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As Lawrence Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell International, once said, "I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people not on strategies." This statement especially resonates in the field of Facilities Management (FM), where people and strategies intersect to support a company's primary operations. FM has evolved from a responsive role to a proactive one, shifting its focus from cost-saving to value-adding. But what exactly is FM in a strategic context, and how can it contribute to a corporate strategy?

The Strategic Role of Facilities Management

At its core, Facilities Management involves the coordination of an organization's physical infrastructure, people, and essential systems to ensure a safe, efficient, and productive operating environment. A well-strategized FM approach can align corporate and property strategies, optimize workspace utilization, reduce costs, improve service delivery, and ultimately enhance a company's competitive edge.

Understanding Strategic Facilities Management

Strategic Facilities Management goes beyond mere maintenance tasks—it involves the thorough understanding of the long-term business plans and strategic objectives of an organization to guide the provision of facilities services. Effective Strategic FM encompasses several key principles:

  1. Alignment with Corporate Strategy - The FM strategy should be intertwined with the overall business strategy. Understanding the company's mission, vision, and strategic objectives is crucial to conceive an FM plan that supports them.
  2. Customer Centricity - The ultimate goal of FM is to create a conducive, productive, and user-friendly environment for its customers, the employees. FMs must understand their needs and priorities and tailor services accordingly.
  3. Sustainability Focus - In today’s world, embracing sustainability is not just responsible—it’s essential. Strategic FM involves the implementation of sustainable practices and technologies that not only reduce the company's carbon footprint but can also result in significant cost savings.
  4. Performance Measurement - Facilities managers must track performance metrics to determine the quality of service delivery and identify areas for improvement. This enables evidence-based decision making, encouraging continuous improvement.

Transforming into a Strategic Facilities Manager

Transitioning from a traditional FM role to a strategic one may require cultural and operational changes within the organization. However, the transformation can be achieved by embedding the following best practices:

The Impact of Strategic Facilities Management

Adopting Strategic Facilities Management provides a competitive advantage by driving Operational Excellence, mitigating risks, and enhancing user experience. Its impacts are manifold—FM affects employee productivity, brand perception, and certainly the bottom line. As such, C-level executives should value the strategic role of FM and understand its potential to optimize operations, provide long-term cost savings, and contribute to the company's overall strategic objectives.

Ultimately, Strategic Facilities Management isn't just about managing buildings—it's about managing resources and operations that enable businesses to perform at their best. When FM is viewed from a strategic lens, it becomes more about creating value rather than merely cutting costs.


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