What are 'Facility Operations'

Facilities operations refers to the management of all of the processes, people and assets required for facility to do what it is designed to do. Facility operations typically includes the day to day operations of the facility, as well as consideration and execution of future maintenance and improvement needs. Depending on the industry, each facility will have different operational procedures and requirements. Facility operations may also be referred to as "facility management" or "facilities management." Individuals whose main job function is facility operations may be referred to as an "operations manager," "general manager," or "facilities manager."

Breaking Down 'Facility Operations'

Facility operations is a management discipline that focuses on the efficient operations of a variety of enterprises, from retail stores, factories, offices, storage facilities, campuses, hospitals, warehouses or other commercial spaces and facilities. The main concern in facility operations is operational in nature, such as ensuring that day-to-day management meets the objectives of the organization. There are also strategic concerns, as well, such as an imperative to follow best practices, meet productivity and efficiency standards, and satisfy legal and safety requirements.

An example would be a manufacturing facility. It could be broken down into process, production and maintenance departments with each department having teams to oversee. The facility operations are the way each department and the teams work and help the manufacturing facility attain its goals.

Facility Operations: Key Responsibility Areas

Facility operations includes a number of key duties and disciplines, such as:

  • Maintaining an inventory of physical assets and the management of those assets.
  • Tracking the maintenance of facilities and physical assets, from preventative maintenance to scheduled maintenance to emergency repairs.
  • Knowledge and use of computer systems for utilizing and managing facilities.
  • The creation, maintenance and use of facility-specific manuals to assist with the processes, methods, equipment and tools, as well as the maintenance schedules that must be adhered to manage a facility. 
  • Management of maintenance staff, as well as consideration of how they can operate most efficiently.
  • Project management: given that the requirements of facility operations spans so many disciplines, facility operators must be able to effectively define and prioritize needs, manage costs and procedures, and execute various management and maintenance projects simultaneously.
  • Consideration and implementation of sustainable practices.
  • Conducting risk management assessments and proposing and executing on corrective measures.

Some additional areas that may fall under the aegis of facility operations include: fire safety, security, cleaning, business continuity planning, space allocation, and equipment inspections.

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