June 4 is World Facilities Management Day and Broll Property Group shines a light on the discipline of facilities management, which is well accepted as a valuable asset for property owners and managers and essential for the effective running of business – it saves time, money, resources and the environment.
Leading property services group Broll, which provides facilities management services to many international and local blue-chip businesses, education institutions and sporting stadia, reports growing demand for its services as these businesses seek to foster a better run, more cost-efficient and energy-efficient operating environment.
Broll’s Chief Operations Officer, Rowland Gurnell explains, apart from the overarching financial management of a property, tenants, and even building owners themselves, seldom have the time to manage the facilities they occupy. “It’s not their area of specialisation and they often don’t have the experience or training to focus on the key areas of delivery, cost containment and compliance.”
Facilities management lets clients control expenditure while improving service delivery. It allows property owners to focus on what they do best, leaving the management of non-core support and associated services to Broll.
“It may sound straightforward, but ensuring that tenanted buildings comply with basic requirements, such as health and safety standards, and fire protection requirements, takes careful and knowledgeable management,” says Gurnell.
Facilities management is a specialised function that works on behalf of tenants to both manage lease obligations and ensure optimal operation of a premises and pleasant environment in the space being occupied by the tenant. Facilities managers manage contracts and sub-contractors to meet necessary service levels.
Still, cautions Gurnell, it may be easy to outsource a contract, but managing a contract is never simple. “It’s important to choose a service provider that can get the job done and get it done right within the contract price. It is also important to identify service provider that generates job creation, skills training and empowerment outcomes,” he says.
Ultimately, the point is that professional facilities management preserves the lifespan of the building, manages lease obligations and implements a full maintenance programme – something that’s particularly important during the payback period of the building. Outsourced facilities management puts the spotlight squarely on the building’s cost-effectiveness.
While big business leads the way in the application of outsourced facilities management, with multi-national companies and shopping centres especially cognisant of this service, it can be employed to great effect in all properties, not only commercial buildings. Facilities management is also frequently applied to the running of sports stadia, schools and government facilities.
Broll is responsible for the facilities management of BHP Billiton, T-Systems, Vodacom SA, the EDCON Group and Shoprite Holdings. Also in the Broll facilities management portfolio you will find Fujitsu, Pfizer, AIG, WSP as well as the ANC Offices in Johannesburg.
In the field of tertiary education within South Africa and in Africa, Broll is involved with the Kenyatta University, University of Ghana and most recently CIDA University in Johannesburg. Broll’s education portfolio also includes facilities management of leading private schools such as Hilton College in Pietermaritzburg, Durban Girls College and all the King David Schools in Gauteng.
Broll provides its clients with the distinct advantage of international best-practice techniques because it is part of the CBRE network.
With green building design, construction and management gaining impetus in South Africa – where it makes real sense in our water scarce country and with the price of electricity constantly on the rise – specialised energy efficiency is becoming a greater focus of facilities management.
“Amidst the high and rising costs of utilities, precision water and energy management has become incredibly important to ensure efficiencies are at their greatest,” says Gurnell. “Maintaining facilities optimally and proactively also ensures the lasting benefits of these facilities – adding to the integrity of property assets and increasing their lifespans.”
Broll is South Africa’s leading commercial property services company with a burgeoning presence across sub-Saharan Africa. The group’s portfolio of assets under management is worth R94 billion, of which R19 billion is outside of South Africa’s borders.