Professor Ilfryn Price argues for more conversations on the subject of FM, within the industry and – crucially – within the organisations that depend on it.
The comma in the title is deliberate. Facilities are, or should be, a concern of organisational managers. They are a managerial lever to enable an organisation to deliver its defined purpose. A building is not just a product, but is a process and a part of an organisation’s unfolding narrative. Tom Peters put it well when he argued in Liberation Management that: space management may well be the most ignored — and most
powerful – tool for inducing culture change, speeding up innovation projects and enhancing the learning process in far-flung organisations. While we fret ceaselessly about facilities issues such as office square footage allotted to various ranks, we all but ignore the key strategic issue – the parameters of intermingling.
That’s a punchy title, full of promise. But is there really a change on the horizon that could reshape this large and dynamic sector? Yes, argues David Emanuel.
For the past 30 years or so, facilities management has been evolving slowly and steadily. Generally speaking, whether we’re looking at FM as an industry or as a business discipline, it has grown considerably more sophisticated over those decades and achieved greater levels of recognition. But fundamentally, not all that much has changed over the years – a fact that brings with it the dangers of complacency
and a consequent devaluing of the whole concept.
Defining terms in FM could almost be a career in itself – from what we mean by ‘facilities management’ to the detailed characteristics of the various service delivery routes. Does it matter that we can’t be precise, asks Frank Logan.
Someday perhaps we will look back and laugh. That was just a stage in the whole process of a discipline working towards maturity, we’ll say. Imagine all the time and energy so many people put into trying to define what we do and how we do it! At least that’s what I hope will happen when we finally reach a greater level of appreciation for the benefits that good FM brings to organisations of all types and sizes.
By Colin Reid, CEO TotalMobile
Facilities Management organisations usually have a substantial mobile workforce. This can complicate working processes and administration and travel time can become costly. One the major ways that organisations can tackle these issues is to deploy an enterprise mobility solution.
Government figures put the annual value of the facilities management market in at more than £100bn. The importance of the FM industry to the UK economy is indisputable, writes Chris Hoar.
Contributing approximately 5% of GDP, the FM industry is currently comprised of about 13,000 companies, and collectively employs around 3.5 million people, according to Asset Skills research. All of these statistics, put simply, represent a considerable annual contribution in VAT and corporation tax to the UK economy.
“Unless you live under a rock, you are in the cloud,” says the voice over in a Salesforce video.1 This is referring to the fact that every time you check voicemail on your smart phone, you are working in the cloud. While £2 billion (5% of total IT spending) was spent on cloud computing in 2010 by British firms, that number is predicted to more than double to £5 billion by 2013.2 Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, has predicted that “over the next five years, we believe that enterprises will spend a total of $85 billion on all forms of cloud computing: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).”3
You may have robust FM in place but without top-down communication it will never be fully aligned. Ian Ellison of the Centre for Facilities Management Development asks: are you having the right conversations?
Let’s do a quick experiment. Write down the words ‘facilities management’. Now, without pausing, underline the most important word (and no, you can’t have both). Go with your instincts. Try not to give it too much thought.
Are you pleasing all of the people all of the time or even most the people most of the time? What can assist in raising your customers’ appreciation of your service?
What is exceptional facilities management? Often this is a very subjective judgment. It could be that it is like sound amplification and reproduction at a conference, show or event. If it is excellent the customer and attendees accept it is the norm and do not comment on it; if it is a little bit off it can ruin the whole experience. If you ask a member of the travelling public what they expect from rail travel they would probably have more demands; regular, timely services to where they want to go on clean and comfortable trains with good refreshment facilities all at a value for money price!
Succession planning may be the next big issue in facilities management, but it is not receiving the attention it requires. Karen Waterlow makes the argument for action.
There has been recent recognition that the facilities management profession is sitting on something of a succession planning nightmare. Asset Skills conducts research which creates a profile of the sector, and indications in our State of the Sector report show that 51% of facilities managers are aged over 45. This is a high proportion for the professional sector and one of the highest in the built environment. Further research indicates that 52% aim to retire between 55 and 65 which will mean a significant loss of skills and experience to a relatively new industry. No wonder there is talk of a demographic time bomb!
Moving offices can be a complicated, time consuming, stressful and potentially expensive journey into an unknown world. But there are certain factors that you can control, if you understand how to prepare for your relocation. Caroline Suard offers some advice.
Any office move requires a great deal of planning and careful thought beforehand. This is why the BAR Commercial Moving Group (CMG) launched its dedicated website (www.barcmg.co.uk) in May 2012 – to provide very
practical and immediate assistance to facilities managers looking to organise a commercial move in the public or private sectors.
Paul James Pratt, Marketing Manager, Quest Industrial Services
Cost, Colour, Easy to Keep Clean, Environmentally Friendly, Maintenance Requirements… Just some of the considerations you might find yourself having to make when replacing a worn out or damaged floor surface or specifying new as part of a build process.
- The challenges of Economic Downturn
- Relocating? It pays not to cut corners!
- Cleaning is not a commodity
- The benefits of vending
- FM and recession
- The meaning of FM
- Delivering quality workspace through collaborative practice
- Buying office furniture
- Data centre design and cost control
- Embedding a customer service philosophy in facilities management
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