3 Changes Facilities Managers Must Make and Advice for the Next Gen

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Doing more with less has been a corporate mandate since the economy took a down turn and operations is no exception. Luckily, it’s not all bad news. The need for greater efficiency has brought on a revolution in they way buildings are run, and facilities managers will lead the charge.


To prosper, however, you’ll need to recognize that the role is changing, understand how, enhance your skill set and change your mindset in three ways.


  1. Move From Paper to Technology

Throw the paper schematics in the recycle bin. Work orders and energy consumption charts have moved into the digital age and so must facilities managers. In fact, embracing technology will help you progress from tactical to strategic and shift from reactive to proactive.


Analytics can now deliver information previously incalculable by humans and control any place, any time and in any format. Through the insight delivered, it’s possible for facilities managers to have a greater impact on energy consumption and cost and the quality of service to building occupants.


  1. Progress from Tactical to Strategic

Actually, it’s not only possible for you to impact the bottom line, it’s expected. Facilities managers are quickly evolving from primarily maintaining buildings to playing a part in helping the organization meet its operational goals.


As building plans and business goals become more aligned, facility managers are interfacing more with the C-suite. With this new seat, you’ll help form strategy, by securing funding for operations projects and being the conduit for realizing the positive effects energy efficiency initiatives can have on the organization as a whole.


The majority businesses these days are pushing their green initiatives and promoting how they are doing their parts to save the planet, but sustainability can’t happen without proper facilities management.


  1. Shift From Reactive to Proactive

So rather then reporting in on the energy waste, you’ll need to bring a solution to the table. It’s key to leverage data analytics, cloud software and mobile/connected devices to better anticipate building needs and locate potential problems before they arise.


Even more so, the Internet of Things (IoT) in buildings will cause a transformation. But with the emergence of these technological advancements, you will require new skills around core IT and security practices. Stay ahead through training and education.


For the Rookies

There’s one more overarching trend to which business and newcomers to the role should pay attention. The average age of a facilities pro is over 55 — closing in on retirement.  For organizations, there’s surely risk they will take their facilities knowledge with them when they go.


Yet, these Boomers grew up with many of the mechanical systems still in use in buildings today — ones that will be for years to come. They ran them manually, which gave them a deep understanding. For facilities managers just coming out of college, you may have some of the next gen skills they don’t, but you’ll want to learn from the current gen. Organizations should be sure to facilitate a transfer of knowledge. The best both worlds is the ultimate foundation for the future of operations.


Note: This blog was adapted from an article that originally appeared on AutomatedBuildings.com.

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