Facility management is a position that requires a unique set of duties that are unmatched in many ways. For instance, facility managers hold one of the only positions in large organizations that require communication with virtually all corporate levels, from C-suite executives to temporary contractors. In this way, it’s a thrilling and powerful position, but it’s also one that requires an immense amount of responsibility, from the overseeing of basic building maintenance to sophisticated software deployments. These tasks are often managed with the aid of comprehensive facility management software, but the role is still a complex and multi-faceted one requiring a highly competent professional to manage the many aspects of running a facility.
Because the wonderful world of facility management changes and evolves with today’s technology, it’s important for even the most seasoned facility managers to keep abreast of the latest trends. That’s why facility managers often attend facility management conferences, and even the most seasoned professionals find value in continuing education. Facility managers also find value in reading about the latest trends and expert insights published in industry publications and blogs. To support this, we’ve done the homework for you by compiling a list of the 50 most current and most insightful articles on facility management available. Each and every one contains valuable information on the emerging trends and best practices of the sturdiest operations around. We’ve organized this list alphabetically, and by category. To jump to a section that suits your needs most, reference the categories below:
- Best Practices for Facility Managers
- Facility Management Technologies
- Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
- Emergency Preparedness and Security
Best Practices for Facility Managers
Software firm, Accruent, publishes a blog that’s chock-full of industry insider tips on all things facilities management, whether it be in healthcare, field service management, space planning, and beyond. In this article, the company takes a laconic approach to laying out the ‘holy grail’ best practices for modern facility managers, including troubleshooting, 3PL management, and granular data assessment.
- All managers, especially those working in maintenance, should have the tools to oversee the entire operation centrally.
- Compile a list of multiple reliable service providers for when disaster strikes.
- Keep a detailed and current list of the granular data of each asset.
Building Controls and Services, Inc. is a company that has made it its mission to provide building automation services to a wide range of businesses. In this article, BCS shares its top 5 most important traits for facility managers, from the technical, like benchmark creation, to the personnel-related, like proper communication practices.
- Establish a work order system that helps support the most accurate tracking possible.
- Invest in smart technologies that help maximize your bottom line.
- Develop communication channels within your work order system that allows users to follow up so that important issues get the attention they need.
One of the toughest – and most overlooked – problems that many facility managers face is the issue of winter weather and how it can affect the integrity of the building. In this article, published by Buildings, we get a sneak peek into the most helpful topics discussed in the BIFM-published, winter Good Practices Guide.
- Winter facility protocol must align with all health and safety management systems and protocol.
- Be sure to send your winter plan to your insurer and broker prior to the start of the season.
- Conduct full accident reports as soon as winter-weather damage occurs.
Becoming a ‘best-in-class’ facilities manager takes a lot of experience, commitment, and trial and error. Luckily, the writers of the Built Space Blog have created a comprehensive list detailing the key attributes that all managers shooting for the stars should achieve on their journeys. In it, we get an understanding of how well-planned processes, technology, and organization can transform a good operation into a great one.
- Use internal operational measurements that have been devised specifically for your facility.
- Standardize all processes used within the facility.
- Ensure that the operation supports the goals and strategies of corporate.
At Camcode, we’ve published plenty of material that is meant to enrich and inform the experiences of facility managers working at all levels. Our article, 50 Expert Facilities Management Tips and Best Practices, provides readers with the best, most extensive advice, from the leading names in FM. For the most personalized help, search through the article by category.
- Make broad assessments of current infrastructure when making energy-related improvements.
- Consider shifting some of your outsourced tasks back in-house.
- Invest in thermal-imaging technology to spot hidden problems.
Industry paper, Facility Magazine, provides a helpful Q&A column for those grappling with the most technical of FM issues. In this installment, Sharon Prezzy, deputy PMO lead at Springfield, VA-based Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS), and Reginal McCotter, chief engineer/project manager with SAMS, answer this question: “Whether broad or specific, what is a best practice you have positioned front and center for your department?”
- When you hit operational ‘walls’, improve the situation by making small, frequent adjustments.
- Invest in an analytics system that maximizes your bottom line.
- Address small, necessary repairs as they pop up.
Facility and Construction app, Fasttac, provides users and visitors of its blog with plenty of helpful information on facility management logistics, particularly related to safety and regulation standards compliance. In this article, the company delves into their 7 must-follow steps, all of which can be applied to facilities of all sizes and industries.
- Select a facility management software that automates tasks and helps you reduce overtime pay.
- Invest in a software system that allows your operation to go completely paperless.
- Use a CMMS to effectively manage your spare parts inventory.
FM Systems, the facility management-savvy software firm, has published a series of articles, white papers, and webinars geared towards the modern facility manager. In a post written by Leasha Jackson, readers get a peek into the comings and goings of the company as well as its best practices for the space management sphere.
- Always take overall facility capacity into consideration when mapping out a space management plan.
- Proper space management planning reduces pricy real estate costs.
- Space management helps FMs develop the most streamlined maintenance and scenario planning possible.
Pacific Rim Construction magazine, otherwise known as PRC, frequently provides valuable information to facility managers working in the internationally, specifically in the Pacific Rim region. In this article, RICS Chief Executive, Sean Thompkins, gives his insight on IFMA’s “Strategic Facility Management Framework,” a series of new guidelines that launched in Dubai in 2018.
- FM frameworks are informed by new technologies, social aspirations, and the political landscape.
- An operation’s competitive advantage can be optimized through strategic facilities management practices.
- The ties between facility management and corporate real estate are only getting stronger and stronger as time goes on.
QSI Facilities, a technology and field partner leader working in the FM spectrum, frequently publishes straightforward assessments of modern facilities management practices to its blog. In this post, QSI Facilities focuses on the way that the newest, most cutting-edge technologies are helping to shape and inform the field, whether it be through software implementations or low-tech process overhauls.
- Opt for systems that allow for unfettered customization.
- Implement a software system that handles and promotes remote collaboration.
- Centralize all data and activities within a hearty CMMS.
Sometimes the most hard-hitting best practice lists feature examples of the most perilous mistakes. In this Service Channel post, Kristen Rhodes details the 4 most common flubs often seen in the field of facility management. Luckily, each of these mistakes is easy to spot once you take the time to become acquainted with the ways in which so many fall into the traps.
- Organizations must allocate the proper funds and expertise to run successful facilities.
- Contractor management is a skill that must be developed and prioritized.
- Make the move from manual data capture to digital.
Smartsheet, a software company the provides solutions to a wide range of industries, including facility management, has published a comprehensive guide geared towards budding facility managers as well as established facility managers who have their sights set on moving up. This guide covers an array of topics, from day-to-day operational basics to salary information.
- Those working in facilities management must know how to delegate effectively.
- A background in real estate and property management is a big plus.
- One of the foundations of FM training lies in far-reaching fire safety knowledge.
Solid, a firm that specializes in hard surface care has published a series of helpful cost-cutting tips for facility managers. This hard-hitting advice implores the reader to take an extra close look at their assets, challenging them to invest in the upkeep of the ones that provide the best overall value to the business.
- Control costs by maintaining HVAC and boiler systems.
- Educate all staff and contractors on smart energy reduction best practices.
- Consider condensing operations and leaving several floors vacant.
In an article for Tradeline, author Lawrence A. Howard, takes a deep dive into the updated best practices for use in the FM sphere, most specifically, advice on corporate workplace building management. Added insight is provided by Keith McClanahan, principal and founder of the publishing and benchmarking organization Facility Issues.
- Implement helpful and reliable IT management.
- Focus on meeting the customer’s expectations.
- Provide workers with “ownership” of the buildings so that they value the spaces more.
Facility Management Technologies
Don’t invest in technology that will soon become obsolete; instead, implement the kinds that will support your operation well into the future. In an article for AkitaBox, Rebecca Rudolph gives readers a brief, yet very thorough view of the FM technological trends that are making long-lasting impacts, including asset maintenance systems, mobile capabilities, and more.
- Invest in a system that allows you to access and record data remotely.
- Get to know how software services implement their products.
- Devise a work order management system that serves your unique business.
In a detailed article for Buildings, Janelle Perry takes a deep dive into the oft-misunderstood subject of IoT and how it is changing the practice of modern-day facilities management. In the piece, Perry quotes multiple business owners and facilities managers to get their takes on how this high-tech system should be implemented and managed.
- Determine which problems you are attempting to solve before investing in a system.
- Come up with a sturdy and conservative ROI prior to investment.
- Ease yourself and your operation into the world of IoT.
Aval Sethi, Chief Executive of Protaiga, has written an article for Business World India in which he explores the many ways new technologies have transformed the FM business. Though he acknowledges that trends in the field are already “smart,” Sethi chooses to focus on future high-tech trends that he predicts will bring even more advances, such as robotics, AI, and augmented reality.
- Establish non-traditional office spaces to attract Millennial employees.
- Use Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) to efficiently track anything from small supplies to large fleets.
- Pay attention to emerging hologram-based technologies.
Planon, a software company that provides helpful solutions and services to the FM industry, partnered with consultancy firm, Panorama, to conduct a widespread series of interviews with FM leaders. By doing this, the company learned much about the changing face of FM technology, and how it is being used to streamline the entire field. It then wrote a report, which is available to view on Planon’s website. Note: You must request a free copy of this article via Planon’s online submission form.
- Many of today’s FM thought leaders are focused on step-by-step implementations vs. massive overhauls.
- Remote deployment is considered to be a time-saving “plus.”
- Most prefer to blend the latest robotics with established workers for a more “cooperative” and exact work environment.
This past summer, Gulf News published an article in its Business section, detailing trend-spotting in FM. Writer Stephen Beesely explores the many ways in which the UAE has been a hotbed for the support of emerging technologies, particularly in terms of robotics and wearable technology. He also predicts how this support will help shape the future of FM tech.
- Small margins can threaten the stability of suppliers, making way for precarious relationships.
- Paper orders should be eliminated and re.
- Invest in systems that provide a field service management function for service delivery.
Cloud-based software provider, Infor, regularly posts guides and articles to its blog that center around the issues of the modern-day facilities manager. In this article, Mike Stone, CRMP and Infor EAM Product Manager, explores the many ways in which software and other emerging technologies can streamline – or even re-invent – your facility’s processes.
- Use IoT as a Big Data wrangling system.
- Only invest in apps that offer reliable mobile options.
- Connect better with your employees by implementing the latest social collaboration tools.
Facility operations leader, iOffice, published a post revealing four of the top technologies impacting facilities management today. In the piece, author James McDonald explores how high-tech systems and accessories, like BIM, machine learning and AI, smart building, and wearable technology are time and money-saving solutions that all facilities should assess.
- BIM supports facilities managers by allowing them to make data-driven decisions about space utilization, energy consumption, and redesigns.
- To strengthen a facility’s intelligent asset management initiatives, invest in machine learning technologies.
- Wearable technology is badging systems, revolutionized.
In a piece written for PCQuest, Deepak Uppal, Executive Director at Enviro, tackles the broad topic of technology’s role in the facility management spectrum. Uppal uses the platform to praise the latest FM-driven information technology and educates readers on how to best select and implement such options.
- Changing work cultures across the globe (particularly in Asia) are allowing for more seamless integration of FM technology.
- Emerging technologies are focused on the streamlining of life cycle management.
- Technology and analytics must embrace the FM industry in order to create change.
Those who are just sticking their toes into the idea of FM-based software implementations will find this SelectHub-penned article to be particularly helpful. In it, we learn that software investments aren’t just a passing fad, facilities managers in a wide range of industries are reaping the benefits and experiencing ultra-fast returns.
- FM software can help fleet managers plan traffic flows.
- With the best systems, key security features can be accessed remotely, in real-time.
- CMMS and CAFM systems are beginning to offer many of the same options that traditional IWOMS systems do.
In a post for ServiceChannel, David Markowitz quotes a long list of industry experts after asking them to reveal their thoughts on the most lasting innovations and trends currently impacting facilities management. Though the responses run the gamut in terms of content, the reader is left with a very clear view of what tools the top FM executives value most.
- Invest in interactive store maps that display all of your valuable assets.
- Provide those working within your work order chain with mobile solutions.
- Streamline your finances by investing in an asset-based IoT system.
Space scheduling solution app Teem, recently published an article to its blog which explores the newest and classic tech features that top facility managers can’t get enough of. The piece covers everything from the most reliable and budget-friendly workflow systems to the ever-evolving world of automated building entry, all in a digestible format that even the busiest of facilities managers can benefit from.
- Shore-up your office scheduling by investing in an all-in-one scheduling app.
- For the most secure facilities, test out a facial recognition security system.
- Find an automated system that takes all middlemen out of work request processing.
French utility service provider, Veolia, has published its comprehensive Facility Management Benchmark Survey for 2018, a document that reveals hard-hitting facts about the most viable tech options used in FM today. In it, facilities managers get an in-depth look at how both “new and mature” technologies can be best implemented for a more maximized ROI.
- Follow the trend: most facility managers have deployed data capture devices across multiple sites.
- Around half of firms are already using CAFM, CMMS or FDD.
- Wireless Occupancy Sensors offer the most convincing benefits.
Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
In an article written for Buildings, senior writer Janelle Penny provides facility managers with the top 10 ways they can most effectively receive a green building certification. Penny uses examples of businesses who have already managed to pull this off on large scales as a way to take hopeful managers through this often-laborious process.
- Know exactly what you are trying to accomplish prior to commencing the green building initiative process.
- Put occupant and public health and safety before everything else.
- For a smoother certification process, document every step of the way.
CleanRiver, a recycling solution firm, has published its must-follow recycling tips for all facility managers. Considering the source, each and every tip holds high value, from the common-sense suggestions, like including high-impact signage, to the more involved, like waste hauler scheduling.
- Before making any changes, conduct a waste audit.
- Identify your collection requirements and provide the equipment needed to fulfill them.
- Develop a facility culture that values recycling.
ENGIE Insight, an efficiency management solution provides products that help facilities attain greener statuses. In this piece, writer Jamie Daubenspeck explores the challenges associated with sustainability that so many facility managers face, while still focusing in on the built-in areas that they can leverage to their advantage.
- Facility managers have unprecedented influence over all levels of the organization.
- The energy management trend is increasing at a rapid rate.
- Facility managers are burdened by energy and water cost increases.
In a recent article published in Engineering News, the publication explores the ways in which today’s facilities are using sustainability initiatives to promote more effective management and operational practices. The piece also makes mention of the dreaded ‘sick building syndrome,’ a paramount FM failure that can put employees at risk.
- One cannot run a ‘high-efficiency’ building if health and sustainability aren’t included.
- When executed correctly, green-cleaning buildings are assets to facility managers.
- Green buildings could require as little as 50% of the cleaning products used before the change.
Armando Lezama, senior director of operations for facility services company UG2, reveals his best green cleaning program tips in an article for Facility Executive. In it, Lezama touches on a variety of actionable topics, such as product selection, training initiatives, compliance, and much more.
- Details as small as ineffective entryway matting could compromise green cleaning plans.
- Spend time engaging and educating the public and staff.
- Once an initiative is deployed, continue to innovate.
Facilities Management Daily Advisor regularly publishes tips for those working in FM to follow, but one of its more important pieces details the ways in which energy conservation can be compromised post-disaster. This can be one of the most trying and dangerous times for a facility and its surrounding community, so the more preparation that is put into the area, the better.
- Keep a wide variety of batteries on-hand and in accessible areas.
- Avoid unnecessary communication over voice lines.
- Put safety above all else, especially in disaster and post-disaster scenarios.
Another piece published in Facilities Management Daily Advisor, written by Claire Condon, reveals a set of important green-related tips geared towards small manufacturers. Topics explored in the piece include: greening products, greening wastes, and greening energy.
- Adopt a life-cycle approach to all manufactured products.
- Purchase bags and boxes made with recycled content for shipping purposes.
- Designate specialized recycling coordinators.
In an article written for FacilitiesNet, writer Stephen Ashkin, details the many steps that facility managers must take in order to attain more sustainable company cultures. Ashkin explores a variety of methods that this can be achieved, including honoring staff suggestions and promoting accountability throughout the organization.
- Advise staffers to take sustainable approaches both at work and in their personal lives.
- Designate an in-house sustainable leader or “champion.”
- Sustainability involves three key components: social, environmental, and economic.
For facility managers fortunate enough to be involved in the building of their facilities, FacilitiesNet has published a list of 14 tips that outline that ways in which green initiatives can start long before the construction begins.
- Invest in low-risk energy conservation efforts before making a full commitment.
- Devise an attainable green plan and hire accordingly.
- Learn to communicate about important facilities decisions with the executive team.
FacilitiesNet published yet another insightful article on sustainability in FM, this one penned by healthcare industries expert, Cathryn Jakicic. This quick read delivers a surprising punch, detailing the many trends that are shaping the future of sustainable facilities management at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, Ohio.
- Comprehensive sustainability plans include a range of social, economic, and environmental goals.
- A good portion of goals should fall into energy reduction and renewability.
- Consider including a local and sustainable purchasing initiative into your sustainability plan.
In this piece written for Software Advice, author Taylor Short explores the way in which comprehensive energy auditing can help form, and ultimately dictate, sustainability plans. This can be done through a series of submetering and consumption data analysis, as well as smart benchmarking.
- Make use of your vendor resources to more accurately aggregate consumption data.
- Integrate Energy Star ratings into your facility’s benchmarks.
- Create an energy-saving contest or committee.
Those managing a food manufacturing facility will get helpful info from this piece published in Stellar Energy’s Food for Thought blog. In it, we are awarded great tips for promoting sustainability, including guidance on insulation, processing lighting, and water conservation.
- Switch to LED lighting in processing areas.
- Invest in and make use of variable frequency drives (VFDs).
- Swap out your traditional paneling for insulated metal panels (IMPs).
The Whole Building Design Guide, which is a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences, includes an article which focuses on the streamlining of operational and maintenance practices for facility managers. In it, readers are provided with guidelines on how to best launch sustainability-driven training programs, as well as the implementation of waste programs.
- Switch to on-site composting of organic materials.
- Enable all power-down features on electronics.
- Consult the EPA for tips on safer cleaning alternatives.
Emergency Preparedness and Security
In an article for The Balance Small Business, William Deutsch reveals his building security checklist, a set of rules that have been updated to meet the technological needs of today’s facility managers. Although each list should be customized to fit the needs of each unique operation, this one is a great place to start.
- Devise a natural surveillance checklist that maximizes visibility.
- Develop a territorial reinforcement plan that makes a strong distinction between public and private property lines.
- Focus on keeping property well-maintained.
Facility management publication, Buildings, created a slideshow-based article that covers the four main areas that all working in the field of FM should follow. Included in the post is a range of helpful advice, from adopting the latest technology to building a proactive security culture.
- Develop a clear security plan and be sure to reinforce it as weak points become uncovered.
- Update all security cameras so that footage is as clear as possible and can be accessed remotely.
- Work with your IT department to fortify your digital security.
Technical Response Planning, or TRP, is a firm that specializes in the field of response planning and software implementation for a variety of industries. In this piece, TRP takes a deep dive into the ways in which all different sizes of operations can develop their own customized facility security plans.
- Develop a training plan that consists of focused drills and security actions for all those working in the facility.
- Take account of all current security threats and patterns.
- Regularly check all control and security devices.
The authority on all things facility management, the IFMA, released an article that profiles its sweeping study of emergency preparedness and business continuity planning. This piece provides a breakdown of the statistics gathered and includes information on how facilities can right their wrongs moving forward.
- 19 percent of surveyed organizations did not have an up-to-date emergency preparedness/business continuity plan
- Define important roles prior to the plan being written.
- Crowdsource by developing a network of strategic partners, if necessary.
IFMA’s Long Island Chapter penned an article that focuses in on the role of facility managers during on-site emergencies. In it, the organization speaks on a number of key safety topics, including preparation steps, quick decision-making during on-site emergencies, and crisis plan evaluation.
- Communicate with all members of your team frequently in order to solidify emergency plans.
- Schedule trial runs and improve upon the weak points.
- Keep an updated list of staffers and any and all people who enter the building regularly.
This article, written by Tiffany Bloodworth from iOffice Corp, covers the responsibilities that all facility managers should take both on a daily basis and in the event of an on-site emergency. Bloodworth speaks on high and low-tech ways to achieve this, with everything from system investments to common sense staff security training.
- Install and regularly maintain outdoor lighting in parking lots and the outer areas of the building.
- Identify potentially violent or disgruntled employees and report them to upper management.
- Develop an emergency plan that fits your specific facility.
Workplace safety is a topic in which the average employee doesn’t place much interest, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to spark motivation. In David Spence’s piece for the OfficeSpace Blog, we get valuable insight on how facility managers can keep everyday workers invested in the overall safety and disaster protocol followed by facilities.
- Hold office training sessions and inform employees about any policy changes as they come up.
- Perform thorough, routine equipment checks.
- Educate yourself on all of the latest safety and disaster planning practices.
Conducting emergency drills is an integral part of upholding facility safety plans, but ones that are handwritten often contain errors. In David Spence’s piece for the OfficeSpace Blog, we get introduced to floor plan software that is made to optimize and fortify these drills for the safest facilities possible.
- Conduct separate drills for each disaster, including fire, chemical, and inclement weather.
- Make rules and expectations known to employees.
- Designate a drill observer or team of advisors to judge the efficacy of the safety plan.
In this article for Canadian Facility Management and Design, Jeffrey Gayer reports on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s guidelines for creating the most thorough emergency plans for facilities. In it, we get an introduction to facility-specific plans, information that can help you gain an important awareness of the emergency-based ins and outs of your facility.
- Consider providing first responder training to an employee or hiring someone who already has it.
- Be sure that your first aid kits meet the specific needs of your facility.
- Confirm that all MSDS and SDS are up-to-date and posted.
In this enlightening piece written for Software Advice, writer Taylor Short takes a deep dive into the topic of facility security. This is done through a series of interviews, as well as an evaluation of the best emerging software that helps to fortify the plans.
- Have an honest discussion with your teammates to ensure that your security plan is an effective one.
- Invest in ACAM and VSS security systems.
- Understand your facility’s goals before making staunch plans or pricy investments.
Emergency management firm, Who’s On Location, brings us the Top 11 Safety and Security Tips of 2019, an article that brings to light the trusted tips and emerging technologies that are shaping the world of modern FM.
- Consider implementing lone worker safety tracking solutions.
- Don’t trust one-size-fits-all emergency response plans.
- Invest in photo ID scanning for visitors.