Managing Facilities and Real Estate – Enhancing Services, Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs

Clive M.J. Warren (University of Queensland, Business School, Brisbane, Australia)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 18 October 2011



Warren, C.M.J. (2011), "Managing Facilities and Real Estate – Enhancing Services, Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs", Property Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 490-491.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This book is written as a strategic guide for facilities and property managers who directly manage assets or act in the capacity of a service provider. The author, Michel Theriault, is based in Canada where he runs Strategic Advisory, a facilities consultancy business. He frequently presents his research at international conferences and has won industry recognition through awards for management, including BOMA Pinnacle Award for customer service, and several BOMA Certificates of Excellence for facilities under his management.

This book is aimed at the practitioner and student of asset facilities management. It has a very strong focus on the strategic planning required to successfully manage facilities in order to support the occupying business. In this respect the book differs from many others in this field in that it is not a handbook of how to manage specific elements of a building or facility function, but rather takes a higher level approach seeking to link the property strategy with the client/customer objectives for use of the asset.

The book commences with a discussion of the development of facilities management as a profession and sets out the Author's definition of facilities management and its role in the modern corporation. This first section of the text has five chapters under the broader heading of “Management and Leadership” and articulates the complexity of the role played by facilities managers and the skills needed to fulfil this asset leadership role.

Part Two of the book comprises six chapters under the broader heading of “Strategic Management.” These chapters take the reader through the development of strategic asset management plans and the processes of benchmarking the performance of properties against those plans. This section emphasises the importance of consultation in developing plans and the need to accurately communicate the strategic plan to all involved stakeholders. This important element of good facilities management is often overlooked and so this chapter provides some good practical advice on achieving this goal. The following chapter, thirteen, provides sound advice on “communicating to influence,” once again emphasising the need of facilities managers to actively seek to influence the senior levels of management within an organisation.

The remaining sections of the book deal with the procurement process to meet the strategic goals of the organisation. It includes an analysis of the balance between in‐house delivery and outsourcing of service provision. Linked to these procurement processes, the author provides a detailed analysis of the performance management role of the facilities manager. The text includes some practical tips in managing suppliers as well as providing some pro‐forma forms to assist in the management process. The final chapter looks at the lifecycle costs of managing facilities and maximising productivity from the assets under management.

The book is well structured with a logical flow of chapters leading the reader from the high level strategy down to the practical implementation of strategic facilities plans. The layout uses numerous headings and sub‐headings to aid navigation and is written in clear and concise language. Each chapter concludes with a brief “Quick Summary” where, under three dot point headings the key points are provided for the reader to take from the preceding chapter. There are also Executive Tips to encourage the reader to think how the key points might be implemented in their organisation. The final dot point “Traps to Avoid” highlights some of the possible mistakes that, in the Author's experience, can be made in implementing the asset plan. These brief dot points are a very valuable feature and one that I found myself referring to even before reading the preceding chapter.

Overall this is a very useful text for any practitioner in the property or facilities management field. It is well written and very practical in its approach. The layout provides useful checklists and chapter summaries that will be particularly useful for new entrants to the asset and facilities management profession. This book fulfils a very useful role bridging a gap in the market for good practical advice in setting and implementing strategic facilities management plans and I recommend it as such.

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