Facilities managers are responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organisation. They ensure that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities. Duties vary with the nature of the organisation, but facilities managers generally focus on using best business practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs whilst increasing productivity.
This is a wide field with a diverse range of specialisms and responsibilities in different combinations, depending on organisational structure. Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Likely areas of responsibility include:
§ procurement and contract management;
§ building and grounds maintenance;
§ catering and vending;
§ health and safety;
§ utilities and communications infrastructure;
§ space management.
Typical work activities
Facilities managers are employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work may be reflected in different job titles such as operations, estates, technical services, asset or property manager. Responsibilities are often broad, covering several departments, as well as central services that link to all the teams in the organisation. In smaller companies, duties may include more practical and hands-on tasks. Many facilities management professionals are employed on a consultancy basis, contracted to manage some or all of these activities by a client organisation.
Typical tasks may include:
§ preparing documents to put out tenders for contractors;
§ project management and supervising and coordinating work of contractors;
§ investigating availability and suitability of options for new purchases;
§ calculating and comparing costs for required goods or services to achieve maximum value for money;
§ planning for future development in line with strategic business objectives;
§ managing and leading change to ensure minimum disruption to core activities;
§ liaising with tenants of commercial properties;
§ directing and planning essential central services such as reception, security, maintenance, mail, archiving, cleaning, catering, waste disposal and recycling;
§ planning best allocation and utilisation of space and resources for new buildings, or re-organising current premises;
§ checking that agreed work by staff or contractors has been completed satisfactorily and following up on any deficiencies;
§ coordinating and leading a team or teams of staff to cover various areas of responsibility;
§ using performance management techniques to monitor and demonstrate achievement of agreed service levels and to lead on improvement;
§ responding appropriately to emergencies or urgent issues as they arise.
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