Flywheel Recap: IFMA World Workplace 2016

If you’ve never been to IFMA’s World Workplace, you may not realize what a diverse, talented group of people manage facilities around the world. IFMA is truly an international organization. We met attendees from Alaska, Brazil, Africa, Germany and Virginia. The annual conference in San Diego, CA, was held earlier this month. While it was Flywheel’s first experience exhibiting, we learned so much.

The opening keynote, Share Your FM Story, showcased a unique group of facility management (FM) professionals, from student to expert. Some of the interesting points from their presentation include:

  • There are only 33 university programs worldwide accredited by the IFMA Foundation for Facility Management (FM)
  • Many FM professionals “fall into” their positions and come from a variety of backgrounds
  • In the next 5-15 years, 50% of FM professionals will retire
  • IFMA is partnering with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to further augment an international standard for facility and construction management professionals

The FM industry is clearly undergoing a number of changes, from the makeup of the industry’s workforce to the need to unify under a common standard. IFMA Chair Maureen Ehrenberg discussed the importance of undoing fragmentation in maintenance, energy and building data management, as well as the inevitable shift to digitization.

As Ehrenberg highlighted at last year’s World Workplace, it is important to elevate building and maintenance information into business intelligence, as FM is increasingly tied to traditional business and the C suite.

We met facility managers and property managers who are already tackling these challenges, and we’re looking forward to equipping more FM professionals with the tools they need to demonstrate their value to executives, manage a changing workforce and tackle new responsibilities like energy management.

Check out #IFMAWW2016 to follow the conversation on social media. We want to hear about your experiences or challenges within the FM industry. How are you addressing the exit and shortage of experienced professionals? How you are connecting FM to the organizational goals?

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