A global report on enhancing strategic facilities management has found that the average head of facilities spends less than one day a week dedicated to planning and strategy, despite the clear importance of strategic facilities management to business.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS’s) Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management report has found that the average head of facilities spends less than one day a week dedicated to planning and strategy, despite the clear importance of strategic facilities management to business.
The report draws on a survey of almost 400 professionals across six continents and 40 countries, including Australia and New Zealand. In addition, direct interviews were conducted with facilities management and corporate real estate executives to provide detailed insights into the management of facilities management.
The findings of the study evidence the fact facilities management can and should be seen as a strategic business and management discipline; over 75 percent of respondents believe facilities management is strategic. However, there was a discrepancy between this perception and current practice, with the majority of organisations reporting a primary focus on day-to-day operational activity rather than strategy.
These sector insights are revealed as RICS announces the opening of a further global consultation into the development of its Strategic Facilities Management Guidance Note, following initial feedback from a consultation earlier this year. When published, the note will support facilities management professionals worldwide in delivering the strategic approach identified by the Raising the Bar report.
Kaye Herald, managing director of RICS Asia Pacific, comments: “The findings of the Raising the Bar report highlight the integral importance of facilities management to delivering organisational efficiency and performance. To achieve consistent best practice it is vital that facilities management professionals ‘raise the bar’ by taking a strategic approach linked to the larger business model and objectives.
“This is particularly relevant to the maturing profession in Oceania region. By adopting the report’s recommendations, the profession can accelerate its development and capitalise on the opportunities presented. This will ultimately improve the performance of local and international organisations.”
The report highlights key areas of concern and makes recommendations to ensure an enhanced strategic approach. Feedback suggests many businesses focus on driving down the cost of facilities rather than positioning it as an integrated professional division, with 80 percent of facilities groups being measured on performance against budget in the first instance. However, integrating facilities with overall business development strategy can help an organisation be competitive in the marketplace. Facilities management leaders must, therefore, work with senior executives to outline the benefits of an integrated, strategic facilities management plan.
The study also highlights the importance of facilities management leaders having multi-disciplinary relationships with other key functional areas of the business including corporate strategy, business unit leadership, corporate real estate, finance, human resources and IT. By working collaboratively with their peers facilities management professionals can understand and deliver against the strategic imperatives of their organisation as a whole. To enable this recommendations are made for some day-to-day responsibilities of facilities management leaders to be outsourced to external service providers to open up time for strategic planning.
To download the full Raising the Bar report visit www.rics.org/research.