While they often maintain a behind-the-scenes presence, facilities managers tackle critical issues each day in the face of a myriad of obstacles. Here are some of the top challenges of the facilities management industry.
Because facilities managers operate in uniquely administrative yet isolated positions, they often deal with companies who don’t recognize their value. Organizations regularly fail to allocate necessary funds to facilities managers, explained Mapcon, which can make maintenance work extremely difficult.
The source noted that many business leaders aren’t aware that their resident facilities managers can actually help save them money through preventative maintenance practices and equipment updates, as long as they’re given some control over budgets. Additionally, facilities managers often have in-depth knowledge on energy conservation, though companies often don’t provide these professionals with enough power or resources to implement these money-saving techniques.
The unseen nature of facilities management often contributes to large work loads as well, reported Corrigo. Because much of the work these professionals do on a daily basis goes unnoticed, employers often tack on extra responsibilities that fall within the facilities realm.
Additionally, budget cuts often force businesses to reduce their number of field technicians, and the duties of these former employees usually gets transferred to facilities management staff. Necessary yet time-consuming actions like finding and communicating with affordable vendors become priorities for facilities professionals on top of all the other day-to-day responsibilities.
Aging buildings and grounds
Though even brand new buildings have daily issues, older structures can be especially difficult to maintain. Facilities managers dealing with aging buildings, equipment and grounds are constantly trying to maintain safe and functional environments, and this can be a major challenge if there is severe deterioration or serious issues with structural integrity. Even facilities management teams that are devoted to preventative maintenance eventually need to deal with the inevitable consequences of aging, and doing so can be extremely difficult.
Keeping older buildings in good shape is especially hard for facilities professionals who are not privy to budget control, noted Mapcon. According to The Houston Chronicle, many businesses choose to reduce funding for facilities when faced with financial hardship, often preventing management teams from implementing effective preventative maintenance practices. Eventually, small problems grow worse with age and facilities managers are left to deal with crumbling, dangerous structures on limited budgets.