Facilities Management is Dead

What exactly are we talking about when we discuss facilities management?

For many people who regularly procure and implement FM services for the offices, shopping centres, hospitals and airports who rely on them, it is quite simply what it says on the tin: the fundamentals of keeping a building and a company going.
The industry’s selling pitch to their end-user audience has traditionally never strayed to far from this line. Washrooms, waste, fire safety, computers and compliance all require careful and consistent attention, and a service provider that can operationalise the delivery of FM into a clear and predictable cost. This presents a clear solution to the client, they need FM in order to function, but rarely have they been excited or intellectually engaged by what a service provider can offer.

What the FM industry can often be slow to leverage is how well positioned it is to supply creative solutions that can positively impact the success of the client’s core business. At the London FM Expo this July, it was noticeable how comprehensive the health and wellbeing exhibitors were compared to previous years. A range of products concerning everything from workplace yoga studios to green technology indicate a simple truth; the market is increasingly turning to services that can create a pleasant, and not just a functional, place to work.

This should be an important buying factor for building users for several reasons. But crucially, this evolution of FM is aligned with their own business objectives and KPI’s. Increasingly, companies are prioritising how the quality of their facilities can improve staff retention, talent acquisition, productivity and turnover. Aligning FM more closely with end-user success requires service providers to completely rethink what facilities management is for, and from an operational perspective requires far greater investment in creative industries, disruptive workplace technologies and the wellbeing sector.

End-users are also keen to embrace technology and service integrations as a means of improving operational efficiency and a quality workplace experience. The internet of things, in which technology and smart office appliances are leveraged to consolidate workplace facilities into an easily manageable stream of data.

In almost all respects, this will move the industry on from the realm of “facilities management” to the realm of “workspace management.” Whereas facilities management has traditionally worked like a series of individual musical instruments, Workspace management is like an orchestra, where the main aim of the process is to harmonise all the service streams and deliver a positive experience to the building user in a workplace.

If it’s an old adage that a tidy desk is a tidy mind, then a tidy office support service is a well-functioning company. What service providers need to do now is expand their understanding of what constitutes “tidiness”. If the FM market can learn to make that leap, its clients will go from seeing it merely as a necessary evil and an overhead to keep the building running, to an engaging, intuitive and creative process with real end-value.

Coming to terms with the integrator model.

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

The integrator model, whereby all the functions, processes and competencies within a facilities contract are brought together into one operational programme, has long been lauded for the efficiency improvements it brings. Together with technological improvements that allow for the “internet of things” to be implemented practically in the workplace, FM Integration is effective primarily at leveraging one crucial thing, information.

When different elements of a facilities contract operate largely independently from one-another, there is a tendency for information to be inefficiently and inaccurately shared. A disjointed relationship between contract-managers, subcontractors and senior management will inevitably lead to the proliferation of silos of information that only certain people will have access to. This not only pushes up the risk profile of a contract beyond any suitable limits, the delays in data-management and decision making will also inevitably raise operational costs that will bite deep into profit margins.

Many of our larger clients have increasingly turned to integrator platforms to transform their contract performance and alleviate these issues, but it is in the hidden benefits of integration where the effectiveness becomes clear.

Change management, and in particular the management of big data, can be achieved far more effectively when information is more readily available and can be acted on in real time. Crucially, FM integration allows for a much closer evaluation of service KPI’s, lean, on-demand maintenance and improvement processes and far greater cost control for contract managers, who are more able to implement more sophisticated service delivery processes.

When hiring for project management capabilities in the future, service providers will need associates with the most erudite possible understandings of FM integration, to ensure that the quality of that service can meet increasingly robust consumer demand.

Permanent recruitment solutions with Myfm.

When FM service providers are looking to make a permanent recruitment, they have several different options at their disposal.

For many of them, the more obvious solutions can be the most salient for their specific needs. there are numerous large recruitment companies that can supply an on-demand service for the relevant talent. The likes of Michael Page have a good, workable understanding of the FM market in their ranks and an unrivalled pool of CV’s. The problem with using a solution like this is that most often, they are recruiters first and FM professionals second. Many of our own clients have let us know that recruitment companies can be a bit hit and miss, as they often fail to understand the intricacies of performance variation and ‘culture fit’ that determine how well an FM manager can slot into a contract or organisation.

Other service providers thus prefer to keep most of their recruitment and HR capabilities in-house. Many FM Directors find this option allows for better alignment between business objectives and the candidates they consider but it sacrifices a thoroughness in the resourcing process you might get elsewhere. In-house recruitment is inherently more reactive. Less resources are available to devote entirely to talent acquisition, and the CV pool is far shallower.

The permanent recruitment service offered by Myfm perfectly covers the deficiencies in all these options. Our unparalleled depth of experience and range of capabilities in the FM market ensure that we have the expertise to pre-empt our client’s more complex, intangible needs. Our permanent recruitment capabilities are complimented by a consultancy service, ensuring that our approach is always solution-based, rather than just placing a bum on a seat.

But we also maintain a deep network of associate FM professionals that ensures we can respond to assignments even more quickly than a recruitment agency, without sacrificing quality service provision.

A flexible, dependable, solution-orientated approach to permanent FM recruiting is what you can expect from Myfm.