what is facilities management

What is Facilities Management? 

What is facilities management (FM)? No matter which sector you operate in, FM should be a key pillar of your organisation. It ensures your business premises are clean, safe, and secure, resulting in a more comfortable and inviting workspace. This not only brings productivity benefits but also bolsters brand identity. 

FM is a fairly broad term that brings together so-called soft and hard services. Together, these integrated processes make it far easier for a company to deliver services or products to its customers. While some businesses consider FM an expensive investment, it can help cut operational costs and improve profits in the long run. 
What is facilities management, and why is it important to your business? The average FM manager will have an exhaustive remit. Businesses that are leasing their premises may face less of a burden thanks to the input of a dedicated property manager. However, there is a multitude of tasks that will always need to be handled internally. 

Struggling to keep on top of FM? At Brosnan Property Solutions, we’ve been providing businesses with facility management services for many years. Ready to discover more about FM? Our guide explains what FM is in detail, the difference between hard and soft services, as well as why you should be considering outsourcing.  

Facilities Management Explained 

FM is a fairly broad term. It’s typically used to describe all the tools and services required to ensure the smooth operation of business premises or larger infrastructure. It also plays a key function in sustainability, ensuring adhesion to robust health and safety protocols.  
Many individual responsibilities fall under the FM banner. This includes lease administration and general lease management. Furthermore, FM can play a role in project planning and ongoing project management

It’s also key to everyday operations and building maintenance. This includes ensuring energy usage is effectively managed and expenditure is tightly monitored. “For businesses looking to mitigate costs, FM can help ensure spaces are fully utilised and at full occupancy,” says Ray Brosnan, Brosnan Property Solutions’ Managing Director. “It’s also vital in improving the experience for existing employees and visitors to a site.”  

What is Facilities Management (Hard and Soft) 

What is facilities management? Although many people talk about FM in a broader context, there are two fields of FM to consider. These are soft services and hard services.  

What Are Soft Services?

what is facilities management

Soft facility management refers to the provision of services that ensure premises are kept safe, secure and comfortable for employees and visitors. Many soft FM tasks are considered optional, meaning those on a budget may not deem them necessary to their operation. However, it’s also best to avoid cutting corners when it comes to soft services.  
Soft services typically include general housekeeping, pest control, waste disposal and recycling. Soft FM also includes tasks like maintenance of outdoor areas. This can include everything from ensuring parking spaces are kept in usable condition to organising landscape gardeners. Furthermore, soft services may involve assessing existing equipment and office furniture for usability. It also includes repairs or replacement of existing assets. Ongoing space management is also important. Finally, soft services tend to include ongoing management of in-house information systems, as well as the handling and archiving of mail and documents.  

What Are Hard FM Services? 

Hard FM involves a more hands-on approach to property maintenance. As well as rigorous building maintenance, hard services FM ensures that water and energy systems are working optimally. What’s more, any HVAC systems are regularly monitored to determine operational effectiveness and identify urgent repairs. Legal requirements entail hard services to ensure businesses are providing a safe and secure workplace for employees. This means things like fire safety, lighting and maintenance of access points all fall into this category.  

The Importance of FM 

Why is it important? While businesses have a legal obligation to invest in hard services, FM can also help an organisation thrive. For starters, a safe and secure building that’s well organised will naturally boost productivity levels. By providing employees with everything they need to fulfil their daily tasks, businesses can dramatically reduce downtime. By ensuring that a building meets strict safety requirements, businesses also spare themselves from the hassle of liability.  
FM can also boost profitability in other ways. For large operations, FM can represent a significant expense. However, a meticulous approach will constantly be looking for ways to reduce operational costs and stamp out unnecessary expenditures. Ultimately, the aim is to protect the bottom line and ensure sufficient revenues can be redirected back into everyday operations.  
A successful business should constantly be looking to the future. Part of this involves ensuring a business has scalability. FM plays a key role here. Some businesses may expand their reach with new locations. Others may be looking to embrace virtual working or hybrid approaches. FM is instrumental in ensuring these changes are implemented effectively. 

Finally, FM allows businesses to commit to sustainability in the long term. Most organisations can enjoy substantial savings by investigating energy efficiency best practices or rethinking their approach to waste and recycling. However, sustainable FM practices can also help market the green credentials of a company.  

Are Property Managers the Same as Facility Managers? 

Property manager and facility manager roles are often confused. Confusion usually arises when a business operates outside of premises that they do not own. For organisations leasing premises as their base of operations, both a facility manager and property manager will be involved. A property manager will be employed by an external entity, typically the owner of the property itself. 

Meanwhile, an FM will be directly employed by the business itself. A property manager will usually take charge of hard services, including essential utilities, building maintenance and the upkeep of grounds. Meanwhile, internal FMs will oversee things like management of the workspace itself, maintenance of assets and anything that directly impacts occupants.  

The Benefits of Outsourcing FM 

What is facilities management outsourcing? If you’re looking to slash costs and redirect resources to more important tasks, outsourcing FM services is the way forward. Outsourcing FM is often the standard for larger companies, but smaller businesses can also reap the benefits. By freeing up resources, you’ll always be able to keep up with the rigorous requirements of property maintenance. Furthermore, an outsourcing model tends to be a cost-effective solution.  
It’s a time saver. Trying to handle property and FM tasks internally is time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the right skills at your disposal. It’s easy enough to find an available handyman but sourcing an experienced electrician or arranging for roof repairs can be more taxing. By outsourcing FM, you can be confident that urgent maintenance tasks will always be taken care of.  
Smaller companies with limited experience may also choose to outsource FM when they’re worried about liability. By outsourcing FM to an experienced third-party provider, you can rest assured that your workspace is safe and secure. A third-party provider will also deliver results in rapid time, resulting in minimal disruption to your everyday operations.  
What is FM outsourcing good for? If you’re looking to improve quality control across the board, it’s the only way forward. By using the services of dedicated maintenance teams, business-critical elements like security systems will also be performing as they should. Furthermore, you won’t have to invest in additional equipment to ensure FM tasks are carried out as they should.  
Thinking about expanding? Outsourcing means you won’t have to worry about spreading limited resources too thinly. With a reliable FM provider, you benefit from ready access to industry-leading expertise and all the resources you’ll ever need.  

Why You Need to Start Thinking Seriously About FM 

Every business needs to prioritise FM. Without it, you can’t expect your operation to run efficiently. It’s helps provide a safe and secure environment for your employees and visitors. Additionally, it allows your operation to run cost-effectively, allowing you to take charge of energy efficiency and preventative maintenance.  
It’s also important to understand the difference between hard and soft services. For businesses operating out of leased premises, hard services tend to be the responsibility of an external property manager. However, there’s no guarantee all the hard services you’re required to fulfil by law will be provided by a building owner. Soft services are sometimes considered secondary to hard services, but they can dramatically improve the usability of your space, boosting productivity, enhancing brand identity, and aiding things like employee retention.  
What is Facilities Management outsourcing? If you’re struggling to keep on top of an ever-growing list of FM requirements, turning to a tried and trusted external provider is something to consider. Even small to medium-sized businesses can realise impressive cost-saving benefits. It not only streamlines everyday operations but also strengthens scalability potential, making it easier for businesses to plan for the future and consider expansion.  

Thinking About Outsourcing FM? 

Looking to take your business to the next level? Outsourcing FM is an easy way to improve scalability. At Brosnan Property Solutions, we’ve been industry leaders in FM for more than 20 years. If you’re looking for a tried and trusted provider to handle hard and soft services, we can help. 
Ready to discover more ways that FM can help your business? Get in touch with us today via the online contact form or call us at 0818 333770. Alternatively, you can read our article on facility management best practices.