Rosemarie Subasic is a Vice President with Hines, a privately owned, international real estate firm. She is a Procurement Executive with more than 30 years of experience in corporate and government facilities, real estate and operations management. For the past 12 years, she has been responsible for facilities operations for Morgan Stanley, with an annual operating budget of over $150 million dollars. She manages over 70 sourcing activities annually.
Rosemarie will be a featured presenter at the New York City CPO Meet and Eat event on September 12 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. This event is a three-hour breakfast meeting with CPO-only level delegates. The event topics are focused on current events locally, nationally and globally, and allow CPOs to seek input from the group on their own top-of-mind issues. By keeping this meeting very high level, CPOs are better able to share and network with each other.
Can you talk about your background and education--how did you get involved in facilities management?
I graduated as a marketing major with a business degree in 1985. My first job after college, as an Operations Analyst for the City of New York, involved collecting, reporting and using data related to real estate and facilities operations. From there I went on to manage real estate and support services for the Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and decided to pursue facilities management as a career.
My next move was to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where I managed a much larger facilities and construction services division. At DEP, due to the volume of buildings that needed to be supported over a widespread geography and with limited budgets, two major issues surfaced quickly. The first was that there was very little data on what maintenance work was needed, what work was being performed, how it was being performed and what the actual costs were. Secondly, we would need to strategically use vendors to supplement our in-house unionized labor force for routine maintenance while also implementing long-term capital projects. Solving for these issues drove me to also become an expert in scope development, competitive procurement and vendor management.
You are currently responsible for facilities operations management of Morgan Stanley, which is a huge undertaking. What advice do you have for staying organized and meeting your goals?
I am very lucky to work for two great organizations, my employer Hines and our client Morgan Stanley. We have a talented on-site team, experienced vendor partners and strong central support. Part of our success is due to clearly establishing annual goals, key performance and financial indicators, and budgets. We also rely heavily on our information technology systems. Implementing a quality assurance program ensures both the operational and financial data we are reporting on is measured consistently throughout our large portfolio and is accurate and transparent.
At the New York CPO Meet and Eat on September 12, you'll be leading the "day-in-the-life" discussion on competitive procurement and best practices for your facilities management team. Could you talk a little more in-depth about that?
In my current role, I manage a staff of two sourcing professionals who handle approximately 70 procurement activities annually, with over $100 million dollars in annual spend. While this procurement is focused on facilities management goods and services, the basic tenants of procurement best practices remain the same. I plan on focusing my discussion on how our current procurement model has evolved over the years and how we get buy-in from our stakeholders, upper management and vendor partners.
How do you see technology impacting or transforming the way you do business?
The Internet of Things has already started impacting and transforming facilities management and will for years to come. Buildings, people and entire cities are becoming more connected. Everything is becoming more transparent. The successful managers are going to be the ones who not only harvest all of the available data but then use it to make informed decisions, adjust how work is being performed and become more proactive in anticipating occupant needs. Transparency and ease of communication will become even more critical. Space occupants are demanding more control over office temperature, lighting, and furniture and technology will enable that. The increased use of robotics will also change how we maintain buildings and how work is performed in those buildings.
What are the core skills needed for someone to be successful in a role such as yours?
Facilities Managers need to have a skills toolbox that includes data analysis, contract management and procurement skills, in addition to broad operations knowledge and customer service skills. Many of the same skills required of procurement professionals are relevant in facilities management. You need to understand who your client is and what their needs are; develop a relationship built on trust; communicate clearly, identify, document, and prioritize issues and goals; and continually learn and challenge both yourself and your team. You also need to be able to communicate the value that you bring to the organization through measurable results and reporting.
What advice do you have for young professionals who looking for a career in facilities management?
If you enjoy problem-solving, are hardworking and service oriented, then facilities management may be a good career choice for you. Because facilities management encompasses so many different subsets of services, including space planning and design, acquisition, negotiation, project and move management, support services, etc., first find a role based on your current skill set and grow from there. Pursue professional designations to gain knowledge and credibility. Most importantly, have integrity, work hard, do more than is expected of you and strive to learn something new every day.
Are there any notable advancements or changes in facilities management that excites you?
Flexible workspaces and “well buildings” are quickly becoming the business norm and I am excited to see how occupant productivity is impacted and ultimately measured. More work is being done in non-traditional ways as the majority of the workforce has been using technology from childhood and this affects how people communicate and work. I also think it is exciting that robotics and virtual reality will likely be incorporated into many of our everyday tasks very soon.
Stacy Mendoza is a Digital Marketing Specialist with Sourcing Industry Group (SIG). Stacy began her career in market research as an editor for Hart Research Associates in Washington, D.C. Since moving back to Florida in 2014, she has worked in marketing and public relations, specializing in content creation, media relations and crisis communications. Stacy is a passionate volunteer who donates her time to help nonprofits develop marketing strategies and awareness campaigns. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Follow her on Twitter and tweet at @SIG_Stacy.