In order to eliminate potential risks to staff, contractors or visitors, it is vital to ensure any potential health and safety risks are alleviated so to avoid any potential fines or even prosecution.
Add to health and safety rulings the ongoing day-to-day requirement for managing and maintaining the operations of a building and the FM’s role is wide reaching. Responsibilities often cover a number of departments, and include security management and patrols, planned and reactive maintenance, asset management, energy reporting, managing housekeeping and cleaning services to name but a few.
To ensure standards are met, rules are adhered to and the buildings are operating as safely, efficiently and securely as possible, organisations are turning to integrating common management tools to provide a joined-up approach to duty of care and Health & Safety issues. By collaborating centrally, it enables FMs to oversee possible risk areas, monitor time and attendance and provide a rapid and integrated response to issues, should they arise.
This integrated approach creates significant advantages. As an example, routine patrols can be logged and audited, ensuring that you not only know where your ‘eyes and ears’ are going to be at any one time, but also provides proof of attendance. This demonstrates good practice and may also help towards reducing insurance costs or protecting against false compensation claims.
On top of that, having security and housekeeping in the same integrated system allows incidents identified on patrol to be raised immediately with a cleaning team or escalated to management, providing daily operational efficiencies.
Three years ago, we managed a project at Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke to implement an integrated facilities management system that would create efficiencies by centralising the management and reporting of all FM tasks.
Historically, they had separate systems in place for managing a range of tasks, from overseeing the security team’s tours, the management of maintenance tasks, to incorporating a manual check-list for house-keeping.
Today, every single task associated with the facilities management at Festival Place is communicated via an online, centralised system. From a reactive maintenance request, through to coordinating the security patrols. Now, everything is logged so not only can the team track the status of jobs, but from a reporting perspective, they have the ability to drill down on dates, tasks, individual staff members or status to pull off exactly what is needed.
From a due diligence or insurance perspective, this integrated approach is coming into its own. For example, if there is an incident at the centre, historically, the team would have had to pull out data from various sources, manual reports or sporadically located information, which would have taken a great deal of time. Now, it is possible to instantly pull off the reports or data that may be needed, making auditing extremely straightforward.
For property owners and managers, being able to integrate disparate systems into one centralised hub is today a key requirement and one we are approached about regularly. Such systems are designed to help service teams, FMs and property managers be more productive, collaborative and work more efficiently, which ultimately results in lower costs, improved productivity, streamlined communications, and of course compliancy.