How to make facilities management simple and effective

Facilities management, at its heart, is about looking after things. It is a vast role and may appear inherently complex, but it does not need to be difficult. By simplifying each of the elements of estate management, it is possible to create a streamlined and cohesive approach.

For many, the instinct is to outsource to a large facilities management (FM) organisation with expertise in estate management. However, this isn’t an option for many smaller and mid-sized companies.

Yet opting for the cheapest option on the market risks shelling out for a service that doesn’t do justice to the estate. For those managing their estate themselves, it can feel like an overwhelming challenge just to meet compliance measures and the time and resources this requires can distract from transforming the estate into a genuine business asset.

In virtually every sector, organisations are looking to simplify and streamline their processes. This is possible with estate management too. By breaking the process down, it becomes easier to address each of the core elements of management, meet key targets, and understand priorities.

Understanding what assets an estate possesses should be the key objective of an estate manager. Location, condition, life span, and economic value should all be identified. This should then be followed by a more in-depth investigation into the condition of those assets. Here, risks can be identified and precautions taken.

Ensuring compliance is vital in any estate; non-compliance can come with unplanned costs and long-term damage to reputation. An understanding of asset condition allows compliance requirements to be met.

From here, an organisation is in a position to plan for the future, begin forecasting capital expenditure and planning for tenders. A five-year plan can be produced with key compliance and business critical remedials prioritised according to risk. Finally, improvements and projects can go ahead, be they adjustments and refurbishment or major upgrades.

By creating a step-by-step process, each element of estate management becomes manageable and vital aspects won’t be overlooked. Once your organisation understands precisely which areas of the estate need work and what needs doing, you are in a much better position to look for the best experts for the job. Simplifying the process makes it both transparent and accessible.

While the remit of estate management is extremely broad, it is an opportunity to take a holistic view of the organisation’s assets. Once the process has been demystified, it can be an opportunity to build on what the organisation has in order to create an estate that reflects the business culture and feels like a home for its people.

Excellence in estate management requires strategic thinking and continuous evaluation of the estate. For those new to this approach, there is a big learning curve, but streamlining the process makes it accessible to all.

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