A mature organisation would normally have a separate department that takes care of building and facilities. This is especially true for those who capitalise on their workforce to generate revenues – such as in the manufacturing, business process outsourcing, construction and more.
Enable cost-efficient working processes
There is a lot of business management that goes into building and facilities. They are often tapped by the entire company to provide them with the work systems that they need, from physical to virtual requirements. This is where scouting for various vendors and partners comes into the picture. They do necessary bidding and procurement of items needed based on several factors: actual specifications and requirements of the business unit, the working budget, how compliant is equipment in terms of building code, government policies etc.
They also have the big picture of how the organisation operates. They can suggest ways on how to narrow down processes, or sometimes eliminate work systems that seemed redundant. For manufacturing companies, they rely on building and facilities to determine which processes they can automate and where they can trigger headcount reduction.
Smarter working using intelligent IT systems and applications
Most building and facilities team are required to conduct research on new technologies and updates on smart working systems on a regular basis. Most companies would want to maintain flat costs while growing at an exponential rate. This is where their job becomes critical. They are also the ones usually alerted by vendors when there is new equipment that offers better energy consumption, faster processing time, better connectivity etc.
They normally have a separate (and most of the time the biggest chunk) of the budget year on year. Therefore, their active participation in identifying resources that are no longer cost efficient and should be replaced with something else.
Management of buildings, people, assets
They are technically the gatekeepers of anything that must do with business continuity, health, and safety of the entire organisation. You would usually see them drafting business continuity plan or disaster risk reduction programs for the business. They are also responsible for fire and earthquake drills that are done to comply with government initiatives. Building and facilities people should ensure that business will run even if unforeseen circumstances arise. As you know, time is money for most companies.
They also hold the key to making the building and environment safe and health awareness campaigns. They designate smoking areas, day care rooms, play rooms, parking and more. You also have to thank them for ensuring that pantries in the office are well stocked or food prepared by the concessionaires are enough and follows sanitary standards.
Building and facilities also track the life span of equipment installed in the entire building. They would typically know when a laptop is to be replaced, a phone line to be upgraded and more. They are also the go-to the department in case something went wrong with the faucet in the comfort rooms, malfunctioning air condition system and the list go on.
Maintain complete compliance
Government and other regulatory bodies do spot audits from time to time. This is also the reason why you would normally see folks from the building and facilities team going around and checking all the equipment, hardware and software regularly, even when everything seems to be working fine. They are also key when an organisation vies for ISO certification or quality awards.
They are also tasked to ensure environmental compliance of the company. The government is particularly strict about this. For example, factories are prevented from dumping their waste products or materials into bodies of water or land. Building and facilities teams are also the main point of contact for anything that involves proper waste disposal and segregation.
Focal Point of Business Expansion
It is very challenging for a business to grow without the build out that carefully planned and carried out by building and facilities team. From the blueprint to making sure that everything goes well per plan. They scrutinise every detail, every design and the quality of work of the contractors. They also ensure the timeliness of turnover of the building or parts of it. Coordinating with IT to install applications, hardware systems, and the network is also a crucial part of their tasks.
Smart, environmental-friendly and compliant – these are the top considerations when constructing a building or running a business. The business and facilities arm of every organisation plays a vital role in ensuring the that it adheres to the trend of low energy and cost efficient assets for the entire workforce. Their paramount responsibility is to balance the requirements of both the company and the people.