South Africa is a global leader for publishing the first facility management (FM) standard against which local organisations and FM providers will be assessed for compliance and/or certification.
Importantly, Dijalo Facilities Management is the first company to comply with the standard.
The FM arm of the leading South African black-owned property specialist, Dijalo Property Group, achieved this milestone at the end of 2017. This is after the industry was challenged by David Khasebe, national convenor for the FM Standard working group of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), to follow guidelines provided in complying with the Standard.
Khasebe says SANS 1752 was published in March 2017 to guide organisations in the management of their real estate, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is only expected to publish an international standard for FM sometime in 2018.
“South Africa, therefore, has the opportunity to translate global leadership in publication into leadership in FM practice,” he says.
“I refer to our leadership in the publication of the King Report in corporate governance in the early 2000s. National implementation was required to translate this into leadership in corporate governance practice. However, we are actually failing in this regard as evidenced by corporate governance lapses.”
Moreover, he says the international standards tend to be too generic as they seek to balance competing needs of developed and developing nations. Developing nations, such as South Africa, prefer directive standards to address specific FM developmental aims, and this is what SANS 1752 sets out to achieve.
Importantly, it is a management standard and it applies to all organisations. It fundamentally affects how organisations implement FM, spanning top-level management through to the coalface of the organisation.
“It is not a functional or service standard or specification which happens within FM. Rather, it is a framework of FM policy, processes and systems organisations must implement to enhance the realisation of organisational strategy. It is, therefore, about doing the correct FM things within any organisation. This is known as FM efficacy, as opposed to doing things right within the FM function, which is FM efficiency. FM maintenance standard is an example of the latter,” he says.
In explaining the importance of SANS 1752, Khasebe refers to the most popular management standard, namely the ISO/SANS 9001 for Quality Management, as well as the more recent ISO/SANS 14001 Environmental Management.
He notes that they are the “hymn sheets” for how all organisations implement an organisation-wide function to achieve best results. This is true for generic organisations, including private, public and non-profit organisations, as well as specialist FM organisations.
The management standards guide organisations to achieve maximum value or contribution to organisational strategy, while functional standards’ contribution is directed at the functional strategy.
The SABS prioritised the publication of the standard so South Africa can develop both the industry and practice to increase economic contribution. As a developing country, he says the potential for development remains higher. While the industry had developed quickly from its founding in the mid-1990s, it has since stagnated somewhat as is evident in recent industry surveys, which highlight low levels of expertise and industry development.
Khasebe adds, “The standard will be a major driver of FM practice development and growth for this industry, with its potential to contribute as much as 10% towards national gross domestic product and become a strategic sector of our economy. FM can become a major contributor towards employment if we all comply with the standard. The jury is still out whether we will repeat the corporate governance episode and not follow through with implementation.”
He says the level of expertise within the local FM industry means that it is fraught with misapplications wherein FM efficacy is not realised.
For instance, organisations incorrectly outsource FM, including critical Demand FM, which is responsible for translating organisational strategy. The misapplication has not only reduced the value or contribution of FM organisations can generate, it has also limited the value Delivery FM can create downstream.
“In response, the Standard clarifies the role of the two interdependent levels of FM, namely Demand and Delivery, and guides how the FM functions should relate and the establishment of outsourcing arrangements,” Khasebe says.
“The development of the Standard was approached with this and other misapplications in mind. In a way, the Standard, therefore, unleashes the potential of both industry and practice never seen before. It was developed by South African experts specifically for the local private and public business environment.”
Peter Gray, managing director of Dijalo Facilities Management, concurs.
Gray says that the successful adoption of the principles enshrined in the SANS 1752 raises the FM bar, especially for the FM supply industry. The provider market is challenged to “practice what it preaches” to the market by doing for its employees and facilities what it promises.
“Moreover, it introduces consistency and a shared language in the profession. SANS 1752 is also an important step taken to integrate the various strategic components, encompassing hard, soft and organisation support services that make up FM. The standard will also ensure that business strategies are translated into FM plans, driving aligned planning and co-ordination in FM,” he says.
Saul Gumede, Dijalo Property Group’s chief-executive officer, says top-level management of Dijalo Property Group and Dijalo Facilities Management started preparing for compliance with the new standard in mid-2016 following the annual South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) conference. The event was used as a forum to present the standard to key industry stakeholders.
“As a leading participant in the South African FM industry, Dijalo Property Group embraced a development that would raise standards in the profession, and we religiously followed guidelines presented by Khasebe to ensure compliance with the new standard,” Gumede says.
Khasebe reviewed Dijalo FM’s Corporate FM Policy, which commits the organisation to FM; the Strategic Facility Management Plan (SFMP), translating organisation strategy into FM programmes and demonstrating the FM value to the organisation; and Human Resources/Information Technology/Finance resource commitment to realise the SFMP objectives and programmes via the Resources plan.
The Operational plan details operational processes, SMART KPI reporting proves performance and value is realised, while Reports and Studies are about improving performance through benchmarks and analysis.
Gumede says Dijalo Facilities Management is set to grow into one of the group’s top performing divisions, considering the importance of the FM function.
“The FM profession is the custodian of health, safety and facility management, ensuring organisations meet their obligations to users of the facilities, as well as those people who are likely to be affected by operations. In addition, the industry serves a vital sustainability purpose as FM practitioners are responsible for operations within facilities and the impact that they have on the environments,” he says.
Gumede concludes that he is proud of his team’s involvement in yet another major development at the larger group that reaffirms Dijalo Property Group’s current standing as a leading provider of specialist property solutions, including FM!