A RISKY BUSINESS?
8 MAY 2018
It’s an uncertain time in
the facilities management
sector. Our economy is
everchanging as we negotiate
to leave the EU, advances in
smart technology continue
to push us further to adapt,
and the ‘outsourcing’ model
of service delivery is being
questioned following corporate
It is clear that in 2018 the world
of FM is dynamic and evolving
but also at a crossroads in its
development. Rapid progress
in technology, the environment, and the changing nature of work mean that
the opportunities for the profession are almost limitless; yet there remains a
focus on cost driving and risky business practices, halting the opportunity for
FM to add the strategic value it can.
Our recent IFMA-RICS Raising the Bar report highlighted this very fact - that
FM as an industry is still focussed on cost and is not adding the strategic value
that it is capable of. Is the focus on cost driving unethical business practice? Is
the recent Carillion collapse a sign of a broken business model for outsourced
Like Carillion, many organisations appear to have taken on too much risk,
decisions that have leª them with unstable financials. The need to drive cost
down has perpetuated a ‘race to the bottom’, where suppliers are competing
relentlessly to reduce cost. Contracts are being secured purely on the ability
to take cost out of the business, and clients, suppliers and consumers are
paying the price.
Is the market broken? The fundamental issue is that companies are taking
on too much risk and there is an urgent need for FM professionals to make
ethical business decisions at the highest level.
This year, our Strategic Facility Management Conference (27 June, London),
held in partnership with IFMA, will seek to achieve consensus on best
practice approaches to identifying and mitigating risk in wake of these recent
developments within the sector. Key sessions are set to cover procurement
and accounting practices, as well as managing reputational risk.
It will be equally exciting to hear from Danny Lemon, General Manager of
The Shard, for a fascinating insight into the rewarding task of managing the
UK’s tallest building.
As conference chair Rory Murphy, Commercial Director at VINCI Facilities
has commented, the aim is to “encourage delegates to proactively and
enthusiastically address the emergent challenges for everyone associated
with Facility Management in the UK’s Real Estate market.”
The conference will also bring together some of the industry’s most
respected practitioners and high-value clients, for a CEO roundtable to
discuss the direction of the FM profession and help establish a vision for FM in
the 21st century.
The UK property market is rapidly undergoing significant changes. While
times are uncertain, the profession faces an exciting opportunity to broaden
its remit, upgrade its status, and play a significant role in contributing to
organisational e ectiveness and business success.
Paul Bagust, RICS Global Property Standards Director
LET’S MAKE CELEBRATION SECOND NATURE
If you have ever said: “No-one cares what I
do – until something goes wrong” then you
are certainly not alone. For this year’s World
FM Day it has been decided to feature those
dubbed ‘the Hidden Heros’ of FM. While this is
a great initiative and it is good to do everything
possible to raise the profile of FMs and what
they do, it is a pity that the organisers thought
that many FMs would see themselves this way.
Recognising that FMs are unfairly, sometimes
less highly regarded (and possibly less well
remunerated) than those doing similar jobs in
other specialisms, BIFM is now looking to achieve
chartered body status as a first step to attaining
parity of esteem for its members. They want to be
able to underline that FMs are members of a clear
and distinct profession with skills and knowledge
equal to, but quite separate from, that of corporate
real estate surveyors or construction managers.
Other people are also taking direct action to raise
awareness of the critically important work FMs do.
This year there have been a really pleasing number
of people who have put in the time and e ort
to enter the BIFM Awards. And by doing so, they
provide brilliant case studies to use to explain the
value of FM.
The BIFM Awards is the one night in the year
when everyone comes together to celebrate what
the industry can do. Held at the Grosvenor on Park
Lane, London, the event is much bigger than the
equivalent in the building services or construction
This year BIFM is doing more than ever before to
highlight the value of FMs’ contributions and will
be scaling up the coverage both before and aª er
the event with that in mind.
You can visit the Awards website to get ideas
and insights and resources from previous years’
winners. The site o ers case studies and best
practice learning tips and, most importantly,
examples you can use with clients and other
stakeholders about what can be achieved by
The 2018 Ceremony will take place on 15 October
at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London and
bookings are now open on www.bifmawards.org,
so if you want to support your profession, and be
part of the gala night of the year then the BIFM
Awards is the place to be.
If you would like to be involved in World FM Day
you can download a pack from the BIFM website.
INDUSTRY INSIGHT FMJ.CO.UK