proper functioning a well-coordinated support is always required from client end in the areas of telecommunications, internet –computer networking, admin office budgeting, costing and accounting & resource management.

Now in order to invite facility management vendors, following important points need to be calculated by the client before introducing the vendors:

a) Cost reduction and financial benefits for the business,

b) Comparison of risk calculation,

c) Better technology and system,

d) Introduction of better quality manpower for the noncore services,  

e) Strategic focus on core services in place of noncore services,

f) Discharge of liabilities and increase flexibility,

g) Smooth operation flexibility.

Actually selection of facility management vendor and structuring the system is very important for any client. Some risk factors which need to be kept in mind before finalizing a vendor are as follows:

  • Defective Transition, 
  • Delay in delivery by the vendor, 
  • Poor knowledge and documentation, 
  • Resistance from the client staff 

​These risks factor need to be assessed ahead by any client which could be a loss venture for both the facility management vendor as well as the client.  

In Facility Management, service provider domain, geographical knowledge, availability of skill manpower and technology for process implementation, financial strength, both service provider and client mind set for acceptance of each other with equal respect are very important. It is just like a marriage between the two sides which benefits in different means where mutual understanding reigns between the two organizations not just limited to the individuals only. Secondly both should have the feeling of acceptance for each other which is an important factor. Transparent communication, data sharing, pre and post selection of service provider, clearly defined scope of work are some utmost important aspects.

Problems arise when both the side try to get profit out of each other instead of cooperation and mutual understanding.  This is very common factor in Indian market. Trained staffs are not taken care of by both the parties properly due to sub vendor concept; this has a very long negative impact in service sector. Staff will be unable to find the confidence and comfort zone to work with which will directly affect the stability and reliability of oneself and downgrade the quality of work along with the environment of working.

Following documentations are required when time comes to take up the property by the service provider from the client after the service provider is selected by the client through a selection process:

1) Due Diligence,

2) Property Transition documents, including snag and condition of the asset and property

3) Personnel Transition,

4) Contract wise individual services transition,

5) Client and Service provider Escalation matrix ,

6) Vendor evaluation and selection for capital equipments and spares,

7) Stock list. 

8) Statutory compliance documents and status.  

9) Proper SLA ( Most of the client do not provide at the 1st time)

The time-lines for completion of complete transition phase takes place within maximum 3-4 weeks depending upon the size of the property. During transition most of the capital equipments need to be checked by the OEM if service reports and history are not available. 

Now to avoid future complications, after outsourcing client should have a basic setup to control over day to day complete vendor system process documents such as MIS and System & Quality audit. The client should have to calculate compliances on the basis of the following area such as:

1) Critical asset and service failure,

2) Individual area wise under performance by the vendor, 

3) Financial under performance and loss by vendor, 

4) Poor knowledge sharing for increase productivity and quality performance.

Both the Soft services and Technical Services require the presence of an administrator who manages the administrative work is known as Facility Manager / Property Manager.

Facility Management is profitable for client as well as service provider if both follow the rules, transparency, acceptability, cooperation.

​Mr. Snehasis Mitra
Manager, Technical Services & Operations Hospital Integrated Facility Management and Quality Auditor | + posts