FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: SHOUT LOUD, THINK SMART AND ADD VALUE

In a recent blog, we spoke about our time at Facilities Show 2019 and some of the challenges, trends and predictions that caught our attention. Fast forward a few weeks and the 300 North team have put together this second blog to discuss our take on some of the key messages from this year’s Show. Join us as we delve into themes shaping Facilities Management (FM) and touch on key considerations influencing the sector.

Flying the flag for FM

Emphasis was placed on the industry to shout louder about FM. As recruiters specialising within FM, flying the flag for the industry is something we do with passion daily. We also see first-hand the difficulties faced attracting younger, tech-savvy individuals with the know-how to move the industry forward.

Unfortunately, the sector battles misconceptions but FM has advanced dramatically in terms of career opportunities over recent years. Often, jobseekers fail to grasp the breadth of challenging and exciting careers available to them with the option to move, grow and excel within a fast-paced and exciting sector.

We were interested to hear that 65% of jobs currently being ‘trained’ by schools for their pupils don’t exist, reflecting how different the job market will be in years to come. School is exactly where we believe education and engagement about the FM industry should begin with further support around FM apprenticeships needed.

As highlighted in the IWFM Global FM Market 2018 Report, there will be a key shift in demographics by 2025, with millennials expected to account for almost half of the labour force. This shift not only impacts how FM influences the future of the workplace but those working within FM. On the flip side, the sector also needs to factor for an ageing population and workforce from a more ‘traditional’ FM background who won’t necessarily possess the required skills and technical expertise.

Smart technology, smart decisions

Digital trends are, and will continue to be, a key influence in FM operations. However, as mentioned at Facilities Show 2019, it’s important that FM providers genuinely understand the benefits technology brings to buildings, its environment and its occupants.

Fortunately, most organisations now recognise that quality physical environments have a tangible impact on their employees’ performance by improving wellbeing and increasing productivity. In turn, generating increased business savings and revenue. Businesses are also seeing the advantages of flexible and remote working options, also influenced by FM operations.

While initiatives such as wellbeing, productivity, smart buildings, green technology and connectivity don’t ‘traditionally’ fall within a FM remit, times are changing and so too is what is expected of the FM workforce. Advanced technological solutions to meet the changing demands of FM are a must, as is the ability to turn smart data into information to make buildings and people more efficient and responsive.

We ultimately need to embrace technology and move from a reactive attitude to a more predictive approach.

Facilities Show 2019 used examples such as CO2 sensors to ensure optimum performance among workers, the use of technology in fire detection, and solutions to combat safety risks in the workplace. This list, of course, is not exhaustive and we’re intrigued to see how far technology will influence FM operations in the future.

Value-added FM

The IWFM Global FM Market 2018 Report states that ‘Europe is an attractive region for FM providers with value-added and innovative solutions in areas such as workplace management, sustainability, data analytics and energy management’. Outsourcing can often stimulate innovation but it isn’t just about technology or strict FM operations; it can be a cultural shift in the way things are done.

It was evident at the event that choosing the right outsourced FM service provider is a challenge for many organisations and there is still a general nervousness about outsourcing. After all, trust from both parties is key, as is a complete understanding of what is needed and what will be delivered. As an outsourced FM provider, we need to ask the right questions. What problem(s) is the business trying to solve and where can we provide value?

In one seminar, we were reminded that FM doesn’t just provide added value to buildings and its people but the economy and wider society too. This resonated with us; it’s so important to look at the bigger picture with FM to ensure it has a positive impact beyond the building it services.
We were pleased to hear the value of FM projects shift from cost-based to outcome-based. This approach from an insourcing perspective is something Stanstead Airport advocate as they become the first major UK airport to move to insourcing their cleaning/soft services and away from Total Facilities Management (you can read more about their decision to insource here). Roy Elphick, Stanstead Airport’s Asset Maintenance and Services Director, explained despite costing 35% extra to insource, the benefits to the airport, staff and its passengers, far outweigh the additional cost.

300 NORTH SPECIALISE IN RECRUITING EXPERTS WITHIN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND CONSTRUCTION. GET IN TOUCH TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR RECRUITMENT NEEDS BY VISITING THE 300 NORTH WEBSITE OR CALLING 0113 336 5161.