What is Facility­ Management? And It’s Main Pillars

Facility administration is challenging to describe due to its extensive scope. It encompasses the synchronization of all elements that ensure the smooth operation of a company’s buildings, assets, and systems. Aside from overseeing day-to-day activities, facility administrators must also execute their company’s long-term strategic facility management plan.

Hence, the role of a facility administrator extends well beyond simply “managing facilities.” Due to this, numerous businesses struggle to optimize the benefits of their facility administrators.

In order for you to gain a better grasp of the exact responsibilities of a facility administrator and the impact they can have on your business, let’s dissect the key foundations of facility management.

Facility Administration versus Facility Operation

Facility administration overlaps with facility operation but they are not synonymous. Their difference is akin to the variance between a software developer and a project manager.

The project manager defines the entirety of the project’s scope and assumes accountability for it, while the software developer is responsible for coding and product creation.

In a similar manner, facility administration encompasses facility operation. Facility administration is tasked with formulating a strategic vision that emphasizes preventive and predictive maintenance.

Facility operation deals with the day-to-day functions of a building. It is more reactive in nature. Although facility administrators do not directly execute operational maintenance, they are charged with supervising grounds maintenance, asset maintenance and repair, management of fleet vehicles, as well as custodial and housekeeping services.

The Significance of Facility Administration

By enhancing productivity and reducing construction expenses, the facility administrator contributes to their company’s bottom line. They ensure that each employee can effectively carry out their responsibilities. Every proficient facility administrator wields a set of leadership competencies, and these competencies can contribute to the profitability of their business.

Supporting Personnel

Establishing an accommodating work environment for all employees within the building is the paramount objective of every facility administrator. This can serve numerous broader objectives, such as fostering a positive workplace culture, enhancing efficiency and productivity, and attracting and nurturing top talent. Here are some ways in which a facility administrator can provide employee support:

  • Overseeing emergency planning
  • Optimizing space utilization and facilitating relocations
  • Managing employee directories
  • Coordinating desk arrangements

The facility administrator serves as a liaison between the workplace and everyone operating within it. It is the responsibility of the facility administrator to address comfort, safety, and accommodation issues, among others.

This applies reciprocally as well. The facility administrator also needs to determine the long-term strategy for workplace optimization and supply crucial planning information to the C-suite. Through their daily interaction with the workplace, facility administrators can shed light on competitive advantages at the employee level.

Facility Maintenance and Enhancement

Naturally, facility administration predominantly concerns the enhancement of physical structures and facility maintenance. The facility administrator must manage assets, plan for the future, and forge partnerships. A wide array of responsibilities falls under this framework, including:

  • Negotiating and supervising service contracts for tasks such as parking, cleaning, data center security, dining services, HVAC maintenance, painting, etc.
  • Assessing building structures to determine the need for renovations and repairs.
  • On and off-site property management
  • Workplace aesthetics
  • Ensuring that facilities comply with environmental and health standards, as well as government regulations
  • Budget management
  • Compiling condition reports and maintenance records

If it pertains to the physical structure, it falls within the domain of facility administration.

Establishing Protocols

There must be a framework that governs the functions of facility administration. It is the responsibility of the facility administrator to establish these protocols. These protocols engender order within the workplace and can include:

  • Emergency action planning
  • Managing guest and visitor check-ins
  • Reallocating space within the facility
  • Submitting work order requests

Ultimately, such protocols should positively influence the manner in which employees utilize the workplace. The facility administrator assumes a dual role here – their task is to identify governance areas and tailor protocols to address them.

Every workplace runs on a multitude of protocols, and the new protocols that the facility administrator needs to establish may involve different spaces, fixtures, assets, employees, and departments.

Integration of Technology

Modern facility administrators heavily rely on technology. Identifying and implementing suitable technologies is among the primary responsibilities of facility administrators.

The IT department typically handles the integration of physical technology. However, the facility administrator has the foremost say on how the company should select, utilize, and leverage these technologies. In a contemporary setting, facility administrators may need to:

  • Utilize aggregated data to gain deeper insights into the workplace
  • Evaluate the advantages, costs, and ROI of smart technologies
  • Research IoT devices
  • Incorporate IoT devices into everyday facility processes

To glean insights about the workplace, facility administrators can utilize networked technologies. By analyzing the gathered data, they can ascertain how to enhance the work environment.

Nevertheless, not every networked device relies on data collection. Nonetheless, each networking technology serves a purpose, and it is the responsibility of the facility administrator to comprehend and leverage these functions.


If a business seeks to ensure that every system within the constructed environment operates harmoniously, they require a facility administrator. By establishing protocols for order and organization, your facility administrator will support your employees and your business – both directly and indirectly.

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