In the early 1990s, the facility management emerged as a fast-growing sector and continued to grow with the start of the new millennium. In fact, it is still one of the fastest growing areas in most countries, but its scope, as well as identity, is still unclear as demonstrated by numerous definitions and issues that have attempted to describe it. It should be noted that facility management is a multi-disciplinary work covering a wide range of activities, knowledge, ideas, and responsibilities (Akter, 2014). Additionally, almost every aspect of any organization is drawn into facility management. Currently, the importance of facility management is well acknowledged in most companies, especially those that recognize the need for a proper, appropriate, elaborative, and expansive management of support facilities (Rondeau, Brown & Lapides, 2012). According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), facility management revolves around three essential pillars- people, process, and place (Cotts, 2014). IFMA has developed a model to explain the process of facility management and to guide organizations on how facility managerial work should be established and enhanced (Wright, 2004). According to Armstrong (2006), the model known as the Triangle of Ps sums up the concerns of facility management in the modern workplace. The three Ps are interdependent and have direct and reciprocal relationships based on the concept of managing the physical environment in concern with the people and the job process therein (Mann, 2009). Based on this concept, the work of the facility manager can be defined and explained. According to Payne (2000), a facility manager is responsible for making sure that the infrastructure and their services are well established in the appropriate manner and that they meet the needs of the people that work in them. As such, every facility manager is accountable for the services within these premises, including such chores as cleaning, security, parking, and a range of others to make sure that the working environment is in the right and suitable condition to support the processes. Moreover, the facility manager is responsible for maintenance of the premises to achieve the right working conditions and environment (Vansteenkiste, 2005).
This paper provides a report of the interview with the facility manager at the Investors Group Field that was conducted on 26th October 2017. The facility manager was visited in the office, which is also located in the stadium. Opened in 2013, the Investors Group Field is a football stadium located within the premises of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Currently, the stadium provides the ground and is the home to several teams, including the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the University of Manitoba Bisons Football Club and the Winnipeg Rifles. With a seating capacity of about 33,500, the stadium has several facilities such as a restaurant, offices, 52 suites, and others.
Scope of Facilities Management at Investors Group Field
As previously stated, the Investors Group Field has several premises that provide the necessary services and support to the athletes, trainers, supportive staff, officials, as well as the audience who come to watch their favorite games. Given a large number of activities that take place in the stadium and the frequency of its use, there is a need for extensive management to ensure that the needs of all the people are met. Besides, it is necessary to have an elaborate system of maintaining the facility throughout to ensure that the services provided are always of high quality. During the interview, it was found that the facility management is quite extensive and has been established as a separate department within the overall management structure of the facility. Within the department, there is one position of the manager and two deputies. The office of the facility manager directs and oversees the facility management processes in the entire stadium. Below the offices of the deputies are supervisors who direct and oversee the work of other employees. It was found that the entire department as 13 office holders and about 223 employees who perform various duties to ensure that every aspect of the facility performs as expected.
According to the manager during the interview, the office of the facility manager has several duties and responsibilities within the scope of ensuring that all the facilities and buildings meet the needs of the people (Armstrong, 2007). Besides, the manager's work revolves around the responsibility for the general upkeep and maintaining the facilities to ensure that they meet the required safety and health standards while also adhering to the legal requirements. The manager reports that his role is to ensure that every building and facility is kept clean while waste is disposed of in the appropriate way (Donald, 2010). Additionally, the manager has the responsibility of overseeing the processes of catering, security, and parking within the premises. Moreover, the manager report that one of the most difficult roles is to ensure that the playing field itself is maintained in the right manner to support the various activities that take place there (Baron, 2003).
Besides, under the office of the facility manager, there is an accounting section that manages the budgets and keeps records of payments for all the transactions done to support the work. An accountant is the head of this office that has other 18 employees to oversee the accounting and financial work.
The manager also reported that he is responsible for managing the office systems, which include the employees, the equipment used for all the activities and the IT and other technologies that have been devised to provide support to the facility management.
Main Activities for Preventative Maintenance
During the interview, the manager reported that facility management encompasses a wide range of activities that are frequently carried out to meet the needs of the people (Ronald, 2003). Among these activities are the preventative maintenance, an important aspect of the stadium (Gerring, 2007). According to the manager, the facility management work at the Investors Group Field roughly follows the theoretical view of preventative management (PM). First, it was noted that PM encompasses a set of inspections as well as tasks that are designed to prevent the equipment in the field from failing (Leigh, 2006). Preventative management keeps the equipment operating to improve the operations of the field at all times. Also, PM is designed to prevent unwanted downtime to ensure that unnecessary expenses and loss of productivity (Fletcher, 2007).
The interview found that the main goals of PM are two- eliminating downtime due to maintenance-related failures and extending the operating life of the field equipment. In this case, the role of the employee in the FM department includes ensuring the field itself, the offices, and other facilities are well aerated at all times (Hartog, Boselie & Paauwe, 2004). As such, the workers ensure that the right ventilation is achieved through maintenance of the ventilators installed in the premises (Fletcher, 2007). Moreover, the activities and facilities in the field require adequate supply of clean and safe water. For instance, the field has facilities for swimming, both for sporting and recreational facilities. These pools require a sufficient flow of water, which is managed and maintained by the employees in the department. Similarly, the grass in the playgrounds needs to be maintained to ensure that they retain the required standards for sporting (Hamblin, 2004). This grass requires a lot of water, which is also under the responsibilities of the facility managers. Moreover, most machines and other equipment develop problems and failures quite frequently and must be repaired. Repairing is a significant activity in the department (Fletcher & Williams, 2006). The manager reported that in the facility, there are about 30 individuals employed for the purpose of repairing machines and equipment. Most of these individuals are technicians with high qualifications to maintain and repair different machines to ensure that they are in the right condition (Jensen, McMullen & Stark, 2007).
It is also important to note that the Investors Group Field is one of the facilities in Winnipeg and Canada in general that hopes to reduce energy consumption. In particular, the field has installed devices to reduce the rate of consumption of electricity, which had been a major problem because of the extensive equipment that runs on this form of energy. In this case, the field has installed energy saving bulbs as well as solar generators as an alternative source of energy to reduce overreliance on electricity (Boxall & Purcell, 2008). According to the manager, all these equipment require frequent maintenance and repairs and all these activities are performed by the employees in the facility management department.
In-House and Outsourced Operations
The manager reports that his team can carry out about 80% of all the activities that fall within the facility management department. These are the in-house operations and include the frequently done activities such as providing and maintaining water supply and equipment, repairing simple and non-complex machines and equipment and general cleaning. Besides, the in-house activities include other activities such as office maintenance. However, 20% of the activities that cannot be done in-house have to be outsourced. In this case, the facility manager has to seek the services of external service providers (Leigh, 2006). For instance, the manager states that the processes of maintaining the field and the tracks require expertise and knowledge. Also, it requires extensive skills and a lot of labor, which are costly and time-consuming. As such, the manager has entered into a contract with a regional company that provides these services, including the provision and maintenance of the right glass, watering, and other treatment in the field. Moreover, the manager has sought the services of an external company to accomplish the daily activities related to waste collection and disposal (Thwala, & Monese, 2011). In this case, the external company has installed its equipment in the facilities and maintains a team of workers and trucks to remove the waste and transport it in the city's waste disposal systems. According to the manager, this task needs a lot of labor and is done on a daily basis, which means that the employees in the department cannot accomplish it as required (Thwala & Monese, 2011). As such, the external company helps in ensuring that there is no waste at all times, including during matches attended by thousands of spectators.
According to the manager, outsourcing services is an effective way of achieving the right quality and standards in the facility. In fact, the manager states that outsourcing makes it easy for the services to be provided at all time. Moreover, it makes management easy because once the external company has been contracted; it uses its systems and operations to accomplish the work. Its employees are supervised from their offices and not the management of the stadium. As such, the facility manager is relieved of the extensive work of managing and directing these tasks (Grant, 2009). The manager also reports that outsourcing is cheaper compared to in-house activities. For instance, the manager notes that waste disposal was costing the field more than $50 million per year when it was being done in-house. However, when an external company was contracted to carry out this task, the costs were reduced by more than 60%, w...
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