Facility Management

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Facility Management services

What is Facility Management? Meaning.

Facility Management (FM) is a broad umbrella term for the interdisciplinary field of managing, coordinating and integrating processes (or activities) within an organization to maintain and develop agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of the organization's primary processes.

FM is dealing with the secondary or supporting processes of Porter's value chain.

According to European standard EN15221, the scope of FM is the integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.

The term is frequently used in outsourcing situations, in which such services are being provided by an external services provider. But companies can also have an internal FM department to coordinate the multitude of support services.

Remember that depending on the organization, the perception of what is primary, and what is not, may differ considerably.

Types of Facility Management Providers

The facilities management market can be generally split into 4 different areas:

  • Internal FM departments
  • Single service providers (catering, security, furniture, cleaning, etc)
  • Bundled suppliers (companies offering some combination of services)
  • Total facilities management companies (companies offering a large range of services)

From a Narrow to Broad Perspective on Facility Management

The term 'Computer Facilities Management' was coined by Ross Perot of EDS in the USA. In 1963, EDS signed its first long term contract for the provision of facilities management to a provide various IT services to a company using large computer systems (mainframes). EDS was the first company to offer fixed price contracts for long-term five year deals, covering almost everything that is needed to run and operate computer systems for a company.


A little later the same time the term was also used to indicate supporting services surrounding the exploitation of furniture, office space, security and cleaning services.


Over time it became an umbrella term which can potentially include a very large range of supporting services:

Narrow view towards FM

  • Building initial performance
  • Catering & vending services
  • Cleaning services
  • Furniture
  • Hospitality management (e.g., reception)
  • Office facilities (e.g., meeting rooms)
  • Office supplies
  • Parking services
  • People transportation services
  • Property administration
  • Security services
  • Workplace management (copiers, faxes)


Broad view towards FM

  • Corporate real estate services
  • Design and construction services
  • Document management
  • Energy management
  • Event management
  • Fleet management
  • Health & environment
  • Landscaping
  • Lease, rental & space management
  • Logistics (inventory, transport, etc)
  • Maintenance
  • Pest control
  • Portfolio optimization
  • Procurement
  • Relocation services (internal)
  • Reporting
  • Safety
  • Travel services
  • Utilities


Most inclusive view towards FM


Categorization of Facility Management

The above areas can be categorized into:

  1. Space & Infrastructure

    This category of services focuses on:

    • Space / Accommodation (services such as programming, design and acquisition of space, but also the administration and management of space and its disposal)
    • Workplace (services related to internal and external environments, fitting out with furniture, equipments and tenants)
    • Technical infrastructure (services resulting in a comfortable climate, lighting, etc.)
    • Cleaning (services that maintain a proper working environment and help maintain assets in good condition.
    • Other space & infrastructure
  2. People & Organization

    This category of services focuses on:

    • Health, Safety and Security (HSSE) (services that protect from external dangers or internal risks as well as the health and well-being of the people)
    • Hospitality (services providing a hospitable working environment makes people feel welcome and comfortable)
    • ICT (services providing information and telecommunication technologies)
    • Logistics (services concerned with the transport and storage of goods and information and improving relevant processes)
    • Other business support services (services such as human resource management, accounting, procurement).

Benefits of  Facility Management. Advantages

In general, all organizations, whether public or private, use buildings, assets and services (facilities) to support their primary activities. By coordinating these supporting assets and services, using management skills and handling many changes in the organization's environment, FM may increase an organization's ability to perform its primary processes in an optimal way. Another major reason for FM is to optimize the costs and performance of assets and services. Here's a further list of some advantages associated with FM:

  • Clear and transparent communication between the demand side and the supply side by dedicating persons as single points of contact for all services, which are defined in a FM agreement.
  • Most effective use of synergies amongst different services, which will help to improve performance and reduce costs of an organization.
  • Simple and manageable concept of internal and external responsibilities for services, based on strategic decisions, which leads to systematic insourcing or outsourcing procedures.
  • Reduction of conflicts between internal and external service providers.
  • Integration and coordination of all required support services.
  • Transparent knowledge and information on service levels and costs, which can be clearly communicated to the end users.
  • Improvement of an organization sustainability by implementing a life cycle analysis for the facilities.

Special Interest Group

Facility Management Special Interest Group.

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Facilities Management Development

Facilities Management
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Compare with: Outsourcing  |  Value Chain  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Vertical Integration  |  Horizontal Integration  |  Benchmarking  |  3rd Party Logistics (3PL)  |  Vendor Managed Inventory

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