Industry 4.0 and the evolving role of the Facility Manager

New challenges and skills. What’s the Headhunter’s vision?

The Facility Manager is an increasingly sought-after role by companies and he/she must be less and less technical or operational and more and more strategic. This role, in the current world of Industry 4.0, is equipped with digital skills that enable faster and more effective responses to emergencies supporting management in planning strategies for cost optimization, safety, comfort and corporate welfare. The Facility Manager must therefore add to the technical skills more soft skills to better support the internal organisation being in an even closer connection with the business.

It’s of strategic importance for companies to analyse what today’s labour market demands from a Facility Manager and how the role must evolve to meet future challenges.


The ‘new normal’ 

In fact, this profile is more managerial, including the ability to better interact with all the different areas inside an organisation. We refer to a skilled strategist, able to manage properties and services of the company, optimising the workspaces management and, consequently, productivity and safety for workers. We are clearly talking about a new Facility Manager with a role that is evolving and we will hear more rumours regarding this topic even in the short term. The Facility Manager is already playing a crucial role, increasingly able to seize opportunities and bring solutions to company management.


This is the ‘new normal’ with a Facility Manager showing digital know-how and increasingly smart attitude, being able both to quickly respond to the need of business continuity and to support the decision-making process for win-win strategies, or maximizing cost optimization, reinvesting part of savings in safety, comfort and welfare. The corporate strategy is of course changing from a building-office-centric vision to an employee-centric one, with greater attention to self-service, interpersonal dynamics and places of contact to develop relationships together with the corporate culture.


Data as key factor

It is the data that takes us out of the dimension of pure operation. Working on them helps us not to make decisions based on cost reduction. Digitization, data collection and interpretation are already key factors to growing the business successfully. Therefore, the Facility Manager is anyway less and less a technician, there must be the right approach with the use of technical and technological support that follows the path to become a key role that sticks to the company’s core business, to ensure the difficult balance between efficiency and effectiveness with speed, business continuity and a strong sense of customer focus.


The Facility Manager is the ‘skeleton’, the core of the role is to manage the structure. Making infrastructure and services a booster for business agility and expansion, enlarging the view. The challenge is to focus on digitization, to get out of the concept of pure vertical cost-cutting and to better communicate the value of the strategic activities that are managed every day. All this takes place above all in the dimension of smart buildings, designed to combine beauty and hi-tech tools and to provide comfort to people, while ensuring energy efficiency and effective data collection systems to be guaranteed.


For example, one of the areas where the Facility Manager is starting to provide services based on data and information collected from the field is smart working, a sector in which using tools to obtain information regarding the occupation of workspaces will become increasingly important.


Going beyond the traditional approach for a Talented Facility Manager 

Headhunting a Facility Manager means considering all the above new factors, in order to move beyond the traditional approach. This professional must be able to support top management taking strategic decisions and it is therefore not surprising that, in some organisations, the Facility Manager has already officially joined the board. This leveling-up should certainly not surprise: in recent years many companies have realised that not only the promotion of worker well-being, but also the optimization of the workplace are essential elements to increase productivity.


It is therefore understood that the Facility Manager must be a fine strategist, capable of adding to her / his technical skills a series of organisational skills aimed at influencing the company’s decisions and making the business grow.

The facility manager in the world of Industry 4.0 understands the importance of IoT because almost everything is powered by technology. There are more new tasks and they are heterogeneous. It is therefore up to the headhunter to select the professional with the right skills, who is also able to choose the most effective digital tools to do the job. In fact, new needs are requiring new processes, technologies and methodologies to achieve the goal: Facility Management must be always focused accordingly.


Hiring the right facility manager for your organisation? Contact Stefano Gambardella for a proposal or any unanswered questions. Stefano Gambardella is our Client Manager and one of our Specialists in finding the best Facility Managers.