Facilities management began in the
USA. It was a business practice born out of
technological and organisational development.
The 1970’s saw the need to look at business costs following a huge
energy price rise as a result of the war in the Middle
East. At the same time
computers were changing the way businesses worked.
It may well have been Ross Perot who originally coined the term ‘computer facilities management’. It was made in reference to the new data server systems that businesses were installing within company buildings. These were large affairs often taking up whole floors and required associated services to manage them.
At the same time another factor was developed that of office furniture. This was being led by Herman Miller whose office furniture design was often way ahead of what their clients understood their need to be. Herman Miller therefore set out to educated their clients.
Herman Miller therefore held a conference in 1978 entitled ‘Facility Influence on Productivity’. After calling for a professional association at this meeting Dave Armstrong met with George Graves and Charles Hitch in Ann Arbour,
Michigan to formally create the National
Facilities Management Association. A
year later this would be given the International title, thanks largely to an
influx of Canadian members, and is what we now know today as IFMA.
Two years after the founding of IFMA, Dave Armstrong wrote his famous article on People, Processes and Place and in 1983 Franklin Becker offered the first MSC in Facilities Managememt.
Following FM’s adoption in the US FM would continue to spread eastwards. The
UK was the next
country to adopt facilities management practices establishing the British
Institute of FM during the 90’s. The
leading architect in this regard was Frank Duffy who began to use FM when
designing offices. He completed the
famous studies Orbit I and II. In 1985
the Association of Facilities Managers was born (today known as BIFM).
In 1987 Sir Keith Alexander (British Centre for Facilities Management) held a conference looking at creating a European wide FM network. This became EuroFM.
now adopted EN15221 the international standard on facilities management. Facilities management is now the largest
business service within Europe.
FM’s spread continues, often in line with economic development and has now reached
and the far east. These countries are
still in the early stages of FM, with the large exception of Hong Kong, and in China,
particularly, is still a term that has a property management basis.