Provide Optimum Service Quality Construction Essay

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Operations in facility management are considered complex processes that forms the bulk of activities carried out by facility managers. It mainly involves planned and reactive building maintenance and operations which has a strategic impact on the organization. Building operations within the context of facility management requires a myriad of activities, complex decisions and a delicate balancing act of managing a number key performance indicator (cost, risk, service delivery). Its activities have major influence on the delivery of efficiency and sustainability goals thus poor operation practice by facility management can lead to user dissatisfaction, financial losses and poor asset utilisation.

In order to make the right decisions it is important to develop the ability to analyse the complex dependencies between planned and reactive actions, the costs and the quality of service. With this in mind, this research aims to optimize the planned operation phase of facility management by utilizing strategic asset management methodology (SAM2) and integrated information modelling methodology (IIM2).

The vision is to aid facility managers determine which planned method or design will provide optimum service quality while maximizing financial performance.

The following hypothesis will be tested:

Hypothesis 1: If facility managers utilize SAM2, there is the possibility of reducing overall planned operations cost.

Hypothesis 2: Information derived from reactive events is ineffectively utilized. Thus if information from reactive operations can be captured effectively, facility managers can make better informed decisions when determining the best possible planned operation method. This can be achieved through IIM2.

Motivation for research

The need for better facility management processes;

Buildings are being designed to last longer (up to 60 years) (banfill) thus needing more operation capacity

Building use are constantly in a dynamic state during the operational phase involving changing use pattern and continuous development (Amaratunga et al., 2002)

Facility assets have significant effect on organization bottom line and the wider economy (Ebinger and Madritsch, 2012)

LITERATURE REVIEW

This literature review is written to examine the process of facility management. It is aimed at developing and understanding the basis for an optimized facility management process through intelligent decision making using information modeling methodology and asset management methodology. The review is divided into four streams (Figure 1. Literature review map and areas of discussion):

Facility management

Asset management

Information technology

Intelligent facility management

The first stream explores the concept and scope of facility management. It is to be noted that the scope of facility management is large hence this work will focus on those that are relevant to the theme of this thesis i.e. the operation phase, but will explore other interrelated areas.

The second stream shall explore the principles of asset management and strategic asset management methodology (SAM2). Here, the policies, procedures, processes and strategies adopted in asset management will be discussed. The aim is to utilize information derived from other fields utilizing heavy asset and adapt to the facility management discipline. The third stream shall be on information modeling methodology and information technology. This is considered as a driver for effective asset management and decision making. The discussion here will be on the use of information technology to aid in decision making. The fourth section of this review will discuss the concept of intelligent facility management. It shall examine the theoretical concept of decision making and its process. It aims to understand and improve the ways decisions are being made in complex environments involving multi-parties.

Figure 1. Literature review map and areas of discussion

FACILITY MANAGEMENT, INTRODUCTION

This section will be divided into three areas (Figure 1. Schematic description of areas of discussion). The first area explores the concept and scope of facility management with a focus the operation phase (the theme of this research work) and the interrelated areas influencing its practice. The second area will look at challenges and problems faced by facility managers which form the research questions. The third area shall discuss the solutions or methods in tackling them and identify the gap in current research. Here a discussion on the proposed framework developed in this thesis is discussed.

Significant changes in the economy due to competition, sustainability, cost management, risk management and people management, has prompted calls for better and innovative approach to ensuring buildings and assets are well managed and maintained. As organisations are pressured to make savings, cut cost and increase shareholders benefits due to increase competition in the business environment (Paz & Viriyavadhana 1995; Keith 2003; Lavy & Shohet 2007; Swallow & Chanter 2007), building owners and managers have sought methods of better utilization of building assets to achieve corporate goals and visions (Alexander, 2003).

Figure 1. Schematic description of areas of discussion

According to Wauters (2005) and Rondeau et al. (2006), organization's second largest expense is property costs which are relatively fixed component of the budget and also the largest item on the balance sheet. They account for as much as 15% of turnover and 25% of all fixed asset (Alexander, 2003). As a consequence, it is important that they are managed to add value to the organization and this forms part of the function of facility management. Thus need for a robust facility management process methodology is required (Amaratunga et al., 2002; Ebinger and Madritsch, 2012; Strachan and Banfill, 2012; Too, 2008).

The facility [1] management discipline, as quoted by Alexander (2003), "emerged in response these changes in the business environment, the pervasive influence of information technology, more independence and a stronger voice for knowledge workers".

Facilities management as defined by BIFM (2011) is the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.

Though facility management has been perceived in the old fashioned sense of care taking involving maintenance personnel, such as technicians, janitors (Paz & Viriyavadhana 1995; Atkin & Brooks 2005; Lavy & Shohet 2007) it has evolved to take a hold on strategic thinking in the management and delivery of strategic and operational objectives (BIFM, 2009; Keith, 1996; Swallow and Chanter, 2007). It involves a total quality approach to sustaining an operational environment, the integration of people, technology and support services (BIFM, 2009; Keith, 1996; Smith and Michael Pitt, 2011) thus facility management is considered as a change agent as they evolve to take principal decision in the development of built environment (Figure 1. The scope of facility management as a change agent within the built environment).

Figure 1. The scope of facility management as a change agent within the built environment

This view has prompted reserchers and industry practitioners to develop conceptual models in manageing it's processes to achieve value (Alexander, 2003; Amaratunga et al., 2002; Ebinger and Madritsch, 2012).

The facilities management discipline can be summarized as a belief in potential to improve processes by which workplaces can be managed to inspire people to give of their best, to support their effectiveness and ultimately to make a positive contribution to economic growth and organizational success (Alexander, 2003).

The operation of the facility is the life wire of the business. This entails great amount of effort in planning and organizing different resources and aspects of the facility. It a balancing act of managing the factors of cost, time and quality (Smith and Michael Pitt, 2011). The second section below discusses further the aspect of facility operations and examines the strategies used in ensuring the facility is maintained at optimum standard.

FACILITY OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

This section looks at the operation phase of the facility management process (Figure 1. Facility operations management). Here, discussion on the context of operations in facility management is examined. It will investigate the challenges faced by practitioners during the management of operations in facility management. Buildings are significant assets and the facility manager would typically be concerned with issues such as physical, functional and financial performance (Wauters, 2005) of the building.

Figure 1. Facility operations management

The performance of buildings relies on the proper operation and maintenance of assets (Lai and Yik, 2007; Lewis et al., 2010) and its success requires an integration of knowledge, technologies, processes, and people (Lewis et al., 2010). This embodies the principles of strategic asset management. The operation phase is regarded as the longest phase of the building life cycle (Swallow and Chanter, 2007) and as a result, an overwhelming majority of expenses occur during this phase (Clayton et al., 1999; Lewis et al., 2010; Swallow and Chanter, 2007; Wood, 2005). It forms the bulk of activities carried out by the facility managers (BIFM, 2009; Yik et al., 2010) and involves daily and scheduled maintenance management activities, remodelling, replacement of components and daily facility operations activities i.e. cleaning and catering (BIFM, 2009). The operation phase of facilities is very dynamic and comprises iterative phases and intermediate changes (Sebastian, 2011), where many actors with shifting agendas, roles and responsibilities are actively involved.

Within this context, operations has been defined as services necessary to keep equipment and systems operating as designed or at a level that meets the operational goals of the facility (Lewis et al., 2010). Lewis et al., (2010) posits that the lifecycle cost of the operational life of a building is circa 60% to 85% of the total lifecycle cost while the design and construction phase is about 5% to 10%.

Three important factors the contribute to the success of facility operation include; maintenance management, outsource management, decision making

Maintenance management

A significant portion of facility operation is taken up by maintenance activities which can be grouped under reactive and planned maintenance operation (Hegazy et al., 2010; Hua et al., 2005; Lewis and Whittaker, 2012; Ni and Jin, 2012; Swallow and Chanter, 2007). Maintenance has always been at the forefront of facility management as buildings and assets have always been considered factors of production and the way they are managed directly impact upon staff productivity (Wauters, 2005).

Building maintenance cannot be over emphasized as research in the United States of America and Japan has concluded that inappropriate maintenance can lead to sick building syndrome and to a loss of productivity of 2 days per annum (Rooley, 1993).

The view and definition of maintenance vary across several authors. Maintenance has been defined as, "work undertaken in order to keep, restore or improve every part of a building, its services and surrounds, to a currently accepted standard, and to sustain the utility and value of the building" (Horner et al., 1997). Swallow and Chanter, (2007, pp. 19 & 21) have defined maintenance (using BS 3811) as a combination of any actions carried out to retain an item in or restore it to an acceptable condition. In their view, building maintenance need to be seen as a part of a larger property management function. Lewis et al., (2010) adopts a service perspective in defining maintenance as; "services that help restore equipment or systems to design conditions or to conditions that have been determined to be sufficient for the given project scope". M. Pitt et al., (2006) views maintenance as a management activity and has defined maintenance within that context as; "involving the organisation of resources to deal with the problems of maintenance…to obtain maximum benefits from an investment". Arditi and Nawakorawit, (1999) defines maintenance as; "the preservation of a building so that it can serve its intended purpose".

It thus can be surmised that maintenance is a combination of services, actions and management of resources to restore an asset to conditions to obtain maximum economic benefits and optimal performance as building operations have a major impact on the delivery of business efficiency and sustainability goals.

The maintenance approach chosen to achieve these goals differs widely and will depend on the kind of building and asset being managed. Typically maintenance has been divided into planned (or routine) and reactive (or remedial) (Swallow and Chanter, 2007, pp. 128-135). But Swallow and Chanter, (2007, p. 134) later opined that a simple classification into this standard is clearly of rather limited value. By adopting the audit commission [2] approach, a better division of maintenance has been proposed as:

Strategic repairs and maintenance: this represents work required for the long-term preservation of an asset, and includes planned maintenance of the building fabric, maintenance of engineering services installations and major repair items such as re-roofing. These are normally items that can be planned for because they can be foreseen and budgeted for.

Tactical repairs and maintenance: these items relate to day-to-day work of a minor nature, in response to immediate need.

According to Horner et al. (1997), building maintenance can be divided into three strategies:

Corrective maintenance: also referred to as failure-based or unplanned maintenance often take places in an ad hoc manner in response to breakdowns or user requests can be extremely expensive for two reasons:

Preventive maintenance: This strategy is referred to as time-based maintenance, planned maintenance or cyclic maintenance and is performed on the concept of reducing the probability of occurrence of failure and avoiding sudden failure. Preventive maintenance tasks are performed in accordance with a predetermined plan at regular, fixed intervals, which may be based for example on operating time.

Condition-based maintenance: Maintenance carried out in response to a significant deterioration in a unit as indicated by a change in monitored parameter of the unit condition or performance.

Horner et al., (1997) went further to describe and formulate a decision model for optimising the maintenance strategy used. This model was based on characterising the strategy in relation to:

Significant items

Health, safety and environmentally significant items

Utility significant item

Non-significant items

Challenges

The facility manager today faces several challenges in performing their function. These challenges are can be attributed to significant changes in the economy. The operation, maintenance, repair, eventual renewal of the built environment represent a major, and rapidly growing cost. It has been recorded that facility management industry are managing the largest collection of aging buildings in modern history - the logical result of decades of growth followed by decades of restraint (Balmer and Clarke, 2009). Deferred maintenance challenges are becoming overwhelming as a result of lack of sufficient preventive and capital maintenance budgets to do the job (Vanier, 2000, 2001). Error: Reference source not found shows data on how demand trend for maintenance has fluctuated with the value for new builds between 2010 and 2012 in the construction industry (ONS, 2012).

Figure 1. Demand Trend for Maintenance (Source: Office for National Statistics)

According to this chart over the period, the ONS, (2012) reported the volume of new infrastructure work increased by 6.1 per cent; private commercial new work increased by 6.5 per cent; private new housing increased by 4.6 per cent and non-housing repair and maintenance increased by 5.0 per cent.

The determination of demand for maintenance is rather a complex process and many-a-time is a function of economic factors, labour resource and legal factors

Some of the strategies in solving these challenges include

Commissioning is the process of verifying that a building and its systems and equipment are operating according to the owner's project requirements (Lewis et al., 2010)

Retro-commissioning and re-commissioning are important in order to keep buildings operating efficiently (Lewis et al., 2010)

Over time, building functions change, equipment wears and sensors drift out of calibration (Lewis et al., 2010)

Proactive maintenance includes preventive, predictive and reliability-centred maintenance (Lewis et al., 2010)

building maintenance is under researched (Lewis et al., 2010)

maintenance is one of the first costs to be cut from a facility manager's budget because building owners and financial decision makers often do not understand the benefits of maintenance(Lewis et al., 2010)

It is suggested that successful operation of a HPB requires proactive maintenance management practices (Lewis et al., 2010)

After the delivery of the building…all risk are placed with the client (Sebastian, 2011) thus where changes occur, this has to be captured efficiently and translated properly so subsequent engineers or contractors are able to adapt the changes to the facility.

This rapid changing context post a need for facilities with flexibility over its life cycle (Sebastian, 2011).

OUTSOURCING

Facility management has been regarded as a poor relation within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector (Atkin and Brooks, 2005).

In United Kingdom the field of facility management consists of a mix of in-house departments, specialist contractors, large multi-service companies, and consortia delivering the full range of hard and soft services (BIFM, 2009). Providing these services have led to the development of concepts that focuses on procurement strategies, contracting out methods, performance monitoring and measurement, and holistic life cycle management to ensure facilities are utilized with optimum results (Paz and Viriyavadhana, 1995; Swallow and Chanter, 2007).

Owners of large enterprises now adopt the method of strategic outsourcing of non-core operations i.e. information technology management, human resource management, financial management, repair and maintenance to specialized firms known as facilities management firms. Facility management can be considered as process for planning and coordinating specialized services to meet the goals of an organization (Amaratunga et al., 2002; Barrett and Baldry, 2003; Keith, 1996).

To strive for lower cost yet better service quality, operation and maintenance services are commonly outsourced (Lai and Yik, 2007). Managing outsource operation services can have significant cost implications (Lai and Yik, 2007)

Outsourcing for O&M work would bring along quality service at lower cost based on certain conditions met (Lai and Yik, 2007)

Outsourcing is a philosophy adopted by organisation where they seek to obtain and leverage on skills inherently absent within the firm from an external source with a view to achieving some benefits (Perman & Scouller 2004; Pearce & Robinson 2005; Su & Levina 2011; Willcocks et al. 2011).

This process enables organisations focus on their core competences to create and add value to their operations (Atkin and Brooks, 2005; Barrett and Baldry, 2003; Pearce and Robinson, 2005). According to Perman & Scouller (2004) the source of the firm's added value lies in its ability to supply goods for which business and non-business customers are willing to pay in excess of all the costs incurred by the firm in supplying the service or goods.

Outsourcing plays an important economic role in the macro environment (Alexander, 2003). In this environment, organizations tend to engage in sourcing services…with large number of external suppliers to maximize investments (Perman & Scouller 2004; Pearce & Robinson 2005; Su & Levina 2011).

For business managers, the greatest area of outsourcing activity occurs in the operation of the building of which repairs and maintenance takes a large portion of the activity.

DECISION MAKING

In order to ensure the sustainable and optimized use of a facility a new strategy for facility operations must incorporate an integrated and collaborative approach where end-users, facility managers, contractors and specialist contractors can be involved in the decision making process.

This suggests the need for streamling the process within the industry and enhancing the deliverables and services provided by practitioners.

Facility management is considered as a technical and complex domain in with decision-making is numerous and choices can have important and lasting consequences as facility managers are required to…participate fully at the corporate strategy level (Balmer and Clarke, 2009).

Facility management is a multi-faceted thought process that involves making intricate decision under complex algorithms, uncertainty and risks within organisational resources (Idrus et al., 2009).

According to Taillandiera et al. (2009), the process of decision-making is often deficient in facility management process. It is not rigorously standardized and information is largely unstructured and mostly dispersed (located at different areas, locations and isolated systems). Thus decisions are not really formalized, not reproducible and so they are questionable (Taillandiera et al. (2009),

Effective decision making is based on interpretation of information derived from accurate and well-organized data sets. Often decision makers would rather trust their instinct and their experience as opposed to tools that seem complex and opaque such as tools used in building information modelling.

ASSET MANAGEMENT

[THE WHAT]

Owners of large infrastructure portfolios have a responsibility over diversified set of constructed facilities having different complexities and sophistication (Vanier, 2001). As organizations grow, business owners consider their buildings and installations as factors for production, a foundation for success and future growth (Frolov et al., 2010; Swallow and Chanter, 2007). In order to achieve the required level of success and growth, these factors, otherwise known as assets, must be managed effectively (Frolov et al., 2010). This process of management in this context is known as asset management (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007). According to Michele and Daniela, (2011) asset management has a big influence on infrastructure development and use.

If the process is undertaken and executed without fully recognizing the complexity, diversity, and social and technological evolution of the system will almost inevitably squander economic, environmental, social, and cultural resources (Michele and Daniela, 2011)

Frolov et al., (2010) and Schneider et al., (2006) have described asset management…as a systematic, structured process covering the whole life of physical assets. It involves several activities in maintenance, repair and renewal decisions, as well as understanding the long-term economic life (Life Cycle Costing) of an assets' (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Vanier, 2000).

Research in asset management as noted by The Institute of Asset Management (2011) has mainly focused on financial, investment and risk management. This has been substantiated by internet search of the key words "Asset Management" using academic search engines i.e.

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://online.sagepub.com

https://www.google.co.uk

http://www.emeraldinsight.com

http://scholar.google.co.uk

Asset management is a term derived from the financial industry, where its concepts are applied to investment portfolios (R.E. Brown and Spare, 2004). As a result of this disparity, The Institute of Asset Management (2011) has put forward a definition of asset management, with reference to infrastructure, as "a process that converts the fundamental aims of the organization into the practical implications for choosing, acquiring, utilizing and maintaining appropriate assets while seeking the best total value approach (the optimal combination of costs, risks, performance and sustainability)".

In effect, asset management is the holistic practice of investing in an asset to the benefit of the organization taking into cognizance the cost, risk and performance of the investment. It plays a key role in the detection and evaluation of decisions leading to long-term economical success and best possible earnings (R.E. Brown and Spare, 2004; Schneider et al., 2006). Thus it is no longer sufficient to consider asset management as simply the maintenance of an asset but rather as a holistic approach to the management of assets, incorporating elements such as strategy, risk measurement, safety, environment and human factors (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Frolov et al., 2010).

[THE WHY]

As asset management plays an important role in the overall strategy of an organization its practice possesses the potential to enhance the value base of organizations and institutions if implemented appropriately. This has been identified in the reports of organization that has adopted a form of asset management strategy (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Dixon, 2007; D. Leung and Q. Leung, 2011; Vanier, 2001).

As the number of built or acquired asset is set to increases in the United Kingdom in the future (Ravetz, 2008), it will be inevitable that organizations will have a large portfolio of assets to inspect or maintain. This phenomenon may cause the potential future deferred maintenance there by affecting the asset value (Ravetz, 2008; Vanier, 2000). Deferred maintenance as defined by (Vanier, 2000) is the cost of the maintenance…required to bring the asset to its original potential, typically constituting work that has been postponed or phased for future action. To avoid this sort of problem, proper asset management practice needs to be adopted.

In order to properly utilize and manage this large portfolio of asset effectively, tools supported with robust methodology must be developed to suit the purpose of the asset management (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Frolov et al., 2010; IAM, 2011; Vanier, 2000).

[THE HOW]

The way asset management is performed will influence the availability of the service provided, the quality and cost (Tsang, 2002), but doing this present its self with some complexity (Frolov et al., 2010; Vanier, 2000) such as challenges of choice and decisions on what to manage, when to manage and how to manage, but it is non-the-less intractable (Vanier, 2000). This challenges can be attributed to the lack of adequate funding and appropriate support technologies (Michele and Daniela, 2011; Schraven et al., 2011; Vanier, 2000) as a result, certain components of infrastructure can be neglected and receive only remedial treatments.

Attempts to solve this problem would require an interdisciplinary approach, in which synergies should exist between traditional disciplines such as: accounting, engineering, finance, humanities, logistics, and information systems technologies for its success (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Frolov et al., 2010) all driven by reliable data and information. Despite this interdisciplinary approach as highlighted by authors, a recurrent theme that presents itself as a challenge to effective asset management is lack of accurate data and information (Amadi-Echendu et al., 2007; Lin et al., 2007; Michele and Daniela, 2011; Too, 2008; Vanier, 2000) as many asset intensive organizations generate enormous amounts of data that can only be used in limited arenas (Lin et al., 2007; Vanier, 2000).

Information management technology can be considered as an enabler to manage this challenge. The implementation of an integrated information technology (IT) system could lead to better deployment of service and maintenance resources…thereby reducing costly maintenance tasks and increases the quality of service (Zhang et al., 2009). There are many existing tools and techniques that address part of these challenges, but there is no one solution or panacea that could readily be adopted or implemented (Vanier, 2000).

Common technologies proposed include; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems, Building Information Modeling (BIM) Systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) (Abudayyeh et al., 2005; Akcamete, 2011; R.E. Brown and Humphrey, 2005; Koronios et al., 2007; Lewis et al., 2010; O'Donoghue and Prendergast, 2004; Shehab et al., 2004; Zhang et al., 2009). Basically this technology works by linking several enterprise wide applications to a centralized database where the information (in data form) is stored, organized, manipulated, and retrieved (Figure 1.Error: Reference source not found

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of an enterprise IT infrastructure

Having this information technology system cannot ensure or guarantee that asset management will be effectively carried out hence it is essential to develop a methodology towards a comprehensive asset management that will incorporate information technology principles. Several authors and associations have proposed specific methodologies to enhance asset management (Amaratunga et al., 2002; R.E. Brown and Spare, 2004; Ebinger and Madritsch, 2012; IAM, 2011). Most commonly adopted is the Publicly Available Standard 55 (PAS55) (Dixon, 2007; IAM, 2011; Koronios et al., 2007; Woodhouse, 2007). Koronios et al., (2007) summarizes the Publicly Available Specification (PAS 55) as a 21-point requirements specification that aims to be aligned or integrated with other related business system standards.

Decision support tools are required to assist managers in strategic asset management (Vanier, 2000)

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Elle et al. (2004) mentions tools and methods used in digital models in an integrated process from design through production and operations which is hinged on object oriented thinking and is focused on how and in what format facility management data together with other data can be connected to building objects and later utilized in the operations phase and build knowledge that can be used as decision support in the early stages of building process.

Strategic planners need to predict…conditions in order to make the appropriate decisions about the balance of facilities needed, the way in which to organize their operations and the best way of providing them (Alexander, 2003).

Information technology systems provide a medium to delivers tools and methods which allow control over the enormous complexity of facility management process (Madritsch and May, 2009). Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) is the information technology that represents the application of computer systems, including hard and software to support FM functions efficiently which back up the specific process of FM and the persons directly or indirectly involved in the process (Madritsch and May, 2009).

The facility manager's role is ever changing and involving complex relationships.

Buildings have traditionally contained a number of separate and increasingly sophisticated systems for different purposes (heating, security, lighting, waste management, etc) to aid in the decision making process by providing substantial information which all will contribute to the usability of the building asset. The industry is rapidly moving towards integration, a single system - driven by the need for efficiency, holistic green concepts and the logic of integrated resource management. This new integrated system will rely heavily on a robust information model(s) that will enable facility managers make crucial decisions on building assets being managed. Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems are common systems used by practitioners in asset management and facility management for organising and managing various activities within the facility assets such as: client contract, locations and services catered for, material, stock, purchases and equipment replaced for repairs, procurement, subcontractors service and management, services rendered in accordance to service level agreement and other reactive maintenance, work history carried out on equipment and the strategy used to manage the assets with the engineering instructions to do so at a schedule (Elmualim and Pelumi-Johnson, 2009). Information used by these systems relies on information about the assets or facility which is derived from data information about the facility or asset. These data are typically built on models providing descriptive features of the asset or facility.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is one of such information model being widely promoted. This is created as a virtual design of the building or asset and its components that can be passed from design team, to contractor, to building or asset owner but there are several challenges adopting this model which include the required skills needed, lack of interoperability of systems and complications of technologies. However, buildings and other assets must be developed and managed so as to complement brand, support corporate culture, and contribute broader value to the communities they serve (Taillandiera et al., 2009). As a key business element, each facility will have to be conceptualized, created and operated to support productivity, innovation, worker satisfaction and positive public perception. The facility designer, developer and manager must deliver these strategic values in both short and long term. The greatest challenges relate to the need to maintain flexibility, knowing with certainty that functionality, technology and worker/customer demands will change dramatically over time (Balmer and Clarke, 2009). Now and in the future, the emphasis will be on maximizing usage and practicality - while adopting every new approach that clearly offers return on investment. This process relies on the ability to effectively making critical decision based on relevant data and information possessed.

The accurate management of asset and performing management functions requires a myriad of complex planning and decision making process which involves various complex skills, practices and accurate information. According to Lucas (2012) the operations and maintenance phase of the facility's lifecycle is often disconnected from the design and construction phases creating a lack of clear…continuous communication and there is little consideration given to the format and structure of the information created during each process to allow for supporting downstream processes.

Currently the skills requried for better information management are rather inssuficient in the FM industry and where there are available, they cost a fortune (BIFM, 2009). The choice of a maintenance strategy will depend on the nature or operations being carried out in the building and the kind (structure) of information available to the facility manager.

Facility managers are faced with many decision making situations such as designing a multi-year maintenance plan (Taillandier et al., 2011) and in such cases managing the allocated budget. The need for better information management processes and models on assets management thus cannot be over emphasized. Developing a facility information model (FIM) will become crucial for successful execution of the facility management function.

Poor management and exchange of information between project participants within and across phases lead to wasted time and money during a project. The origins of poor information management can be traced to inadequate coordination caused by information that is inadequate, insufficient, inappropriate, inaccurate, inconsistent, late, or a combination of these (Gallaher et al., 2004).

For effective and efficient management of the facility, information needs to be readily available in a format that can support the activities that are taking place (Lucas, 2012). Needed information comes from two directions, (1) horizontally, across the lifecycle from the design and construction phases and (2) vertically, from within the business operations (Lucas, 2012).

If facility management is to have an impact in the built environment, the following problems will have to be addressed:

Information generated from AEC processes are fragmented and does not adequately support the facility management process. This has to be captured in a format for easy storage and utilization better usage

The cost of facility operations cannot be adequately substantiated due to information flow disconnect within the operations and maintenance phase of the facility life cycle between Facility management and client.

There is high cost to the business due to lack of properly document information which leads to waste, poor service delivery, improper resource management and scheduling and client dissatisfaction

Current information systems used in facility management have not got the ability to capture all relevant data information from contractor, client effectively

Introducing new systems processes and technologies causes disruption within organization culture and structure which is highly resisted.

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