Facility management is complex and requires knowledge of many different components for success. Here are a few tips to help every facility manager get started in their new role:
Read and Be Familiar with the Lease
Whether you are overseeing a downtown office, suburban warehouse, converted loft or building complex, it is important to understand whether the space is owned, leased or subleased. If the facility is leased, review the start and end dates. Knowing the timeline for rates, cancellation dates and options for renewal will provide a time-frame for important tasks to be completed.
Review As-Built Drawings of the Work Environment
Confirm the drawings are complete and up-to-date. Verify dates of original construction and any changes made since that time. If questions arise, speak with the architect or design firm that prepared the drawings and oversaw all the build-out work.
Inspect the Building and Systems
Review the maintenance records of the HVAC, electrical, life safety and security systems and check to see if any equipment is due for service. Note any possible violations of building or fire codes, security lapses, health and safety hazards or accessibility issues. Address serious problems right away. Note other items that should be changed later.
Determine if maintenance is performed at certain times or on a break-fix basis and decide which approach best suits the facility and culture. If the facility is occupied by several tenants, discuss the frequency of maintenance activities with the building operations personnel. Request a summary of a recent indoor air quality (IAQ) test.
Determine the age of the facility’s furniture. A quick walk around the building will show if there is one type of modular system throughout the office or a combination of different systems. Make a judgement whether the furniture and layout effectively promote the type of work performed and reflect the corporate culture.
Review the Operations Budget and All Service Contracts
Determine the scope and dollar value of the facility’s annual operating budget and current expenses. Ask the finance personnel when the budget is set and how frequently it is reviewed. Review current contracts for start and end dates and meet with the contracted workers to review their scope of work. Consider whether they satisfactorily provide the service for which the company pays and whether the services are correctly gauged to the facility.
If managing a facility with multiple tenants where services are contracted by a landlord, accompany the building operations staff during inspections with cleaners, security and life safety systems personnel.
A very important aspect of being successful Facility Manger is to make sure all key personnel know who you are.
If you need additional information on facility management tips, contact MAC today. MAC is a contractor Kansas City property and facility managers have trusted for more than 25 years. MAC can help you with any facility repairs, remodeling, custom cabinetry, construction and many other projects.