What does a Facilities Specialist do?
A facilities specialist, also sometimes called a facilities coordinator, usually works as part of a team responsible for various tasks related to building maintenance for a business. Facilities specialists may carry out a number of duties, including mail operations and shipping, conference planning, and repairs and maintenance. These employees may also be responsible for various aspects of employee safety, including coordinating emergency responses and educating staff on best practices. Depending on the level of responsibility, a facilities specialist may also supervise other members of the group.
Facilities specialists primarily responsible for mail coordination or shipping and receiving may carry out a number of daily tasks. They may deliver incoming mail to employees and coordinate outgoing mail. In some cases, the job description may include developing procedures for handling interoffice and postal mail, as well as providing assistance to employees who need to send packages or other items.
If conference planning is the primary function of a facilities specialist, the job duties may include coordinating all aspects of meetings and functions for the office. This may include ordering catering and business supplies, scheduling conference rooms and ordering any needed equipment, and assisting any outside meeting attendees. This type of facilities job may also require coordination of any technical or audio/visual functions that need to occur.
Performing building repairs and maintenance is another potential responsibility for a facilities employee. The job may require a person to respond directly to requests and perform the repairs. It may also involve taking employee requests and routing them to another department or outside vendor for resolution. Maintaining a database or electronic tracking system to log these types of activities may also be part of the position.
Facilities specialists may also be responsible for developing and updating employee safety and emergency response policies. They might develop specific policies for evacuations, provide notification of building closures, or administer first aid to injured employees. In addition to developing the policies, a facilities specialist may also hold employee training and information sessions about them. They can also be responsible for maintaining building equipment such as emergency defibrillators or fire extinguishers and replacing them as needed.
In a supervisory role, a facilities specialist may be responsible for managing other facilities staff and hiring new employees. They may be the primary contact on the facilities team for other company employees. They can also be responsible for representing the facilities group to senior-level personnel.
A facilities specialist in a management position will sometimes manage other facilities specialists across all areas. My aunt does this, and she manages the ones in shipping, emergency, maintenance, and conference planning.
The individual facilities specialists have a good bit of control and responsibility, and this makes her job easier. She just has to check on their performance from time to time and make sure that everything is flowing efficiently in their departments.
She is in charge of hiring and firing the specialists. She does interviews and helps train the new ones. She has received training in all of the areas, and she could serve as a replacement for any of them if necessary.
My dad is the facilities specialist at a furniture factory, and he is in charge of maintenance. Anyone having issues with a machine, water fountain, or tool comes to him. He will either take care of it himself or arrange for one of the other maintenance workers to fix it.
He keeps a record on his computer of every broken thing reported to him. He also has to record when the issues were addressed, what methods were used to take care of them, and who handled the issue. This keeps the staff on track, because the boss reviews this record once a month.
He is vigilant about record keeping. If he has time, he will take care of broken things as soon as someone lets him know about them. If not, he will remind his workers until they take care of it. He makes them fill out paperwork about the problem, which he enters into the computer.
I was a facilities specialist, and my job description was conference planner. There was a lot of responsibility placed upon me for the conference to go well, and I did my best to avoid all problems except those that were beyond my control.
I had to book meeting rooms at hotels. I also had to arrange catering for the events. This usually went pretty smoothly, because the hotel staff were eager to help someone who brought them big business. The meetings were held at nice hotels, so great catering services were usually available in-house.
I remember one time that things went awry. I had booked a meeting room months in advance, as well as a catering arrangement. When my coworkers arrived at the hotel, they were informed that the room had been given to corporate hotel staff for an emergency meeting. They had to meet in the lobby.
When my boss called to tell me this, I got so scared and immediately started apologizing. He didn’t yell at me, though, because I had done my part. They still got their catered lunch, although they had to eat it in the open lobby.
The corporation I work for had several facilities specialists, and each had a different job function. Mine was mail coordinator.
Every morning, I would drive a cart by every employee’s desk and check their special mailboxes that we provide every person. If their flags were down, I kept rolling.
Every afternoon, I would go out again with my cart, this time with mail to be delivered to the employees. I would slip it into their mailboxes. This way, I never had to disturb their work. They could talk to me if they wanted, but otherwise, the workflow continued, and I could do my job quickly.
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