A facilities manager may manage a single facility, a college campus or a nursing home. Or, they may manage a range of facilities across the country. While there are various industries a facilities manager may be employed in there are several key responsibilities that remain similar.
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A facility manager negotiates contracts and manages relationships with vendors who service the building or buildings that he manages. Depending on the type of facility this may include the cleaning crew, vending machine suppliers, janitorial supplier, HVAC maintenance and repair technicians, and plumbers. Often, when there is a small or minor issue with the facility, like a clogged toilet or drain he may take care of the issue himself to save the cost of hiring a professional. He will serve as a point of contact for employees or tenants when there is a maintenance issue or request that is needed.
The facilities manager is responsible for planning, leading, and budgeting for major projects, including remodels, new construction and major repairs to existing facilities. She is responsible for seeking out contractors and vendors to bid on projects, then securing the best and most competitive pricing, obtaining all permits and licenses from local municipality and state agencies, following the contractor through the project and assisting with any issues, and following up after the work is complete. This may establish the need to form close relationships with local building officials and contractors and keeping up to date with relevant legislation and state laws.
One of the biggest responsibilities of the facility manager that often leads to the position requiring more than 40 hours per week and frequent off-peak work hours is the responsibility to respond to and take care of all emergencies. An emergency may consist of a store alarm going off in the middle of the night, for example. Or, clearing the car parks and icing the entryways during a blizzard. Often this will cause a facility manager to respond during inclement weather, natural disasters or after a crime has been committed.
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