Facility manager’s responsibilities – an inside look

May 27, 2024

The value of the worldwide facility management market was estimated to be 2031.4 billion dollars by 2030 (Statistia, 2023). Have you ever thought about what keeps a workplace running smoothly? Without the careful management of a facility manager, offices might face constant problems and disruptions. These professionals play a critical role in keeping the physical workplace functioning properly, yet their wide range of responsibilities is often not fully appreciated.

In this article, we will explore the key roles and responsibilities that define effective facility management. Whether you want to improve how your workplace runs or just want to understand what happens behind the scenes, you’re in the right place. We will discuss:

  • Facility Manager Responsibilities:

    The everyday tasks that keep everything running smoothly.

  • Facility Management:

    Methods for keeping a workplace running at its best.

  • Roles in Facility Management:

    The important players and their roles in maintaining a productive work environment.

Let’s find out what facility management looks like.

The Role of Facility Managers & Their Responsibilities

There are 131,400 facility managers in the U.S., earning approximately $53.42 per hour on average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023). Facility managers are the backbone of keeping an organization’s buildings and assets in good shape. They’re responsible for everything from ensuring daily operations run smoothly to handling safety standards, budgets, and external service providers.

By managing all these tasks, they help create an environment where employees can work productively and clients feel welcome. Their role is essential in ensuring that everything stays functional, safe, and cost-effective.

Facility managers have many key roles in facility maintenance that form the core of their role. They supervise maintenance, which means checking buildings regularly, fixing problems quickly, and planning preventive care to avoid major issues. They handle health and safety compliance, ensuring that risk assessments are done, and safety rules are followed.

Managing budgets involves balancing costs with needed repairs and upgrades to keep everything up to standard. Finally, facility managers work with service providers, building strong relationships and negotiating contracts to ensure quality services at reasonable prices. Together, these tasks keep everything running smoothly and help maintain the organization’s assets efficiently.

Responsibility # 1 – Overseeing Building Maintenance

Overseeing building maintenance is a fundamental aspect of a facility manager’s role. They ensure that every part of the facility remains in optimal condition by managing inspections, repairs, and preventive maintenance. By closely monitoring the building’s condition, they help avoid costly repairs, extend the lifespan of assets, and maintain a safe, pleasant space for everyone.

Regular Inspections

In 2023, healthcare was the leading facility managed (24.7%), followed by commercial (22.5%), hospitality (14.1%), and education (7.7%) (Statista, 2023). Regular inspections are the foundation of effective building maintenance. They help the facility manager identify potential issues early, whether it’s a leaky pipe, a malfunctioning light fixture, or structural wear.

By systematically inspecting various areas of the facility, the manager can detect and address problems before they escalate. Inspections also ensure compliance with safety standards and help identify necessary maintenance tasks that need prompt attention.

Managing Repairs

Managing repairs involves promptly addressing issues discovered during inspections or reported by staff. The facility manager coordinates with maintenance teams or external contractors to ensure repairs are completed quickly and effectively. They prioritize urgent repairs affecting safety or daily operations while scheduling long-term fixes to minimize disruptions. This process ensures that the building remains functional, safe, and welcoming.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance emphasizes proactive measures rather than reactive fixes. It involves scheduled tasks like changing filters, lubricating machinery, and testing electrical systems to detect potential issues before they worsen. This approach saves money and ensures the facility operates smoothly, with fewer unexpected interruptions.

If you’re looking for preventative maintenance services to employ at your facility, Makula’s preventive maintenance tools can automate routine inspections and maintenance schedules. This enables you to detect potential issues early and address them efficiently.

Responsibility # 2 – Ensuring Compliance with Safety Standards

Two-thirds of professionals prioritize compliance, according to Facility Executive (Facility Executive, 2015). Ensuring compliance with health and safety standards is a critical responsibility for facility managers.They must safeguard the well-being of everyone in the building by identifying and addressing potential hazards. By maintaining a safe and secure environment, they minimize workplace injuries, protect the organization’s reputation, and foster a culture of safety.

Conducting Risk Assessments

Conducting risk assessments is a proactive measure to identify and manage potential dangers in the facility. The facility manager examines various aspects of the building, such as structural integrity, electrical systems, and emergency exits, to identify hazards that could threaten health and safety.

By analyzing these risks and categorizing them based on severity and likelihood, the manager can implement targeted measures to mitigate them, ensuring a safer environment for employees, clients, and visitors.

Ensuring Adherence to Safety Protocols

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Ensuring adherence to safety protocols involves putting into action the policies designed to address identified risks. Facility managers establish and communicate these protocols, which may include guidelines for emergency evacuations, equipment handling, and workplace ergonomics.

They also conduct training sessions and monitor daily activities to ensure everyone understands and follows the established guidelines. By rigorously maintaining these standards, facility managers help prevent accidents, reduce liability, and create a secure work environment.

Responsibility # 3 – Managing Facility Budgets

For facilities, an appropriate budget allocation for routine maintenance and repair will normally be in the range of 2-4% of the total current replacement value of those facilities (National Academies of Sciences, 1996).

Managing facility budgets is a crucial task for facility managers, requiring a balance between maintaining high standards and keeping expenses in check. A well-planned budget also allows the facility manager to justify expenses and maintain the trust of stakeholders.

Financial Planning and Cost Control

Financial planning and cost control are at the heart of managing facility budgets. Facility managers forecast expenses by evaluating past spending, considering current needs, and anticipating future requirements. They allocate funds for routine maintenance, major repairs, and unexpected emergencies. Through careful cost control, they ensure that resources are spent efficiently, prioritizing tasks that maintain safety and functionality while avoiding wasteful expenditures.

Common Budgeting Challenges

Common budgeting challenges include rising maintenance costs, unpredictable repairs, and fluctuating service provider fees. Inflation can significantly increase the prices of building materials and labor, making it challenging to keep costs within budget.

Additionally, unforeseen emergencies like equipment breakdowns can quickly drain funds, leaving less for scheduled projects. Securing the best deals with service providers can also be difficult, especially when balancing quality and affordability.

Makula’s machine and assets management tools help you optimize expenses and enhance asset lifecycle through proactive maintenance and strategic asset tracking.

Strategies for efficient control management

Strategies for efficient cost management include preventive maintenance, strategic procurement, and technology adoption. Preventive maintenance reduces unexpected repair costs by addressing problems early. Strategic procurement involves building strong relationships with suppliers and negotiating long-term contracts to secure better pricing. Lastly, technology like building management systems can help monitor energy usage, providing data to make informed financial decisions where costs can be optimized.

Responsibility # 4 – Coordinating with Service Providers

Facility managers often rely on external vendors for specialized tasks like cleaning, HVAC maintenance, landscaping, or security. By effectively managing these relationships, facility managers can maintain the quality of services, minimize disruptions, and keep the building operating efficiently.

Selecting Third-Party Vendors and Service Providers

Selecting third-party vendors and service providers is about finding partners who align with the organization’s standards and values. Facility managers start by identifying the services needed and then researching vendors with a proven track record.

They assess candidates based on their expertise, reputation, safety protocols, and pricing. This careful vetting ensures that only competent and reliable partners are chosen, which minimizes risks and maintains the quality of services delivered.

Managing Service Provider Relationships

Managing service-provider relationships requires consistent communication and clear expectations. Facility managers regularly check in with vendors to review performance, provide feedback, and discuss any challenges.

Setting clear standards and providing specific guidelines helps providers understand what is expected of them. By maintaining positive and transparent relationships, facility managers can resolve issues quickly, ensure steady service quality, and encourage loyalty and flexibility from vendors.

Negotiating Contracts for Mutual Benefit

Negotiating contracts with service providers ensures that both parties receive fair value. Facility managers aim to secure favorable pricing and service terms, balancing cost-effectiveness with high-quality delivery. This balanced approach creates mutually beneficial partnerships where providers are motivated to deliver their best work, knowing that they have a reliable client in return.

Skills and Qualifications Required for Facility Managers

When all academic degrees are taken into account, the most popular majors earned by facilities managers in 2021 were business followed by engineering, and social sciences (Data USA, 2021). Facility managers must also have diverse skills including project management, communication, and technical knowledge.

Here’s a break-down of some skills that are important to become a successful facility manager:

  • Problem-Solving Skills:

    Ability to quickly analyze issues and devise practical solutions to address maintenance, operational, or compliance challenges.

  • Project Management:

    Competence in planning, coordinating, and executing multiple tasks, ensuring that projects meet deadlines and stay within budget.

  • Communication:

    Effective written and verbal communication skills for interacting with staff, contractors, and stakeholders, ensuring everyone understands goals and expectations.

  • Technical Knowledge:

    Understanding of building systems, safety regulations, and facility management software to maintain operations and ensure compliance.

  • Negotiation and Vendor Management:

    Skilled at negotiating contracts and managing vendor relationships to secure quality services while controlling costs.

Manage Your Facilities More Effectively with Makula

Looking to simplify and enhance your facility management processes? At Makula, we understand the challenges you face. Our tools are designed to help you manage your facilities more effectively, from preventive maintenance to asset management and beyond. Let’s make facility management better together.


Data USA. (2021). Facilities managers. Data USA. Retrieved May 4, 2024, from


Facility Executive. (2015). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 4, 2024, from


National Academies of Sciences. (1996). Read “Budgeting for Facilities Maintenance and

Repair Activities: Report Number 131″ at NAP.edu. The National Academies Press. Retrieved May 4, 2024, from https://nap.nationalacademies.org/read/9226/chapter/3

Statista. (2023). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 4, 2024, from


Statistia. (2023, December 4). Facility management market size worldwide 2023. Statista.

Retrieved May 4, 2024, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1073572/global-facility-management-market-size/

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023). 11-3013 Facilities Managers. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Retrieved May 4, 2024, from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113013.htm#(1)

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