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Borderless FM

23 October 2007

Traditional boundaries of competition between FM service providers have been broken down to provide BP with consistent, high quality FM services across its European portfolio. Jane Fenwick outlines why this alliance scooped the European FM Award for Partners Across Borders

AT THE FIRST EUROPEAN FM AWARDS held this summer in Zurich, the long-term relationship between BP and Johnson Controls in alliance with Wisag and Altys Sodexho, to provide BP's European operations with FM services won the Partners Across Borders category. Turn the clock back 14 years, and the partnerships between BP in the UK and Johnson Controls (then Procord) won the first ever PFM Partnership Award. This has been an enduring relationship that has not only stood the test of time but adapted, changed and grown to meet BPs business requirements and growth.

Cross-border outsourcing is the next 'holy grail' of FM professionals. Many organisations and suppliers talk about Pan-European partnerships but the reality is that few actually achieve it. The European FM Awards judges said: "By asking their three competing service delivery partners to work as one in an Alliance with them to deliver a common FM service platform, BP's approach is an amazing achievement that has come to maturity and is delivering an improved European-wide facilities service. Although the three companies operate within their own regions of Europe, the fact that they deliver the same FM service across borders means that BP has achieved a unified European delivery service within local cultures. The Alliance partners compete to come up with new ideas to improve service locally, then trial it and share it across Europe."

Ton van der Werf, European Property Manager, BP Refining & Marketing (R&M), said: "Winning this Award gives the Alliance the credit it deserves. By strategically aligning our European property portfolio and actively engaging with our FM Alliance partners, we have remained focused on BP core values, whilst openly challenging how we do business. The Alliance is a solid partnership, and over a sustained period has added significant value to our business by helping to transform our portfolio into a 'fit for purpose' property solution in every aspect".

The partnership has taken a unique approach to the challenge of operating a consistent high quality FM service at 22 sites in 16 different European countries each with their own cultural, regulatory and language issues. This helps BP to

....focus on key goals such as Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) whilst successfully providing operations to the portfolio BP’s brand values - green, innovation, performance and progressive through the performance of its European property portfolio
....achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction and market leadership by enabling it to concentrate on core business.

In 2004, BP decided to work with a partner on a pan-European contract for its diverse portfolio totaling 150,000sq m providing accommodation for 9,000 people in 16 countries. The chosen partner needed to be able to deliver a wide geographic spread, meet differing service needs and drive FM best practice across the 22 sites in the estate. Since no one service supplier exists that could match these requirements, the solution was radical and one that turned traditional competitive relationships on their head.

The only way that BP’s needs could be met was for its existing service partners – Johnson Controls, Wisag and Altys Sodexho – to work together in an Alliance (JCIA) that builds on the strength of each organisation in different parts of the continent. The Alliance, designed and led by Johnson Controls, provides just one point of contact and accountability for BP. It has a joint European operational management team supported by a network of local level management working towards the same goals and visions. This translates into a local operational strategy that suits the business on a location-by-location basis.

According to Terry Mulloy, Johnson Control European Operations Manager, “The success of the Alliance is built on mutual respect and trust. This does not happen overnight and takes a huge leap of faith by all parties. I believe that we have demonstrated that ‘competitors’ can work together in harmony and partnership to the benefit of our client and out respective companies.”

The three service supplier organisations work together across international boundaries to consistent high performance standards and a high level of local and global customer satisfaction.

The key components of the alliance are:

One team
A one team concept promotes team working and open communications. This involves regular meetings and site visits to build the understanding of the business objectives and cement the relationship at a local level. There are bi-weekly telephone operational meetings, monthly joint HSSE telephone meeting and twice yearly face-to-face meetings with the entire JCIA management team, also attended by senior management from BP. The sharing of knowledge is a key enabler for this partnership and making use of innovative communications tools including instant messaging technology, facilitates meetings remotely, cutting travel time and costs, and improves the frequency and quality of information exchange. Common and transparent reporting tools are used and a standard monthly financial reporting system was developed, with standard monthly HSSE performance objectives and measures, and quarterly KPI performance reported. There is a direct information flow from local management to the JCIA central management function for consolidation, analysis and trend reporting to BP.

BP needs for assurance from its FM suppliers that all its HSSE needs are met and can be demonstrated through the FM provider’s processes. This has been achieved through working closely with BP to evaluate process and procedures and identify any gaps. Where gaps are identified, the JCIA and BP worked together to modify systems to establish a complete HSSE standard across Europe. HSSE is continually monitored through audit and compliance checks carried out jointly with BP’s Safety Inspector and the JCIA’s Head of HSSE. Performance in these areas is measured monthly and forms part of the balanced scorecard. The supply partners and their staff feel they own the HSSE and have a duty to ensure they run a safe operations with a common goal of achieving a zero injury operation.

“The BP goals of no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment “ have an important impact on how we engage with our FM partners in order to safely operate or our property portfolio,” explains Johan Dumon, BP EPM HSSE Manager. “Delivering these goals is only possible through a tight partnership. Bringing together strong safety cultures and values is fundamental in helping BP build a sustainable safety culture.”

Balanced Scorecard
This monitors and measures European-wide KPIs on a quarterly basis for HSSE, financial and operational delivery across multiple countries. The variables measured against each location’s performance are closely tracked and evaluated for best practice and improvement opportunities.

Using the Johnson Control’s International Performance Measurement (IPM) tool across the portfolio drives continuous improvement. Benchmarking data is gathered from all locations across Europe and from these reviews best practice is identified which then becomes the standard. All locations across Europe are then aligned to this level of service. In 2006 a benchmarking exercise identified efficiency gains of over €2m. This contributed to a reduction of 15 percent in costs in the last year without affecting safe operation and high service delivery.

Budgets are managed locally with ultimate responsibility at total portfolio level. There are seven different currencies involved in the European partnership and to achieve consistency, BP and JCIA have agreed metrics and developed a specific currency conversion tool. Reporting at corporate level is done in US$ and this tool automatically converts different currencies to US$ to achieve standard reporting. Exchange rates are agreed and fixed annually but the currency conversion tool deals with currency fluctuations as they happen. English has been adopted as the common business language for documentation and management meetings. Managers with good English skills are hired locally to ensure effective communication at the local level and to ensure the partnership understands the different regulations within each country particularly in local HSSE, tax and legislation.

The FM teams have so far supported six major moves and restack projects and new location mobilisations in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Krakow and Istanbul. The projects including a new build and relocation of 1,200 people in Bochum, Germany; in Spain, a restack of the Madrid office involved 600 people and a new office layout; in France 500 people were moved into a new building in Cergy; in Portugal, the Lisbon office was restacked to release space, while in Turkey the FM team organised major moves within the Istanbul office.

Rick Bertasi, Vice President and General Manager of Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions EMEA. “We are delighted that this unique Alliance, which embraces the challenges of cross-border operations to deliver consistently excellent workplace services to BP, has been recognised with this first ever Award. EuroFM acknowledges a clear need for pan-European solutions and we look forward to continuing our pioneering work in this area of the market.”

Link: Johnson Controls

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