The Facility Management in the Tourism Industry Case Study


It is doubtless that advancement in technology is one the achievements of the 21st century. From office motivation to online marketing, many firms around the world have embarked on incorporating technological ideas into business in order to promote performance and profit making (Cotts, Roper & Payant, 2010).This is also aimed at gaining competitive advantage in a market that has remained challenging through new demands and the need to adopt better ways of doing business, different from traditional ones.Based on this, it suffices to note that every business or industry needs technology, even though this demand may vary from one set-up to another because of several factors. One of the sectors of the economy, which makes use of technology, is facility management.This case study explores several issues surrounding the role of technology in facility management. It gives organized and detailed information about facility management and the sector’s response towards technology, including achievements, trends and challenges.Besides this, the study incorporates facts that have been found out about the industry, with regard to advancing business in a world that appreciates advanced technology. Apart from challenges, several opportunities and trends within the industry will be expounded.Additionally, the case study will evaluate the significance of such information to a person who intends to work as a manager in the tourism industry. To achieve this task, relevant information will be gathered from various sources with greater preference being put on media and online materials that are current and credible.


In understanding the role of technology in any industry, it is important to master the basic elements of the industry in terms of its area of specialization, services and goods offered to customers.This gives a framework of internalizing the kind of impact that would be felt if a shift to technological advancements was to be incorporated in the running of the industry.This segment of the case study describes the concept of facility management as a major element of the hospitality industry, detailing its challenges, opportunities and trends. Importantly, a global perspective has been adopted since facility management is not limited to any region or continent; all the facilities around us gave to be managed effectively.

Facility management

When people talk about facility management, it is possible that many envisage being involved in overseeing maintenance of buildings, offices and other real estate assets. Another question that we need to address in this context is why facilities are managed. Is it economical to hire these services? Can we do without them?In general, facility management is defined in the context of a profession that is intertwined with several disciplines to proper functioning of the built environment through the integration of people, processes, places and technology (Cotts, Roper & Payant, 2010).Moreover, the skills of a facility manager are essential and can be broadly categorized into hard and soft skills. Soft skills mainly refer to those skills, which are done physically or by use of specified technology. On the other hand, soft tasks are performed on the basis of mental intuitiveness.Examples of hard skills include but not limited to electricity distribution and wiring, carpentry, spatial planning, plumbing and waterworks, and principals of civil and structural planning. Similarly, soft skills include customer relations, technical judgment, financial awareness, contractor coordination and time management among others (Cotts, Roper & Payant, 2010).Due to the nature of facility management and its role in the hospitality industry, it is imperative for facility managers to identify role models for the purpose of mentoring them towards a successful career path. This allows a person to understand how to advance in facility management from a practical point of view.The industry has always been dominated by middle-aged people with several years of experience especially with hard skills. However, recent trends indicate that facility managers are adopting a more elaborate approach that focuses on both soft and hard skills for successful management.Notably, the industry also has opportunities and prospects with young employees from colleges joining the field with relevant soft skills (Atkin & Brooks, 2009).

Unlike other sectors of the economy, facility management is a relatively new discipline that developed towards the end of the twentieth century and continues to expand even today. The United States of America is known to be origin of facility management, where it stemmed from the public sector in 1960s.Nonetheless, it has gained acceptance in the private sector, and its main existence is justified by the support services it offers to bigger business organizations (Ocean Link, 2011).In meeting the needs of the hospitality industry, facility management focuses on several emerging issues from a practical and academic point of view. Although maintenance of facilities remains the principal goal of facility management, the adoption of technology has opened opportunities for its involvement.Notably, the issues and topics that face today’s facility managers are complex due to the sophisticated nature of our economies, coupled with ever-changing business environment (Ocean Link, 2011). There are several demanding issues like security threats, especially after the world was hit by the famous 911 attack in 2001.Besides these, there are inherent and manmade challenges, which have to be confronted not only in the tourism industry, but also in other sectors of the economy. What about the current financial crisis?Does it have any impact on facility management? Facility management has been immensely affected especially in areas concerning design and construction. In this category is the real-estate market, which experienced detrimental effects at the onset of the crisis.The need to protect and preserve the economy equally haunts facility managers since high standards are required to ensure that buildings and other built-facilities remain functional without affecting the environment or contravening set laws and regulations.

This has created a change in shape, design and characteristics of buildings, which are constructed in any part of the world today. Additionally, this compliance is attained through a change of day-to-day operational activities that define the function of a given facility (Schwartz, 2011).To all facility managers, it is clear that leadership and management skills are essential in this generation in order to not only succeed in the industry but also comply with stringent rules.Opportunities in facility management emanate from the fact that the economy of the nation has to be stabilized to permit growth. When an economy registers growth, it is possible to create opportunities in the real-estate industry, which promote facility management and the overall tourism industry.In addition, the management rates for facilities have gone up due to increase in demand for management services in America and other parts of the world (Schwartz, 2011). It is believed that facility management is an alternative and more acceptable way of practicing proper and strategic management of buildings and other related structures.On the other hand, facility management faces an array of challenges, which limit its ability to realize its core objectives in the tourism industry. As a discipline which has not been in the market for long, there are insufficient standards and tools that can effectively measure the quality of traditional and integrated approaches applied in property and facility management.As a result, practices may vary from one organization to another based on unique services applied for the building (Garrett, 2011). This requires a stable system that can regulate facility management around the country.As mentioned above, facility management lacks enough expertise to meet the growing demand of property management services especially in the local market. This is quite crucial since property management skills are essential.Aside from opportunities and challenges, facility management equally has trends, which are important, since they act as indicators for future expectations. These trends also help facility managers to assess the needs of the market and make proper allocation of resources in ensuring that correct and effective facility management needs are met.The most common trend is the increase in services that are provided by facility management organizations (Garrett, 2011). Due to the foreseen opportunities and the ever-increasing customer base, most managers have embarked on expanding their services to meet these needs.Additionally, there is an increase in regulation and management issues. Why is this regulation necessary? The obvious answer is to set and maintain facility management services offered by managers across the country. This is essential in ensuring that the quality of buildings is not compromised at the expense of increased demand for management services.It also augments harmony between traditional facility managers and modern practitioners so as to close the gap that may exist between the two generations in terms of quality and standards.Even as these regulations continue to be enhanced, environmental issues have equally gained attention with facility managers putting emphasis on ensuring that the environment is not degraded in the name of expanding the real-estate market (Garrett, 2011).

Technology and facility management

In understanding the role of technology in property management, it can be argued that this has brought enormous changes into the market and in the entire industry. How is technology classified? In this case study, we have analyzed some of the challenges, opportunities and trends witnessed in facility management.Based on one’s point view, it can be proposed that technology belongs to the three aspects discussed in the previous segment. How is this possible?To begin with, it is worth noting that facility managers have one of the toughest roles to perform in any given organization. This is because they are recognized to be in charge of facilities, which becomes pivotal since facilities make up the backbone of any industry or organization, contributing approximately 12% of an annual capital budget.In this line of thought, keeping track of any facility’s maintenance can be cumbersome more than panning for it (Atkin & Brooks, 2009). Technology has therefore become a major remedy in dealing with some of these challenges that had previously threatened its success.In most cases, application of technology is known to reduce heavy workload and maximize the efficiency of rendered services. Management of large projects and buildings can be quite demanding especially when the process is done manually.This may undermine the quality of services provided or may make it impossible to offer the services at all (Haynes & Nunnington, 2010). It therefore suffices to mention that automation of facility management services enables concerned organizations to offer thorough services within the shortest time possible. For instance, a process that would have required a whole day to be completed can be done in a very short time.Additionally, the arrival of computers in the 20th century was the most promising technological advancement in the hospitality industry. They have reduced paper work, simplified tasks among countless opportunities. This has also been witnessed in facility management; it possible for a single employee to handle huge information than it was traditionally done.As a result, one person can be hired to monitor and analyze data with a lot of accuracy in a short period of time. Data management allows firms to monitor the conditions and needs of facilities without having to visit buildings physically (Haynes & Nunnington, 2010).This promotes efficacy of service delivery and prompt action when it is needed. It is therefore doubtless that technology plays a major role in detaching facility management market from traditional mindset, and advance efficient ways to offer facility solutions in a more cost-effective manner.

In the spirit of operating ahead of capital planning, most facility managers have adopted several technological options to allow them to become more effective. Through this approach, managers can solve several facility issues and allocate values to each one of them.Some of these tools are important in planning and monitoring of projects. This process is steered by the capital planning and management system technology, which has incorporated the World Wide Web and the internet into its operations (Singh, 2010).The implication of this idea is that facilities, which are found in different states, are accessed at a central point through the CPMS technology. It further allows facility managers to update or access necessary information from any destination around the world as long one is connected on the internet.Additionally, the internet is bringing the needs of different facilities in view for an action to be taken. Notably, communication among facility departments has also been enhanced, allowing issues to flow across managers and even to the chief executive officer of the business (Singh, 2010).This, new technology has allowed the existence of a link between several departmental facilities to the set goals and objectives of an organization. It is therefore easy for managers to assess the needs of facilities and make relevant decisions like employee recruitment and retention.Moreover, linking an organization with the goals of facility managers is paramount in ensuring successful service delivery. It is therefore necessary for managers to embrace harmony between their organizations and facilities in terms of understanding the objectives of the facility being managed (Wiggins, 2010).The performance and state of a facility should reflect the goals of an organization, depending on how the two entities are linked. Through this linkage, it is possible for a program to be formulated to allow completion of deferred maintenance procedures.Technology also facilitates the entire process of communication between facility managers and customers. It is necessary for a facility manager to establish open communication between operating constituencies of an organization. This has been achieved by many facility managing organizations through web-based approaches and proper capital reinvestment.It is crucial for facility managers to have credible information regarding the conditions of the status together with the cost of repairing and maintaining the facility (Mull, Beggs & Renneisen, 2009). During this, a web-based approach has been seen to be more effective since it allows communication of information to the local level of the organization and across all layers of the organization.By the fact that an internet-based approach acts as a central repository for all the facilities, it is possible for individuals in various locations, whether remote or urban to access and share information. In other words, facility managers and customers can share information on facility conditions, deferred maintenance and cost information.Besides allowing the sharing of information through a central repository, internet technology has a host of benefits that continue to shape the image of facility management. For instance, it allows facility owners and managers to access regular and accurate status of a given facility with regard to its past, current and future capital reinvestment.Additionally, technology allows facility managers to develop tools, which are essential in mitigating facility risks, including but not limited to life safety and disturbance of normal business operations (Mull, Beggs & Renneisen, 2009).

Drivers of change

As discussed above, facility management focuses on adding value to the built environment in order to promote the effectiveness of such facilities. Nonetheless, there is evidence that the demand for facility management has exponentially increased in the 21st century.This is change is driven by a number of factors, whose impact remains applauded. For example, there is increased awareness concerning the impact of buildings on human beings and the environment.In understanding this, it has been found out that built environment has significant impact on the productivity of its occupants. Some of these factors, which affect occupant productivity, include lighting, air circulation, thermal comfort and layout (Higgins, 2009).Moreover, there is increased awareness on how buildings affect the environment, since buildings are believed to be major consumers of natural resources. It is obvious that if these facilities are not properly managed, they may have detrimental effects on occupants and the environment, thus affecting the overall production of the industry (Higgins, 2009).Technology has also played a significant role in driving facility management change. As a result, more effective methods are being employed in the management of the built environment. Lastly, there has been an increase in the demand for buildings, triggered by industrialization and increased population among other factors. This has forced authorities to regulate their standards through facility management.From the above analysis, it suffices to mention that this topic of study is of great significance to the hospitality industry. This is because facility management enhances tourism through designing tourist information centers. Such facilities are essential for the industry, since they act as reservoirs of information that is relevant to the entire tourism industry (Higgins, 2009).As a result, tourism managers need to understand the correlation between their tasks and the role of facility management. Through consultations between the facility managers and tourism experts, it is possible to select the best sites for “rest parks” and other tourism facilities.Facility managers are also involved in designing and maintenance of the facility to maximize its productivity in the industry. Based on this linkage, it is important for current and future tourism managers to appreciate the role of facility managers in the hospitality industry. Above all, it is equally paramount to underscore the influence of technology as a major driver for changes witnessed in facility management.


Atkin, B., & Brooks, A. (2009). Total Facilities Management. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Cotts, D., Roper, K., & Payant, R. (2010). The facility management handbook. NYC: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Garrett, J. (2011). Trends in Facilities Management: What’s the Impact? Facilities Management Advisors, LLC. Web.

Haynes, B., & Nunnington, N. (2010). Corporate Real Estate Asset Management: Strategy and Implementation. London: Routledge.

Higgins, C. (2009). Facility management reorganizations: Drivers for change in management of facility functions. ProQuest. Web.

Mull, R., Beggs, B., & Renneisen, M. (2009). Recreation facility management: design, development, operations, and utilization. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Ocean Link. (2011). Management: The Top 2011 Facility Management TrendsOcean Link. Web.

Schwartz, H. (2011). Research Report: Top 10 Facility Management TrendsThe Premier Facility Management Blog. Web.

Singh, D. (2010). Effective Management of Long Term Care Facilities. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Wiggins, J. (2010). Facilities Manager’s Desk Reference. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

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