Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary, but administrative service managers typically maintain facilities and supervise activities that include recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep. In a small organization, they may direct all support services and may be called the business office manager. Large organizations may have several layers of administrative managers who specialize in different areas.
Administrative services managers typically do the following:
- Buy, store, and distribute supplies
- Supervise clerical and administrative personnel
- Set goals and deadlines for their department
- Develop, manage, and monitor records
- Recommend changes to policies or procedures in order to improve operations, such as changing what supplies are kept or how to improve recordkeeping
- Plan budgets for contracts, equipment, and supplies
- Monitor the facility to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained
- Oversee the maintenance and repair of machinery, equipment, and electrical and mechanical systems
- Ensure that facilities meet environmental, health, and security standards and comply with government regulations
Administrative services managers plan, coordinate, and direct a broad range of services that allow organizations to operate efficiently. An organization may have several managers who oversee activities that meet the needs of multiple departments, such as mail, printing and copying, recordkeeping, security, building maintenance, and recycling.
The work of administrative services managers can make a difference in employees’ productivity and satisfaction. For example, an administrative services manager might be responsible for making sure that the organization has the supplies and services it needs. In addition, an administrative services manager who is responsible for coordinating space allocation might take into account employee morale and available funds when determining the best way to arrange a given physical space.
Administrative services managers also ensure that the organization honors its contracts and follows government regulations and safety standards.
Administrative services managers may examine energy consumption patterns, technology usage, and office equipment. For example, managers may recommend buying new or different equipment or supplies in order to lower energy costs or improve indoor air quality.
Administrative services managers also plan for maintenance and the future replacement of equipment, such as computers. A timely replacement of equipment can help save money for the organization, because eventually the cost of upgrading and maintaining equipment becomes higher than the cost of buying new equipment.
The following are examples of types of administrative services managers:
Contract administrators handle buying, storing, and distributing equipment and supplies. They also oversee getting rid of surplus or unclaimed property.
Facility managers oversee buildings, grounds, equipment, and supplies. Their duties fall into several categories, including overseeing operations and maintenance, planning and managing projects, and dealing with environmental factors.
Facility managers may oversee renovation projects to improve efficiency or ensure that facilities meet government regulations and environmental, health, and security standards. For example, they may influence building renovation projects by recommending energy-saving alternatives or efficiencies that reduce waste. In addition, facility managers continually monitor the facility to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained. Facility managers also are responsible for directing staff, including maintenance, grounds, and custodial workers.
Records and information managers develop, monitor, and manage an organization’s records. They provide information to executive management, and they ensure that employees throughout the organization follow information and records management guidelines. They may direct the operations of on-site or off-site records facilities. They should be familiar with the technology that is used to manage both physical and electronic records. Records and information managers also work closely with an organization’s attorneys, technology, and business operations personnel.
Educational requirements vary by the type of organization and the work performed. Administrative services managers must have related work experience.
A bachelor’s degree is typically required for someone to become an administrative services manager. However, some jobseekers may be able to enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Those with a bachelor’s degree typically study business, engineering, facility management, or information management.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
The International Facility Management Association offers a competency-based professional certification program for administrative services managers. Completing this program may give prospective job candidates an advantage. The program has two levels: the Facilities Management Professional (FMP) certification and the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) certification. People entering the profession can get the FMP as a steppingstone to the CFM. For the CFM, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements. The CFM must be renewed every 3 years by completing continuing education and professional development requirements.
For records and information managers, the Institute of Certified Records Managers offers the Certified Records Manager (CRM) certification. For those specializing in information governance, ARMA International offers the Information Governance Professional (IGP) certification.
Administrative services managers must have related work experience reflecting managerial and leadership abilities. For example, contract administrators need experience in purchasing and sales, as well as knowledge of the variety of supplies, machinery, and equipment that their organization uses. Managers who are concerned with supply, inventory, and distribution should be experienced in receiving, warehousing, packaging, shipping, transportation, and related operations.
Advancement of facility managers is based on the practices and size of individual organizations. Some facility managers transfer among departments within an organization or work their way up from technical positions. Others advance through a progression of facility management positions that offer additional responsibilities. Advancement is easier in large organizations that employ several levels and types of administrative services managers.
A master’s degree in business administration or a related field can enhance a manager’s opportunities to advance to a higher level position, such as director of administrative services. Some experienced managers may join or establish a management consulting firm to provide administrative management services to other organizations on a contract basis.
Analytical skills. Administrative services managers must be able to review an organization’s procedures and find ways to improve efficiency.
Communication skills. Much of an administrative services manager’s time is spent working with other people. Therefore, communication is a key quality.
Detail oriented. Administrative services managers must pay attention to details. This quality is necessary across a range of tasks, from ensuring that the organization complies with building codes to managing the process of buying equipment.
Leadership skills. In managing workers and coordinating administrative duties, administrative services managers must be able to motivate employees and deal with issues that may arise.