This assignment has been written to practically understand the functionality of facilities management within the context of pre-school nurseries. The role, scope and rationale of facility management in the Pre-school nurseries and benefits of outsourcing of different supporting functions in pre-school nurseries and advantages of services provided through outsource companies have also been explained through this activity. Suitable performance measures to improve the performance of facilities management services within the organization, encouraging health and safety environment and discussion of issues related to corporate social responsibility and dialogue on formulating effective facilities management strategy have also been included in this assignment. This activity has bestowed the researcher with practical understanding and knowledge of facilities management in business world.
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2.1 Scope and Rationale of Facility Management in nurseries
Brooks (2009) stated that Pre-School Nurseries are highly customized and valuable source of educating and training the children where not only core functions but supporting functions should also be managed appropriately. These supporting functions of any pre-nursery are managed by the facility managers. Facility management function is very important for given nurseries in the case study as core function of a nursery is to develop the skills and competencies of the children but supporting functions including pick and drop services, meal for the children, managing part time staff requirements, taking care of the internal environment of the nurseries and meeting health and safety requirements of any business. Atkin (2009) highlighted that facility Management is an interdisciplinary function of any organization as deep understanding and knowledge of core functions of any business, legal requirements for interior decoration in any business along with health and safety requirements in order to manage the facilities of any business are required to manage this section of the business. In case of pre-school nurseries the scope of facility Management is even more composite and complex as there need an increased understanding about the health and safety requirements inside and outside the organization as children are provided with the meal which should be hygienically approved and well standard. The condition of food when received from the suppliers should be well checked and preserved in hygienically approved place. In addition to this, school premises should be well preserved and taken care and should be decorated according to the psychological needs of the children and which is not possible without active participation and coordination of facility manager and teachers in the nurseries. In addition to this, fire exist should be effortless and simple and that is not even possible without the active participation of different departments in the nurseries. Hence range or extent of facility management in pre-school nurseries can cover every department in the nursery as training or teaching children is not enough but teaching children by taking care of health and safety, food hygienic issues to provide meals to the children, safe and clean pick and drop services to the children and interior decoration are the key areas of maintaining the service standards in nurseries.
2.2 Benefits of outsourcing and external provision of services
Barrett (2003) stated that core or primary function of a pre-school nursery is to facilitate the learning and development of the children through stimulating and rich environment where there skills for the future are analyzed and developed. Nurseries are there to develop little scholars in the societies with the primary function of teaching and educating the children. This core function is most probably cannot be outsourced but there are still many supporting functions in the nurseries which can be outsourced and there are various benefits of outsourcing those functions. Maintaining safety for the children in the different nurseries CCTV can be fixed within and outside the nurseries on suitable positions in order to save those cameras and to have clear and complete view of the areas inside and outside the premises of the nurseries. CCTV is not a one time service as it need to be checked and sometime repaired with the passage of time and some special and technical skills and expertise are required to manage and repair such machines and a professional and authentic organization which has been licensed by the Government should be appointed for this purpose in order to have superior quality and guarantee sight of any incident and in order to have long lasting results from any CCTV machine. Moreover, pick and drop service for the children can only be managed through those service providers who have expertise in this field as taking care of the safety issues and timely reaching at different locations along with maintaining health, comfort and hygienic standards even within the coaches. A facility manager can ensure the health requirements and safety requirements through contracting with those service providers which have fixed CCTV in their coaches and can maintain the comfort standards by arranging comfortable and well designed seats inside the coaches. In addition to this, in five nurseries meal services for the children are also outsourced and being the facility manager I would be responsible to take care of the needs of the children in order to provide them with their customized food and would also take care of the safety and hygiene standards of the suppliers along with ensuring safe and hygienically clean delivery of the food items till the premises of the nurseries where those food items would be stored according to their physical requirements. The teaching services are also some time outsourced by these five nurseries where part time teachers are gained through different agencies. Being the facility manager of these five nurseries I would consult teaching job specifications with the academic head in order to minutely understand the characteristics of relevant person for temporary hiring. I would contact with some agencies and select most appropriate which can provide us with relevant staff to fulfill our temporary gap. Being the facility manager of these five nurseries I would ensure the understanding level of the staff by arranging initial introductory induction plan with the academic head so that any gap in the understanding of newly hired staff can be minimized.
All these outsourced services have several benefits as these are the specialized services which should be provided through specialized institutions as it becomes very difficult and sometime impossible to provide all these services on its own by the nurseries. Hence outsourcing becomes very beneficial and cost effective in order to have specialized and quality services through these external organizations. Nurseries cannot be so perfect in different supporting functions especially while dealing with children which is very much sensitive and can raise certain additional issues so contracting with external service providers is very much beneficial in many ways.
2.3 Introduction of suitable performance measures
Developing the performance standards is very important to ensure safe and effective internal working of the nurseries. Booty (2009) stated that defining and grasping rules and policies is one aspect of enhancing performance of the staff but actual problems occur during implementation of those rules and polices in the organization where managing and improving performance of the employees really matters. He also added that quality in Nurseries’ services can be achieved through delivering motivation to the staff and employees on regular basis and acknowledging the importance and existence of the staff in delivering and maintaining the safe and healthy environment and services to the children with hazardless regularity and consistency. The hazards inside the building should be minimized by appointing staff members on those locations inside the organizational premises discouraging those behaviours which make students move towards such locations. This group of nurseries can also manage an unannounced visit by Quality Assurer person in order to check the duties include in facility management functions in the organization. This would result in keeping a continuous check on the staff where they would take care of the health and safety and different similar issues in the nurseries. There should be points given on each visit by Quality Assurer and employees should be held accountable for decrease and increase in points based on horizontal and vertical analysis. Horizontal analysis would be based on comparing the performances of different nurseries and vertical analysis would be based on comparing performances of different visits in the same nursery at different periods of time. The staff performances should also be monitored and controlled through communicating and briefing with the staff on regular basis where any improvement in implanting and maintaining different facilities management issues should be discussed. Booty (2009) explained that designing and formulating strategies for facilities management needs multifunctional skills and competencies so managing performances during implementation of those policies also need well clear performance appraisal system. In addition to this its implementation also needs training and development which should also be given to improve the performances of the employees.
2.4 Issues related to corporate social responsibilities
Baldry (2003) indicated that Organizational Facility Management commits to enhance the shareholders value in a socially responsible and ethical manner by taking care of the interests of stakeholders including suppliers, investors, customers, employees and local communities. Organizational Facility Manager should look for new services methods and product innovations that support the people living in it. The role of CSR (corporate social responsibilities) cannot be denied. In any business Facility managers are involved in formulation of such CSR reports as they are responsible to deliver sustainable performances throughout the year. This performance includes purchasing and waste management, staff management, health and safety management, organizational layout management and hazards management in case of nurseries business. Secondly, in case of nurseries facility managers will be involved in collecting and assembling information on organizational facilities in both social and environmental performance sections of corporate social responsibilities report. This report can only be successfully prepared if these organizational facilities in nurseries deliver sustainable performances and Facility managers have documented and tracked those performances so that data is readily obtainable and available. Nurseries’ waste management issues, quality of the suppliers and outsourcing companies, maintenance of health and safety issues along with noting different incidents and accidents in official records; all these are described and mentioned in corporate social responsibility report and facility managers are most relevant persons to manage all these functions in the organization. These issues can only be rightly tackled, supported and managed if nurseries have all these issues stored in black and white along with actions taken on different issues and remedies of those issues by the senior management. An increased level of transparency both for general readers and shareholders can only be enhanced through openness and clarity in CSR report where organizational facility manager plays a vital role in formulating that report.
2.5 Implications of health and safety legislations for Nurseries
Laser (2004) stated that polices drawn by all these nurseries should be fully complied with European Community Law, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Facility manager is responsible for health and safety matters concerning the premises of the nurseries and is also responsible to provide safe environment to children at nurseries. In addition to this, entire staff should be well aware of the potential hazards in and out of the nurseries’ premises and should actively protect children from those hazards. The staff should be given first aid training to support this process of safety. Facility manager is also responsible to record any accident and any incident in the Accident Report Book. These accidents should be informed to the parents as early as possible. All staff should be well aware of transmission of the infection from one body to the other body. Kaiser (2006) summarized few elements to be taken care for effective management of organizational facilities with respect to health and safety requirements.
A facility manger should provide healthy and safe atmosphere to the children.
A facility manager should be responsible to achieve highest standards of occupational hygiene, welfare, safety and health.
A facility manager is also responsible to prevent ill-health, injuries, accidents and other minor incidents by identifying and eliminating hazardous situations inside the nurseries’ premises.
A facility manager should also motivate and involve staff in different matters regarding Health and Safety of the staff in the organization.
A facility manager should also control all those situations which may prove hazardous to the health and safety in the nurseries and which result in causing damage to individuals and equipments in the organization.
A facility manager should also take care of the airy environment and ventilation of the nursery premises in order to avoid any suffocation and order to ensure healthy environment.
2.6 Selection of strategy for effective facility management
Huston (2009) indicated that a robust strategy for the effective and efficient management of the facilities of an organization can only be developed if it is within the context of organizational business plan and space strategy. It should involve strategic plan and objectives for managing facilities in any organization. A strategy of organization facility management should contain following aspects.
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Alan (2007) stated that facility management strategy of nurseries should consider the future needs of the nurseries by differentiating between core and non core business activities of the nurseries. This strategy should assist the nurseries in effectively managing its processes and functions in order to meet those needs of the nurseries. Huston (2009) elaborated that this strategy should develop appropriate, efficient and quality resources to meet different needs of nurseries and should also draw a line between using internal resources and obtaining external help to meet needs; for instance there must be coordination between different functions of the nurseries as introducing different new toys and games for the children must be consulted with facility managers to assess either internal environment and premises is suitable for these types of games to be brought in the nurseries or either some major or minor changes are required to improve the suitability of those toys and games with organization layout and space issues. Tuveson (2008) stated that this strategy should also ensure that finances gained are spent economically to earn maximum benefits for the business. In addition to this, this strategy should also establish a budget to cover the short term needs and to generate best value for long term. This strategy should confess the importance of information technology in order to effectively manage and control nurseries facilities management.
The workable strategy of facilities management in the organization can be divided into three stages including top level analysis, analyzing requirements, developing and implementing solutions by putting different plans to work. Thorough understanding and review of the different nurseries would help the facility manager in assembling the most important material facts for designing effective facilities management strategy.
Nurseries needs include managing healthy and safety within the premises, ensuring hygienic standards, managing appropriate teachers, managing regularity and consistency in children and staff for proper functionality of its business, encouraging safe environment by effectively handling hazardous places inside the premises, utilizing organizational space appropriately, managing layout issues and constructing such layout for games and different activities which are creative, innovative but not dangerous, managing well secured, safe, clean and timely pick and drop services and managing food quality and ensuring health and safety standards in all the possible ways. These needs should be well understood by a facility manager so that space utilization strategy, health and safety strategy and outsourcing strategy can be effectively managed. In addition to this broad picture of resources, systems and processes can be taken through effective need analysis where cost analysis would also help in formulating efficient budgets for facility manager.
This stage would help in assembling information about organizational needs for facilities management which later on needs interpretation and explanation for the adoption of information. In adoption stage the clear discussion and interpretation of information would result in allowing innovative and new ideas through brain storming process.
Generating different options for actually implementing that information to meet the organizational needs for facility management.
Developing criteria for judging all those options which are presented by different participants.
Evaluating those options on the set criteria for judging those options.
Most preferred option is selected through these stages in order to select most appropriate facilities management strategy of the nurseries.
One selected option is then implemented into the nurseries’ setup and feedback is given on the selected options where further improvement is made through gradual processing of organizational tasks and duties.
If nurseries’ buildings and different other facilities are not properly and rightly managed they may start impacting on nurseries’ performance as facilities and building in the organizations (nurseries) have great potential and scope to increase performance when optimal use of their space is made and supportive environment for business and service is created. No universal approach can be designed to manage organizational facilities as every organization has its own specific needs even within the same industry or business sector and same goes to nursery business. The best value to the nurseries can only be provided if facility manager rightly understands those specific needs. Moreover, organizational facility management strategy should be corner stone of its accommodation strategy and should not adjunct to it. Before choosing a most relevant solution, a facility manager should consider the cost incurred in both cases while providing those facilities through outsourcing or in-house. This complete picture would assist facility manager in deciding the most appropriate solution on best value grounds. Effective facilities management strategy can only be developed through integrated and long term service provision.
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