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Suppliers need FM training, too

At a time when more eyes than ever are on facility managers and the vendors who support them, the need for ongoing training and continuing education to maintain and improve building safety and efficiency becomes even more important. In a recent episode of the FM Evolution Podcast, Ferrandino & Son’s Kevin Smith, COO, and Stefanie Driscoll, ProFM, VP, Client Relations, delved into the industry-wide need for more FM training, and how suppliers could benefit from that training, too.

Driscoll, who completed her ProFM credential in January 2020, shared that the company’s investment in training truly helped her navigate the constantly changing workplace environments her customers were experiencing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, she said learning the terms FMs use most often and studying the topic of communication really helped her, and her four co-workers who went through the training, provide more value for the FMs they serve.

“It’s a unique program. And we’re not FMs, we’re not managing buildings. We’re managing the services for those buildings. The content and knowledge that is included in this program is helping us as an organization better understand what FMs need as we’re providing services to them,” Driscoll said.  “At the end of it, it’s helping everybody get better, both on the FM side and us as a vendor.”

In addition to helping suppliers like Ferrandino & Son better provide services to FMs, Smith strongly believes investing in employees’ ongoing education and training will provide a quick return on investment and help improve an organization’s business offerings overall.

“I think an FM who is taking information from the training and applying it to a project is probably saving dollars and cents day one,” Smith said. “The ROI is immeasurable. Now we can approach a customer with better strategies and a better understanding of what they’re going through. It’s helping us from a strategic standpoint with our own clients. It gives us insight into potentially providing better solutions to do that.”

The panel also discussed recent findings in the 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey that confirmed the need for more FM training with a strong majority of respondents agreeing they could use more knowledge and skills in their roles, as well as more than half of employers saying they would support more training for their staff. To listen to the full conversation, visit www.profmi.org/evolution.