The skills gap is a real and costly issue that impacts virtually every PRSM retailer and supplier. A shortage or lack of skilled employees drives up labor costs, which drives up retail costs. There are simply not enough skilled workers available. While long-term solutions are being developed, PRSM Education programs help bridge the gap.
“If a PRSM member company has employees who need training, PRSM is a great place to start,” said Kip Eads, VP of Professional Development at PRSM. “PRSM can provide the training your employees need to get started in their FM career, or to take it to a whole new level through our RFMP (Retail Facilities Management Professional) program.”
Members have access to a wealth of online resources that can bridge the knowledge gap, whether it is for your organization or for yourself. PRSM’s goal is to provide committed, dedicated retail facility maintenance professionals with basic technical trade knowledge that is valuable in the marketplace.
Retail Facilities 101 is just one of the programs offered to educate members. The program includes a comprehensive curriculum of specific and practical trade classes focused specifically on the multi-site retail facilities environment and taught by subject matter experts.
The 10 topics include basic lighting maintenance, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and much more. This program was created for FM professionals who need to increase basic knowledge in a specific trade, individuals transitioning into the FM profession, or young professionals entering the field. At the end of the course, individuals complete an evaluation and receive the Retail Facilities 101 Certificate.
“This is a great program for anyone who is not familiar with the trades to help them become more effective in their careers. Retail Facilities 101 is even beneficial for other departments who work with facilities managers. It helps them understand the industry, terms, and basic concepts.” Eads said.
PRSM’s flagship training course is the RFMP Study Program. It is a comprehensive program that covers essential concepts required of a professional in retail facilities management. A series of eight classes provides more in-depth industry education and helps individuals prepare for the RFMP exam. Those who successfully complete the exam receive the RFMP designation.
The RFMP designation is held by leading retail facility management professionals, and was created to elevate industry standards and enhance individual performance. RFMP candidates can immediately use knowledge gained in the classes in their daily work.
“The Retail Facilities 101 courses provides foundational trades training, while the RFMP study program elevates that knowledge to showcase facilities management and the trades our members manage,” Eads said. “This program prepares you to be a well-rounded facilities manager, and adding the designation to your expertise shows you as one of the respected leaders in the retail FM industry.”
Also available to members are live and on-demand webinars that explore a wide variety of topics. There are nearly 150 on-demand webinars presented by subject matter experts with years of knowledge and expertise. Webinars range from implementing green solutions, to disaster recovery, to interacting with workers within supplier companies.
In addition to the educational programs, PRSM also provides a variety of resources to help close the gap further.
Benchmarking reports offer an objective resource of information and data that can be used to validate your own data. They can also be used to compare your business practices to other, similar organizations with facilities management functions. Reports range from snapshots to in-depth analyses of industry KPIs and aggregated data, all of which is secure, valid, confidential and trustworthy.
Reviewing Best Practices is one of the best ways to learn about solutions and how they can be implemented successfully. PRSM creates an annual Best Practice Book written by working FM professionals who want to share their experiences and lessons learned. With more than 300 topics available, these papers are great tools to educate and inform you about what other industry professionals are doing along with their successes and failures. The topics are available for individual download, or can be downloaded as a full book.
PRSM White Papers provide solutions to common FM issues and challenges, and are written by experienced industry consultants and professionals. These comprehensive reports cover everything from managing supplier relations to snow and ice management and are available to download from PRSM.com. White Papers are great resources for not only younger professionals, but experienced ones as well.
Other PRSM resources include tools and templates designed to simplify your day-to-day tasks, trends reports which monitor current or future trends in the FM industry, and the X-Change forum where PRSM members can ask questions and receive answers from other members about industry-related topics.
Regardless of where you are in your career in the facilities management industry, PRSM has the tools you need to bridge the gap and succeed. For more information about the different educational programs and resources PRSM offers, visit prsm.com.
By: Kendall Carlson