Meet the Facility Manager – Shawn Marks of JLL

It’s no secret that facility managers wear many hats. But handling the needs of a large workforce with a wide range of ages might not be one of the things that first come to mind.

But, that’s the case for today’s featured facility manager, Shawn Marks. As a senior facility manager at JLL, he oversees the facilities at Mars Petcare Headquarters. In this role, he works to meet the needs of a diverse workforce with a wide range of needs. In today’s blog post, he’ll talk about how he is addressing that challenge.

We are honored to call JLL and Mars Petcare a client of DPM Care and we are thrilled to highlight Shawn and the great work he is doing.

Meet Nashville Facility Manager Shawn Marks

What is your role at JLL?

I am the senior facility manager at JLL in partnership with Mars Petcare and Wrigley.

How much space do you manage?

I manage 350,000 sq.ft., including three locations at Mars Petcare headquarters and assist with some of the facilities operations out of Thompson Station.

How did you get involved with facility management?

Due to my background in the electrical trade and being “handy”, I would volunteer at my local church with various projects. The church and I were a good fit so the church offered me the Facilities Director role. I loved the day-to-day challenges the role brought and decided to make it a career.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your current role and how are you addressing it?

The biggest challenge I face in my role is connecting and understanding the needs of all the different generational cultures within the building.

Each generational need is different. The younger generation wants to be able to experience the work-rest-life mentality. They want to work at a fun and engaging facility and have the freedom to do so with flexible work schedules. On the other hand, the majority of the older generations prefer routine and want consistency with the services provided.

The way we are addressing these challenges is listening. Reaching out to leadership and finding out the needs and wants of their individual department and their associates and doing our best to address those needs.

Other ways we are addressing these challenges are setting up areas for “hoteling” so the associates that work remotely or travel still have a location to work in the office if needed. We also make sure we have assigned seating for the associates that want or need to be in the office daily.

Communicating regularly with the leaders and collaborating with them to provide a fun and engaging atmosphere that will meet the needs of everyone is challenging. However, when you are successful can be very rewarding as a Facility Manager.

What has been the biggest success story in your current role?

My biggest success story would have to be the ability to lower costs while improving the overall day-to-day operations for the client. I did this by providing better vendor management and relationships. Holding vendors accountable for the work provided but also eliminating services that are no longer relevant in a constantly changing workplace.

Also, two other successes would be setting up processes to better engage associates and offering a white glove approach to the associates’ experience.

What is your best piece of advice to others in property management?

My biggest piece of advice is to be patient and have open communication with the associates and the clients you work with. Everyone has a different priority and you will never be able to meet everybody’s expectations in the time frame desired. Communicating your intentions within the time frame you feel is best will help diffuse most situations.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy the aptitude of something unexpected happening on a daily basis. I also like problem-solving, the self-accomplishment of completing projects while meeting deadlines and offering up cost savings for the client.

What’s unique about your specific role with your company that may be different from another property manager’s role?

Right now, my role is unique due to Mars moving to a new location and combining two buildings into one. Managing the current arrangements and being heavily involved in the transition to the new location has been challenging and motivating.

Describe what a day in your role looks like.

Working in facilities is unique every day. I manage a staff and a budget at 3 locations and need to be ready to handle any issue that may pop up that is associate, team or facility related.

How does having a clean building help your business?

Having a clean building gives a positive first impression to any visitors that may enter your building. It allows associates to feel comfortable, which will allow them to be more productive and make them happier. Having a clean building is also a major cornerstone when it comes to running a successful operation.

How does preventative maintenance create value for you or your business?

Having a solid preventive maintenance plan in place will help with long-term cost reduction, elevate safety and ensure efficiency by being proactive.

How has DPM Care’s service impacted your business?

DPM has been amazing. Pam, Ryan and their team are consistent with the service they provide and they deliver it in a very professional manner. I know when they are on site they will be polished, respectful and will do their best to improve the looks of my facility.

What is the biggest facility management trend you are seeing right now?

Open office plans with the flexibility to work anywhere in or out of the facility.

Thank you for sharing with us, Shawn!