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Budgets continue to restrict FMs

Forty per cent of FMs believe that budget is the main challenge facing them, according to a survey conducted by Propertyserve UK, which provides fully-managed helpdesk and procurement solutions exclusively to the property and asset management sector.

In terms of the other challenges, more than one third (35%) stated procurement, and 26% advised that it was time.

Commenting on the findings, Chris MacDonald, Managing Director at Propertyserve, said: "The fact that the three leading concerns stated by FMs make no reference to property owners or tenants is a real sign of the times. Procurement, time and budgets are mainly internal procedures and activities - two of which relate directly to administration.

"Once upon a time, we would have had answers along the lines of: 'troublesome tenants', 'over- demanding clients' or 'time spent on the road' as some of the typical responses.

"Today, the FM's role has been extended so that the control measures and level of administration involved carry equal, if not more, weight than the traditional and practical role of a facilities manager.

"Procurement is an area of property management which has come under the spotlight in recent years. More than ever, it has become important for organisations to achieve savings through economies of scale, and improved control over their contractor base."

Ricky Nelson, senior facilities manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, added: “The role of the FM has changed significantly over the past 10 years. The administrative responsibilities have grown due to the drive from managing agents to provide their clients with real time budget reporting as well as providing audit trails for each FM process facilitating a transparent service.

"This has been coupled with a heightened appreciation for the importance of health and safety and the need to thoroughly vet and validate risk assessments and method statements, whilst ensuring contractors have the necessary qualifications, certifications and insurances in place to work safely on the managed portfolio.”

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