Industry Insights: Kym Jackman

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Kym Jackman is the asset and fleet co-ordinator for Grampians Health, Horsham Campus. Her career in facilities and asset management has been focussed on the healthcare sector, giving her unique insight into critical care facilities.

In January 2023, we sat down with Kym to get her insights of the industry.

What does facilities management mean to you?

For public healthcare providers, we have an obligation to make good use of public funds. In this environment, it’s about making the most of the assets we have, to make the hospitals work as well as possible.

The better our facilities can run, the better we can support the health and wellbeing of the communities within which we operate.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A large part of my day is focussed on planned maintenance tasks. Whether that be developing a plan for new assets or tweaking and updating existing ones. I’ve also been spending a bit of time setting up service contracts and cleaning up our asset data. That’s an ongoing project that we’re always chipping away at.

How has facilities management changed throughout your career?

Phasing out paper work requests was a huge change, not just for our team but for the broader business. Change management can be a challenge, but with gradual education we were able to make this happen over a period of time, and have pretty good compliance with those processes now.

I also think asset management in general has changed significantly. Processes can be refined and supported by software to make everything a lot easier to do. For example, being able to refine our process around high-value assets mean we can get them into use faster than ever, while fulfilling safety and compliance requirements.

What changes do you think we will see in the future?

I think we will continue to see uptake of anything that makes the job more efficient! People will be focussed on ensuring tools are easy to use. The easier you make it, the better compliance you’ll have with the processes that tool supports.

What are some core skills you think facilites managers need? 

Problem solving and critical thinking are the two big ones. It doesn’t work to always stay the same, you have to be ever-evolving and constantly looking for potential improvements.

It’s also important to be able to look at things holistically. It’s very easy to get bogged down with little details, and that can derail progress. Attention to detail is still very important, but you must have the ability to know when to stop and just get on with it.

What's been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

The data clean-up project has been a major highlight for me personally. It’s amazing something that seemed so daunting at the start could not only be possible, but easier than I thought.

It’s really empowering to be continually developing my skills with respect to the data, and the better we get it, the more helpful it becomes. Our management team in engineering always have a lot going on, so it is great to be able to help them with clean, accessible data.

What's been the biggest challenge of your career? 

The biggest challenge has been to have the confidence to back myself and push changes that I think are right. It can be scary to put proposals in front of executives and know that there’s a chance you’re wrong. But you’ve just got to remember that good things take time, and have that willingness to fail.

What advice would you give to your pre-FM self?

To not fall into the trap of thinking that things have to stay the same. Think critically and back yourself. Just because you’ve not been around as long as some people, doesn’t mean you can’t have great ideas to improve things.

What opportunities are you chasing this year?

The opportunity is always there to improve your processes and data and find ways to work more efficiently. For us at Grampians Health, I think we have a chance to look across all our facilities at how each of them are run to amalgamate learnings.

What do you love about working in facilities management?

The variety! It might sound a bit dorky but I do love my job, I love the constant challenges and changes, and being able to help people with difficult things. It is super satisfying now particularly, to look at our system and see good quality data that can really help the organisation to better support the community.