Ask the Expert: Facility Management Q&A with Michel Theriault

Lately, AkitaBox sat down with Michel Theriault to go over his experience in services management, today what issues he sees FM getting, and his outlook for future years. Michel has over 30 years of expertise in facility administration as both a service manager and more lately as a consultant at FM Insight Consulting . He’s an advocate for the service management business as a regular speaker, trainer, published writer, and active person in IFMA and other business associations. Find out more about Michel.

Q: Many thanks for taking enough time nowadays to chat, Michel. Would you give our readers an instant rundown of one’s experience and background inside facilities management?

Michel: THEREFORE I have spent 31 years in the service management area. For the initial 18 many years of my profession, I done a facilities team, very first with Bell Canada and transitioning to a service outsourcing company then. Then about 13 years back I shifted on to become consultant, where I today help organizations recognize things that have to change and assist them demonstrate those must senior leadership. 

Of these 31 years, I’ve worked and noticed with facility teams of most different sizes, org structures, and industrial sectors that have given me an abundance of information to pull from when i help agencies in my consulting part. 

Q: How do you get in to the facility management market?  

Michel: It wasn’t an obvious career choice at that time, I sorta fell involved with it just. I was using an engineering diploma with some type of computer science choice and got employed by Bell Canada as a summer season student to greatly help them develop their very own CMMS. 2 yrs later, I acquired a full-time work in facility management using them and the others is background. 

Q: You understand, that’s something we visit a complete lot from amenities professionals we talk with. They didn’t attempt to join the sector, it just happened kinda.

Michel: Yes, that is common for folks in my own generation pretty. These days though, I’m very encouraged to start to see the amount of the university and college-level courses which are for facility administration all the way up to master’s degree plan. It’s ideal for our business to see these applications in place.

“I believe the largest misconception is that services teams are just tactical. When individuals think of facilities groups, they think about them keeping the lamps on, fixing broken tools, and moving furniture. Individuals don’t start to see the strategic worth…”

  Q: Therefore Michel, in your present function as a consultant, what exactly are one of the most common challenges you assist facilities groups with?

Michel: Properly, my clients ask me personally to do some type of review typically. There are a number of types, however, many of the very most common are usually:

  • Strict Benchmarking – That’s where I evaluate their firm to either a link, industry standards, or execute a peer-to-peer evaluation. 
  • In-house vs outsourcing company situation – This functions both ways, where I’ll either review work they’re doing in-house and know what could be outsourced or vice-versa presently. 
  • Organization and operational evaluation – This may cover a broad area which range from the org construction, policies, procedures, budgeting, funds planning, project administration, and many more. Then i compare my client’s present state to market averages, which outcomes in a suggestion they can work on or bring to senior administration. 

Regardless of what type of evaluation I’m doing, I’m centered on the strategic viewpoint looking at how exactly to manage and administer an excellent, professional, and effective service management department.

Q: What’s the most frequent challenge you see between the FM groups you use?

Michel: The largest issue I see will be that amenities teams are so occupied doing factors they don’t really have the period to evaluate if they’re actually being efficient and efficient. For instance, when I utilize a client I constantly require policies and processes but frequently they will have just documented those linked to occupational safe practices. When I ask, “How can you deal with a crisis at 2 am?” I’m given by them a conclusion but nothing is on paper. It really is all in someone’s mind but there is absolutely no document installation of specific requirements about how to react when to react, and who is accountable. 

What this creates is really a treadmill impact for FMs. They don’t really have enough time and energy to make the situation to senior leadership to find the resources they want. And since they don’t possess the resources they want, they have enough time to create that case never.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the largest misconception about FM? 

Michel: I believe the largest misconception is that services teams are just tactical. When individuals think of facilities groups, they think about them keeping the lighting on, fixing broken devices, and moving furniture. Individuals don’t start to see the strategic worth and just why facilities are therefore important, from the senior leadership side specifically. To leadership, amenities are considered nothing more than a price line often.

Q: Do you consider these misconceptions are transforming? 

Michel: You can find pockets of better consciousness but I don’t find more than enough change during the last 30 yrs to create me comfortable sufficiently to say we have been making much progress. It is a broad issue for most organizations still.

Q: You’ve experienced the facility management room quite a long time. What has already been the largest change you’ve seen during the last 30 many years?

Michel: Within the, professionalization is improving over the board. You can find more certifications and educational opportunities than for folks to get been trained in FM ever. That is bringing new concepts, best practices, and revolutionary processes to FM that helps facilities deliver even more value to organizations even. 

Sadly, I don’t start to see the recognition of the change beyond facilities teams often. I believe it shall be an extended process, but because the older people like myself begin to retire and young ones who’ve had this professional education appear, I think they’ll really have the ability to switch the perception of services as just a cost range around.

Q: Do the groups you use wish they got even more reputation from senior leadership?

Michel: Yes, I believe they wish to have significantly more appreciation from various other departments. The facility people themselves consider pride in what they perform. They know they execute a good work and bring excellent worth to the business. 

What I talk to them about is they want to  promoting that worth to some other departments and senior administration. We are really poor at selling our sector and the worthiness we bring to institutions. 

This issue extends beyond the groups in the field simply. I have already been a known person in IFMA since 1992. What I don’t observe from the associations can be an emphasis on improving position within the organization environment. They concentrate on training, best practices, recognition – but I don’t notice much being performed to equip facility supervisors and directors to become more visible and observed from senior administration.

Q: So we’ve talked a lot concerning the difficulties facing FM teams nowadays. How do organizations support their service managers and directors in the years ahead better?

Michel: I believe one of the primary areas beyond giving FMs bigger budgets and much more resources, is actually providing better company related training and schooling because of their managers and directors. What often happens may be the social people who keep these leadership roles have already been promoted from specialist or engineer roles. So they result from an extremely technical background plus they like to do stuff, but aren’t provided the business training necessary to manage groups and make strategic choices. Really, organizations ought to be providing the support to raised educate and teach these directors and supervisors in business management, that is a large section of facility management leadership actually.

Q: What’s one trend, best exercise, etc a complete large amount of FM teams have confidence in, but is keeping them from future development and effectiveness back?

Michel: The big failing is now complacent and not seeking to continually improve. The tendency would be to say we’ve accomplished it in this manner for 15-20 yrs, it works, therefore let’s keep carrying it out. Few facility teams are going for a hard consider the information behind what they perform. It’s hard for service managers that are answering mobile phones and fixing difficulties to get time to do this. 

Without feedback loop, facilities groups keep doing things exactly the same way they will have just.  Choosing the best time and taking a procedure for optimizing maintenance can proceed a long way. For instance, maybe we won’t need to modification those filters every 90 days, they can wait around till every five. Examining your computer data can go quite a distance to reducing expenses, freeing up assets, and improving the standard of your structures. 

BE READY FOR the near future

You want to thank Michel Theriault when planning on taking the right time and energy to sit down around. You can Find out more about Michel or observe how FM Insight Consulting might help your FM company. Searching for more resources to greatly help enhance yourself or your FM group? You’re got by us covered.