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Career Ladder talks to facilities director, Lucy Hind

Q: How did you progress through the profession to your current role?
I started as a building service engineer progressing into service management and into FM. The industry has opened up many doors for me as I have become embedded into the industry seeking continued development and opportunity to network and help develop others to ensure client / supplier opportunities, quality and service delivery to enhance the built environment.

Q: Do you have any qualifications or training in FM and related areas such as health and safety? And how have you benefited from them?
Having starting my education with a technical bias it is really interesting to see how it has continued to develop through trade and H&S qualifications, my MBA in FM and now into my DbA which has supported me through my career choices. It is important to continue to develop and enhance skills and H&S training is paramount and essential within our sector to ensure that the environment that we work in is safe for all whether on client or supplier operations.

Q: What is your greatest contribution to the FM sector, or your current role?
I think increasing FM knowledge at a client level to ensure understanding and necessity, increasing awareness of the build environment and its associated systems as a user level to ensure legislation is understood and undertaken. I would also say more recently bringing CSR to the forefront of consideration for an operational business to increase profile, efficiency and interaction with the local community enhancing volunteering and charity engagement.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
It has to be the diversification of the role and the continuous development of people and process. The sector is fluid and I am always excited as FM becomes engaged in more business aspects from planned maintenance and space to strategy and CSR, our roles are always changing and increasing in depth allowing us to expand our experience and making us a key driver moving forward for business.

Q: What personal qualities do you think are most needed for a successful career in FM?
Tenacity and drive are key for our sector, never be put off and lose confidence in your ability and your knowledge base, our scope is a business enhancer so communication skills are imperative along with a resourceful and proactive sometimes out of the box approach to solutionising problems. FM gives individuals the scope to be creative and define ambition.

Q: What do you think would make the biggest difference to the FM sector?
At a very basic level I think taking things back to communication would be a game changer for the sector as currently we rely more on more on technology, as the economy fluctuates with major changes expected during 2019 key consideration needs to be given to ensuring sustainability of both the client and supplier sector and through key communication this could be achieved.

Q: Are you a member of any FM association or body and if so what benefits do you think they provide?
I am a member of IWFM along with membership of a number of trade associations RICS, CIBSE & ISPE. The benefits include up-to-date regulatory information, CDP opportunities and general industry updates and information key for keeping any FM professional at the forefront of their career.

Q: What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession now?
An interesting question but an easy to answer, get a great mentor, smile everyday and say hello to everyone and keep learning!

Q: What are the greatest challenges of working in FM?
I believe our greatest challenges are ensuring the organisations understand what we can do for a business, the enhancements and opportunities that we can bring; along with the challenge of always being the group that is expected to make savings and efficiencies with limited resources and funding.

Q: What do you predict could be the main changes to the FM sector over the next few years?
Technology looks like it is taking control of the sector with enhancements on going and I would also say the movement of suppliers as consolidation and buy outs continue to happen across the sector. Quality & service are paramount but as more service delivery is becoming technology driven or moved to contract service it will be interesting to see how governance and continued innovation and business benefit is driven.

About Sarah OBeirne

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