Facilities Management (FM) has, over a relatively short period of time, evolved from services management to a diverse and multi-faceted industry.
With many companies looking to automate and digitise and others trying to offset carbon footprints, the building playground has changed and FM has had to evolve to encompass these and many more requirements
What this has meant is that the role of the facilities manager is changing, too, and, in order to remain effective, it is important that these building bastions stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends that are shaping the sector, says Sven Smit, Event Director at Specialised Exhibitions a part of the Montgomery Group.
For answers to all of your FM questions, Facilities Management Expo 2020, which will run alongside Securex South Africa, and A-OSH EXPO between 02 and 04 June 2020 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, will provide a 360° view of the safety, security and built environments, helping to showcase tomorrow’s solutions – for today.
It’s all about automation
“Data is the first, and likely most important, of the trends changing the face of FM in South Africa,” Smit says. “Using insights available to them right now, facilities managers can access the visibility they need to effectively manage and plan. Using data, we are able to track all aspects of the building and business, from contractors to staff, service requests and more.”
Digitisation reaches critical level
Tiffany Rivers summarised the effects of digitisation quite succinctly in a recent blog, saying: “FMs may not need a background as software engineers, but the reality is that today’s FM world is more technology-reliant than ever. The more quickly you embrace that, the more valuable you’ll be in your field.”
Everything from room reservation to asset management and facility maintenance can today be managed online, and IT plays an invaluable role in the way FMs communicate with their workforce, customers and co-workers as well.
“Facilities managers who aren’t currently responsible, even in part, for making the relevant digital decisions should accept the fact that they soon will be,” says Smit. “Planning, choosing and building the workplace technologies that should ultimately make the work-day run smoothly should and will lie with facilities managers.”
“Although a broad conversation for far longer, the word ‘green’ has been creeping into FM conversations for over a decade,” he states. “Look carefully at local builds, new and existing, and you’ll see many organisations are miles ahead of the climate curve with choices having been made based on the positive or negative effect they may have on the world around them.
“This is one area where facilities managers must maintain an edge because the requirements grow almost as quickly as solutions change shape, which is often. Today, energy efficiency and finding ways to literally breathe new life into old buildings are focus areas – tomorrow, who knows?”
2020 Vision for the new decade
The Facilities Management Expo is bringing a range of experts to one place, and they’ll be ready to talk about challenges, trends, solutions and outlooks that may affect this sector.
“Visitors to Facilities Management Expo will also have complimentary access to Securex, A-OSH EXPO and, only recently announced, Firexpo, which will bring valuable information and solutions in the fire and rescue space – another vital component of which our facilities managers must be constantly aware,” says Smit.
“And we’re not being too linear in our approach either,” he adds. “The shows will bring drone technology to the table, for instance and, while their uses in security arenas are clear, there are drone applications within the FM space, too. Consider that drones are already being used to inspect hard-to-reach areas such as rooftop equipment or building façades and you’ll be wanting to see this exciting technology in action.”