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Navigating Complex FM Supply Chains: Why Social Value is a Big Deal

By Anthony Hanley, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Compliance, Alcumus SafeContractor

In the ever-evolving landscape of facilities management, supply chain complexity stands as a challenge that demands the attention of FM businesses. Anthony Hanley, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Compliance at Alcumus SafeContractor, lends his insights to explore this intricate web of contractors and suppliers from both commerce and ethical perspectives.

While the concept of supply chain complexity is not new, it becomes more evident when we investigate the experiences of FM businesses operating within intricate networks. Some FM businesses find themselves fortunate, benefiting from supply chains comprising a small number of substantial contractors and suppliers. This simplicity in supply chain structure eases management tasks. However, as the number of links increases—dozens, even hundreds—the challenge grows.

Maintaining compliance with such a network can be daunting. While an extensive network of contractors and suppliers presents advantages, it also introduces a degree of risk. More links to smaller businesses provides a higher degree of vulnerabilities for FM businesses.

Unlike larger businesses with robust compliance structures, small contractors and sole traders may lack proficiency in safety practices and regulatory adherence. This gap in knowledge is where Alcumus SafeContractor steps in, helping businesses appreciate the pivotal role that small contractor businesses play within their operations.

“A network of small contractors is low cost, yet a big part of the machine that keeps the business running.” — Anthony Hanley

Social Value: Empowering Small Businesses for Growth

These links to smaller businesses also have a wider impact, not just in compliance but also in broader operational contexts like workplace safety and social responsibility. In today’s corporate landscape, FM businesses encounter increasing pressures to demonstrate commitments to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by adopting environmentally friendly practices and tackling important themes such as modern slavery. Many companies are moving away from just adhering to the rules but doing what is ethically the right thing to do and demonstrating social value.

Social value is about doing the right thing by your people and your local communities and is becoming increasingly critical to organisational success. It is a procurement requirement within central and local government tenders and more and more consumers and investors are choosing to spend their money with businesses who do the right thing. Organisations that embrace social value by working with-and therefore supporting the growth of-local SMEs are having a positive impact on the local economy but also gaining a competitive edge for themselves.

Ultimately,  social value contributes to the prosperity of individuals, communities, and a more resilient society, as well as the success of the organisations that choose to embrace it. This integrated approach serves as a reminder that success encompasses both ethical responsibility and corporate growth, benefiting us all.

At Alcumus SafeContractor, we understand the intricacies of supply chain complexity and the value of ethical commitments. We help our clients navigate these challenges, fostering relationships that contribute to the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and society at large.

To learn more, download our new guide: Do the Right Thing – Social Value is a Big Deal

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