Facility Managers Survey 2010 - December 2010
By Darius Helm
Though conditions are far from rosy, there are clear signs in this year’s survey of facility managers that the business climate is improving, and, most importantly, that the outlook for 2011 and beyond is positive.
Traditionally, facility managers are a harried bunch, with wide ranging responsibilities and shrinking staffs coupled with significant time pressures and tight budgets, and over the last few years these burdens have generally increased. The last survey Floor Focus conducted, in 2008, revealed that conditions had worsened. However, this year’s survey suggests that, while the situation hasn’t exactly turned around, there is a general trend toward a more healthy business climate, with increases in renovations and new construction. But most facility managers report that staff sizes are not increasing and, at least for now, nor are budgets.
Nevertheless, most of the surveyed facility managers report that the outlook for the next 18 months is for an improvement compared to the last 18 months.
There are also indications of shifting priorities, with more focus on sustainability and even on design, a luxury that most facility managers have struggled to maintain.
WHO THEY ARE & WHAT THEY DO
Facility managers are generally responsible for multiple buildings in a commercial organization’s structure, mostly in the corporate/office sector but also in education, healthcare, retail and government, and they’re in charge of the operation and upkeep of the entire physical environment. In terms of flooring, they’re responsible for purchase, installation and maintenance, working with manufacturers, contract dealers, installers and often the A&D community.
According to this year’s survey, the majority of facility managers are still the sole deciders for all flooring purchases, though the role of in-house committees have steadily grown over the last few years. In some cases, in-house designers take on these responsibilities, and 4% of this year’s respondents state that outside A&D firms make these decisions. Since facility managers make decisions around furnishings, finishes and infrastructure, it’s a challenge for them to be experts in all areas.
However, flooring installation and maintenance generally falls on the shoulders of the facility managers, so they have to do their best to stay on top of the offerings of the entire floorcovering industry, from broadloom and carpet tile to vinyl flooring, rubber, ceramic and other hard surface products. And that means keeping up with fiber offerings, wearlayers, maintenance profiles, lifecycles and every other aspect of the floorcoverings they specify, including the latest styles and colors.
For the complete Survey results, see the December 2010 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.
Copyright 2010 Floor Focus