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OFITEC 08 will take place between 26th and 29th February 2008, at Feria de Madrid


    ? IFMA España will present the latest trends in office space management at


    ? Effective space management increases productivity rates by 20%.

    ? Facility management is the professional discipline that has witnessed most

    rapid growth in Europe over the last fifteen years.

    Facility management, an activity that, among other aspects, ensures the effective management of working space, will be one of the most innovative ideas presented at the

    ninth edition of OFITEC, the International Trade Exhibition of Office and

    Contract Furniture and Equipment, which is due to take place at Feria de Madrid

    between 26th and 29th February 2008.

The concept of office furniture as a service rather than a business asset will constitute

    the focal-point of the training sessions that are due to take place on 28th and 29th

    February within the framework of the fair, staged under the heading of the First Iberian

    Conference on Furniture and Space Management and organised by the Spanish

    Chapter of IFMA, the International Facility Management Association.

According to David Martínez, the Secretary of IFMA España, "there is a clear trend

    for companies to reduce their acquisition of certain goods, essentially those whose value

    depreciates". So far this tendency has only become general practice in the case of

    technological equipment and vehicles, but experts believe that the same approach could

    be applied to office furniture in the future.

The leasing of chairs, tables, shelving ... in short, all of the furniture required for an

    office to function, is already a reality. The contracting of this service, which is normally

    assisted by a facility management consultant, not only permits more effective

    management of aspects such as maintenance, but also endows the leasing agreement

    with a greater degree of flexibility, should incidents occur or needs change, based on the

    inclusion of different service levels in the contract clauses.

. The Work of the Facility Manager

The discipline of facility management, which has been translated in the recently passed

    European regulation, EU 15221/1, as the "management of immovable goods", can be

    defined as "the integration of processes within an organisation in order to maintain and

    develop services that support and enhance the effectiveness of its main activities".

    Experts within this field design, construct and manage offices and other premises in order to optimise the use of space and resources based on the specific activities that are to be carried out. This work takes the form of a multitude of daily measures which fall under the responsibility of the Facility Manager, tasks that are typically required in many organisations, such as the supply of stationery material, the maintenance of technological equipment, cleaning services, the provision of catering products, the monitoring and regulation of parking facilities, etc ...

    All of these aspects are subjected to strict supervision and control, thus achieving maximum levels of quality at minimum cost, which means that companies do not have to devote their own resources to carrying out these tasks. According to IFMA España, the increase in productivity levels, if the spaces are appropriately managed, can be as high as 20%.

. A Rapidly Growing Market

    Although this activity first emerged in the United States in the early 1970's, it did not become established in Spain as a professional discipline until the late 1990's. Today in Spain, a high percentage of large companies have a figure within their organisational structure who is responsible for facility management, whether this be an in-house service or contracted from outside. However, this activity is still not especially widespread among small and medium-sized enterprises.

    The sectors that present the highest levels of demand for facility management services include, among others, banking and telecommunications. This is essentially because their working areas encompass a considerable number of square metres. Nevertheless, the highest levels of penetration with regard to this incipient activity can be witnessed within the industrial field. In fact, this is considered to be one of the main development trends in the future.

    Facility management is the professional discipline that has witnessed most rapid growth in Europe over the last fifteen years. According to IFMA España, international studies indicate that the potential market in Spain could achieve a value of more than 30,000 million euros within five years.

. Challenges Facing the Sector

    One of the main challenges facing the sector is to achieve recognition of the work entailed by facility management, especially in view of the fact that this area is essential in any business and encompasses the second most important cost within companies after human resources.

In line with this goal, IFMA España aims to continue promoting professionalism within

    this field, ensuring that services are provided by highly qualified companies and

    professionals that have received the necessary training. This is precisely one of the

    issues of greatest concern to the sector. Other countries that have a more developed

    sector offer their own academic qualifications within the field of facility management.

    In Spain, there is still a long way to go. Thus, for the moment, various initiatives such as

    conferences and specialised courses are only complemented by the post-graduate degree, imparted by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, in (

    collaboration with IFMA España. We might also mention the FMP and CFM

    certificates issued by IFMA, qualifications that enjoy international recognition.

    Madrid, 4th February 2008

For further information:

    Marietta Vázquez, International Press

    Tel:. +34 91 722 51 74

    Fax: +34 91 722 57 93

    E-mail: Internet:



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