Reacting to your needs quickly – A Dependable Response

In business today, we accept that events happen at speed and that our decisions must match the pace.  We get frustrated when the IT connection takes more than a few seconds or we are caught in a queue.

Managers in Facilities Services are routinely faced with juggling resources and making a call to use a finite resource to its best advantage, all under the pressure of tight deadlines and the commercial spotlight. Every now and then, comes the perfect storm. You have two equally important deadlines that need to be achieved – but just one team. What do you do?

There is now more acceptance, in forward thinking organisations, around the concept of using external partners to meet peaks in demand. This flexible management approach can be used to cope with reductions in overheads and the loss of key individuals. But just how quickly can external partners react when you are against the wall?

Just recently myfm had a call at 9.00am to attend a meeting with a couple of Senior Directors in a UK top 10 FM Supplier. We agreed a time of 14.00 at Waterloo station, where the conversation turned to a ‘must do’ Request for Information (RFI) submission – but there was no one to make it happen. During the discussions a call was made to myfm’s central support team and a subsequent telcon was planned for 15.00 to advise what could be done.

An experienced myfm resource, known to the FM Service supplier organisation from a previous engagement, was made available and by 16.30 an internal email had been circulated in that organisation detailing his role and responsibility. He was to achieve a first class submission through harnessing standard and bespoke company information. By around 17.00 the electronic documentation had been passed across and the 10 day deadline was ticking.

Final sign off was made by a Senior Director in the Supplier team and much of the text ended up in the bid library.

Key to this success was:

  • Working closely with these clients to really understand their business culture and ways of working.
  • Being the trusted and reliable resource to meet the problem with a solution.
  • Integrating with the team to provide the most cost-effective model and to deliver the required results.

But more than all of that, it was reacting and turning it all around in under 24hrs. Now that is what I call service!



Why FM service providers increasingly use interim support to resolve their issues

For FM service providers being able to react to their client’s demands or contractual compliance issues in a cost effective, timely and effective way is paramount in today’s competitive FM market where reputation and profitable growth is all. The good news for interim managers and project support resources is that for them to be able to do so, they often have to look outside their organisations to complete these demands.

So what makes the interim route such a compelling case?

Firstly the client get a very good return on their investment as a successful assignment will deliver an outcome that provides meaningful results to a client and adds value. We can also react very quickly often placing someone the next day and being experts in our field be up to speed quickly. This is due to the many similar assignments for other providers and often bring skills and knowledge not otherwise in place. Also being unencumbered by company politics or culture, interim managers provide a fresh perspective.

The difference between a “temp” from an agency that puts a “bum on a seat”, is that interims are contractually obliged to meet the results set out in the terms of reference for the role. This is made a great deal easier by interims operating at a more senior and experienced level which gives them the authority and credibility to effect significant change or transition.

Lastly, as interims are only as good as their last successful assignment and reliant on reputation to bring in the bacon they have to maintain a very high standard because their future work relies upon referrals and repeat assignments. They therefore need to take interest in the success of the assignment. This contrasts favourably with other temporary agency staff who may be also be seeking a full time role and only in it for the money.


Shaking off the Corporate Shackles

A recent LinkedIn poll showed that some of the biggest fears for FM professionals that prevented them from going it alone and starting their own business – a dream for many people – was the fear of the unknown, a to small network of possible clients, having no IT or finance department, carrying out non-revenue making and time consuming tasks, cash flow and also the fear of not being able to talk to colleagues about any issues.

With the use of interim resources and outside expertise on the rise in our industry the myfm franchise model is a unique opportunity for FM professionals to set up a business unit and earn a very healthy income, all made easier by being part of a proven model that enjoys the support from the shared services team that can help overcome the fears raised above. This team supports the unit directors with, finance & invoicing, relationship development, marketing and resourcing for all aspects of servicing their clients with programme, change and project management.

It’s often a daunting time when going it alone but with the myfm model whilst you are starting your own business you are definitely not on your own. The shared services team is here to support you and being part of an increasingly well know brand you are instantly part of a successful team.


Is there a skills gap appearing

Over the last 3 or 4 years in the FM sector we have seen an increased dilution of skilled staff from organisations who have been restructuring either through acquisition or cost cutting activities. Many of these are time served middle management with significant skills and experience.

As the market starts to become more buoyant will there be a skill gap appearing or are there up and coming individuals that will take their place!


Mobilisation – In-House or Outsourced

Everyone in FM acknowledges that the long-term success of a new contact has its foundation in a professional mobilisation. The question is what is the best way to ensure that is achieved. Is it better to use in-house resource, outsource or even a combination.

It seems that unless you have a constant requirement for a dedicated mobilisation team they are an expensive overhead. The common practice of pulling existing contract staff to form a team can cause more problems than it solves.

Outsourcing is often seen as an expense and not fully costed exercise in a bid. Is there a real case to be had for maintaining Heads of Centres of Excellence and then project managing those big ticket tasks like asset verification and condition surveys!