Source: Promo | Wednesday, 25.01.2017.| 09:53
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Facility Management Academy ready for Serbia, is Serbia ready for Facility Management?

(Photo: alexkich/shutterstock.com)
Facility Management, the third industry in the European Union by the volume of operations, is slowly entering Serbia. However, an event from late 2016 might speed up the development of Facility Management, namely, the adoption of the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance. We talked to Zoran Djurdjevic, director of Kala Konsalting, about the link between the law and Facility Management.

The name of the law is the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance. Facility Management can be translated as “building maintenance”. Of course, FM is a much wider discipline, dealing with the entire life cycle of a facility, from the design, through the construction, to facility maintenance. Building maintenance is, therefore, an essential part of it.

What is your opinion on this law?

– Each law can be discussed and flaws and potential solutions can be found for each one. Personally, I sort laws by priorities. As for this one, I believe that it is an extremely important law, as we are beginning to define the field of housing. The law will lead to better utility services, better maintenance of residential facilities and their environment, which will reflect on a more quality life for citizens.

However, the law will not change anything by itself. Unfortunately, we are very slow to implement certain laws, and we sometimes do it the wrong way too and are prone to devaluing even the best ideas. Of course, such a danger is present now as well.

Where does the greatest danger lie, in your opinion?

– There are several, but I'll focus on one of them – the law clearly says that building management is in charge of selected or appointed persons, that is, managers or professional managers. These persons need to know what current maintenance is, what investment maintenance is, what energy efficiency is, how the living environment is maintained etc. Furthermore, they need to know how to sign agreements with contractors, how to monitor the works, take care of the budget. People are not born with these skills, they are acquired through education.

Zoran Djurdjevic
In my opinion, the only solution is in professionalism, that is, in having managers go through quality training regardless of whether they've been selected or are professionals. The law says that a professional manager needs to pass the exam and acquire a license. I believe that some kind of training should be organized for selected managers as well.

Also, there are companies providing services in this field and these are all professional profit organizations. In that field, it's especially important to implement operating standards, introduce order in the manner of operations and, above all, educate and certify the employees.

What do you suggest?

They say that there are no coincidences in life, which may be true, but it's really lucky that the European Union initiated the Facility Management Academy project two years ago. Within this project, which was carried out as part of the Erasmus+ project, four countries were supposed to prepare educational materials in English, German, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Serbian.

As for Serbia, we are ready, the materials are completed, and the best business practice of the EU countries, where the level of Facility Management is very high, have been built into them. The training staff has been educated, and, if need be, we can ask our foreign colleagues, who we worked with on this project, for help. Along with the necessary additions to the materials, which should include the Law on Housing itself, we might be able to prepare everything needed for quality training and certification very quickly, together with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, which should be the main organizer of these activities.

Does that mean that you are offering your services?


– Absolutely, we are offering professional help. Why would anyone look elsewhere, when there's an Academy here which international teams of four countries have worked on for two years? Furthermore, this is the Academy certified and financed by the European Union. By the way, the educational activities of the academy cover all training needs prescribed by the law.

It is my opinion that companies providing professional Facility Management services should go through training and get certified for the entire program, whereas managers should go through a somewhat more concise program. The reason for this is that, for example, a manager doesn't need to be familiar with calculations of thermal conductivity of certain construction materials, whereas contractors do. Instead, managers should know what energy efficiency is, how it is achieved, who the service providers are and what their prices are, in order to choose the best solution for the building he or she manages.

Finally, let me answer the question from the title of this article. Facility management is ready for Serbia, and I believe that Serbia has successfully made the first steps towards adopting FM, an important discipline for the EU.
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