This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Wide-ranging industry debate on improving FM outcomes

29 January 2020

Delegates to the PFM roundtable, sponsored by Salisbury Group, enjoyed an in-depth discussion and proposed solutions to many of the FM sector’s long-term issues.

With numerous issues continuing to impact on the FM sector in general, with others requiring consideration for the various specialist sectors within this, there is never a shortage of topics to debate when gathering senior representatives together and this proved to be the case for the latest PFM roundtable discussion.

This was emphasised from the opening comments from delegates, which consisted of client-side FMs, two consultants and four service provider representatives.

One of the most frequently-heard calls in recent years is for more appreciation of the value provided by FM and this also proved to be the first main point of debate on the day.

While recognising that a fine balance has to be maintained in providing sustainable solutions and services, delegates also discussed the need for higher levels of integrity and, where necessary, imagination to ensure that increased value could be achieved.

In addition to the need for service providers to understand the needs of clients and facilities users, achieving improved outcomes also required clients to apply more thought to create meaningful service level agreements (SLAs) to assist with this.

One of the elements essential for the delivering of improved value and outcomes was identified as working in partnership by clients, their various departments and service providers.

With both judges and winners of the PFM Partnership Awards included among the delegates, there was general agreement that collaborative working can deliver improved outcomes for all those involved.

In order to achieve this method of working together it was necessary for strategic relationships to share values and as many aspects of their business cultures as possible.

One of the issues to overcome was identified as over-enthusiastic sales pitches from service providers who would then struggle to deliver on the promises made, combined with the need to avoid short-term contracts wherever possible.

Methods of achieving improved collaborative working relationships were also discussed, including the ISO 44001 standard launched two years ago.

Although many of the companies represented on the day showed enthusiasm and appreciation for partnership working, they had not taken the extra step of achieving accredited status for this, as yet.

Additional thoughts were shared on the need to recognise the attributes and skills of all team members, which was seen to have been overlooked when service provision focused on cost. This was seen as another important reason to further endorse the need for more focus on value.

Another topic receiving enthusiastic support from delegates within the roundtable debate was the consideration required by all those involved, including clients, FM teams, service providers and industry partners, to provide a united front and encourage improved behaviours from facilities users.

It was also suggested that applying a simple maths equation should be considered to illustrate the benefits of working more collaboratively and explain these to team members and interested parties, which involved the dividing of value by the cost involved.

In order to assist with delivering improved levels of working in partnership, it was essential to establish in-depth understanding of all the assets within each facility, it was stated. This would provide valuable assistance in helping all team members to realise what was required and expected to be covered within the terms of the contract.

The next essential element to appreciate was explained as making sure that everyone involved understood that each contract is designed to achieve the necessary outcomes.

While including some of the ‘softer’ issues around collaborative working was also important, unless these are focused on delivering the correct level of consequences it would be unlikely that all other efforts would combine in the best manner, which could make renewals difficult at the end of contract completion.

Further to the above, the issue of recruiting new staff was discussed, with the emphasis on finding additional staff with the necessary skills and attitude to assist the business and its clients with achieving their aims.

Although there was general agreement that there are insufficient numbers of skilled workers, it was stated that the FM sector has struggled to attract the right calibre of people due a lack of understanding of the industry and the many employment opportunities available.

With FM receiving growing appreciation for the way it plays an important and often leading role in delivering and maintaining workplaces that assist companies in their efforts to retain staff and realise an improved return on investment, paying careful attention to recruiting the best people was another factor identified as having the potential to provide long-term value in a number of areas.

At this point in the discussion, the thoughts of delegates turned to the issue of the tendering process and how this should be approached and understood.

In addition to avoiding an almost automated response to new tenders by devoting greater effort to gain more appreciation of what these were designed to achieve, all tenders should be focused on providing a level playing field for applicants wherever possible.

The costs should be analysed before tenders are submitted to allow the bid to be formulated accordingly, it was stated. Further to this, the need to consider opportunities for innovative practices was proposed, particularly if these could assist in driving efficiencies and reducing cost without detracting from the important aim of focusing on value.

Once these elements had been put into place, effective methods should be applied to allow all practices to be measured and provide greater understanding of both the successes achieved and the elements and areas that required further attention and effort.

With data capture and generation becoming ever easier and, in some cases, prolific, the question of ownership of the data was raised.

Clients should not feel that their data was being repackaged and effectively “sold back to them”, it was stated, and this should be used by client and service provider to identify where operations could be improved or made more efficient, which often has the additional benefit of reducing cost.

While it is important to appreciate that all technology is only as good as those using it, delegates agreed that effective measurement and management was impossible without having efficient data gathering and analysis methods in place.

As the close of the discussion approached, thoughts returned to the issue of delivering a disciplined approach to working in partnership with others through the application of accredited standards.

Where companies had achieved standards including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and others, this could easily be used to apply for accreditation for collaborative working, it was stated. However, the level of effort and expense involved for each accreditation was seen as prohibitive by some delegates, leading to comments on the need for these to be made more accessible.

Following the close of the discussion, there were many positive comments from delegates shared on a personal basis and via both LinkedIn and Twitter social media accounts expressing appreciation for the opportunity to be involved and the high level of debate throughout.

“We were pleased to sponsor this important round table and it proved to be an excellent debate between the participants. Discussions in FM often focus on the negative aspects, so it was good to discuss the value our industry offers to clients and the ways in which we can move it up the value chain. Of particular importance was the focus on enhancing outcomes for all contracting parties. That should be our focus from the procurement stage through to steady state operations because it is one of the tangible benefits of developing a strong partnership culture,” said Salisbury Group managing director, sales and marketing Nick Platt.

DELEGATES

Mike Wingrove, head of facilities, Dentons UK & Middle East

Mark Coupe, head of FM & senior director, BNP Paribas Real Estate

Andy Bradshaw, director of property & workplace, DLA Piper

Alex Walters, facilities manager, The Office Group

Matt Coulson, chief executive officer, Chiswick Park-Enjoy Work

James Fitzpatrick, managing director, Boden Group

Simon Francis, principal lead of estates, Zoological Society of London

Ciaran Barry, managing director, Finbarr Solutions

Ian Wade, head of estates, British Medical Association

Paul Teasdale, chief executive officer, PTSG

David Hawkins, chief operating officer, Institute for Collaborative Working

Brian Boundy, director of operational policy and support, intu property services

Derek Rossenrode, general manager, The Shard

Arty Shaw, M&E director, Salisbury Group

Nick Platt, managing director, sales and marketing, Salisbury Group

Kelli-Anne Horne, sales manager, PFM Magazine

Chaired by Dennis Flower, editor, PFM Magazine


Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

https://www.fsifm.com/en-gb/


MOST VIEWED...

View more articles
Article image

PFM Awards 2020 Account Director finalists announced

Finalists for the PFM Awards Account Director of the Year category have been confirmed as the latest progression within the FM sector's favourite awards....
Article image

EXCLUSIVE Inside Canon UK's environment-friendly building in Reigate

At Canon UK sustainability and FM are inextricably linked. PFM visited the Woodhatch site in Reigate to report on the effectiveness of this approach....
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

£10m property portfolio maintenance framework for Notts Council

Contracts worth a total of £10.6m are included in a new framework that has been designed specifically for local SME service providers....
Article image

FM's role in assisting the UK recovery from the coronavirus lockdown

It is estimated that businesses may take a year to fully recover from the pandemic....
Article image

Workplace social distancing advice published by HSE

An online page dedicated to making workplaces meet Covid-19 requirements has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)....
http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?EID=e765d959-e927-4e60-8fef-b3c4dda38c2b
Watch Sony’s webinar ‘Work After Lockdown’ on-demand now