The purpose of this paper is to offer the environmental scan as a valued tool for the facilities management (FM) operation to assist in determining strategic direction.
After defining the environmental scan, its usefulness is explored from the perspective of a single case study public institution FM organisation. Once the information is captured, the potential analysis and value is discussed.
The environmental scan is seen as a valuable tool in the FM organisation to solicit input from both the institution's administration and the customer community leaders. Through this analysis, the FM organisation can refine its strategic direction by determining what it is doing well, what it should investigate doing, and what it should consider to stop doing.
The single case study does raise the issue of generalisability. However, given the nature of what can be gained from qualitative research, the reader is cautioned to take into account appropriate logic and environmental factors when considering transferability.
The findings from the FM environmental scan serves to not only aid in determining strategic direction but can also assist the FM organisation in demonstrating the value of the services provided. It helps to identify what the organisation should stop doing, do better, and begin to do for its customers.
The introduction and use of the environmental scan instrument followed with appropriate analysis provides the FM organisation with a method to solicit critical input from customers to aid in strategic planning and demonstrate value of services.
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