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What FMs Need to Know to Succeed in 2020

By David Markowitz

As anyone involved in the world of facilities management knows, this is not a static industry. As corporate strategies change, consumer preferences evolve and everyone’s expectations grow, the modern facilities manager needs to adapt as well.

One of the more recent trends is the growing importance, if not outright requirement, to systematically capture and store data from an facility management program into a modern facility management software system. Only by knowing what’s happening across a range of locations (e.g. stores, restaurants, buildings, facilities) can anyone truly gain transparency and understand performance of all the elements involved in maintaining operations and brand standards.

Facility managers with true visibility into their program can gain actionable data, identify problems, and deliver superior performance. However, as pressures continue to increase, transforming facilities management into a more strategic domain that can drive substantive business impact will be an imperative.

Ready To Be A 2020 FM?

Within the next few years, there will be real opportunities to “get a seat at the table” and demonstrate how the facility management function can deliver shareholder value. But to do this will require a forward thinking approach, collaboration with both internal peers and external partners, and most importantly, creative and unique ideas on how to tie repair and maintenance (R&M) operations into an organization’s broader-based strategy.

So, what is the facility manager of the future planning for and learning about today to position his/her career - and company - for the highest likelihood of success? What follows are a number of specific ways to start thinking about your business now to get yourself ahead of the curve because the future’s coming up fast - and it’s not waiting for you.

Whether you’re using an outsourcer, relying on subcontractors or self-performing contractors, doing the work with internal staff or some combination thereof, it’s critical to have the proper vision into the work performed, the health of your facilities and equipment, and however the outside world is affecting or could affect your operations.

The facility management leader of tomorrow will need to be like the commander of a modern ship. A comprehensive information-rich command center will be a must. As on a naval bridge today where there’s a range of electronics to track inbound threats, current ship status, weapon readiness, etc., you’ll need to do the same on your bridge.

You’ll need automated technologies to track the greater universe of contractors, staff, assets, work orders, service requests, locations, environmental conditions, service level requirements and more. This wealth of data simply cannot be monitored with emails, spreadsheets, and phone calls. Events are moving too fast and responsibilities are too broad.

To steer your program, your company and career effectively, it’s imperative you have complete transparency and visibility into the full range of operations. Only that way can you ensure you have the proper information to guide you to the right decisions and actions.

David Markowitz is senior director, product marketing, for ServiceChannel. For more on this topic, download ServiceChannel’s eBook, What You Need to Know to Succeed in Facilities Management in 2020.