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By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the September 2012 issue of Today’s Facility Manager
Q In developing countries, the integrated facilities management (IFM) model is not commonly adopted. What are your views on the current trend for IFM in developing countries? How will it shape up in the future? How should buyers and service providers realign their business models to implement an IFM model, if at all?
A An IFM model is an absolute must in all facility applications! However, not everyone can understand it fully and may never accept it. The responsibility lies solely in the lap of a professional facility manager (fm) who must realize those who can’t understand—or begin to comprehend—the philosophy of cradle to grave facility life cycle management will never be able to embrace it.
Building a facility is a significant investment, one that will begin to decay the day it opens. Someone has to manage that portfolio of thousands of components—each one with a varying life cycles.
IFM is a very respected process; its practices and techniques should be learned fully. There is no short cut, and in most cases, an fm is simply passing through in the life of an organization; the person’s legacy is what is left behind for the next generation of career fm.
With this in mind, fms are well aware they have little control over how an organization allocates funding for facility renewal. However, they all have full control of the documentation and management principles they leave behind
To get started with IFM, you should learn an industry standard method, document major components, estimate the reliable life cycle for each component the way it was meant to be used, and then estimate the cost to replace each component. Keep this list updated year after year, and make sure leadership sees a one page executive summary.