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News & opinion

18 OUT 2018

RICS attends IFMA’s World Workplace in Charlotte

Facility management took centre stage from October 3-5 in Charlotte, North Carolina at IFMA’s World Workplace.

It was attended by over 4,000 people from the global facility management network. Focused on cyber security, new technologies in FM, increasing uptime and finding efficiencies, this global gathering of facility managers was an opportunity to exchange best practices with thought leaders in an increasingly relevant industry.

The need for quality facility management is pervasive with aspects that touch all our lives – both personal and professional. But the biggest challenge the industry faces is a lack of recognition. A good facility manager is unseen - working to ensure the facility is running at full efficiency but prepared for something to go wrong. From cyber attacks to flooding, emergency preparedness is the hallmark of a successful facility manager, but the more integrated the facility manager’s role becomes in the strategic operation of an organization, the better the results.

Recognition is building for the need to have qualified property management to ensure real estate assets are protected and investments are sound. Adopting common use of standards, training and terminology will build leadership in the FM sector as those holding investment portfolios welcome qualified professionals into the boardroom.

IFMA and RICS are collaborating on training, events and implementing a system of strategic thinking in the delivery of facility management, which is best disseminated from the boardroom. In 2018, we released the Strategic FM Framework, professional guidance for all levels in facility management from novice to professional. It introduces a common approach for strategic leadership and outlines the role and scope of work. This new approach was on display in Charlotte as we discussed the value strategic management brings to assets in real estate.

Focus on facility management

World Workplace highlighted the importance of managing a building as a working system. Good facility management requires a solid understanding and a diversity of skills including communications, finance, sustainability and business continuity.

Over four days in North America, the industry convened to review last year’s accomplishments and look to the future. RICS hosted a launch party with the IFMA House of Delegates where 200 people attended a presentation by the IFMA Board on the results of the previous fiscal year and to hear the goals for the upcoming year. Then the expo floor opened with service industry and other providers showcasing their services.

Keynote speaker, Kyle Petty, Nascar Champion, kicked off day two with tales of his family’s highs and lows in the world of racing as a founding family of the sport. He credited his grandfather’s success to the priority he gave to maintaining his cars over celebrating victories. Ensuring the cars were in top shape brought success and built their family name in the sport.

The unifying message at World Workplace was that the foundational facility management skills are fundamental. Dedication, diligence and an attention to detail in all we do brings success.

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