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FMJ roundtable discusses achieving transparency, sustainability and value in FM

“We’ve got to trust our supply chain is delivering what we asked them to and that will only come about if we’ve got a good contractual relationship,” was the consensus of a group of FMs who came together for a recent FMJ roundtable to discuss the sustainability of FM contracts and how to deliver mutually beneficial partnerships for clients, service providers and sub-contractors.

The roundtable participants, who met at City Social, the top of Tower 42 in the heart of the City of London, comprised senior FMs drawn from a range of sectors, covering banking, legal, further education, insurance and pharmaceutical; an FM recruitment specialist and senior staff from an FM services supplier.

Nick Platt, Salisbury Group, Managing Director Sales and Marketing for Salisbury Group which helped host the event agreed: “Transparency isn’t unique but it doesn’t happen enough in the industry, he said. “In the procurement process you might have a hungry salesperson and procurement person who agree on price but not the level of service, so understanding what can be delivered and what prices well is where the solution starts to sit.”

During the discussion, which ranged from the challenge of managing TUPED staff to the impact of digital disruption focused on the level of innovation FMs might demand of their suppliers. It was argued that from a supplier’s point of view innovation is difficult to achieve if a client is vague about what kind of innovations they demand. Client FMs agreed that the client organisation needs to spell out the sort of outcomes that will drive the sort of innovation they require whether that is sustainability, staff retention, cost efficiencies or compliance?

According to one of the participants, “If your supplier doesn’t innovate they won’t last very long and the client-side FM won’t last long in their job.”

They concluded: “In the industry we’re in you have to be a certain type of person and enjoy every day being a challenge which just breeds innovation.”

We’ll publish a full report on the roundtable in the August issue of FMJ and online.

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