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Olympic opportunity for FM

Author : Tim Fryer

04 July 2012

Well, we are only a hop, skip and a jump from the most exciting event to happen in the UK (or the south eastern part of it anyway) for generations. That is the Olympics for those who remain resolutely unmoved by the whole show.

It is of course not just the biggest sporting event to have hit the UK, it is also the biggest facilities management event. There are two main consequences from the Olympics. One is that all the services offered in the FM sector will effectively have their own Olympic showcase and an opportunity to demonstrate nationally and internationally that the UK’s expertise goes beyond sporting success (I hope my expectations are not too great as to what our medal haul may be!)

With this in mind I was lucky enough to have interviews with Jan Matthews, who is LOCOG’s Head of Catering, Cleaning and Waste and also G4S’s Support Services Director Vanessa Young, who is in charge of the provision of security services to the Games. Both of these interviews will be published in the July printed issue of PFM, but for a sneak preview click here for Jan Matthews and Vanessa Young.

In a country beset by self-doubt and self-depreciation both of these women offered a hugely optimistic vision of what we have to offer and the long-term benefits of their operations. Moreover I was left in complete confidence that we are going to put on a great Games.

The other consequence is a bit more mundane, but more practical and will affect many more FMs, particularly in the London region – how to manage the Games from their company’s perspective.

I’ve included a couple of interesting articles in this issue of FM Report. The drive for people to work remotely is an interesting one. Already an irreversible trend, but I am not sure that the Olympics is the most representative time to assess its effectiveness. AWA is conducting a survey to try and do just that and it would come as no surprise to me if they found out that people won back numerous working hours a day by avoiding congested public transport, but maybe lost a few to watching Chris Hoy in the Velodrome!

The release of a 100 top tips for FMs to survive the Games, being released at such a late stage, would imply that Cognito still believes that FMs have adopted a head in the sand approach to the Games. Even for the well prepared it may well be worth going through the check-list to see if there is anything you have forgotten.

The last item from Panasonic is a bit of an indulgence. If you like sport in general, the Olympics in particular, and photography – as I do – then I am sure the exhibition in Westfield Shopping Centre will be worth a visit.

Roll on the Games!

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