The Greater Accra Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is making a very strong case for Government to consider it a policy priority for Facility Managers(FMs) to be included at all levels in building contracts indicating that it is the role of Facility Managers to protect investments, care and operations of buildings for sustainable use.
Speaking at IFMA symposium on Essentials of Facility Management in Accra under the theme, “Empowering Facilities Managers to Empower Your People: Investing in Education and Training,” the Managing Partner of Sheltercare FM Consult, Collins Osayamwen said professional Facility Managers are mostly not well-defined in the built environment which allows individuals without the requisite knowledge and skills to handle facilities leading to poor maintenance culture in the country.
“You rely on technicians to manage your buildings who do not have the basic skills and knowledge to handle the 21st century high rise buildings? This is not possible! You invest millions of dollars to put up a world-class building and then leave it in the hands of unlearned people? Even though they built it, they can never manage it because it is purely management discipline” he stated.
He noted that through effective facility management, buildings in both the public and private sector can reduce their operational cost, promote the health of building occupants, support an organization’s strategic purpose and protect the value of real estate.
Mr. Osayamwen indicated that the present reality of FM in Africa is the lack of recognition of facility management as a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.
He added that despite the heavy investments, world-class facilities and other infrastructural developments are poorly managed due to the lack of trained FM at the operations, tactical and strategic levels.
According to him, 35 to 50percent of the balance sheet is facility management cost which represents the number one expenses after Human Resources in most organizations.
Mr. Osayamwen noted that as the workplace continues to grow rapidly in terms of numbers, size, complexity and strategic importance, the demands on FMs are increasing in parallel.
“Majority of the players in the FM industry lacks basic FM training. When it comes to managing building people don’t recognize the work of a professional FM. The role of FM is to ensure security health and safety of buildings occupants, knowledge of technology, industry trends and ever changing workplace,” he posited.
Mr. Osayamwen intimated that smart facilities need a corresponding upgrade in the quality of the facility organizations that run them adding that, FMs must there acquire the knowledge, skills and competence to become relevant in their operations.