May we introduce GEFMA?

GEFMA Key Aspects for Understanding Facility Management (FM)

GEFMA defines FM as a management discipline which fulfils people‘s basic requirements at work, supports companies’ primary processes and increases return on capital by economic use of facilities and services within the framework of planned, managed and controlled facility processes (GEFMA guideline 100-1).

Professional FM involves the permanent analysis and optimisation of cost-relevant processes relating to construction-related assets, facilities and services provided in businesses, except the core business. As assets become more and more sophisticated to manage, the challenges on FM are increasing, both in terms of services to be provided and relating the responsibilities involved.

Information GEFMA guideline 100-1 (pdf, 91 kB)

FM Market Trends

FM emerged as an industry in Germany in the early 1980s, the main driver being the service sector, such as cleaning, security, catering and IT. In 1989 the industry gave itself an official voice when GEFMA was founded.

Following its somewhat modest beginnings, FM has continued to gain general acceptance. The size of the entire facilities management market in Germany is about 55 billion €, comprising internal (20 billion €) and external (35 billion €) FM services. Integrated, or bundled services with about 10 per cent of the external market volume amount up to about 4 billion €. The market shares are shifting in favour of external providers. Integrated services providers are recording the highest growth rates. Additional positive impulse is expected to emerge from public private partnerships.

GEFMA - Association for Networking People

GEFMA is the German network for executives in facilities management. With more than 600 members GEFMA represents important companies providing full services, commercial, technical and infrastructural services, real estate management, consulting and financial services as well as IT Services. Inhouse facility managers as customers, investors, property owners and increasingly the public sector with its municipalities are also part of the association. The number of members increases year by year. In Germany, GEFMA achieved to be the leading representative of both, clients´ and suppliers´ interests.

As a non-profit organization GEFMA finances its activities mainly through annual membership fees. Foreign members are very welcome to join the GEFMA platform.

Seven board members determine the policies and the activities of GEFMA:

Otto Kajetan Weixler (President), Bilfinger Berger Facility Services, Neu-Isenburg
Dr. Gottfried Trautmann, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt
Christian Kloevekorn
, Gegenbauer Holding SA & Co.KG, Berlin
Prof. Dr. habil. Michael May, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin
Wilfried Schmahl, Strabag Property and Facility Services GmbH, Frankfurt
Hartmut Zehrer, KG PROTEKTOR GmbH & Co., Hamburg

There are several practice groups actively promoting the development of FM such as Training und Education, Marketing, Guidelines, Quality, Users, Banks and Insurance, Hospitals, IT – Computer Aided Facility Management and ipv® – Integral Process Responsibility.

The main objectives of GEFMA are to

  • Employ PR activities to support the demand for FM and to increase the market volume
    More and more technical publications as well as leading newspapers publish reports about FM. GEFMA is present on trade fairs and participates in congresses, seminars and workshops to promote the idea of professional FM.
  • Build a network for the exchange of experiences and know how
    Members, which act as voluntary districts managers organise nation-wide regular meetings on current issue in FM. This fundamental activity within the regional districts creates the opportunity to cultivate the personal exchange of experience among GEFMA members as well as to establish contact to potential new members. Additionally Junior Lounges managers support young Facility Managers in beginning their career.
  • Support training and research in FM
    FM programmes and courses based on GEFMA guidelines and certification requirements are publicly regarded as high-quality and are generally well accepted. An increasing number of universities and private educational institutions are becoming members of GEFMA, supporting the scientific view on FM as well as offering practice-oriented training programmes. Annually GEFMA awards young graduates as well as practitioners for their extraordinary achievements in FM (GEFMA FM Degree Thesis Awards).
  • Publish guidelines (quality standards) to simplify the FM business and safeguard quality
    Since summer of 1996, GEFMA has been establishing guidelines, which contain definitions and performance standards concerning all parts of FM GEFMA guidelines aim at giving support to all FM specialists and newcomers in the FM area. GEFMA is on the way to strengthen its leading position in standardisation work for FM in German speaking nations as well as within the CEN Standardization. GEFMA is strongly consistent with best practice in FM.
  • Co-operate nationally and internationally with FM organisations and to keep contact to politicians and the public sector
    GEFMA establishes dialogues with leading lobbyists who are concerned with FM. Since many years GEFMA is member of EuroFM and plays an active role in the European exchange of opinions.

GEFMA Prospect

In Germany, competition in FM too often is focused solitarily on price. On the other hand customers and service providers are demanding more and more transparency and reliability. GEFMA is aiming at supporting the change from a provider-user focus to partnerships based on innovative forms of contracts. Therefore GEFMA has launched a quality initiative, which is reflected in the guideline work and in professional training. Additionally initiatives - such as quality managing ipv® or the cooperation with TÜV Rheinland Group for a certification of operator’s responsibility (FM-Excellence) - aim at more transparency and reliability.

GEFMA is still working to obtain acceptance for FM and in the long term to establish a culture of values in FM.