All, Facility Management
Hiring the services of the right Facility Management Company is of utmost importance for the longevity and maintenance of a building. An equally important task is to clearly define the role and responsibility of the facility management service provider and give them the authority and framework to make decisions with regard to building operations. Once a framework is set, the Managing Committee of the building can ensure optimum utilization of the capabilities and track the performance of the facility management service provider through the following methods:
The first task of any facility manager is to collate & file data on each tenant/resident of the building (this includes copies of the purchase/lease agreements; share certificates and details of outstanding payment to the society like maintenance, corpus, etc.). This data will help the facility management team to get to know the building better and understand the people dynamics with regard to tenant/resident interactions. This exercise will also help in streamlining the preparation and submission of monthly maintenance invoices to each resident/owner.
In most cases, a facility management team is brought onto the site much before the residents/tenants move in to their properties. It is imperative that in such scenarios, a detailed fit-out manual is prepared and handed out to every resident/tenant to ensure that they follow the laid out guidelines. This document helps the facility management team to monitor each ongoing fit-out work in the property in line with the guidelines laid down by the managing committee.
The next step after the fit-out manual is to put together a detailed resident’s/tenant’s handbook, which lists down the do’s and don’ts for the property with regards to use of common amenities, assets, equipment, emergency information and crisis response guidelines like emergency evacuation procedures, etc. These guidelines also work as an amazing tool for the management committee and the facility management team while handling member complaints and grievances.
Any well maintained premises has an active and operational resident/tenants grievance mechanism like a 24-hr help desk team that receives, acknowledges and then tracks open tasks/complaints with the facility management team. This serves as a platform for residents/tenants to voice their concerns and receive solutions within agreed turn-around-times (TATs).
The facility management team should actively use technology to present site data to the management committee. This is done through the use of browser based software that captures staff performance, machinery performance and servicing, electricity and water consumption, help desk management, resident’s/tenant’s grievances and monthly maintenance charges calculations (among many other uses). All this data can be used by the managing committee to track the facility management team’s performance as well as guide them in maintenance of critical areas of the property.
Quite often the facility management team is required to take a strong stance against certain defaulting or misbehaving residents/tenants. At such times, the managing committee should offer complete support to and back the authority of the facility management team, in order to ensure the rules and regulations are adhered to. Such support goes a long way in creating transparency and ensures no preferences or lee-ways are given to any of the residents/tenants, even if they are members of the managing committee.
Upon Society formation, an internal and external auditor needs to be appointed by the General Body of the Society. The auditors will be responsible for preparing agendas and minutes for all society meetings and will ensure that the society is fully compliant as per statutory guidelines. The existence of an external auditor keeps the facility management team on their toes and ensures that no misappropriation of funds takes place at any of the levels.
The managing committee should conduct a periodic meeting with the facility management team and the auditors to address site issues and take high level decisions on pending matters. Such meetings can be conducted on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
The managing committee should ensure that the facility management team reviews each vendor – security, technical, housekeeping, pest control and horticulture, on a quarterly basis. The facility management team should then present the findings of the vendor reviews to the managing committee and make a suggestion to continue a vendor or not. This will enable the managing committee to keep tabs on vendor performance and in turn track the performance of the facility management team.
– Kunal Lala, Vice-President, SILA
All, Project Management & Advisory
All, Facility Management