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In simple terms, the facilities owned by a company represent the largest portion of its assets. And, as such, they need to be handled with due care and attention. If facilities are not managed with due care, it can be detrimental to business survival when sustainability, adaptability and flexibility are becoming crucial every day.

The entire life cycle of a company's facilities is handled by the facilities management department. There are many different services that this department manages such as planning, designing and implementing new solutions.

Facilities management (also known as FM) is a business discipline that sits at the heart of every company's operations and is becoming increasingly important as organizations use more complex real estate and technology to run their operations.

Facilities professionals plan, maintain and manage the above facilities owned by the business and they coordinate a wide range of activities with the operations and maintenance team to provide an efficient and effective work environment for the core business.

As this department is responsible for managing the facilities, it is really important that the services broadly reflect the company's social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Facility assets need to be well maintained, operated, serviced and located.

Facilities management is evolving every day and facility managers are key to following international trends and practices. Departments must ensure that they have innovative strategies and sustainable practices that can improve the company's environment. For example, current market analysis and data demonstrate that facility managers can add significant value to their businesses by:

• Advanced skills
• Latest technology
• Strategic planning

Even when it has all the basics in practice and is working well.

These responsibilities cannot be delegated to line managers due to their importance, and impact on business operations and profitability. The function needs to be performed by individuals who have adequate background, training and experience in facility asset management. This can be an in-house team of facilities management professionals or it can be outsourced to a trusted partner.

The roles and responsibilities of facility management team members should also be clear to all. Problems often arise when team members cannot easily adapt to the changes taking place and as a result, the organization becomes chaotic.

Remember, a business will not succeed without a well-run team of facility experts whether it is an in-house or outsourced service!

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