Olumide Aina, Vice chair, BIFM Abuja; Helen Majemite, Event co-ordinator, BIFM; Tunde Obileye, Vice chair, BIFM Lagos; Wale Odufalu, Chair, BIFM Nigeria and Chinyere Egbuonu, Director of Standards, Standard organization of Nigeria at the 2017 BIFM C-Suite Forum recently held in Lagos.

In affirmation of its commitment to further increase awareness and support the development of the Facilities Management (FM) profession in Nigeria, the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has lauded the new ISO 41001 FM Management System Standard, describing it as a major catalyst in shaping the growth path of the FM industry.
BIFM members, FM professionals and Real Estate experts who spoke at the 2017 BIFM C-Suite forum opined that while Nigeria’s FM industry has recorded impressive growth in recent time, operators in the local FM market must begin to define their service offerings in line with the new ISO 41001 FM Management Systems Standards
Stan Mitchell, Chairman of the ISO Technical Committee on FM standards and past chair BIFM UK, in his presentation delivered by Olumide Aina, Vice Chair BIFM Abuja stated that the new set of standards which is centred around people behaviour and values is primarily aimed at helping organizations understand the robust process through which to manage, maintain, operate and improve their integrated Facilities Management system.
He explained that the ISO Committee on FM which was established in 2011 had released three Standards so far covering FM Terms and Definitions, Guidance on Strategic Sourcing and the Development of Agreements and FM Scope, Key Concepts and Benefits. The Standards which define FM as, “an organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business”, also provide step-by-step guidance on the process of sourcing FM including how to prepare and implement adequate internal or external Facility Service agreements.
He emphasized the Shared Vision concept in strategic sourcing in which the service provider should recognise the operational and strategic importance of its own operation to the demand organisation and the demand organisation should recognise that it has a direct interest in the performance and wellbeing of its service provider whether in-house or outsourced.
Enumerating the benefits of the new standard, Mitchell’s presentation showed that ISO certified companies outperformed the market by 100 percent, while 55 percent achieved cost savings and over 70 percent boosted their operational performance while improving customer service and retaining existing clients as well as acquiring new customers.
Speaking on the theme of the event, ‘Raising the Standards of Professionalism and Excellence in Nigeria’s FM Industry’, Wale Odufalu, Chair BIFM Nigeria explained that the increasing demand for FM to demonstrate value as a viable business support enterprise re-echoes the need for FMs to embrace the new standards and the changes required within their organisations and the industry at large to align their processes and services with global best practice. She also pledged the continued support of BIFM Nigeria to provide knowledge sharing and networking platforms for all FM professionals in the Nigerian FM industry.
Commending the institute for the choice for its theme, Chinyere Egbuonu, Director of Standards, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) explained that the lack of standardization has continued to clip the growth of some crucial sectors of the economy. “If FMs can take up the challenge to standardize their services, I am optimistic the industry will achieve so much more,” Egbuonu said.

By Marc Philips