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Staffing, supply chain issues and workplace changes are the challenges facing FMs
To realize where Justin Tankersley is now, one has to consider where he was over a decade ago.
Tankersley, a 2022 Facility Champion, was wounded in Afghanistan while serving in the United States Marine Corps as a machine gunner when he suffered a brain injury during his second deployment after being hit by an improvised explosive device. Tankersley, who was the recipient of a Purple Heart in 2011, spent six months in the Wounded Warrier Battalion learning how to read and write again. The story behind the first deployment, one of the largest military offenses of the war, was profiled in an HBO documentary.
After leaving the Corps, Tankersley found a career in Facilities Management, which he started in 2014 in the credit union industry before moving to Firstsource, a global financial company with offices across the country and satellite companies in India, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
His specialty comes in digitalizing the facilities’ operations and other connected businesses so they can operate on a single platform.
“I was part of digitalizing our entire facilities department including all our other geographies,” Tankersley says. “This was built in-house, using Microsoft 365 and included asset management, visitor management, data center management, room booking and a work order ticketing system.”
Tankersley has managed projects that value more than $1 million that assist in operational needs. He developed a robotic process automation that forecasts $750,000 in savings from the tasks that are removed because of the digital processes.
“The lack of automation takes unnecessary time away from facilities professionals,” Tankersley says. “Through automation and digital technology, we are pushing the company to incorporate these initiatives to allow employees to focus on higher value-based tasks.”
Tankersley manages a team of six employees, who oversee 23 offices in the U.S. and one in Mexico. His training seminars also are used by the company’s other geographies to teach best practices throughout the worldwide network.
“Success in facilities management comes in two forms,” he says. “One is ensuring business operations are uninterrupted and the other is providing a workplace where the employees truly enjoy the environment that they work in.”
That environment is one that Tankersley challenges his employees to match his passion for continuing to learn and improve.
“The biggest challenge I face in management is finding like-minded individuals that believe Facilities Management is more than just a job,” he says. “Being the maintenance guy, I believe that facilities management is a career where you can continue to excel, evolve and be professionally challenged.”
Tankersley’s story as a veteran continues to resonate well beyond a decade after an injury that changed his life. He’s currently writing a book about his time in Afghanistan as he was part of the largest joint operations in taking the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, an operation that was documented by HBO.
“One of the biggest things that I think makes Justin stand out is his service to this country,” says Eric Johnson, who nominated Tankersley for this award. “Justin fought through a brain injury and has become the resident expert on facilities matters. He truly has worked hard and continues to work through the injuries he still suffers from.”
Justin Tankersley is the eighth and final in a series of 2022 Facility Champion profiles sponsored by Ferguson Facilities Supply. Tankersley and other champions were recognized for their leadership and creativity in Facilities Management by FacilitiesNet. Honorees have been invited to participate in a Facility Champions Roundtable at NFMT Remix at Paris Las Vegas Resort, Nov. 2-3.
Dave Lubach is managing editor of the facility market.
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