February 04, 2014

RICS report - strategic FM boosts workplace productivity

Conclusions from the so called “round table” meetings organised by RICS in over a dozen of cities have been collected and analysed. The aim of this latest RICS research was to revise the current status as well as current and future role of Facilities Management. Findings of the report commissioned by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) uncovered that FM professionals around the world, regardless of the country of their location, are facing similar challenges in establishing their position as a strategic and essential business function. Directors at the board level are currently too often don’t have knowledge about FM or are not interested in it. This is due, in part, to facilities managers not having the possibility to attract their attention to this issue. These barriers prevent the practitioners from 'acting more strategically'

Authors from the Occupiers Journal, who prepared the report, found that current lack of strategic solutions available around leadership, education and business structures, along with an undefined “FM Brand”, stagnates real estate sector growth and discourages new talent, hindering the efficiency of organisations adapting to an evolving workplace market. The research ‘Raising the Bar: City Roundtables Report (Phase II)’ builds on findings from the 2012 report ‘Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management (Phase I)’ that provided robust evidence for organisations to introduce a strategic management discipline. The 2013 research considered previous recommendations and surveyed FM professionals across six continents and 12 economically different cities where they identified “A Dozen Challenges” to the profession answered by “A Dozen Recommendations” to the FM market.

The most significant report’s conclusion concerns the need to effectively and strategically use FM in the business planning process at the highest level. It is a crucial factor leading to improvement of companies’ efficiency and greater profits. Equally important, roundtable participants stated that it was FM leaders who needed to work with business and organisational leadership groups to raise the profile of FM and create an “FM Brand”, to define professional standards, career path and to clarify FM’s role in helping to make organisations more efficient.

Fundamentally the report found that effective and strategic FM planning incorporated into the highest-level business planning is vital to increase efficiency and drive up profits across businesses.

Paul Carder, Managing Director, the Occupiers Journal, commented: “Practitioners and businesses are telling us that the time has come for facilities management to embrace a strategic approach towards Facilities Management. Unfortunately, today, for instance, the average head of facilities spends over fifty percent of his or her time on day-to-day issues and less than twenty-one percent of their time on strategy and planning. This needs to change for FM to fully realise its potential.”

RICS Global Commercial Property Director, Johnny Dunford, added “Facilities Management remains a priority for RICS as the strategic management of workplace resources increases productivity and overall efficiency of an organisation. The research report ‘Raising the Bar: City Roundtables Report (Phase II)’ demonstrates our commitment to and understanding of FM as a strategic business function and supports a continuous drive by RICS’ to improve property professionalism worldwide.”

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