Can you differentiate between the responsibilities of a facility manager and a property manager? Both roles sound similar, but they are distinct roles with different key responsibilities.
It’s critical to understand the scope of each role in the context of a manufacturing business to decide which role you should hire for and what to expect from the person you hire. Below, we differentiate between the responsibilities of facility managers and property managers.
What Does a Facility Manager Do?
A facility manager focuses on the business’s people, assets, and processes. A facility manager’s role is to maintain the property and assets, as well as plan and coordinate the activities among departments at your facility to achieve business goals.
Here’s an overview of a facility manager’s responsibilities:
- create and stay within the budget;
- prepare for emergencies and plan for business continuity;
- ensure compliance with safety standards and other regulations;
- ensure efficient operation of equipment and the facility as a whole;
- oversee maintenance, cleaning, IT, and the staff responsible for these activities; and
- coordinate with management and department heads over matters related to facility management.
However, the role of a facility manager is evolving fast with IoT and AI entering the scene. According to a state of IoT report, the number of connected IoT devices will likely grow to 27 billion by 2025.
These devices make facility management far more efficient by allowing managers to use AI-powered predictive analytics, collaborate in real time, and use sensors to automate processes.
That’s not all. AI and IoT can help facility managers reduce energy consumption, automatically flag security risks, and provide insights reports.
What Does a Property Manager Do?
A property manager’s focus is on property maintenance, not operational efficiency. Put simply, a property manager manages the building and the business’s physical environment. Examples of things property managers take care of include the ground, roof, and lighting.
Here’s an overview of a PM’s responsibilities:
- garbage disposal;
- cleaning the internal and external premises;
- ensuring safety by periodically inspecting mechanical and electrical systems; and
- maintaining—and, when necessary, repairing—mechanical and electrical systems at the facility, such as water supply and lighting.
Property managers also use AI and IoT to make their jobs easier. For example, integrating a building management system (BMS) with IoT sensors enable managers to centralize data. This allows the manager and the team to manage the property remotely.
Property managers refer to the International Property Maintenance Code (IMPC) for following best practices for property maintenance. The IMPC outlines property maintenance details for maintaining components, including electrical fittings, fire safety equipment, and plumbing.
Facility Manager vs. Property Manager: Who’s Responsible?
Some tasks can be difficult to assign because it’s hard to determine whose responsibility they are. Here are a few common examples:
- You need to digitize your maintenance processes. Maintenance-related issues are tackled by the facility manager. The manager must coordinate with maintenance technicians and the IT staff to implement the IoT infrastructure.
- The tiles in the driveway need to be replaced. If the tiles in the driveway have been damaged because of heavy vehicles, the property manager must replace them.
- Multiple unexpected machine failures might result in cost overruns. Several machines failed this month because of a short circuit at the facility. Managing the budgets and getting the machines up and running at the minimum cost is the facility manager’s responsibility.
- The canteen space needs reorganization to accommodate growing staff. As your company grows and hires more staff, you’ll need a bigger space to accommodate them. When your canteen space needs to be reorganized to accommodate more people, your property manager is in charge of the reorganization.
- You need a plan to comply with the new OSHA regulations. OSHA has issued new guidelines for your industry, and you need to make changes to comply with them. You’ll assign this task to a facility manager. They’ll coordinate with the legal team and management to ensure compliance.
As you can see, all changes related to people, assets, and processes are the responsibility of a facility manager. Any changes that relate to the property or the business’s physical environment are the property manager’s responsibility.
Facility Managers and Property Managers Play a Key Role on the Factory Floor
A facility manager ensures operational efficiency, keeps equipment health in check, and oversees maintenance schedules. On the other hand, a property manager maintains the building you operate in.
Large companies need both types of managers to operate effectively. If you’re a startup, you might consider merging a few of these responsibilities into one role. However, you’ll need to separate managers for each role eventually given the extensive set of duties and the value they add to your business.
In any case, a facility or property manager in a modern company will need to rely on automation and data. Using IoT tools and digital solutions like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can make handling and managing data easier. They allow managers to focus more on strategic tasks and less on mundane administrative work.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.