Facilities management involves the professional oversight and coordination of various activities related to buildings, infrastructure, and services to ensure their efficient and effective operation. The field has experienced significant growth in recent years due to the expansion of commercial buildings, industrial parks, residential complexes, and other infrastructure projects across the country. Businesses, government organizations, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and other entities now recognize the need and value of professional facilities management in maintaining the optimal functioning of their properties.
Below are the key fields of facilities management:
1. Maintenance and Repairs
Facilities managers conduct regular inspections, implement preventive maintenance measures, and promptly address any repair and maintenance issues in the properties they manage. This ensures that the buildings, common areas, and infrastructure remain in optimal condition, providing a safe and functional environment for the owners and occupants. Additionally, facilities managers coordinate repairs, source materials, and oversee the completion of necessary works to minimize disruptions and maintain the operational efficiency of a facility. Overall, by maintaining and regularly undertaking repairs on the owner’s properties they ensure the smooth operation of the properties they manage and extend the lifespan of equipment and systems in the facility.
2. Security Services
Facilities managers promote and implement safety and security measures over the properties they manage. They effectively coordinate all security services, access control, surveillance systems, security personnel deployment, and emergency response procedures. They also create a secure environment that protects the property owner against potential risks and promotes the well-being of occupants.
3. Cleaning and Waste Management Services
Facilities managers provide and manage cleaning and janitorial services which ensures a high standard of cleanliness, hygiene, and efficient waste management within a facility. They also establish protocols for waste disposal by implementing appropriate disposal methods to promote sustainability and compliance with NEMA environmental regulations.
4. Pest Control and Fumigation
Pest control and fumigation are integral parts of facility management in Kenya. Facilities managers work with pest control professionals to prevent, control, and eliminate pests, ensuring cleanliness and safety within the facility. They coordinate inspections, implement pest management plans, and educate occupants on preventive measures. Additionally, facilities managers oversee fumigation processes when necessary to eradicate pests and maintain a hygienic environment.
5. Landscaping and Gardening Services
Facilities managers oversee the design and maintenance of outdoor areas to create visually appealing and welcoming environments. They coordinate tasks such as gardening, irrigation, trimming, weed control and hedge maintenance to ensure a healthy and attractive landscape. By prioritizing landscaping, facilities managers contribute to occupant satisfaction, promote environment sustainability, and enhance the overall image of the facility.
6. Health and Safety Measures
Health and safety are paramount concerns for facilities managers in Kenya. They place a high priority on the well-being of occupants by implementing robust safety protocols, conducting thorough risk assessments, and ensuring strict compliance with health and safety regulations. Facilities managers are responsible for creating a secure environment within the facilities, minimizing hazards, and effectively managing emergency response procedures. By prioritizing health and safety, they provide property owners and occupants with a safe and protected environment to work or reside in.
7. Energy Management
Facilities managers are actively involved in implementing energy efficiency measures to optimize resource utilization, especially for large facilities. This includes developing strategies for energy conservation, closely monitoring energy consumption patterns, and exploring opportunities to integrate renewable energy sources into the facility’s operations such as the use of solar, LED light bulbs, heat pumps and electric industrial boilers. By prioritizing energy management, facilities managers contribute to cost savings, reduce environmental impact, and promote sustainable practices within the facility.
8. Space Utilization and Planning
Facilities managers play a crucial role in optimizing space utilization within a property. They implement strategic space planning techniques to allocate office space effectively and efficiently. This involves planning layouts, ensuring the optimal use of available space and managing relocations. Additionally, facilities managers oversee office moves and redesign to adapt to evolving needs and maximize productivity. By optimizing space utilization, they create functional and productive environments that support the organization’s goals and enhance occupant satisfaction.
Overall, facilities management plays a crucial role in ensuring seamless operation and optimization of the productivity of the facilities while providing a safe and comfortable environment for occupants. The profession is growing in importance as organizations recognize the value of professional management to ensure operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their facilities.
Written by Cynthia Kitolo
Legal Officer & Advocate of the High Court of Kenya