SUSTAINABLE FACILITIES DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT
The concept of facilities management primarily focuses on the management of the internal aspects of the business such as organizing the people, infrastructure, space utilization for the administration of the respective organizations. The International Facility Management Association has categorized the roles of facility management into eleven segments that includes environmental sustainability, communication, emergency management and business continuation, human resource management, financial resource management, operational process and maintenance, specific quality parameters, leadership and management style, technological compatibility and property management. Managing these factors are the basic roles of a facilities manager.
During the early 1990s, the facilities management process of the firms used to focus on managing the organizational resources in accordance with the capability of the organization. However, with the growth of technology and management tools, facility management is used as a discipline enforcing process within the internal organizational process. According to Kamarazaly, Mbachu & Phipps, it is the duty of the facilities managers to identify and fulfill the requirements of the employees. On the other hand, Lorenz focused on enhancing the role of facilities management by including consumer perspectives for enhancing the sustainability of the process. Lorenz stated that developing consumer services will engage the consumers directly with the facilities management process of the company. Many big brands around the world are trying to improvise their facilities management process in accordance to the changes in the global business environment for gaining an imitable competitive advantage. However, with the growing competition and increasing number of firms entering the business sector, developing rare facility management designs has become more complex. The facilities management process of American technology firm Apple Inc is considered to be among the bests processes in the world. With the help of vertical integration for aligning their business processes, Apple has succeeded in reflecting a singular view of the brand to their global consumer base.
The primary challenge for developing a sustainable facility management process is to identify and measure the value added by the facility management design. Factors such as the maintenance cost of the assets and comparing them to their actual and current value will help in improving the contribution of facility management in the current scenario. Hightower & Highsmith opined that adequate funding is another problem for the managers in designing a sustainable facility management process. As contributions of facility management efforts are not directly reflected in the business aspects of the company, many firms are focused on developing individual departments for managing their internal business aspects. In order to improve the effectiveness of the facility management process, firms are trying to develop an organized culture across all their functional fields and develop greater sustainability to the managerial decisions.
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