Topic: Ask the FM

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The May 2011 meeting hosted an “Ask the FM” program.  This format allowed a number of our chapter professional members and colleagues to address a number of questions and issues facing today’s facility managers.

Our panel included three IFMA members consisting of Rovi Corp’s Tony Lenos, CFM, Ruffin Properties’ Carl Vincent, CFM and ConocoPhillips’ Daylon Eads.  Guest panelists included Williams Companies’ Patrick Coyle and Kinslow, Keith and Todd’s Andy Kinslow.

Below are a sample of some of the questions and answers:

Question (posed to Carl Vincent) – In light of what happened in Joplin, MO, who is responsible for a disaster, the landlord or the tenant?

Answer – What does the lease say?

Question (posed to Andy Kinslow) – Are requirements for accessibility and ADA the same?

Answer – No.

Question (posed to Tony Lenox) – Is it important to have a good relationship with your IT department?

Answer – Yes.  IT and facilities need to be able to work together.

Question (posed to Daylon Eads) – When remodeling or relocating a data center, how important is that relationship with IT.

Answer – Very important.  There needs to be alot of up front planning between IT and facilities.  That is critical to the success of the project.  You need to work as a team…like a race car driver and his pit crew.  Each group will have different thoughts about the way things need to be done and you need to work through that.  As wll, finding the right outside help is also critical.

Question (posed to Patrick Coyle) – Why become an FM?

Answer – You get to learn more about the company you work for than you generally would.  You also learn about furniture and dealing with people and their different personalities.

Question (posed to Carl Vincent) – Is the owner responsible for fleas or bed bugs?

Answer – What does the lease say?  Carl noted to kill bed bugs you have to heat the facility to 130 degrees and that melts plastic.

Question (posed to Tony Lenox) – What software tools do you use?

Answer – FM Space is a favorite for reconfigs and space management.

Question (posed to Andy Kinslow) – Why do some mag locks have City of Tulsa stickers on them and some do not?

Answer – Those with stickers have been permitted and are tied in with sprinkler inspections.

Question (posed to Patrick Coyle) – What do you to to plan for natural disasters?

Answer – Williams has implemented standards and procedures for all departments.  They review them several times a year.  They have training for getting people off the floors.  Cell phone numbers are maintained for all contacts including personal emergency contacts.  This can come into play when facilities people are helping out with the building but not at home to protect their property.  Everyone knows the company’s procedures.  They learned alot from the flood they had in the basement of the BOK tower.  Patrick noted that you can’t plan for everything.  Daylon added to identify critical needs and personnel.

Question (posed to Daylon Eads) – In source vs. out source?

Answer – It depends on the facility and location.  In Bartlesville where skilled labor is in short supply they do most everything in house.  In Houston, where there is a large supply of skilled labor, they out source a number of things.   

Question (posed to Carl Vincent) – Does the “Quiet Enjoyment” clause in my lease mean I do not have to put up with loud tenants around me?

Answer – No.

Question (posed to Andy Kinslow) – When considering a move or a re-design, when do you bring in an interior designer?

Answer – Immediately.

Question (posed to Daylon Eads) – What are the critical elements when designing a facility?

Answer – You first need to get all your facilities people to the table.  Give careful consideration to exit areas.  Determine how you are going to heat and cool different areas fo the facility.  For example, if you are 30% occupied in a facility, how do you avoid heating or cooling 100% of it?

Question (posed to Patrick Coyle) – What are the best traits an FM should have?

Answer – Patience.  Flexibility.  Know company management’s direction.  If they support purchasing quality chairs, don’t go out and buy some cheap ones.

Question (posed to Carl Vincent) – What are Pay and Delay along with Blend and Extend.

Answer – Pay and Delay is used to avoid foreclosure.  When you Blend and Extend, you blend your current lease to extend your stay in the same building.  

Question (posed to Tony Lenox) – How important is the CFM designation?

Answer – It certainly comes in handy when job hunting.  Research shows that those with the CFM designation can expect to receive a salary 5 – 10% above those who do not have the designation.

How’s that for a group of interesting questions?  Thanks to our panel for sharing their expertise with us.  It was an entertaining and educational program.