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Facilities Management 101: Basic Principles


As the work of Facilities Management (FM) continues to develop, there are still several questions being raised by various parties.

Below are the three most frequently asked questions about Facilities Management:

1. What is FM and what is the difference between FM and General Affairs (GA)?

Referring to guidelines issued by the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), Facilities Management is a profession which encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, places, processes and technology.

There are several descriptions by different corporations about the role of Facilities Management, such as Corporate Services, Operations Support Services, Workplace Services, Asset Maintenance Management, General Services, General Specialist, even General Affairs.

So is FM different from GA or any other such designation? The answer is “no”, because it’s only a matter of how companies name the department within their organisation.

The practice of FM differs from one company or organisation to another, even though they are in the same business sector. The practice of FM has evolved in terms of scope, driven by business trends, advancements in technology, regulatory requirements and occupants’ needs

The main function of FM is to manage a company’s non-core business operations such as maintenance operations, space management, workplace safety and health, real estate management and administrative services, with the overall objective of FM being to align with a company’s mission and targets.

2. How important is the role of FM in a company?

As the world is changing rapidly, quoting from IFMA and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), population growth will mostly occur in urban areas and this will have an impact on our cities, buildings, infrastructure and workspaces. In this way, energy needs will also increase, meaning the built environment is responsible for around 40% of carbon emissions. It is believed that risks will be even greater and more challenging in the future.

However, as part of solutions to overcome the above issues, FM can make a difference to the world by:

  • Managing the quantity and capacity of the world's-built assets
  • Saving resources, especially in relation to leaders in sustainability and energy saving strategies
  • Enhancing lives by transforming work and leisure spaces to meet current need
  • Managing risk such as protecting security breaches
  • FM can contribute a lot for the global economic good. 

The role of FM as strategic partner in a company is crucial, especially as it is closely related to creating a more productive workplace atmosphere and supporting success in business. Many corporates or organizations are beginning to realize the importance of FM in business. Just as stated in the book “Value-Based Facilities Management”, by Steven EE, the reason organizations are beginning to realize the importance is because:

  • Facilities represent a substantial investment
  • Running costs of facilities services account for a significant part of expenditure; thus, FM has the potential to impact profit retention through effective and efficient management of facilities
  • FM enables corporation to focus on its core businesses by also managing its non-core business operations

3. What are the ideal competencies FM Managers need to have in Facility Management?

According to IFMA, as an FM Manager you will need to have these 11 competencies:
• Finance & Business
• Operations & Maintenance
• Leadership & Strategy
• Project Management
• Real Estate
• Sustainability
• Facility Info Management & Tech Management
• Communications
• Risk Management
• Occupancy & Human Factors
• Performance & Quality

FM contributes to many things and FM managers should have the basic competencies as mentioned above. With these 11 competencies, in implementation there must be a collaboration, where FM Managers can delegate special skills to people who are experts or have specialisations such as Engineering, Occupational Health and Safety, Environment, Quality management, Finance and Admin.

Click here to learn more and to know how you can accelerate your business success or contact our Facilties Management experts for a discussion.

Related Experts

Christina Ng


Facilities Management


Christina has had 20+ years experience in handling Commercial and Residential Facilities and Property Management.

While in charge of the Centralized Facility Management, she supported all Account Managers within the Colliers FM account portfolio across Indonesia: Citigroup, HSBC, AZA, ANZ, Danone, Barclays, Bank Ekonomi Rahardja and DBS.

As the Senior Associate Director, she leads Colliers FM operation, including supporting Facilities Management setting up for three countries for Deutsche Bank Facility Management, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.

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Deyla Novera

Associate Director

Facilities Management


Deyla joined Colliers at the beginning of 2006 and was appointed Senior Supervisor – Tenant Relations. As she performed well and passed the High Flyer Batch VII Leadership Programme successfully, Colliers promoted her to Officer – Engineering in September 2007. She possesses excellent qualifications and performs well in the positions assigned to her.

In one of her previous assignments, she also succeeded in coordinating the establishment of a Deutsche Bank Regional Project. She has managed similar projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and her role in regional projects includes cost calculation, updating all set-up activities, coordination of all relevant parties and documenting the entire process. Particularly in Thailand, she was involved in managing the on-site set-up.

Deyla has also successfully led the set-up of Colliers FM’s new projects; Danone, AXA, Bank Ekonomi Raharja, Singapore Embassy of Jakarta, Allianz, Bank Danamon, etc., as well as overseeing the operational work on these projects. Currently, she is highly involved in business development activities, including preparing all tender materials, establishing new strategies, which are different for every tender submission, preparing and delivering presentation materials to the clients and leading the set-up process of the successful tender.

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