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Facilities Management Journal March 2017

FIRST PERSON MARCH 2017 55 FMJ.CO.UK CAREER LADDER FM is known to be a career that people fall into from other sectors. In this regular column, FMJ chats to a facilities professional about how they got into the sector and takes a look at their career path. This month we talk to Colin Kenton managing director, FM Services, KBR Name: Colin Kenton Current role: Managing Director FM Services, KBR Born: Durban, South Africa Lives: Surrey ? What was your first ever job? I was a structural steel draughtsman for a South African company known as Dorbyl. I started as a learner draughtsman and produced detailed fabrication drawings for large industrial buildings. As part of my learnership programme, I studied structural design at the local technical college and learnt a lot about how buildings were designed. I can’t say that this role had any influence in establishing a career in FM, but I learnt at a young age that I wanted to move into a management role rather than sitting behind a drawing board for the rest of my life. I did however learn that you could be more productive working as a team rather than trying to do it on your own, something that is critical if you want to be successful in FM. ? What was your first job in the FM sector? I was general manager for KBR delivering the London Borough of Ealing (LBE) hard and soft FM contract. I managed the full range of business disciplines and the P&L, delivering planned and responsive maintenance to social housing, education and public buildings covering mechanical and electrical, building fabric, fire alarm and emergency lighting, energy conservation, tree management and transport services. I was fortunate to identify a number of initiatives which resulted in significant cost saving eff iciencies and took the business from a loss-making operation into profitability within six months, while at the same time improving customer service delivery. I was also responsible for transitioning our engineering operatives to handheld devices for both planned and reactive task management which saw an increase of around 30 per cent in productivity. I am a firm believer in using technology to support the delivery of FM and also for monitoring performance and service quality. ? What made you choose FM as a career? When I started researching what FM meant, I thought that the breadth and depth of FM services would off er a significant career challenge as you need to have an in depth knowledge of all the services that fall under FM to be an eff ective manager. I liked the sheer variety that a career in FM off ered together with the opportunity to develop knowledge in areas as diverse as social housing, educational and healthcare facilities, public buildings and corporate off ices. I was also attracted by the idea of being able to make a positive contribution to some of the lives of the people we were delivering services to, especially those in the forces when I went on to working on our MoD contract. We had a statement on the MoD contract of “Making Soldiers Lives Better”. ? How did you progress through the profession to your current role? I have only really been in FM for 10 years and have been fortunate to progress quite rapidly into my current role. Aft er my 18-month stint at the London Borough of Ealing, I worked as a garrison facilities director on KBR’s Project Allenby/Connaught, an £8 billion, 35-year, PFI contract with the MoD where we deliver TFM. I was responsible for the strategic and operational hard and soft FM, managing eight direct reports, 320 staff and some 900 contract staff . This experience provided me with a thorough understanding of FM and I use this experience in my current role as MD for KBR FM Services. ? What is your greatest contribution to the FM sector, or your current role? I believe that the emerging FM Integrator model, that I have strategic responsibility for growing, has something unique to off er clients and can be considered quite a disruptive model to the traditional FM models that we see available. The Integrator model is a matured and adapted version of the managing agent model, where one outsourced organisation is responsible for off ering the client a cohesive solution by integrating process, technology, reporting and performance measurement/management across all service providers in the supply chain. I am really encouraged by the clients that we have secured in a short period of time and the benefits that the Integrator brings to our clients is being recognised within government agencies with a high rate of interest being shown when talking to prospective clients. ? What’s changed most since you started in FM? The pressure on clients’ budgets which has unfortunately driven down prices which in turn has resulted in a lowering of service standards in some sectors. ? If you could do one thing diff erently in your career in FM, what would it be? If I started in FM earlier on in my career, I would definitely go through a formal qualifications path and combine this with hands-on site-based experience. While FM can be regarded by some as a non-complex operation, I don’t find this to be the case with FM now moving into a more strategic off ering. It can take quite a few years to gain suff icient knowledge to be able to make a diff erence and to understand what works best for a diverse client mix and I think that a formal education in FM can speed up this understanding. ? What would make the biggest diff erence to the FM sector? And how can that be achieved? The FM sector is typically party to a great deal of data but oft en does not eff ectively analyse that data in order to make strategic decisions for the core business. I see the use of data helping FM suppliers understand how their business and how the estates that they are providing FM to could be better utilised and managed. I also see an imminent surge in the investment in improved monitoring through BMS and IoT sensors and being able to move to a more predictive approach to FM where algorithms will improve the predictability of an event or failure where we can take proactive steps to prevent this from happing. I believe this will deliver savings to clients without a drop in service standards. ? What advice would you give to young people coming into the profession now? Undergo a formal training path in FM. ? What qualities should a good FM possess? Hands on skills with the ability to predict when something is going to occur but also to be able to respond quickly to a reactive event. ? What are your long term goals for the next 7-10 years? To further develop the FM Integrator services and create a data analytics service that sees the better use of technology to deliver improved property services. Would you, or someone you know, like to be featured in our career ladder column? If you’re an operational FM with more than 10 years’ experience in the sector, then email sara.bean@kpmmedia.co.uk


Facilities Management Journal March 2017
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