As you may discern from some of my other articles, I am a staunch proponent for education and continually broadening our understanding and skill sets for managing the built environment. Given we don’t know what we don’t know, I believe it is incumbent upon us as facility professionals to always be learning and improving our respective programs; this not only benefits us and our respective organizations, but the facility industry as a whole. Training is a key component to accomplishing this, which I will address in one my next articles; but another necessary component is knowledge sharing.
One of the primary means for knowledge sharing, that is learning from your fellow facility professional, is to attend and be part of industry associations, such as the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). This was one of the drivers behind me partnering with some of my colleagues in my area to start the Northern Rockies Chapter of IFMA just over a year ago.
Through Chapter events, I have enjoyed getting to know many of the facility professionals and service providers in our region. They are great people, who have a lot to offer! Once you get connected with others in our field, you realize quickly that you are not alone in beating your head against the wall, trying to solve many of the same problems. The principles and approaches to facility management are the same, regardless of the industry. I have worked in numerous environments from high-tech manufacturing, data centers, and pharmaceutical to corporate office space, retail, municipalities, and education. In each case, I have applied the same principles in assessing and improving the respective facility programs. Thus, we can learn from each other, no matter the industry in which you are currently employed.
Now I would be remiss to not acknowledge that each industry does have its own nuances, regulations, etc. With that said, IFMA also offers a variety of industry specific councils which provides you the opportunity to connect with facility professionals in your industry across the United States and throughout the world. They can be an invaluable resource in resolving your daily challenges. For example, I am in my second year of participating in the Facility Management Consultant’s Council (FMCC). The FMCC has provided a great opportunity for me to network with those that have already blazed the trail throughout the world. I have enjoyed getting to know them and sharing in their wisdom and experience.
I encourage you to first join your local Chapter and GET INVOLVED, so you can gain the local support and network you need to be successful. Second, you should explore IFMA’s various Councils and join the one that best fits your industry. Participating in these groups will better you, your career, and your organization!
If you are located in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Washington, or Eastern Oregon, please visit the Northern Rockies Chapter of IFMA to learn more.
Click here to learn more about IFMA’s Councils.
John Rimer is the founder & president of Facility University and president of FM360 Consulting. John has worked in the facility management industry since 1997 in a variety of roles and industries, including manufacturing, corporate facilities, data centers, education, municipality, bio-tech, and healthcare. His primary focus has been on assessing, developing, and improving facility management programs. John is a Certified Facility Manager (CFM) through the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and is an IFMA Qualified Instructor and Building Operator Certification (BOC) Instructor. FM360 provides general facility management consulting and coaching, including CMMS implementation & optimization, emergency response program development, and career & leadership mentoring. To learn more visit fm360consulting.com.