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Alliance to cut management layers and costs

16 September 2010

A new Alliance model lead by Mike Cant and Chris Brady offers best-in-class FM support services and the levels of cost savings that the current economic conditions require

Winner of the PFM’s first Lifetime Achievement in FM Award, Mike Cant of Larch Consulting, and former Diageo Procurement Director, Chris Brady, have launched a new service model for the FM sector.  The idea, first isuggested by Cant in an article in PFM’s May edition (,  is based on the premise that existing agent-led models have become unwieldy due to unnecessary red tape and layered profit margins. This new Alliance has been formed to provide a streamlined alternative for customers nationwide.
Called Mercury Alliance brings together best-in-class hard and soft FM service providers in a quality assured, integrated service that eradicates complex supply chains and achieves significant cost savings in the process, making it a particularly attractive option for for procurement managers with responsibility for large property portfolios.
Mercury Alliance has been created in a response to client requirements for a leaner, more efficient approach, which offers transparent pricing models, streamlined management and quantifiable savings. According to the company’s Chairman, Mike Cant, the current economic climate dictates a smarter, more collaborative working model from service providers: “Facilities management accounts for more than £40bn of the UK’s annual economy, yet the ‘professionalisation’ of the industry is a fairly recent development, which has been almost entirely construction-focused. The ‘Total FM’ model which has evolved over the last 15 years has become over-complicated and inefficient. This is partly due to the overlaying of individual profit targets and overheads, but is also a result of non-specialists coming into the industry with limited understanding of the strategic value of an integrated FM service.
“It is our belief that there is an alternative solution which can benefit both clients and contractors. We are therefore delighted that the industry’s brightest and best are already responding positively to the challenge, joining the Alliance in a bid to fundamentally reconstruct FM service delivery. The new model will deliver between 10 and 20 per cent cost savings alongside massively improved service levels, making it the smart choice for partners and clients alike.”
The new Mercury Alliance offers a single point of contact and a new ‘single team’ approach to facilities management contracts . It already includes national building services experts EIC, cleaning specialists ICM, leading workplace management firm Harrow Green, intelligent technology providers complyNC, international security giant Securitas and a choice of independent specialist catering providers. Between these organisations, the Alliance offers clients access to a combined workforce of 15,800, a turnover in excess of £286m and a national delivery capability across 52 offices. Each is already operating at the top of its specialism, with a blue-chip client base, which includes Asda, the BBC, Kelloggs, Lloyds Bank, Microsoft and Tesco.
Senior figures from each of the Alliance organisations came together this month to discuss their strategy for true cooperative working practices, provision of a single ‘helpdesk’ reporting structure and the delivery of client cost savings through collaborative account management and the delivery of tailored, fit-for-purpose solutions.
Chris Brady, MD of Mercury Alliance, believes that this is the way of the future: “We are seeking to change the fundamental operation of facilities management by integrating complementary skill-sets and sector experience to deliver optimum customer service. We have a clear strategy and our mission is simple: to provide clients with the highest possible levels of service, a solution tailored specifically to their business and guaranteed cost savings. We call it ‘sustainable simplexity’ – because any commercially viable solution should be transparent, streamlined and sustainable in terms of the long-term benefits it offers.
“As the industry has grown and economic pressures have increased, procurement has become ever more aggressive. Given the commercial realities faced by businesses of all sizes today, cost-saving and efficiencies are likely to remain key. It therefore makes complete sense to strip out overlaid profit margins in favour of a ‘single team’ approach which is more transparent and which can offer better value for money through economies of scale.
“This is the basic Alliance proposition. It’s a fresh approach, based on established experience and sound market intelligence. All our partner organisations are and will be professional experts with proven track records. The basic difference is that Alliance organisations will not operate in silos, but will work together collaboratively with a common client focus, representing a brand new option for forward-thinking clients.” 

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