There has always been friction between facilities managers and procurement managers. The reason being is that facilities managers are a relatively new phenonomen and much of their work related tasks were originally carried out by procurement managers who also had the option to outsource those tasks and control the outcomes as an extension of their role.
The advent of Facilities Managers put customer service first and this means a people oriented perspective. However, the procurement manager focuses on the purchase of raw materials and equipment etc. with the intent of getting the best price and quality using processes and systems.
Although the linked pin may be that they both work towards the overall outcome of managing efficiency and perception about the brand, the company or its venue from different persspectives, the real issue sometimes is exactly where one role ends and another begins. This has been the debate for the past ten years.
Adding to the problem is that if a Procurement manager fails to balance all his responsibilities well, his key supply chain gets disrupted, the goods are not delivered and the engineers for a space restructuring don’t turn up, the perception of a brand/company can be irreversibly damaged.
Stepping into the picture is the facilities manager, who will take the risk and sort out the problems with the procurement manager in the best way possible.
Facilities managers are on the move and are developing into a career which is relatively new. Those who have gained experience have benefited through such programmes as the BIFM Certificate and Diploma in Facilities Management Level 4 Programme offered by MOL. This programmes has strengthened the knowledge of facilities manager and has promoted a responsibility to working hand-in-hand with procurement managers through the BIFM unit “Procurement and Contract Management for FM.”
It’s about time Procurement Managers realise that a Facilities Manager is their “best friend” and they can contribute to a seamless teamwork initiative. But both sides needs to work together to find ways to recognise each other’s work and effort to build that teamwork work environment.