Whether it comes to young, intermediate or successful companies, all are bound to face the inevitable truth of evolving facility management practices. The sad truth is that most facility managers are deficient in the knowledge or simply lack an organised framework to the approach of managing their facilities.
The challenges of evolving technology, corporate competitions and social responsibility drive companies to the edge of bankruptcy unless action is taken. In response to these changing times a new ISO facility management standard will quite beneficial.
Facility management standards are simply interdisciplinary organisation functions aimed to monitor, assess, legislate, execute and advance programs and routines of an organisation to increase its compliance and operational inefficiencies. It entails a broad spectrum of activities such routine maintenance, fire safety, accessibility, health and safety, cleaning, energy management and sustainability, space management, security, grounds and landscape maintenance, solid waste management, integrated pest management among others.
This is a new professional discipline that pins the interest of real-estate, corporate and industrial sectors. Facility management forms the basis of a standardised module on which a company operates. If at all the standard is applicable it is implemented in other organisational sectors and the organisation's performance is compared to the executed standard. Further adjustments in the standard can be made to improve the facility’s pro-efficiency and quality of productivity. In addition, it ensures uniformity in work description while helping in the maintenance of working standards and forms a basis of self-assessment.
The development of facility standards dates back as far as 2003 within European countries to develop a common professionalism in the industrial and business sector with the aim of increasing the general productivity of the continent. Among these was the British Institute of Facility Management (BIFM), working with the BSI Facilities Management Committee, CEN 384 Technical Committee and ISO Technical Committee 267 for Facilities Management.
Before that, standard bodies were established as follows: International body was the International Standards Organisation (ISO), the regional body was the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the national body was the British Standard Institute (BSI). In aim of achieving their objectives, European standards were established:
The general deficiency in the knowledge of facility management standards pushed the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) to delve into solving the mysteries behind this fast-growing operational discipline. In this quest of finding answers, a new international standard for facilities management was legally established by the ISO and given the mandate to source all relevant information concerning this new field.
In addition, there was the development of the ISO 18480, International Standards for Facility Management.In response to this, the publication of ISO 41011 and ISO 41012 explored the vocabulary and the guidance ont he development of agreements and strategic sourcing revolving facility management. Currently, the publication of ISO 41001 expected for 2018, is to touch on issues of development, execution and maintenance of facility management in all sectors such as global industry and commerce.
This will create a common ground in the management of organisations. This publication also provides guidelines or criteria on the credibility of the companies to perform their operations and differentiates companies through legal certification.
Among the great individuals taking part in this field is Stan Mitchell, the official chair of the British Standards Institute (BSI) FMW/1 facility management committee. Chairing the ISO TC 267 committee, he’s expected to monitor the development of standards and create an internationally recognised and acceptable suite of facility management standards.
The committee is set to define a conclusive, accredited and formal framework in facility management and oversee the quality, health and environmental management systems and occupational safety standards in existence. This will provide all companies with a framework of building and developing facilities management regime. In the future, ISO is expected to establish the Management Systems Standards (MMS) in response to the growing need of facility standardisation.
The future of facility management standards is set for a bright future and organisations all over the world should invest in this growing field in order to experience maximum efficient operations.