The news that Carillion has ceased trading is both sad and shocking.
The clear priority is to ensure that the work the construction and services firm is contracted to do can be completed and the impact for the thousands of Carillion workers, as well as its customers and suppliers, can be minimised.
BIFM will be reaching out to its members affected by this development. Chief Executive Linda Hausmanis has written to reassure the learners from Carillion currently studying for a BIFM qualification in Facilities Management that their situation is unaffected by the news and encouraging them to complete their studies as normal.
It is too early to draw conclusions about what the collapse of Carillion means for the wider outsourced services industry. Beyond the widespread concern for the thousands of people directly affected that BIFM shares; the case is already raising questions around the now established arrangements in our economy where outsourcing is a mainstay of so much public and private service provision, not least facilities management.
The BIFM has already begun to reflect on the evolving landscape for FM.
Last week the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) published the first phase of a new £12 billion Facilities Management Framework. The welcome intention behind the much-simplified process, expected to launch in May, is that more SMEs will enter the supply chain. The inclusion of components such as ‘social value’ into tender specifications can assist firms who might otherwise fail where lowest cost is the primary denominator. In the light of this week’s events especially, BIFM will be working with members to scrutinise the framework.
BIFM’s Spring conference Think ‘Beyond’ FM – Adapt or Disappear will explore the major disrupters in facilities management. A dedicated session entitled ‘The Age of Uncertainty’ will focus on outsourcing and public private partnerships to understand how game changers, such as policy proposals to revoke PFIs or the impact from a market shock, are affecting facilities managers today; and how BIFM members can navigate the surest path.
Whatever the future, BIFM will be reaching out to its members to understand what is happening in their contracts now. There will be important learnings for our industry.
Linda Hausmanis said: “The news of Carillion is indeed a sad moment for all those affected. BIFM’s immediate priority has been to reassure the learners from Carillion studying for qualifications in Facilities Management that their situation is unchanged. I want to encourage them to continue their self-development and I wish them luck.
“We can’t change what has happened; but we must learn from this event and use it as catalyst for change. The case can and must be made to change from a model of service delivery that is driven by cost alone to one that is driven by value.”