By Rohit Kapoor
Traditionally, facility management (FM) has long been associated with housekeeping, janitorial and security services. In recent years, however, this perception has gradually altered, and today, facility management has evolved into a demanding discipline that touches the entire real estate ecosphere. Rapid globalization, modernization and urbanization have elevated the need for efficient facility management services and the concept of specialised FM services is now popular among commercial as well as residential end-users. The range of services covered within the remit of FM has become more complex, as FM becomes seamlessly integrated into the operational functions of client organisations.
Managing and maintaining valuable real estate assets requires significant resources and skills that only large-scale dedicated FM services providers can deliver. Well-managed and periodically maintained complexes, premises and buildings enable organisations to function at their most efficient and effective level, enhancing collaborations and offering real added value to the organisation’s core business. Similarly, for home-buyers, it offers benefits in various areas including building maintenance, safety and sustainability, for common areas and residences.
Real Estate Developers
Real estate developers and property owners seek to increase the occupancy rate of their buildings, and maximize the lifecycle of their assets; while corporate organizations usually want to reduce cost of operational overheads, improve productivity, and run their business operations efficiently. Developers and owners can benefit from a wealth of tools and services that organised FM services providers can offer, ranging from real time reports on the condition of their buildings and core components to ensuring compliance with green standards such as LEED. FM services can also help in real estate procurement, leasing, and disposal of wastes. Preventive and Planned Maintenance (PPM) programs can ensure that there are limited breakdowns, and timely replacements of faulty or underperforming parts, to protect business continuity. They also provide a slew of modern tools for the integration of building management and maintenance systems such as Building Maintenance Systems (BMS) and Computer Assisted Facilities Management (CAFM). Innovative FM service providers, who have robust in-house technology platforms, have the engineering expertise to install and manage computerized smart systems that remotely monitor all aspects of building performance on detailed micro and macro levels. Through automated monitoring systems, they can anticipate potential problems that might otherwise go undetected. Most importantly, organised FM providers can help provide a one stop single point of contact service to address all problems real estate developers and owners face, through dedicated helpdesks and a wide array of communications channels.
Large-scale FM service providers can be involved from the design stage of buildings, which can ensure that energy efficiency and eco-friendly sourcing can be integrated holistically in the early stages of the real estate lifecycle. Developers can additionally leverage the FM providers’ vendor networks for cost effective sourcing of supplies and materials and also ensure excellence in deliverance of services, prudence in operating costs rationalisation and sustenance for creating sustainable models of service delivery that deliver consistent results.
FM services are known to offer enhanced end user experiences through clean, hygienic, safe living spaces and ensure 24×7 operations of infrastructure and utilities. Trained soft services can create stress-free workplaces where employees can focus on improving productivity. FM services also ensure energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable practices and materials and can eliminate the usage of harmful/toxic materials and effluents, to positively impact the tenants’ health. For commercially-oriented real estate assets (such as malls and hotels), quality FM services can create memorable end user experience for visitors and create positive impressions.
Home Owners Associations
FM provides highly trained and qualified personnel who can perform routine maintenance tasks at professional levels. They can protect and enhance the value of homes through periodic maintenance that maintains the pristine appearance of homes. FM service providers offer scalable and flexible services to handle tasks of varying complexity and magnitude. Periodic maintenance of MEP systems ensures the health and safety of occupants and address waste management requirements for housing societies. Thus, the growth in real estate, increasing preference towards safe, clean and secure environment and the continuous growth of large scale residential apartments and gated communities will raise demand for quality and efficient facility management services in the country.
The benefits of facility management in virtually every area of real estate are clearly evident. Quality FM solutions which are practical and scalable are invaluable for corporate real estate management, critical-environment management and regulatory compliance, safety and security, sustainability, systems and engineering expertise, and sourcing efficiency. The rapid development of commercial spaces, advent of smart cities, and the introduction of innovative and versatile methods of managing a given facility have paved the way for an explosive growth of the FM market in India and quality services could became an even greater advantage for businesses in the future.
(The author is Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, EFS Facilities Services (India) Pvt Ltd)