The Ultimate Checklist of Trades and Field Services Vendors under the Purview of Today's Facility Manager

Today's Facility Managers have a mountain of responsibilities, overseeing every aspect of operations within and outside of your building. With the increased complexity of modern facility management, including the expansion of companies, today's Facility Manager needs a comprehensive checklist of trades and field service vendors in use and activities performed for each area. A complete breakdown of all trade category-specific activities is limited only by the type of business and the needs of your facilities. Facility Managers should optimize such activities by following a checklist that begins with these top 12 categories.

1. Building Interior Checklist of Trades and Field Service Vendors

The building interior is the most obvious of trade core groups in facility management. It includes the activities involving maintenance of flooring, the foundation, rearranging offices and shells, engineering of the building, pest control and more. Also, the building interior includes the processes in place for ensuring and maintaining ADA compliance. Even the cleaning of interior floors when damage occurs or following a spell falls under this category.

2. Building Exterior Trades

The building exterior includes all areas of your facility that are not contained within an individual building. For example, maintaining fencing, grass, signage, roofing, general grounds upkeep, masonry, and other outdoor features are critical to creating positive customer experiences. For some businesses that operate outdoor recreational areas, exterior maintenance and facility management must consider the unique amenities offered, such as water features, visitor service centers and parking lots.

3. Equipment Management

Overall equipment management forms the next category of trades and field service vendors that Facility Managers must manage. Some businesses may utilize industrial equipment, such as forklifts or conveyors, more than traditional retailers. The type of equipment in use is largely dependent on the type and scale of the business.

4. Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Planning

The best-laid plans for effective facility management will crumble without effective disaster planning, preparedness, and recovery efforts. More importantly, disasters do not discriminate; they may occur anywhere and wreak untold havoc or damage. Furthermore, the nature of disasters and their impact on business continuity will naturally require consideration of all other trades and potential activities that fall under the direction of the Facility Manager.

5. HVAC & Refrigeration

The HVAC and refrigeration systems can be among the most valuable assets in your facility. Unfortunately, with the average building age approaching the mid-century mark, maintaining these assets, especially those that were installed in the facility original, is an extreme challenge. As a result, Facility Managers may be responsible for overseeing a preventive maintenance program, making a repair or replacement decisions, cleaning docs, performing air testing and more. Meanwhile, those storing temperature-sensitive goods will need additional repair and maintenance of the refrigeration units.

6. Electrical Systems

Any conversation over facility management must also include aging wiring. Old wiring is a part of the problem from the aging state of today's commercial facilities. As electrical systems age, any connected system or device may be subject to an increased risk for damage or even lead to the threat of electrocution.

7. General Contractors

During project remodels and other needs, general contractors also fall under the purview of Facility Managers. Simple activities that do not typically fall within any other trade are included in this group, such as bundled handyman programs, maintenance of minor issues, and replacing difficult-to-access light bulbs.

8. Communication Management

Communication management is about more than managing the flow of data and reporting between parties in your organization. It includes all activities relating to the use of Internet-connected sensors, point-of-sale systems, consumer-facing platforms, and Wi-Fi access.

9. Appliances for Operations

Unlike the equipment category, appliances for operations focus solely on equipment used in the course of business that does not necessarily involve an actual movement. For example, washers and dryers are types of appliances that will require maintenance.

10. Security Management

Managing the physical and virtual security of your facility is another responsibility of today's Facility Manager. They are responsible for ensuring doors close properly, locks function, the preparation for severe storms, maintenance of security cameras and overseeing the storage of CCTV.

11. Environmental Capabilities

Environmental capabilities and responsibilities focus on the systems in place to ensure the safety of building occupants when an internal disaster occurs. For example, alarm systems, sprinklers, fire suppression, inspection and maintenance of fire equipment are needs that fall within this category.

12. Food Service- and Cafeteria-Specific Needs

The final category focuses on the food service aspects of the business. Dishwashers, sterilizers, ovens, refrigerators, freezers and pest control are aspects of food service management for the Facility Manager.

Gain Full Control Over Various Trades in Your Organization’s Facility Management Program

There are endless responsibilities for today's Facility Managers and those that take a comprehensive view of their facilities, including all activities that occur within the facility and can gain visibility and effectively manage field service vendors. In other words, Facility Managers need a checklist of trades and filled service vendors, as well as their responsibilities, to indeed be useful.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb