An important part of understanding the role facility managers play includes defining when an organization might need to consider adding facility management services.

The facility management role is designed to provide maintenance of an organization's buildings and equipment in a way that offers the best value to the building owner and users alike. The profession is booming in the U.S., with the field expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 13% between through 2024, according to a Transparency Market Research 2017 report.

According to IFMA, facility management encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.

To facility management or not

For those organizational leaders that wonder about adding a facility manager to their operations, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Some signs that an organization is ready include a facility manager include the following:

Your maintenance costs are rising

If these costs begin to balloon or start wearing down an organization’s balance sheet, a facility manager may help defer some of the expenses. Poorly managed maintenance personnel can lead to a rise in expenses, too.

You’re regularly calling on contractors and vendors

Plumbers, contractors and maintenance professionals — for the services you need to take on the required work, the time is likely nigh for the insourcing of a facility management professional.

You’re experiencing a backlog of uncompleted maintenance tasks

If this is the case, you may need to insource facility management. According to Entrepreneur, every $1 deferred in maintenance costs results in $4 of capital renewal needs in the future — thus, something to avoid.

Facility manager responsibilities

Deferred maintenance can lead to recurring safety issues. Facility managers consider these factors into account and track organizational assets and inventory throughout a facility.

Responsibilities of the position or the positions within the facility management department will vary based on need. However, your goal should be obvious: improve operational performance and efficiency, perform needed maintenance and repair, and keeping the organization clean and systems running as they should.

Other responsibilities will include completion of daily facility-based tasks, keeping up on regulatory changes, documenting safety or building issues, regular maintenance, vendor management, responding to building needs and managing seasonal needs — like winterizing buildings.

Facility managers are also responsible for working with a number of organizational departments and customers to meet their ongoing needs. In many cases, facility managers also are responsible for learning new skills to stay informed as appropriate to the needs of the physical assets of the organization.