Mastering the Art of Facility Management: Strategies, Skills, and Success Stories

Isabele Franco
Mastering the Art of Facility Management: Strategies, Skills, and Success Stories

Facility management plays a crucial role in the success of modern organizations. From ensuring the smooth functioning of facilities to creating safe and productive environments, facility managers are the unsung heroes behind the scenes. But what does facility management entail, and how can one master the art of this complex and multifaceted discipline?

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of facility management, exploring its definition, importance, and the essential skills required for success in this field. We will also examine various facility management processes and best practices, highlighting real-life success stories that exemplify the impact of effective facility management. Additionally, we will explore future trends and innovations shaping the industry, offering insights into the evolving nature of this critical profession.

To begin, let's clarify the concept of facility management. Put simply, facility management encompasses the coordination and maintenance of buildings, infrastructure, and services within an organization. It involves overseeing a diverse range of areas, including facility planning and design, maintenance and operations, health and safety management, vendor management, and sustainability practices.

The importance of facility management cannot be overstated. A well-managed facility contributes to the overall success of an organization by enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and providing a safe and comfortable environment for employees and customers alike. Facility managers are responsible for ensuring that facilities align with the organization's goals and meet the needs of its occupants.

To excel in facility management, one must possess a unique blend of skills and qualifications. A solid educational background, coupled with relevant certifications, forms the foundation for a successful career in this field. Technical skills, such as knowledge of building systems, maintenance practices, and regulatory compliance, are essential for effective facility management. Equally important are soft skills, including strong communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities, which enable facility managers to collaborate with diverse stakeholders and navigate complex challenges.

Throughout this blog post, we will explore the key skills and qualifications required for facility management, drawing insights from real-world case studies that highlight the success stories of exceptional facility managers. We will also delve into the various processes and best practices involved in facility management, including facility planning and design, maintenance and operations, health and safety management, vendor management, and sustainability initiatives.

Furthermore, we will showcase real-life examples of organizations that have achieved remarkable results through effective facility management. From a multinational corporation streamlining its operations to a university enhancing its campus facilities for student success, these case studies will provide valuable insights into the tangible benefits of strategic facility management.

Lastly, we will look to the future and discuss emerging trends and innovations transforming the field of facility management. The integration of technology, the rise of smart buildings, and the use of data analytics are reshaping the way facilities are managed, offering new opportunities for efficiency and sustainability.

In conclusion, mastering the art of facility management requires a combination of strategic thinking, technical expertise, and interpersonal skills. By understanding the importance of facility management, acquiring the necessary qualifications, and adopting best practices, individuals can excel in this dynamic field. Join us on this journey as we explore the strategies, skills, and success stories that define the world of facility management.

Facility Planning and Design

Facility planning and design is a critical aspect of effective facility management. It involves understanding the organization's needs and goals and creating a physical space that supports and enhances its operations. By carefully planning and designing facilities, facility managers can optimize space utilization, improve workflow, and create environments that foster productivity and well-being.

The first step in facility planning and design is conducting a thorough needs assessment. This involves analyzing the organization's current and future requirements, considering factors such as the number of employees, departments, and functions. By understanding these needs, facility managers can determine the size, layout, and features required in the facility.

Once the needs assessment is complete, facility managers collaborate with architects, designers, and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive facility design. This includes determining the optimal layout, flow, and allocation of spaces within the facility. For example, in an office setting, careful consideration is given to the placement of workstations, meeting rooms, common areas, and support spaces like kitchens and restrooms.

Incorporating sustainable and energy-efficient practices is also a crucial consideration in facility planning and design. With increasing emphasis on environmental responsibility, facility managers must prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient systems, and sustainable design principles. This includes incorporating natural lighting, utilizing renewable energy sources, implementing water-saving technologies, and designing spaces that promote occupant health and well-being.

For instance, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a widely recognized standard for sustainable facility design and management. Facility managers can strive to achieve different levels of LEED certification, demonstrating their commitment to environmental stewardship and creating facilities that minimize their ecological footprint.

Overall, facility planning and design is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the organization's needs, collaboration with various stakeholders, and adherence to sustainable design principles. By investing time and effort into this critical phase, facility managers set the foundation for a well-designed and functional facility that meets the organization's present and future requirements.

Key Skills and Qualifications for a Facility Manager

Being a successful facility manager requires a diverse set of skills and qualifications that encompass both technical expertise and interpersonal abilities. The role demands a unique blend of knowledge, experience, and personal traits to effectively manage the complex and multifaceted responsibilities involved in facility management. Let's explore the key skills and qualifications that are essential for excelling in this field.

  1. Educational Background and Certifications: To enter the field of facility management, a solid educational foundation is crucial. Many facility managers hold a bachelor's degree in fields such as facility management, engineering, architecture, or business administration. These degree programs provide a comprehensive understanding of facility management principles, building systems, project management, and organizational dynamics.

In addition to formal education, obtaining relevant certifications can significantly enhance a facility manager's credibility and marketability. Certifications such as Certified Facility Manager (CFM), Facility Management Professional (FMP), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a deep understanding of industry best practices.

  1. Technical Skills: Facility managers must possess a wide range of technical skills to effectively oversee the maintenance and operation of facilities. This includes a solid understanding of building systems, such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. Facility managers should be knowledgeable about equipment maintenance, energy management, and regulatory compliance related to building codes and safety standards.

Proficiency in computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software is also vital for facility managers to efficiently manage work orders, track maintenance activities, and analyze data for informed decision-making. Familiarity with project management methodologies and tools is beneficial for overseeing facility renovation or construction projects.

  1. Soft Skills and Interpersonal Abilities: In addition to technical expertise, facility managers must possess strong soft skills and interpersonal abilities to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse stakeholders. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for conveying information clearly to team members, contractors, and upper management. Facility managers must be adept at listening to the needs and concerns of occupants and addressing them promptly and effectively.

Leadership skills are crucial for facility managers to motivate and inspire their team, delegate tasks, and make informed decisions. Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities enable facility managers to identify and address challenges that arise in day-to-day operations. Strong organizational and time management skills are necessary to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage resources efficiently.

Moreover, facility managers must possess strong interpersonal skills to foster positive relationships with vendors, contractors, and other external service providers. Effective negotiation and contract management skills are valuable for achieving favorable terms and ensuring service quality.

In summary, facility management requires a combination of technical skills, educational qualifications, and interpersonal abilities. Facility managers must stay updated with industry advancements, regulations, and best practices through continuous learning and professional development. By acquiring and honing the necessary skills and qualifications, individuals can excel in the dynamic field of facility management and contribute to the success of their organizations.

Facility Management Processes and Best Practices

Facility management involves a wide range of processes and best practices to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of facilities. From maintenance and operations to health and safety management, facility managers must execute these processes effectively to meet the organization's goals and provide a safe and comfortable environment for occupants. Let's explore some of the key facility management processes and best practices.

A. Facility Planning and Design: As discussed earlier, facility planning and design is a crucial process that sets the foundation for a well-designed and functional facility. By understanding the organization's needs, collaborating with architects and designers, and incorporating sustainable practices, facility managers can create a facility that optimizes space utilization and supports the organization's operations.

B. Maintenance and Operations: Maintenance and operations are at the core of facility management. Facility managers are responsible for developing and implementing preventive maintenance programs to ensure the proper functioning of equipment and systems. This includes regular inspections, servicing, and repairs to minimize downtime and extend the lifespan of assets.

Efficient work order management systems are essential for streamlining maintenance processes. Facility managers utilize computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) or other software solutions to track work orders, prioritize tasks, and allocate resources effectively. By leveraging technology, facility managers can improve response times, efficiently manage maintenance requests, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

C. Health and Safety Management: Maintaining a safe and healthy environment is paramount in facility management. Facility managers must identify potential hazards and risks within the facility and develop comprehensive health and safety management plans. This includes conducting regular safety inspections, implementing emergency response protocols, and training employees on safety procedures.

Compliance with safety regulations, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, is crucial to mitigate risks and ensure the well-being of occupants. Facility managers must stay updated with evolving safety requirements and implement measures to address any identified gaps. By prioritizing health and safety, facility managers create an environment that promotes productivity, reduces accidents, and enhances occupant satisfaction.

D. Vendor Management and Outsourcing: Facility managers often collaborate with external service providers to meet the organization's facility management needs. This includes selecting and managing vendors for various services, such as janitorial, landscaping, security, or HVAC maintenance. Effective vendor management involves conducting thorough evaluations, negotiating contracts, and monitoring performance to ensure service quality and cost-effectiveness.

Outsourcing certain facility management functions can provide several benefits, such as specialized expertise, cost savings, and flexibility. However, facility managers must carefully evaluate the pros and cons of outsourcing versus in-house services. Factors such as service level agreements, cost-benefit analysis, and the impact on organizational culture should be considered when making outsourcing decisions.

E. Sustainability and Environmental Management: Sustainability is a growing focus in facility management. Facility managers play a vital role in implementing eco-friendly practices and reducing the environmental impact of facilities. This includes adopting energy-saving technologies, utilizing renewable energy sources, implementing waste management and recycling strategies, and promoting sustainable procurement practices.

Certifications and standards, such as LEED, provide guidelines and benchmarks for sustainable facility management. By striving to achieve these certifications, facility managers demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility and create facilities that align with sustainability goals. Additionally, facility managers can leverage data analytics to monitor and optimize energy usage, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to enhance sustainability practices.

In summary, facility management processes and best practices encompass various aspects, including facility planning and design, maintenance and operations, health and safety management, vendor management, and sustainability initiatives. By implementing these processes effectively, facility managers can optimize facility performance, enhance occupant satisfaction, and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Real-life case studies provide valuable insights into the practical application of effective facility management strategies and their impact on organizations. Let's explore a few success stories that highlight the achievements of organizations and facility managers in different sectors.

A. XYZ Corporation: Achieving Operational Excellence through Effective Facility Management XYZ Corporation, a multinational manufacturing company, recognized the importance of facility management in optimizing their operations and reducing costs. By implementing strategic facility management practices, they were able to achieve remarkable results.

One of the key challenges XYZ Corporation faced was inefficient space utilization. Through a comprehensive facility planning and design process, they reconfigured their manufacturing facilities to maximize productivity and workflow. By optimizing the layout and placement of machinery and workstations, they were able to streamline production processes and reduce material handling time.

Additionally, XYZ Corporation implemented a preventive maintenance program, leveraging a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to schedule and track maintenance activities. This proactive approach not only reduced equipment breakdowns and costly repairs but also increased equipment performance and longevity.

Furthermore, XYZ Corporation prioritized sustainability in their facility management strategy. By implementing energy-saving initiatives such as LED lighting systems, motion sensors, and efficient HVAC systems, they significantly reduced energy consumption and saved on utility costs. They also implemented waste management practices, recycling programs, and water-saving technologies to minimize their environmental impact.

As a result of their strategic facility management approach, XYZ Corporation experienced substantial cost savings, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced employee satisfaction. By investing in facility management practices, they were able to achieve operational excellence and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

B. ABC University: Enhancing Campus Facilities for Student Success ABC University recognized that the quality of their campus facilities directly impacted the student experience and academic success. With this in mind, they embarked on a comprehensive facility management initiative to enhance their facilities and create an optimal learning environment.

ABC University focused on facility planning and design to ensure that their campus facilities aligned with the needs of their diverse student population. They conducted extensive research and needs assessments to determine the ideal layout and functionality of various spaces, including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and student common areas. By incorporating modern design principles and utilizing flexible furniture and technology solutions, they created spaces that fostered collaboration, innovation, and student engagement.

Maintenance and operations were also a key focus for ABC University. They implemented a proactive maintenance program to address issues promptly and ensure the functionality and safety of their facilities. Additionally, they leveraged technology to streamline work order management, allowing students and staff to easily report maintenance issues and track their progress.

Health and safety were paramount for ABC University. They implemented comprehensive safety protocols and conducted regular inspections to ensure compliance with regulations. They also invested in security measures such as surveillance systems, access controls, and emergency response plans to create a safe campus environment.

The efforts of ABC University in enhancing their campus facilities had a significant impact on student success. The modern and well-maintained facilities provided students with an optimal learning environment, fostering creativity, collaboration, and academic achievement. The positive feedback from students, faculty, and staff highlighted the success of their facility management initiatives.

C. DEF Hospital: Ensuring Patient Safety and Comfort through Facility Management DEF Hospital, a prominent healthcare facility, recognized the critical role of facility management in providing high-quality patient care. They implemented a comprehensive facility management strategy to enhance patient safety, comfort, and overall satisfaction.

One of the key challenges DEF Hospital faced was maintaining a safe and clean environment. Through effective facility planning and design, they optimized the layout of patient rooms, ensuring easy access for healthcare professionals and minimizing the risk of infection transmission. They also implemented strict cleaning protocols, utilizing advanced cleaning technologies and products to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness.

In terms of maintenance and operations, DEF Hospital implemented a preventive maintenance program for critical equipment such as medical devices and HVAC systems. This proactive approach reduced equipment failures, minimized downtime, and ensured uninterrupted patient care. They also utilized asset management systems to track and manage their equipment inventory efficiently.

Health and safety were paramount in DEF Hospital's facility management approach. They implemented rigorous safety protocols, conducted regular safety drills, and provided ongoing training to staff on emergency response procedures. By prioritizing patient and staff safety, DEF Hospital created a culture of safety and trust.

The efforts of DEF Hospital in facility management resulted in improved patient experiences and outcomes. Patients felt safe and comfortable throughout their stay, and healthcare professionals had the necessary resources and support to provide high-quality care. The positive feedback from patients and the recognition from regulatory bodies showcased the success of their facility management initiatives.

These case studies illustrate the real-world impact of effective facility management. From multinational corporations to educational institutions and healthcare facilities, strategic facility management practices have proven to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and create environments that foster success and satisfaction. By learning from these success stories, facility managers can gain valuable insights and inspiration for their own facility management endeavors.

Future Trends and Innovations in Facility Management

The field of facility management is constantly evolving, driven by advancements in technology, changing work environments, and the growing emphasis on sustainability. Facility managers must stay abreast of these trends and innovations to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing landscape. Let's explore some of the key future trends and innovations shaping the field of facility management.

  1. Integration of Technology and Automation: Technology plays a significant role in facility management, and its integration is expected to increase in the future. Facility managers are leveraging advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics to optimize facility operations and improve efficiency.

IoT devices and sensors can be used to monitor and control various aspects of facility management, including energy consumption, occupancy levels, and equipment performance. This real-time data enables facility managers to make data-driven decisions, identify inefficiencies, and implement proactive maintenance strategies.

AI-powered systems can automate routine tasks, such as scheduling maintenance activities or analyzing data, freeing up facility managers to focus on more strategic initiatives. Machine learning algorithms can also analyze historical data to identify patterns and predict maintenance needs, enabling predictive maintenance and minimizing downtime.

Data analytics is becoming increasingly important in facility management. Facility managers can analyze large volumes of data to gain insights into facility performance, identify areas for improvement, and optimize resource allocation. With the ability to collect and analyze data from various sources, facility managers can make informed decisions to drive operational efficiency and cost savings.

  1. Smart Building Systems: The concept of smart buildings is gaining momentum in facility management. Smart building systems utilize interconnected technologies to optimize comfort, energy efficiency, and operational performance. These systems integrate various components, such as lighting, HVAC, security, and occupancy sensors, to create an intelligent and responsive building environment.

Smart building systems enable facility managers to monitor and control building operations remotely, making it easier to manage multiple locations or respond to issues in real-time. For example, an automated HVAC system can adjust temperature settings based on occupancy levels, reducing energy waste and improving occupant comfort.

The use of smart building systems also contributes to sustainability efforts. By optimizing energy usage, monitoring water consumption, and implementing demand response strategies, facility managers can reduce the environmental impact of their facilities.

  1. Predictive Analytics and Maintenance: Predictive analytics and maintenance are emerging as powerful tools in facility management. By analyzing historical data and utilizing machine learning algorithms, facility managers can predict equipment failures and maintenance needs before they occur.

Predictive maintenance allows facility managers to address issues proactively, preventing costly breakdowns and minimizing downtime. By monitoring equipment performance and analyzing patterns, facility managers can identify potential failure points and schedule maintenance activities accordingly.

The adoption of predictive analytics and maintenance can significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. Facility managers can prioritize resources, plan maintenance schedules, and optimize equipment performance, resulting in increased reliability and extended asset lifecycles.

  1. Adapting to Changing Work Environments: The way we work is rapidly evolving, with an increasing emphasis on remote work, flexible schedules, and collaboration. Facility managers need to adapt to these changing work environments and provide facilities that support these new ways of working.

Flexible office spaces, collaborative areas, and technology-enabled meeting rooms are becoming more prevalent in facility design. Facility managers must ensure that these spaces are adaptable, easily reconfigurable, and equipped with the necessary technology to facilitate collaboration and productivity.

Additionally, facility managers need to consider the integration of remote work technologies and infrastructure. Providing secure remote access, video conferencing capabilities, and virtual collaboration platforms are essential to support a distributed workforce.

Moreover, facility managers must address the changing needs for health and well-being in the workplace. This includes implementing ergonomic workstations, promoting active movement, and creating spaces that prioritize mental health and well-being.

In conclusion, the future of facility management is characterized by the integration of technology, the rise of smart building systems, the use of predictive analytics and maintenance, and the adaptation to changing work environments. Facility managers must embrace these trends and innovations to stay ahead of the curve, enhance operational efficiency, and create sustainable and productive environments. By leveraging these advancements, facility managers can drive the success of their organizations and meet the evolving needs of their occupants.


In conclusion, facility management is a critical function that encompasses various processes, skills, and responsibilities to ensure the effective and efficient operation of facilities. Facility managers play a vital role in creating safe, functional, and sustainable environments that support the goals of organizations and enhance the well-being of occupants.

Throughout this blog post, we have explored the definition and importance of facility management, delving into the key skills and qualifications required for success in this field. We have discussed the various processes and best practices involved in facility management, including facility planning and design, maintenance and operations, health and safety management, vendor management, and sustainability initiatives.

Moreover, we have examined real-life case studies and success stories that showcase the impact of effective facility management. From multinational corporations streamlining their operations to universities enhancing their campus facilities and healthcare facilities prioritizing patient safety, these examples highlight the tangible benefits of strategic facility management.

Furthermore, we have explored future trends and innovations in facility management, such as the integration of technology and automation, the rise of smart building systems, predictive analytics and maintenance, and the adaptation to changing work environments. Facility managers must stay informed and embrace these trends to remain at the forefront of the industry and drive operational excellence.

In conclusion, facility management is a dynamic and evolving field that requires a combination of technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and adaptability to meet the diverse needs of organizations and occupants. By implementing best practices, leveraging technology, and embracing innovation, facility managers can create environments that enhance productivity, improve safety, and contribute to the overall success of their organizations.

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Effective communication and collaboration are vital skills for facility managers as they work with various stakeholders, including employees, vendors, contractors, and upper management. Clear and efficient communication ensures that everyone involved is on the same page, leading to smoother operations and better facility management outcomes.

One aspect of effective communication for facility managers is the ability to clearly convey information and instructions. Facility managers must be able to articulate their expectations, goals, and guidelines to their team members, ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. This includes providing detailed work orders, explaining maintenance procedures, and communicating safety protocols effectively.

In addition to clear communication, facility managers must also possess strong interpersonal skills. Building positive relationships with employees, vendors, and contractors fosters collaboration and teamwork. Facility managers should be approachable and open to feedback, creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. By fostering strong relationships, facility managers can enhance productivity, resolve conflicts, and promote a positive work culture.

Another crucial aspect of effective communication is active listening. Facility managers must listen attentively to the needs and concerns of occupants and stakeholders. By actively listening, facility managers can gain valuable insights, identify potential issues, and address them proactively. This includes conducting regular meetings or surveys to gather feedback, conducting one-on-one conversations to address specific concerns, and implementing appropriate solutions based on the feedback received.

Moreover, facility managers must be skilled in negotiation and conflict resolution. They may need to negotiate contracts with vendors, resolve disputes between employees, or mediate conflicts related to facility usage. Facility managers should be able to find common ground, consider multiple perspectives, and reach mutually beneficial agreements. Effective negotiation and conflict resolution skills contribute to successful vendor management, employee satisfaction, and overall facility management success.

In the digital age, facility managers should also leverage technology to enhance communication and collaboration. Utilizing communication platforms, project management software, and collaboration tools enables facility managers to streamline communication, share updates, and track progress more efficiently. By embracing technology, facility managers can overcome geographical barriers, facilitate remote collaboration, and improve overall communication effectiveness.

In conclusion, effective communication and collaboration are essential skills for facility managers. By mastering these skills, facility managers can build strong relationships, ensure clear and efficient communication, address concerns proactively, and foster collaboration among stakeholders. By incorporating technology and embracing various communication methods, facility managers can enhance their effectiveness and drive success in facility management endeavors.

Continuing Professional Development in Facility Management

In the ever-evolving field of facility management, continuous learning and professional development are essential for facility managers to stay current with industry trends, expand their knowledge base, and enhance their skills. By investing in their professional growth, facility managers can stay ahead of the curve, deliver better results, and advance their careers. Let's explore the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) in facility management.

  1. Keeping Up with Industry Advancements: Facility management is a dynamic field that constantly evolves with advancements in technology, sustainability practices, and regulations. By engaging in continuous learning, facility managers can stay informed about the latest trends, innovations, and best practices. This includes attending industry conferences, seminars, and workshops to gain insights from industry experts, networking with peers, and staying updated on emerging technologies and industry standards.

  2. Expanding Knowledge and Skills: CPD provides facility managers with opportunities to expand their knowledge and develop new skills that are relevant to their roles. This can include pursuing advanced certifications, such as the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) or Facility Management Professional (FMP), which demonstrate expertise in specific areas of facility management. Facility managers can also engage in specialized training programs or online courses that focus on emerging topics such as smart building technologies, sustainability, and data analytics.

By acquiring new skills, facility managers can address evolving challenges, leverage emerging technologies, and enhance their overall effectiveness in managing facilities. This not only benefits the organization but also boosts the facility manager's professional growth and marketability.

  1. Adapting to Changing Work Environments: The way we work is constantly evolving, and facility managers must adapt to these changes. CPD allows facility managers to stay updated with the latest trends in flexible workspaces, remote work technologies, and employee well-being. By understanding and embracing these changes, facility managers can effectively manage facilities that support the changing needs of the organization and its occupants.

  2. Enhancing Leadership and Management Skills: Facility managers often play a leadership role within their organizations, overseeing teams, managing budgets, and making strategic decisions. Continuous professional development enables facility managers to enhance their leadership and management skills, improving their ability to motivate teams, communicate effectively, and drive organizational success. Leadership training programs, management courses, and workshops on topics such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making can help facility managers develop these critical skills.

  3. Fostering Professional Networking: CPD provides facility managers with opportunities to network with peers, industry experts, and thought leaders. Engaging in industry events, conferences, and online forums allows facility managers to share experiences, exchange ideas, and gain insights from others in the field. Professional networking not only expands professional connections but also provides a platform for collaborative learning, mentorship, and career advancement.

In conclusion, continuing professional development is crucial for facility managers to stay current, expand their knowledge and skills, adapt to changing work environments, enhance leadership abilities, and foster professional networking. By investing in their professional growth, facility managers can deliver better results, contribute to organizational success, and advance their careers in the dynamic field of facility management.

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