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What is Facility Management

Who manages one of your organization’s largest assets with one of the largest operating budgets? Your facility manager.

Facility management (FM) is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.

View the ISO's definition of facility management.

What Do Facility Managers Do?

Facility managers (FMs) can have many different titles and arrive in their profession through a variety of career paths. They’re responsible for making sure systems of the built environment, or facility, work harmoniously. They are important because they make sure the places in which people work, play, learn and live  are safe, comfortable, productive and sustainable.People Technology Graphics

FMs contribute to the organization’s bottom line through their responsibility for maintaining what are often an organization’s largest and most valuable assets, such as property, buildings, equipment and other environments that house personnel, productivity, inventory and other elements of operation. Here are some of the ways FMs contribute to an organization’s business strategy and bottom line:

  • Impacting operational efficiencies
  • Supporting productivity of facilities and personnel
  • Managing risks to facilities and personnel
  • Mitigating environmental impact
  • Promoting sustainable tactics for long-term cost management
  • Leveraging technological solutions
  • Reducing or overcoming effects of natural disasters
  • Guaranteeing compliance
  • Leveraging security

Why is FM More Relevant Than Ever?

The FM industry is growing at a rapid pace and the roles of FMs are broadening to encompass more responsibilities and skill sets. FM budgets and teams are becoming larger and more impactful as the built environment becomes more integral to the ways modern society conducts business, entertainment and lifestyles. Here are a few social trends that are deeply rooted in and affected by facility management:

  • Emergence of the “Internet of Things”
  • Building Automation/Monitoring
  • Employee Engagement
  • Health, Wellness & Well-Being
  • Evolving IT Infrastructure
  • Evolving Real Estate Models
  • Sustainability & Environmental Impact

What skillsets do facility managers have?

These are the 11 core competencies of facility management:

  • Occupancy and human factors
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Sustainability
  • Facility information and technology management
  • Risk management
  • Communication
  • Performance and quality
  • Leadership and strategy
  • Real estate
  • Project management
  • Finance and business
IFMA's Core Competencies

Even though FMs don’t always have similar titles, they share common roles within their respective organizations, including:

  • Building Operations
  • Security
  • Grounds Management
  • Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Project Management
  • Space Planning
  • Workplace Strategy
  • Real Estate Management

Students: Looking for job security and a chance to make an impact?

Learn why you should consider a career in FM.

What is the facility management industry doing to keep pace?

As facility management evolves, so are its methods to support future generations with the skills and expertise to continue moving the industry forward. Here are some of the initiatives underway to guarantee the future of FM:

How does IFMA fit in?

Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting 24,000 members in more than 100 countries.

IFMA Resources For Facility Managers

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IFMA serves the global FM community through industry thought leadership, professional development opportunities, networking inroads, advocacy and career resources.​

Learn more about IFMA membership »

Students: Looking for job security and a chance to make an impact? Learn why you should consider a career in FM »