FM Director August 2023

Page 30


August 2023

Supporting colleagues and clients at all levels

Katie Jay

Award-winning Bristol real estate development

Matt Baer

Addressing the FM engineering skills gap

Emma Percey

Extolling virtues of preventive maintenance


Moral obligation to improve sustainability performance

Jeff Flanagan

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Importance of realism within aspirational approach

With this issue of FM Director marking its first full year of publication since its launch in September 2022, it has sparked a degree of introspection regarding the progress to date and its potential to build further on the growing success achieved within all aspects of the FM Business Daily brand.

It’s long been accepted that each business-to-business magazine is the ‘face of the brand’ and one of the first aspects that publishers need to get right in order to reflect and support all the other elements. This has remained true in spite of the rapid development of additional areas of concentration within the trade publishing environment that has included the many and varied forms of social media and interactions with the relevant business communities.

From its very first issue last September to this current August edition, FM Director has continued to report on the most positive elements – both established and in the development stages – of our industry.

The fact that there is never a shortage of these to report on proves the value of this approach, highlighting the people, companies and partnerships that are successfully delivering best-practice processes and helping to drive the industry ever forward.

Perhaps this is now the ideal time to additionally emphasise that none of our reports, features and articles have expressed the view that the FM industry is perfect, while further explaining that the intention is to highlight the increasingly obvious fact that our sector is in a much better position than it was just a few years ago, and also that it has considerable potential to further expand the many examples of value-added FM service delivery that are emerging.

One of the best examples of this is the continuous improvement model adopted by some companies on both the client and service provider sides of the industry, which encourages others to join in and assist its growth of adoption that then provides further extensive scope for future FM Director articles and all areas of the FM Business Daily brand.

The dark days of ‘lowest price wins’ are continuing to recede from procurement tendering FM exercises and we all need to continue to make sure that they are not allowed to return by encouraging more focus on value, while ensuring that our business operations are sustainable and profitable wherever possible.

Practicality is an essential part of all corporate activities and while we should not lose sight of the essential elements, there should always be awareness of meeting the aspirations of our own businesses and colleagues, and especially those of our clients with a view to improving the perception of the FM industry and the many positive outcomes it provides.

August 2023
The dark days of ‘lowest price wins’ are continuing to recede from procurement tendering FM exercises

6 Moral obligation of responsible business behaviour

Amy Brogan explains her view of why it is essential for all individuals and businesses to adopt the highest moral standards in their work activities to help reduce impact on the environment

10 Revolutionising Facilities Management: Harnessing New Technologies to Slash Carbon Footprint

Eco-Friendly Efficiency: Using Innovative Tech to Supercharge Sustainability in the Workplace

12 Facilities increasingly used to support local communities

Engagement with all areas of society is further extending the FM role and adding another dimension to an already extensive task list

16 Beginning an FM engineering career

The latest IWFM SIG webinar discusses the options and opportunities for hard service careers throughout the FM industry

20 The many benefits of shared knowledge and experience

Steve Campbell and Daniel West are the founders of a hard service provider that is enjoying sustainable growth through the continued application of its culture and values

24 FM engineering skills gap highlighted by live event

CBRE gathered industry experts together last month to raise awareness of and suggest solutions for the issues emerging due to a shortage of engineers within the industry

30 The importance of planned maintenance for FM continuity

Discussing the benefits of planned preventive maintenance, while also considering how this can be used as a platform to work in a more collaborative fashion

36 Knowing the ropes

PTSG uses rope access as the safest, most effective access method to carry out a wide range of specialist services on buildings of all kinds to keep them structurally sound, well maintained, clean and compliant. This includes its unique and award-nominated Lateral Access System

August 2023
54 58 60 CONTENTS 4 Contents

38 Celebrating the march of social value

Record attendance at this year’s Social Value Conference adds further confirmation of the topic’s increasing importance throughout UK society

42 Raising of FM CSR actions and associated considerations

With FM becoming more closely associated with social value and community support, thoughts were shared by industry experts at a recent breakfast roundtable event

46 Recently-opened Grade A facility is located on Bristol’s newest square

Sustainable design is a central feature of the One Portwall Square office facility, including a number of features that combine to future-proof the highly sustainable building

50 The crucial role of ESG in procurement

In today’s rapidly evolving business and regulatory landscape, the role of procurement professionals has transcended the traditional boundaries of cost savings and supplier relationships

52 Keeping businesses powered UP(S)

YorPower is dedicated to keeping businesses in all sectors powered up 24/7, all year round

54 The making of an experienced chief executive


Jeff Flanagan is celebrating his first year with Bidvest Noonan, providing the opportunity to look back over the achievements of the last 12 months and his various work-related successes

58 Revolutionising the catering industry with AI

Sergii Khomenko is a technology and e-commerce expert and co-founder of Autocanteen, the UK’s first touchless self-checkout solution which increases checkout efficiency

60 Not so much talk of COVID, it’s all about the travel bug this season

Despite the cost-of-living crisis biting hard, the Northern Hemisphere summer is in full swing, and both Brits and Aussies are heading on holidays in record numbers. Insight from Jonathan Weiss, commercial director for Dettol Global Business Solutions

62 Movers and Shakers

For subscription enquiries and to make sure you get your copy of FM Director please ring 0800 046 7320 or email

The views expressed in the articles reflect the author’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith.

August 2023 0800
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11 AMY BROGAN Jeff Flanagan Supporting colleagues and clients at all levels Katie Jay Award-winning Bristol real estate development Matt Baer Addressing the FM engineering skills gap Emma Percey Extolling virtues of preventive maintenance EXCLUSIVELY FOR FM INDUSTRY LEADERS August 2023 Moral obligation to improve sustainability performance

Amy Brogan explains her view of why it is essential for all individuals and businesses to adopt the highest moral standards in their work activities to help reduce impact on the environment

Moral obligation of responsible business behaviour

August 2023 6

There are rising numbers of concerned voices highlighting the issues attributed to the skills gap within the FM sector and the implications for these to increase in the future, leading to CBRE GWS global ESG director Amy Brogan endorsing these views while providing a highly effective antidote through her long list of transferable skills that have supported her career to date.

“I completed my degree in psychology because I’d always been fascinated by the way the human mind works and how people make the decisions they do and what influences and drives them,” she says. Her opening statement in an exclusive interview with FM Director immediately provides the scope for further debate and comparisons when applying knowledge of psychological behaviours to the world of FM and the management and running of facilities and estates.

Her comments and experiences are highly relevant to all aspects of FM service delivery, as evidenced in the very first issue of this magazine as we prepare to celebrate its first anniversary. Launched in September 2022, one of the first feature articles focused on the advantages of adopting a psychological approach to improve the running of facilities.


Ms Brogan states that her previous role as CBRE GWS UK procurement director allowed her to apply “a huge number of transferable skills between a number of different specialisms” and provided the opportunity to apply her numerous psychological attributes to best effect. “You need to have commercial acumen, influencing, negotiation, risk mitigation and stakeholder management skills, the full breadth of different core competencies,” she continues, emphasising the attributes that led to her promotion to her current role.

She compares the approach of CBRE and its commitment to responsible business methodology to the more cynical approach adopted by some organisations paying lip service to these ideals in order to win more business or influence potential investors, with little or no intention to deliver on their claims.

“Within my role as CBRE procurement director I became very much aware of our ability to influence our supply chain. We have a multi-billion pound and therefore a huge responsibility within that to ensure that we spend our money in the best possible way,” she says.

This incorporates everything from driving social value to increasing diversity and sustainability, while focusing on delivering the best outcomes for clients, with additional options including cultural and equality benefits as well. “That included everything from creating a UK supplier policy and making sure all suppliers adhered to the rigorous standards that we hold ourselves accountable for and that our clients want to hold us accountable for, as well,” she continues.

The variety of actions ranges from policies on carbon emissions to electric vehicles and power consumption, additionally including specific procurement focus on areas where the highest levels of impact can be achieved, along with considerations for more general policies. Examples of these include practices to ensure responsible management of cleaning, waste management and HVAC service delivery, says Ms Brogan.

Additional evidence of the considerable efforts being made by CBRE to support its clients and supply chain are provided, including the company’s recent FM engineering skills gap event held at the Tower of London (turn to p38 of this issue for the full report) and the issue of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

We’ve put our heads above the parapet to ask the question of how we deliver that without further impacting the climate around us
INTERVIEW 7 August 2023

“We’ve put our heads above the parapet to ask the question of how we deliver that without further impacting the climate around us,” she continues. “There’s a huge amount of energy that’s used within HVAC generally and there has to be a better way of managing that.

“And this is not just a USP for us, this is a true drive to support the sustainability of this planet, because we’re at a precipice where we either make significant changes or life as we know is not going to continue in the same vein,” she states. The increasing number of extreme weather events reported around the world are used by Ms Brogan to emphasise the need for significant and effective action to be taken to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment. “These are only going to become more prevalent as our lack of action unfolds,” she says.

Ms Brogan accepted the invitation of the CBRE GWS board to make the transition to her current role two years ago and become global ESG director. “We started with a couple of people and now have a team of more than 70, supported by the wider CBRE team of 350 specialists, driving a huge change and adoption of new policies and technologies as part of a new way of working that truly embeds sustainable practices within the built environment,” she explains. “This is part of our moral obligation to make sure that the built environment is as sustainable as possible.”


The need for definite action to mitigate climate change is of significant importance, she continues, and was highly influential in her decision to include sustainability within her role. “We can see that we’re heading for catastrophic change unless we take the necessary steps, and quite frankly I want my children to have the same scope of capabilities and understanding of the natural environment that we’ve been so privileged to have,” she says.

Businesses need strong leadership to guide them to invest in the necessary actions to address climate change, she continues. “Spending now will ensure a sustainable future in terms of investor returns and the cost of capital moving forward, so it’s a case of spend now to secure the future of the business later.”

The extensive influence of the UK FM industry is highlighted by Ms Brogan, explaining that in addition to the 3.5m people directly employed within the sector and their dependants, there are millions more using facilities on a daily basis. “We have a clear obligation to look after the people we directly employ, interact with our buildings or who we manage from a procurement perspective. That’s why things like paying a fair living wage seem, to me, so clear cut,” she continues.

One of the challenges in ensuring that all staff can afford a reasonable qualify of living standards is to avoid “old school thinking” procurement practices in the cutting of costs and take a more holistic total cost of ownership approach appreciating that the people who receive fair rates of pay will work more productively and responsibly. Employers will then benefit from higher rates of staff retention and lower operating costs in recruiting, overtime and training new people.

The discussion then progresses to the efforts of Ms Brogan and CBRE in working with the government’s Business Services Association to create the Modern Slavery FM Toolkit, launched last month. “That’s another illustration of how we’re working with everyone, including our competitors, to create something that will guide the whole industry to mitigate modern slavery.

“It gives everything from template policies and procedures to guides on what to do if you suspect modern slavery in any areas and we’ve rolled that out to all our suppliers, as well as making it available to everyone in the industry, to help educate them in putting their best foot forward and managing expectations,” she continues.

The creation of the toolkit required a “huge amount of collaboration” between CBRE and a number of FM industry businesses and Ms Brogan regards this as another moral obligation of the company as the largest real estate business in the world. Its actions show the need to avoid the temptation of making short-term gains, particularly for those not expecting to be employed in their current roles for much longer.

“It’s not a case of thinking ‘it’s not my problem’, because sustaining life on earth is everybody’s problem,” she states. “It’s so good to work for a company that wants to be authentic in its approach.”

Most recent CBRE GWS awards successes

Global Procurement Leaders Award for Supplier Diversity Initiative, 2022 (picture)

Social Enterprise Market Builder Award, 2022

MSDUK Established Corporate Supplier Diversity Program, 2022

IWFM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, 2022

PFM Overall Outstanding Contribution, 2022

PFM Partners in ESG, 2022

INTERVIEW 8 August 2023

The need to adopt a realistic approach is then discussed, with Ms Brogan stating that no businesses is able to make the right decisions on every occasion, making it important to allow everyone to learn from their mistakes. She further explains that CBRE places great importance on the psychological safety of its staff, empowering them to speak out and drive accountability in all areas of the business and its interactions with clients and supply chain members.

“I think we’re at the point where, unless we accept that we need to make meaningful changes, we simply won’t get to where we need to be. Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event. The Emissions Gap Report from the UN put the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century. Far exceeding the 1.5 degrees target put in place to mitigate the most catastrophic impacts on the planet and leaving us with only eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions. So if we don’t want to go the way of the dinosaurs, we’re going to have to make some major changes,” she says.

Net zero target

With nearly 40% of global greenhouse gases generated from within the built environment, Ms Brogan highlights the actions taken by CBRE GWS, including its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2035 within its UK operations and by 2040 for the entire business.

These actions are in addition to the various other initiatives adopted by the company to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, health and safety, social value and community involvement in all areas of its operations.

The company’s ESG team is a vital part of these efforts, providing essential support for its clients, colleagues and industry partners to realise their sustainability ambitions.

“We can provide everything from complete ESG strategies and planning – including reporting and insights – to a variety of decarbonisation solutions, smart building accreditation, supply chain consultations and renewable energy services,” she explains.

The company regularly releases reports and updates on its progress in supporting its clients, colleagues, supply chain and the industry in general to achieve their sustainable ambitions, including videos, white papers and reports.

Examples of these include the paper of A Vision for Sustainable Procurement Management and Driving a Sustainable Future video featuring Ms Brogan, which can be accessed here: 18678e087?share=copy

Her comments are highly relevant to much of the emerging trends within FM and real estate management, as well as for society in general, and provide further confirmation of the need for businesses to adhere to the highest standards in all their operations and engagement with others.

Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases
INTERVIEW 9 August 2023

Eco-Friendly Efficiency: Using Innovative Tech to Supercharge Sustainability in the Workplace

Revolutionising Facilities Management: Harnessing New Technologies to Slash Carbon Footprint

Afacilities management company without software faces significant challenges in operational efficiency and sustainability. Inefficient resource management leads to wasteful consumption of energy, water and materials, increasing costs and environmental impact. Manual processes and communication introduce errors, delays, and hinder productivity. The lack of data insights and analysis limits the ability to identify patterns and make informed decisions for sustainability as well as establish KPI’s and meet SLA’s.

Relying on paper-based operations increases the number of steps required to close out activities, increases the likelihood of error, creates a need to store and file paper and an even more expensive retrieval cost. It also removes visibility on the activity level within the organization and slows invoicing.

Overall, the absence of facilities management software impedes efficiency, productivity, and the implementation of sustainability initiatives, negatively affecting the environment and hindering progress towards sustainability goals. This can also damage relationships with clients

Client overview

Acacia Facilities Management is a leading supplierindependent outsourced FM service provider with a proven track record of delivering solutions for diverse organisations.

With a skilled team offering facilities management health & safety, technical maintenance, and project management services, Acacia supports over 100 clients across Ireland, the UK, and the Middle East.

Acacia have implemented an Evergreen Initiative which means engaging with their suppliers, clients, and employees and making them aware of their decarbonisation plan. Acacia create sustainability champions within Acacia through education, training and participation.

The problem

Acacia’s Technical Services department consists of professional engineers and trade-qualified

technicians that are highly skilled, customerfocused, and cross-trained across multiple technical disciplines resulting in the provision of industryleading facilities services management for 100+ clients and sites.

With the management of such a large client base across multiple locations, Acacia faced potential challenges in resource management, job management, end-to-end building management, manual processes, limited data insights, coordination, compliance, visibility, and sustainability impacts. Inefficient processes in the tracking and management of assets and resources led to wasteful consumption of energy, water, and materials in buildings, increasing costs while manual processes hindered sustainability initiatives and introduced errors. A lack of data insights reduced the ability to innovate out of these problems and impaired the ability to identify sustainable trends and optimise processes. Coordinating technicians without software also resulted in inefficiencies, increased meetings, reduced productivity and increased carbon emissions with technicians and staff unnecessary travel to lead efficient client sites.

The solution

Marrying resource availability to client demand requires constant attention. By implementing the Azolla system Acacia were able to increase their planning windows, while dynamically allocating staff to reactive work based on the real time location of staff. This improved staff utilization as well as adherence to client SLA’s and focusing on KPI’s.

On the ground, Acacia engineers manage and report on all planned and reactive maintenance activities from the field. New jobs automatically appear on their mobile device as well as allowing technicians to scan the QR code for each asset to open previous work history.

Using the IOT sensor technology within Azolla, Acacia have also been able to move to the real time monitoring of critical client infrastructure. From leak detection in comms rooms to ensuring heating systems operate when expected. This move to a predictive maintenance model has brought environment, energy and resource savings. It has allowed Acacia to introduce new initiatives to client sites based on key drivers around ESG (Environment, Social, Governance).

ADVERTORIAL 10 August 2023

By moving to the Azolla platform, Acacia have been able to enhance the reporting and transparency with their client improving communication and monthly review meetings. Clients can access their own data via the Azolla dashboard to give them an instant update on work progress and any IOT sensor alarms and trends.

Voice of the customer

A leading Account Manager with Acacia, Karen Kelly, believed that embracing the concept of “Harnessing New Technologies to Slash Carbon Footprint!” has been a great success for Acacia. “The benefits we’ve experienced have been nothing short of remarkable, both from an operational standpoint and in terms of our market position”.

“On one large client site, with area size of over 30,000 sq m, Azolla has identified ways to reduce their cleaning budget by 18%, savings that came from both labour and reduced consumable use. The environmental benefit is always a welcome news. This saving translates into €350,000 per annum. It’s always nice to lead with a good news story at our quarterly client review meetings”.

“First and foremost, the cost savings have been a major win for us. By incorporating new technologies

and sustainable practices, we’ve managed to optimise our client’s energy consumption and resource usage. From reducing energy costs and carbon emissions to enhancing client satisfaction and employee engagement, it has been a catalyst for positive change at every level within our organisation”.

“Through Azolla, we can now link helpdesk tickets from assets, to remote monitoring, preempting safety through our Azolla permit to work system and finally manage supplier uploading of documentation against the asset, all on the Azolla platform”.

Client benefits

Innovative Services: With Azolla’s support, we’ve developed innovative services like real-time energy usage monitoring, predictive maintenance, and resource optimisation.

Client Retention and Attraction: We’ve experienced a 15% increase in client retention rates, and our eco- friendly focus has attracted several new clients seeking environmentally responsible facilities management partners.

Energy Cost Savings: We’ve achieved an average energy cost reduction of 25% across the facilities we manage. This has translated into annual savings

of approximately €150,000 on energy bills for our clients.

“Thanks to Azolla’s revolutionary software, our facilities management company has undergone a remarkable transformation, delivering benefits for us, our employees, and our valued clients”.

“Thanks to Azolla’s revolutionary software, our facilities management company has undergone a remarkable transformation, delivering benefits for us, our employees, and our valued clients”.

“Using Azolla’s advanced tools, our facilities management company has streamlined operations, reduced costs, and demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, all while staying ahead of the competition”.

Implementing a comprehensive facilities management software system like Azolla has offered numerous benefits for Acacia and their client base, including efficient resource management, minimization of waste and the reduced environmental impact. Azolla has automated manual processes including timesheet submission, streamlining work order management, scheduling, and communication to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

By creating real time visibility on work close out rates, Azolla speeds the invoicing process and reduces billing errors. The software’s data analytics capabilities provides valuable insights into maintenance activities, resource utilisation, and performance metrics, enabling data-driven decisionmaking and on-going process optimisation.

Azolla has simplified the coordination and planning function, ensuring optimal service delivery by allocating resources and matching skills effectively. The software’s compliance tracking and reporting features simplifies regulatory compliance, reducing the risk of issues and enhancing client satisfaction. By integrating sustainability-focused modules, Acacia have been able to align to client initiatives around energy and environmental goals as well as employee satisfaction. Using the data insights from Azolla, Acacia achieved the highly valued EcoVadis Silver Medal in 2022.

ADVERTORIAL 11 August 2023

Engagement with all areas of society is further extending the FM role and adding another dimension to an already extensive task list

Facilities increasingly used to support local communities


When considering the areas of involvement included within the role of client-side FMs, it is questionable whether everyone would include community engagement within these, but it is nevertheless an element which is becoming increasingly common.

It is another sign that the topic of social value is becoming ever more essential within all business operations, with strong links to the assistance and support of community-based activities and including everything from charitable donations and activities to voluntary work through increasing communication with all areas of society.

It is an aspect that was identified by the more progressive client-side FMs prior to the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with discussions also including thoughts on how some facilities were becoming a central hub for local community engagement. In addition to the more aspirational achievements, this can include a number of practical benefits to assist in the improved running of facilities.

In the right place

More explanation of this emerging requirement within the FM role is provided by Anabas account director Ravi Bhatnagar, who says FMs are uniquely positioned to forge greater connections with the local community around their client sites. “As such, they should take steps to understand local needs and concerns. Offering work experience placements could be right in one scenario or providing space for a community event in another,” he continues.

“Procuring goods and services locally isn’t just the ethical thing to do. Partnering with local businesses to provide pop-up food, retail stalls, or events and workshops can also support employers in improving the employee experience.

From wine tasting to engaging with the local florist to coordinate a masterclass in bouquet making, these experiential events will get team members engaged while forging a stronger bond with the local community. The high street has its challenges, so why not invite the high street into your workplace?” he asks.

The topic of sustainability is further explored by Mr Bhatnagar, who states that the fact that FMs manage sites great and small gives them the opportunity “to make a big impact” on recycling and energy consumption, not just in their own facility but in the local area, as well. Meanwhile, this expertise can be shared among local businesses, he continues.

“Creating local job opportunities should be high up on the agenda, too. Your organisation can help directly increase community employment and even build a sense of pride among local team members. Apprenticeships is a great way to involve the local community and support someone on their way to a fruitful career in FM.”

Mr Bhatnagar states that his company supports local social enterprises which help disadvantaged young people into permanent, life-changing work. “Through our various partnerships, we have delivered several free insight days to educate and inspire youngsters about the possibilities available within the FM industry. As a result of this, we have successfully employed eight candidates in recent years, who continue to thrive in their careers with us,” he concludes.

The various points made by Mr Bhatnagar are highly relevant and provide the foundation for the discussion of additional elements of community engagement, including higher levels of communication with the facility’s local emergency services.

Your organisation can help directly increase community employment and even build a sense of pride among local team members

This has been shown to improve strategies to deal with the various potential developments that can impact the day-to-day running of facilities, ranging from floods and natural disasters to terrorist attacks.

These actions are seen to be even more effective when applied to or shared with surrounding businesses, organisations, schools and colleges, with further potential provided when these engagements include local communities and their leaders. When viewed at a more basic level, including a wider number of organisations and individuals in discussions to establish procedures will save everyone time and effort, while the more aspirational advantages can incorporate consideration for all ethnicities and diverse members of society.

These developments further explain the clauses appearing within contracts with service providers which are typically designed to assist the client in achieving its social value ambitions. The work experience benefits described by Mr Bhatnagar are especially relevant, particularly when they include the need to engage with local community members and local businesses and organisations.

Making connections

Employing local people is intended to assist the prosperity of the local community in the best examples, especially when individuals who were previously unemployed and claiming benefits are seen to contribute more positively to society through the payment of taxes and the spending of their wages on other locally purchased items. This can include many other positive results, of course, and the benefits will no doubt vary depending on the businesses, communities and the area these operate in.

As with any concept, it is highly likely that both negative and positive responses will be provided and the topic of FM community engagement is particularly relevant to this, especially as many FMs are already expected to deliver or oversee so many different tasks within their job role. While some view it as providing supportive evidence for the professionalism and talent of the FM – the majority of whom cite the variety of their daily roles as an attractive part of it – others may see it as a step too far and “more than my job’s worth”, to quote one of the less supportive responses.

When considering these, it can often help to include examples of the approach adopted by others and FM Director magazine can provide a number of these in its wide-ranging coverage of our industry. The attitudes adopted by companies such as Marsh and McLennan (see FM Director May issue) and Legal and General (see FM Director November 2022) provide two highly relevant examples, with the former creating a dedicated FM team and the latter employing ground-breaking initiatives to ensure the smooth running of its FM service delivery and provide potential for increased levels of engagement in all areas.

An even more recent example can be seen in last month’s issue in our interview with SEND Coffee and Bennett Hay, with the partnership delivering numerous benefits in its first year and providing the foundation for many more to be enjoyed in future through the continuing social value engagement within both organisations.

There are many more exceptional and noteworthy instances of thought-provoking FM service delivery methods that can be used to highlight the potential to include community engagement within the FM role and these will continue to be a topic included in future FM Director articles. It is yet another element that supports the magazine’s continuing focus on the many areas of positivity within the industry and an essential element of raising its profile through increased levels of professionalism.

The FM sector has made considerable progress in recent years to improve its reputation and, although this is at an early stage in many instances with much more effort required in the years ahead, is proof positive that it is in a much better position as a result. Part of these efforts will include increased community engagement in many instances and another means of emphasising the value of applying best practice FM processes to all business operations.

One of the more commonly shared responses that value-adding elements “are no longer just nice to have” can easily be applied to raising levels of interaction with the businesses, organisations and residents in the local area of each company. This is also another example of where FM service providers are proving to be increasingly important in both supporting these actions and increasing their value and effectiveness.

Creating local job opportunities should be high up on the agenda
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The latest IWFM SIG webinar discusses the options and opportunities for hard service careers throughout the FM industry

Beginning an FM engineering career

Concern has been expressed over the average age of engineers for at least 20 years, which has been brought into even sharper focus following the recruitment issue experienced by businesses throughout the UK in more recent times.

One of the industry initiatives to address the need for more FM engineers is that of the IWFM Specialist Interest Group (SIG), introduced by recently-appointed chair and The Bedford Estates health, safety and FM Elliot Valentine. His opening comments stress the need for SIG and IWFM members to support its aims to promote the industry and the many employment

opportunities to schools and colleges around the UK. Further opportunities to support and interact are provided in February and March of each year, he continues, in the form of the IWFM support for Apprenticeship Week and its Careers Week events. In addition to encouragement for those starting out on their FM careers, mentoring and advice is also readily supplied for individuals seeking to gain degree-level qualifications, Mr Valentine explains.

He proceeds to introduce the webinar’s three speakers, including ISS head of diversity, inclusion and belonging Katherine Parsons, Sodexo apprentice ambassador Joanna Harris and Pareto FM operations

director Colin Kimber, before handing over to host and IWFM EDI coordinator Todimu Bello. Each presenter is asked to provide their thoughts on a series of questions to explain their FM engagement and career journey.

The first of these requests the presenters to share their educational history and how they came to work in FM, with Ms Harris the first to answer. “I started my career with an apprenticeship with Mars Confectionery as a maintenance technician,” she states. This focused on a variety of machinery and electrical appliances and included learning skills such as welding while additionally attending technical college.

IWFM SIG 16 August 2023

“I stayed with Mars and did an ONC, a HNC and a BSc, all on day release, and that gave me a really big foundation,” she continues. In addition to her manufacturing maintenance focus, Ms Harris also began to work more on the supply side, initially for hot and cold water, which she describes as her first introduction to FM.

Her work experience led to Ms Harris joining the Building Services Research & Information Association (BSRIA) as a consultant and completing her FM BSc qualification, to assist in the writing of best practice guidance. This was combined with management roles and training, she states.

Ms Bello then invites Mr Kimber to provide his response to the question, who describes his education as “patchy” but varied. He states that he was another 14-year-old that did not know which career to follow, but chose to train as a professional dancer, then in drama and musical theatre.

“I then worked as a professional dancer and as a teacher, and became the principal of a local dance school for a number of years,” he continues. While enjoying his career, having to work “every hour God sends” was very demanding and the offer by a friend to work as an entry-level FM coordinator at the Barclays Canary Wharf global headquarters for a year proved to be attractive.

He found he was able to use a number of his skills in his new role, including teaching, communicating and listening to others, further supported by additional FM studies including compliance, leadership and management.

Ms Parsons agrees with Mr Kimber that she also did not have “much of an idea what I wanted to do” after completing her school and university studies, but decided that “sitting behind a desk all day” was her idea of “hell” at the time. She then saw a picture of a woman collecting water samples and decided “that’s what I want to do”.

Education and experience

During three years at Lancaster University studying environmental sciences, Ms Parsons embarked on work experience placements and says she was delighted to be offered a job before completing her course. “I became a site engineer and stayed for 16 years, bombing around in a van for five years, before moving into project management.”

She thrived in the pressured world of managing projects and then progressed to portfolio and service leader roles. Upon leaving the company she worked for other businesses, but found she was increasingly being asked to engage with the technical side, before being invited to join ISS.

“I had no idea what FM was at that time and had to Google it on my way to the interview,” she explains. Her initial health and safety role saw Ms Parsons working with clients such as Lego, Royal Mail and Adidas, which she thoroughly enjoyed for 18 months before moving to her current role.

Ms Bello then asks the second question: “What attracted you to a career in FM?”, which she shares with Ms Parsons to continue her previous comments.

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IWFM SIG 17 August 2023
I started my career with an apprenticeship with Mars Confectionery as a maintenance technician

“I’d never worked in such a diverse environment,” she explains as one of the main reasons for continuing her FM career. Compared with her previous construction engineering experience, which was maledominated and had no resource or women’s groups, she found working for ISS a revelation in terms of diversity, inclusion and many other factors.

Another attractive element within FM is the opportunity to try other roles, says Ms Parson, who provides herself as an example in moving from health and safety to diversity and inclusion. “That was not on my career trajectory, I had a solid five-year plan and knew where I was going but suddenly that was thrown up in the air and I’ve now got a new plan.”

Be yourself

Upon being invited to provide his thoughts on the question, Mr Kimber states that in addition to liking the people he met throughout his initial FM work experience, one of the most attractive elements is that the industry allows everyone “to really be yourself”. This is vital to create high performing teams with people “that pitch at the top of their game”, he continues.

The variety of his work and the many opportunities to improve his customer’s work experience and lives, supporting them “to be the best that they can be” and providing positive impact opportunities are more reasons for continuing his FM career.

Ms Harris agrees that the variety of her FM role is highly enjoyable, which includes “lots of problems to solve” and opportunities to help others. She continues to enjoy her work while focusing on one facility and meeting the challenges this provides on a daily basis.

The next question posed by Ms Bello asks about the educational support provided to FM engineers, beginning with Mr Kimber who describes the “really good, robust apprenticeships and graduate schemes” offered by most large companies. He also explains how his employer includes training on additional factors such as behavioural preferencing to improve communication and self-awareness skills, as well as customer service instruction.

His thoughts are agreed with and added to by Ms Harris, who states the need for continuing professional development (CPD) in all engineering FM roles, to keep pace with changing technology, new products and the various aspects around sustainability. She further explains the benefits of joining organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE) to enjoy all aspects of its support for engineers.

Ms Parsons explains that her employer is another that is providing the support referred to by Mr Kimber and Ms Harris, along with aspects such as training to improve computer skills and partnering with Women in Engineering and other societies. She provides the example of a female colleague that retrained at the age of 45 to become an engineer, after working in hospitality and HR roles previously, and who is thoroughly enjoying her new career.

Ms Bello then asks Ms Parsons to answer the fourth question of the webinar, concerning the initiatives to attract minority groups to engineering roles, who explains how she struggled in some of her initial roles due to the male-dominated environment. She describes her FM experience as entirely different and far more diverse, with programmes to engage with ex-military veterans, people with autism and the forming of support groups as positive examples of efforts to work with an increasingly wider range of people.

Ms Harris agrees that she initially found it difficult to work as a woman in engineering, but found joining relevant groups and meeting with other like-minded people very helpful, while describing this as becoming increasingly easier: “All organisations will have a ‘women in’ group and the growing focus on D&I is moving the industry forward.”

However, there is more work to do as the industry continues to be male-dominated and the majority of technical college attendees are white males, she continues, before explaining the Class of Your Own initiative. This will teach the design, engineering and construction (DEC) topic to schools with a view to including all pupils and encouraging interest from everyone.

IWFM SIG 18 August 2023
All organisations will have a ‘women in’ group and the growing focus on D&I is moving the industry forward

Mr Kimber then explains that, in addition to celebrating female engineers and role models in a positive way, his company is also engaging with male engineers to help them feel more comfortable with working with a more diverse group of colleagues. “It’s helped us to understand more about how these things come about and also helps our male colleagues to realise this and that it’s OK,” he says.

Moving on to the fifth question, Ms Bello asks Ms Harris how the engineering profession has moved on since she began her career, leading to the response: “Quite a lot” and the citing of challenges ranging from “practical jokes, banter and page three calendars and you were bombarded with these ever day”.

She states this has changed to see more people appreciate how female engineers bring different qualities and the provision of considerably higher levels of support. “There’s still a lot of work to do and we’re struggling with the number of technical colleges that have shut down, which means the hands-on skills are not being taught in some cases, but it’s good to see older people taking up apprenticeships and they bring something different to the role, too.”

Normalised behaviour

Ms Parsons agrees that the presence of inappropriate calendars, pornography and sexist comments became normalised in her early roles and states that she has heard of issues continuing on some construction sites for women, including a lack of appropriate facilities. She additionally agrees that things are continuing to improve within the FM sector and emphasises the need for support and honesty to assist in dealing with instances of inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Kimber also believes that the situation within FM is continuing to improve, although issues remain in construction especially, but has noted a shift in emotional intelligence within teams more recently. He finds there is more willingness to accept and understand other people’s views and requirements, particularly among younger people.

He then responds to the next question from Ms Bello on tips to provide those looking to develop engineering careers by advising on the value of developing people skills alongside their technical learning. Ms Harris continues this by explaining the benefits from volunteering for industry bodies and networking with peers, which can also assist with improving communication skills.

“When I started my career I found it very helpful to step outside the industry and volunteer for jobs in the general community,” she states. Ms Parsons also found it helpful to become involved with voluntary work outside the industry and further advises those who feel unsupported by their employer’s culture to seek out other companies where they will feel more comfortable.

The next question posed by Ms Bello asks for tips for engineers progressing into management roles, with the result that Ms Harris advises rising above the need to be everyone’s friend. Although a friendly approach is essential, there should be a degree of separation, she says.

Managers should not be afraid to show their vulnerabilities and help colleagues to see them as individuals, which will encourage them to do the same. Listening more, talking less and supporting team members to develop through intelligent delegation of work tasks are further tips shared by Ms Harris.

Newly-appointed managers should find a mentor within the senior management team, Ms Parsons advises, to assist with creating the most positive team culture and achieving common goals. Mr Kimber emphasises the issues that can emerge when promoting individuals because they are good at their job, without then providing support and training for them to improve their people management skills.

The closing minutes of the webinar saw Mr Valentine return to thank participants then advise on future events that members could sign up for, including the IWFM 30-year anniversary celebrations in September, its new Community hub and the IWFM Impact Awards 2023 in October.

“I hope to see you attending one of our events, or one of those in your local region, very soon,” Mr Valentine concludes.

IWFM SIG 19 August 2023
When I started my career I found it very helpful to step outside the industry and volunteer for jobs in the general community

Steve Campbell and Daniel West are the founders of a hard service provider that is enjoying sustainable growth through the continued application of its culture and values

The many benefits of shared knowledge and experience
INTERVIEW 20 August 2023

hen considering the options available to client-side FMs in the choosing of service providers, the majority frequently state their preference in working with SME businesses due to the ease of contact with senior personnel and high levels of service received.

Looking at the situation from the perspective of the service provider businesses themselves, it is notable that those working to exemplary standards and placing considerable effort in the support of their colleagues and clients are frequently seen to be awarded new business and contract extensions as a result. This is particularly evident in the case of Campbell West, which was formed in 2017 and has enjoyed sustainable and well-managed growth as it progresses toward its aim to provide UK-wide coverage in the future.

The company was formed by partners Steve Campbell and Daniel West, who continue to run the business while remaining true to their personal and business values.

Working together

“We’ve always worked together and started as plumbing and heating apprentices, working for the same company,” Mr Campbell explains. “We got on really well as soon as we met and we’ve always worked really well together.”

As is often the case within friendships, Messrs West and Campbell have mirrored their personal journeys, while additionally supporting each other in their professional development. “We launched the business six years or so ago, very soon after we had become fathers,” Mr West continues. “We’ve always taken a sensible approach to the company and for the first two years or so it was just us on the tools.”

His comments are continued by Mr Campbell, who agrees that adopting a realistic approach has provided the business with a strong foundation. “We managed everything very carefully for the first couple of years, which meant we worked 60- and 70-hour weeks on a regular basis, sometimes more, and only took basic pay to make sure that the company could always pay its way.”

Supporting views

The strength of the partnership between the two directors becomes ever more evident as the exclusive interview with FM Director continues, with both men supporting and further explaining their views. One of the themes regularly explored on a mutual basis is that of the value that their industry experience continues to provide to the company, staff members and clients.

Another topic agreed with providing the young Campbell West organisation with a turning point in its development is that of the importance of engaging with a business mentor. This is credited by both partners as providing them with a more focused idea of how to grow and develop the business and work towards achieving their ambitions.

“I’ve played a lot of sport over the years and that’s helped me to realise the importance of team work and also the great things about having really good leaders to look up to,” Mr Campbell continues. “We learned a

lot from our business coach and that changed our mindset around the growth of the company.”

Mr West explains that the partners additionally realised the need to be able to delegate responsibility for business tasks to assist in supporting its growth. “We began to look for the right people to join us on the admin side, to start with. That’s another great thing about using our business coach, who helped us to prepare to employ more people by developing our leadership and management skills.”

With the main initial focus within Campbell West concentrated on the supply of mechanical and electrical (M&E) services, Mr Campbell returns to the topic of the importance of their shared technical expertise. “We never ask the people who work for us to do anything that we wouldn’t do ourselves,” he says. “We know what’s possible and what’s achievable, because we’ve done it, but we also make sure that everyone who works for us is supported with things like training, etc, and as the company grows this will help everyone to grow with it.”

W INTERVIEW 21 August 2023
We’ve always worked together and started as plumbing and heating apprentices, working for the same company

The subject of growth is highly relevant, as the company continues to enjoy sustainable expansion. Much of this is due to the skills and combined effort of everyone in the business, which includes incorporating high levels of customer service in all its activities.

As the interview progresses, the major themes of the importance of a strong and identifiable business culture, high levels of practical and communication skills – essential in all interactions with clients – and the need for the courage to support and follow their convictions become ever more conjoined.

“Nearly 60% of our work comes from the NHS, at present, and that’s led to us being involved in some top level projects such as the recent Moorfields Eye Hospital project. We design systems and sub out the install if we need to and also do a lot of reactive maintenance,” Mr West continues.

“We’re also doing more project management and project support, which looks to have lots of

options for more work, too,” says Mr Campbell. “Something else we’re both really keen on is making sure everyone keeps up to date with the latest developments.”

His comments lead to more discussion on the benefits of training and development, combined again with those provided by the partners’ high level of collective knowledge. “This has allowed us to start to branch out and include more services, in addition to M&E,” Mr West explains.

“After launching our electrical division earlier this year, we’re providing air-conditioning training to some of our apprentices and this will help us to launch our AC service in the future, too. So that means that in addition to our full range of HVAC services, we’re now involved in BMS, electrical and plumbing, as well.”

“Our experience in the trade has been very helpful in supporting and guiding the company’s employees whenever that’s needed,” says Mr Campbell.

INTERVIEW 22 August 2023
We design systems and sub out the install if we need to and also do a lot of reactive maintenance

“And we make sure that we’re often on site, as well, so that we can understand how things are going and keep speaking to everyone to make sure they are being supported by us in the best way.”

This leads to more discussion about problem solving and its importance in overcoming the many potential issues that occur on site, often on a daily basis. Another important factor within this is the need to avoid any blame being attached to individuals when problems emerge.

“None of us are perfect and we all know that life and work is not perfect, either,” Mr West continues. “That’s why we always make sure that there’s no finger pointing when things occasionally go wrong. The best approach is to find the reasons why something has happened and then look at how this can be avoided in future, which can include more training or developing our processes to make them more effective.”

One of the tools being used to keep everyone updated with the progress of each project is the process mapping in-house portal. This includes a timeline of activities and clearly shows how the contract is progressing.

“And we make sure that we interview all new members of staff when they join,” Mr West explains. “We use the DISC profiling method that shows the strengths and weaknesses of each person, which we

use to encourage empathy and understanding of everyone, and that’s a big help to encourage more team interaction.”

His comments provide further endorsement on the essential nature of establishing and following the culture of the company, which includes adopting the previously explained values in all areas of business activities. They also provide more evidence on the mature and realistic attitude adopted by the company that will no doubt continue to play an important part in its future development.

While both partners are keen to see more apprentices joining the company, following their appreciation of the training received within their initial heating and plumbing apprenticeships, they would like to see more government support to assist with recruiting and training young people.

“Launching our own business has gone better than we ever expected it would,” says Mr Campbell. “We’ve learned so much over the last six years and I’m sure we’ll continue to do that and apply it as the company expands and develops.”

“Steve and I have a great relationship and that’s helping us to run a successful business,” Mr West agrees. “We take a lot of pride in achieving everything since we launched the company and all the opportunities we’re seeing for more success.”

INTERVIEW 23 August 2023
We’ve learned so much over the last six years and I’m sure we’ll continue to do that and apply it as the company expands and develops

CBRE gathered industry experts together last month to raise awareness of and suggest solutions for the issues emerging due to a shortage of engineers within the industry

FM engineering skills gap highlighted by live event

One of the many highly positive aspects within the FM sector is the dedication shown by organisations and businesses of all types in supporting the industry in the drive to meet challenges and raise awareness of the many benefits it provides to clients, facilities users and society in general.

Last month’s Redefining the FM Engineering Skills Gap event, organised by CBRE, provided a highly

relevant example of the company’s continuing efforts to support its clients, supply chain and the industry in meeting the challenges of the future.

It continues to hold regular events at its London headquarters, and other location around the country, and the use of the famous historic Tower of London site added another dimension to assist in raising awareness of the need to recruit more engineers.

Matthew Baer (left), Mims Davies (centre) and Mike Bentman (right)
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The popularity of the event was confirmed by the attendance of more than 120 CBRE clients, industry professionals and supply chain members gathering for breakfast on the day, followed by an introduction to the event by CBRE Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) Local managing director Matt Baer.

He then introduced MP for Mid Sussex Mims Davies, who explained the challenge facing UK businesses in recruiting sufficient numbers of skilled engineers, which will be essential in meeting net zero carbon emissions targets and assisting businesses to embrace future requirements and meet their growth aspirations.

Her presentation was praised for its non-political standpoint and focusing on the various educational options provided by the government to assist with technical training and development. Ms Davies also explained the challenges she had faced in working as a female MP, many of which are associated with those of women in their roles within the male-dominated engineering sector.

Following Ms Davies’ speech and building further on the main topic of the event, CBRE director of technical operations Mike Bentman explained how engineering had evolved to become one of the most

important areas of FM service delivery. Having met the many challenges of the past, FM engineers now need to focus on those of the present and understand how these will evolve in the future.

Prior to the event, the company had explained its reasons for organising it, including the need for the FM engineering sector to adapt to changes already present and continuing to emerge in the postpandemic world.

These range from digital transformation and the increasing presence of smart buildings to the further development of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, mixed reality (MR) and spatial computing.

Staging the event at the Tower of London provided an excellent example of how the application of technology is providing vital assistance in the running of ageing assets, while also supporting them to reduce carbon emissions and enjoy the benefits of improved efficiencies. Many of these points were explained in more detail by Mr Bentman.

In addition to the provision of essential support in meeting the aims and expectations of clients, he further explained how the adoption of the latest technology is providing his engineering colleagues with clearly defined career pathways.

The popularity of the event was confirmed by the attendance of more than 120 CBRE clients

In addition to improving these, the company set out five further methods it is applying to assist in meeting the skills gap challenge, including:

Increasing efforts to recruit engineering apprentices and graduates;

Devoting more effort to retaining employees; Provision of more training to help engineers increase their skill sets;

Encouraging higher levels of diversity in the engineering workforce;

The embracement of innovations and new technologies.

These and further points were included in the presentation by CBRE head of human capital Georgina Fraser. In addition to providing more detail of how the company is working with all staff members to assist them in achieving their career ambitions, she further explained how the business is devoting its efforts to the creation of a welcoming environment and assisting all colleagues to support and work with clients in the most effective manner.

The importance of establishing a clearly defined culture and identity within the business was further explained, which is another essential part of ensuring that new recruits feel comfortable in their working environment. Both mentoring and reverse mentoring are used by CBRE to deliver this, Ms Fraser explained.

There were numerous references to the FM “image problem”, both in the pre-event publicity material and presentations on the day, which typically include lack of awareness of the industry and how to join it. This can be solved through more explanation and engaging more frequently with the education sector to explain the many options provided, the variety of tasks included within each role and opportunities for career progression, said CBRE.

Regular readers of FM Director will be keenly aware of the considerable effort being devoted by industry organisations, companies and individuals in the delivery of improved diversity and inclusion (D&I), the raising of collaboration levels with clients, colleagues and supply chain members and increasing social activities, all of which are evidenced within CBRE.

These aspects are proving to be essential in attracting school leavers and university graduates, many of whom are considered to be more aware of the need for businesses to operate sustainably, while supporting industry partners and the community in a variety of ways.

All of the above are considered to be essential tools to use in the recruitment of young engineering talent. Perhaps one of the most notable changes within large businesses has been the notable adjustments incorporated within their efforts to recruit and retain the best people, which then assists businesses in becoming more adaptable and flexible in their interactions with clients and industry partners.

Speaking to FM Director after the event, CBRE GWS sales director Claire Visser and Mr Baer explain the reasons for organising the event: “We were looking at some of the current challenges in the market and it was clear that an engineering skills gap was a challenged faced by everyone in the industry.,” says Ms Visser. “Our customers are keen to work with us to explore and understand untapped recruitment markets and what they could do differently.”

Addressing recruitment

These conversations showed a distinct need to meet the recruitment of higher numbers of engineers and the company then began to recruit the most relevant speakers, she continues. In addition to Ms Davies, Mr Bentman and Ms Fraser, the final presentation was made by the second female Yeoman in the history of the Tower of London, Ms Visser explains.

One of the most important topics within the event was the many changes impacting the engineering sector of FM, she continues, particularly around new and emerging technological developments, also explained by Mr Bentman on the day. “Smart technology is becoming more common and there are new ways of working, so we’re considering how we support and evolve the training and development of our engineers to embrace all the changes. We’re also looking at how we bring new recruits into the industry and how we do this differently to how it’s been done before,” says Ms Visser.

Our customers are keen to work with us to explore and understand untapped recruitment markets

“This was our second technical event and followed on from our discussion on all the aspects around smart technology last year,” Mr Baer continues. “We’ve worked with the Tower of London since 1997 on the contract side and it’s a fascinating site.

“We’re very proud of how we work with the customer in maintaining this important historical site. There are not many buildings in London that can claim to have the same importance as the Tower of London and it’s certainly a very different environment to work in,” he says.

Ms Visser further explains how the event was designed to provide a wide range of information to allow attendees to take the most relevant points and apply them as necessary to meet their engineering skills requirements.

“One of the key points was covered by Georgina Fraser in fixing any leaks around diversity of recruitment and how to address these. That could lead to exploring more previously untapped markets and help to bring a wider range of people into the industry.”

Mr Baer provides more emphasis on the importance of the event and addressing the issue by explaining that the construction engineering sector has identified the need to recruit 2.5m engineers in the short- and mid-term.

“There is a wholesale change needed to help everyone move on from the issues emerging through Covid, Brexit and all the other things impacting the market and recruitment, So it’s essential that we think outside of the box and develop innovative solutions,” he says.

“As an industry, it’s important we work with all our peers and colleagues to ensure we attract diverse talent while accelerating apprenticeship programmes and help all our colleagues to feel that they belong in our organisation. We do that within CBRE on a daily basis to bring people from all walks of life in and allow them to feel comfortable,” he says.

“We’ve doubled our apprentice intake this year,” says Ms Visser, “and we’re also looking at how we’re make our workplaces more welcoming for all ages and types of people. When looking at diversity, it’s important to consider all areas and then understand how we can bring these people into the workplace and make sure they feel fully supported.”

Communication and training

Having joined the company, Ms Visser states the importance of assisting engineers in preparing for the changing landscape they will have to deal with, including technical skills and communicating with clients. In addition to the essential technical training and development programmes established by CBRE, these are complemented by instruction in the soft skills needed in the delivery of the best customer service levels.

“We’re system agnostic and we find that’s the best approach because smart technology changes all the time,” she continues. “This allows them to work with the best providers of solutions for requirements such as vibration analysis, BMS systems, etc, and that gives us the flexibility.”

“We’re seeing much more prevalence for the inclusion of things such as AI, predictive maintenance and others that were unheard of 10 years ago, but are now accelerating throughout the marketplace,” Mr Baer explains. “We’re continuing to look at how these systems work and that helps us to make sure we use the best options for our customers.”

Ms Visser and Mr Baer state that the popularity of the Redefining the FM Engineering Skills Gap event resulted in a number of requests to visit the Tower of London plant room and discuss further elements of the CBRE on-site activities.

The company is continuing to discuss options for the staging of more events at its clients’ sites around London in future, to include topics such as decarbonisation, the meeting of net zero carbon emissions targets and the industrial metaverse, with this last topic planned for discussion at next CBRE live event.

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Discussing the benefits of planned preventive maintenance, while also considering how this can be used as a platform to work in a more collaborative fashion

The importance of planned maintenance for FM continuity

MAINTENANCE 30 August 2023

One of the most frequently repeated relevant maxims within all FM operations is “Fail to plan, plan to fail” and has been proven to be closely associated to the topic of maintenance on a constant basis throughout the history of our industry.

There is now a growing number of FMs and service providers either moving away from their planned preventive maintenance (PPM) programmes or supplementing these through the application of monitoring technology, while those without access to these systems are continuing within their own tried and trusted method. One of the more alarming reports from service providers is that of the clients that have no PPM methods in place, however, resulting in plant and equipment remaining untouched until something inevitably stops working and leading to desperate calls for assistance.

These instances, although frightening and worrying in equal measure, once again prove the value provided by our industry to clients around the UK and worldwide. While it is unlikely that PPM programmes will prevent any breakdowns or interruptions in service from occurring, they have proved highly effective in keeping plant and equipment operating as efficiently as possible and frequently allow problems to be identified before they result in more serious occurrences.

Another aspect of establishing effective PPM methods is that these will also ensure that all legal requirements are fulfilled. This provides yet more value and reassurance to businesses that they will

avoid the cost and further implications of legal action, which would not be the case should they be found to have fallen foul of the law in any of the various areas included within their FM operations.

This is another example where continuity of service has been proven to deliver a number of advantages, particularly when FMs and their industry partners have worked together for a number of years. In the best examples of collaboration, these partnerships will include the adjustment of PPM strategies to ensure they deliver the best value in the most costeffective manner.

One of the most encouraging outcomes of this is the creation of the ‘everyone wins’ scenario, when the needs of the facilities user is placed at the centre of all outcomes, while ensuring that the client and their FM are being fully supported and also that the service provider is paid the appropriate rate for their services. While this may seem far beyond the realms of any PPM schedules, they should nevertheless be placed as a central element in all collaborative exercises.

Further thoughts on the topic of PPM and its importance are provided by The Stair Climbing Company managing director Emma Percey, who states that: “Contingency planning is a great way to ensure you plan for the worst and have solutions in your back pocket that can remove pressure and allow business as usual to continue.”

Too often the role of the FM is to fire fight, she continues, and manage reactive situations that are escalated quickly, resulting in poor decisions and often delivering too little, too late.

Planning should be an integral part of the business function
MAINTENANCE 31 August 2023

“Planning should be an integral part of the business function. I work with a number of care groups and housing associations across the country. Many have service level agreements in place to call to action in an emergency, for example lift failure which provides essential support,” she continues.

Estates or property teams also have budgets for annual lift maintenance, highlighting and prioritising single lifts risk of failure. The high numbers of care homes in the UK can mean that projects are placed across the country with timelines for completion.

“We work seamlessly with the FMs and their teams to provide delivery and training in a timely manner to ensure the seamless transition from the lift going out of action and replacing with a stair climber,” Ms Percey continues. This will stay in place until the lift has received planned maintenance works and is tested, she states.

“The establishment of preventive measures for FM is essential for delivering cost saving solutions and timely organisation between suppliers, contractors and the client. It builds trust and longevity in relationships in such a fast-paced industry. This is why we are the preferred supplier for our clients on every occasion,” says Ms Percy.

Her comments provide yet more support for establishing strong partnerships between FMs and service providers, with the best examples resulting in the seamless delivery of maintenance operations.

It is notable that there are now considerably more instances of true collaborative working in all areas of the FM sector when compared to the situation just five or six years ago.

Long term value

The industry is moving away from the short-term contract method, which typically includes the requirement for the service provider to meet rigid key performance indicator (KPI) requirements, in favour of more flexible arrangements with a focus on long-term value. Cost will always be an important factor and it is essential that continued and efficient operation of plant and equipment is provided by all PPM exercises as the main focus of all operations.

One of the more positive developments within this, however, is that the lesson seems to have been learned that the focus on value provides far more benefits than the parent/child relationship, which may include fines and other penalties for those missing KPI targets.

MAINTENANCE 32 August 2023
We work seamlessly with the FMs and their teams to provide delivery and training in a timely manner

It is essential to measure the effectiveness of service delivery in all areas of FM, of course, but appreciation of the ‘bigger picture’ is being seen around the industry and providing further proof of its rapidly advancing levels of professionalism and maturity.

Those not currently aligned with the partnership method of service delivery will no doubt be keen to provide their thoughts on the realities of working within FM, as alluded to at the start of this feature. Alternative views on the need to ensure service delivery will be offered, particularly by those who view collaborative and partnership efforts as including a loss of control.

No doubt many of those subscribing to these views will state the impossibility of running facilities in any other way, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. However, with more examples of successful partnerships emerging on an increasingly frequent nature, this provides more food for thought for those willing or able to look beyond their short-term business objectives.

Another notable development within the FM sector has been the growing number of companies and individuals calling for a more intelligent approach to procuring services, which includes the setting out of

effective PPM strategies. One of the more interesting aspects of this is that some partnerships have been developed to much higher levels after initial trials following more collaborative maintenance delivery.

Progressive change

While it is highly unlikely that these efforts will be immediately accepted and lead to rapid changes in the client/service provider relationship, those adopting a realistic approach can ensure that all progress is made at the best pace and adjusted where necessary. Patience has long been identified as a key virtue in all areas of business and types of relationship, and this is highly relevant for collaborative efforts, as well.

This is perhaps why clients and service partners supporting each other to deliver more effective PPM strategies can allow these to develop and achieve far wider gains in the future. With the FM sector in particular and the business community in general adopting more awareness over social values, the support of others and moving beyond the aim to make money at any cost, there is significant potential for improved ways of collaborative working to be explored in all sectors of the FM industry.

MAINTENANCE 34 August 2023
The establishment of preventive measures for FM is essential for delivering cost saving solutions

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Knowing the ropes

Premier Technical Services Group Ltd (PTSG) is one of Europe’s leading providers of façade access and fall arrest equipment services, lightning protection and electrical testing, high-level services, fire solutions and water treatment.

Its engineers undertake a great deal of work at height across all sectors and, as such, are uncompromising in their approach to health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issues an important reminder that working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. As a member of SAEMA (Specialist Access Engineering & Maintenance Association), PTSG has great experience in adopting best practice on every site to minimise the potential for accidents. This has seen the Group achieve of 10 consecutive Golds from RoSPA, arguably the most rigorous judge of health and safety in the world.

PTSG Building Access Specialists Ltd is one of the Group’s five business divisions. Its teams deliver cleaning, reparation and maintenance, installations and decoration for customers with business premises in all sectors: commercial, industrial, residential and public buildings.

Its directly-employed operatives use a range of techniques to reach all areas of buildings including rope access, scaffolding, ladders and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs, also known as cherry pickers), all of which require specialist training. Rope access is commonly accepted as the safest and most efficient method, with operatives able to install and remove all equipment quickly, causing minimal disruption and saving valuable time. Another advantage is that it is less obtrusive physically and visually, compared to scaffolding and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).

Due to the unobtrusive nature of industrial rope access, certain buildings, such as shopping centres, can remain operational during works. The visual integrity of historic buildings is also largely unaltered during rope access works.


IRATA (the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) was formed in 1987 and is now recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. It has over 570 member companies around the world and has trained in excess of 130,000 rope access Technicians worldwide. IRATA directs and regulates, through its members, the training of all workers seeking its qualifications. These member companies provide training, operational services, or both.

The rope access technique developed by IRATA is used in a wide range of repair, maintenance, inspection and access work. Rope access methodology boasts an unrivalled safety record, short set-up and dismantling time, positive environmental benefits and removes the need for invasive access equipment or disruption to a worksite.

PTSG’s rope access engineers and steeplejack

specialists are IRATA-trained and benefit from the organisation’s leading principles and practices.

PTSG’s large team of steeplejack engineers cover the four corners of the UK. They design and install unique access systems to suit customers, each of whom has its own distinctive building(s). This may be a modern skyscraper but it may also be a church steeple or an industrial chimney stack.

PTSG uses rope access as the safest, most effective access method to carry out a wide range of specialist services on buildings of all kinds to keep them structurally sound, well maintained, clean and compliant. This includes its unique and award-nominated Lateral Access System
ADVERTORIAL 36 August 2023

Working from fail-safe anchors and using highstrength industrial ropes, PTSG’s steeplejack engineers can work on large areas smoothly and effectively, moving both vertically and laterally with ease. Rope access technicians are also trained to work along beams and other supports.

Using a system of slings and attachments PTSG can carry out a wide range of installation, maintenance and construction tasks which would otherwise require the use of costly towers or mobile platforms.

PTSG’s unique Lateral Access System

The Lateral Access System was devised, developed and implemented to meet a genuine need within the marketplace, as evidenced by the number of requests from customers looking for an effective but affordable way of carrying out maintenance to the roofs of their buildings. These buildings tend to be large and have high, difficult-to-reach roofs such as sports stadia or airport hangars.

Mark Perfect, Managing Director of PTSG’s Steeplejack and Rope Access division, saw a rope access system used in a busy street environment when on holiday in Las Vegas. Observing the speed and ease with which people used the system on the underside of the canopy – and the absolute safety for people in the street below – Mark spoke to the operations director and found out how it works. Realising that it could be translated for use in industrial applications, he set about developing the Lateral Access System.

Mark assembled a team of his own IRATA trained Level 3 rope access engineers to devise the Lateral Access System using two nylon ropes and weights to test the strength and effectiveness. The viability of this system for use in industrial projects quickly became evident and the nylon ropes were then upgraded to steel ropes for optimum strength for all industrial applications.

For each application of the Lateral Access System, the team from PTSG conducts a detailed survey of the building’s structure, ensuring its compatibility with the system. When the Lateral Access System is installed, it is tested with weights (sand bags) to find the optimum tension for the users, to ensure it is safe. If any revisions are made, it is tested again before being signed off by PTSG’s qualified and experienced engineers.

Features and benefits

The Lateral Access System has been configured to enable operatives to work at any height.

It can be installed to the underside of roof canopies, fragile roofs and attic spaces.

It can be installed safely above plant and machinery.

The system can be used without any disturbance to maintenance tasks such as painting, cleaning and repairs at ground level.

It is ideal for use in environments where access is restricted

It can be used in a wide range of industry applications:

o Sports stadiums

o Manufacturing plants

o Logistics and warehousing

o Aerospace

o Attic spaces

o Historical buildings

Using the system at Celtic Park stadium Celtic Park, which is in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 60,411. It is the largest football stadium in Scotland and the eighth-largest stadium in the United Kingdom.

Following on from a successful 2021 project on the West Stand at Celtic Park, PTSG returned during the off-season break (before the start of the 2022/23 season) to carry out the structural inspections and painting of the steel support purlins to the underside of the East stand. Using their lateral access system, PTSG’s engineers carried out the works within the timescale of the closed season to the delight of the club. It took only seven weeks to complete – less than half the time it would have taken using scaffolding, and for less than half the price.

PTSG works for some of the best-known contractors in construction and FM, including CBRE. Taking part in the CBRE Supplier Partner Innovations Challenge 2022, the Group was delighted to receive the Best Safety Innovation award for the Lateral Access System. This speaks for the quality and innovation of the system and also underlines the old adage that the best ideas are often the simplest.

Rope access methodology boasts an unrivalled safety record, short setup and dismantling time, positive environmental benefits and removes the need for invasive access equipment or disruption to a worksite
ADVERTORIAL 37 August 2023

Record attendance at this year’s Social Value Conference adds further confirmation of the topic’s increasing importance throughout UK society

Celebrating the march of social value

38 August 2023

Having established FM Director magazine to report on the most positive elements within the extensive UK FM industry, the importance of social value initiatives and business culture has been a regular topic of coverage from its first issue, published in September last year.

The subject has continued to be included within interviews with senior industry personnel and features and looks highly likely to continue in this vein for the foreseeable future. It was therefore considered essential to attend the Social Value Conference in June this year to hear more about the latest developments and cutting edge thought leadership.

Held over two days, the conference has been established as a hybrid event, with the first day presented as a live experience and held at the Church House venue in Westminster, London. The second day used the webinar format, with attendees invited to join online and enjoy the virtual interaction experience.

The event was run in partnership with the Social Value Portal and the National Social Value Taskforce, further confirming its credentials. In the buildup to the conference, speakers and delegates were advised that this year’s event would examine the various elements of the social value economy.

This followed the publication of the Social Value 101 white paper by the Social Value Portal, which included a detailed overview of the topic and statements confirming that social value influences around one third of all public sector procurement

spend, with further references to its economic importance throughout the business world and UK society. It additionally provided a brief explanation of social value as “the collaboration of an organisation with society to improve the community, economy and environment around it”.

Presenters and panel members for the first day of the event included a number of government and shadow ministers, MPs, local government officers, civil service personnel and representatives from major UK businesses. In addition to the presentations and activities held in the main conference arena of the venue, the extensive programme also included discussions within other rooms and areas, labelled as breakout groups.

These were designed to encourage the sharing of ideas of how to meet the societal, environmental and economic challenges being faced by communities to allow all members of society to enjoy more opportunities for prosperity and further development.

The list of highly-qualified presenters included Sodexo chief executive officer Sean Haley, who was featured on the front cover of the FM Director launch issue in September 2023, in which he had clearly stated the importance of social value for his company, its employees and customers, as well as local communities and society as a whole.

Conversations held between FM Director, attendees and presenters resulted in several individuals expressing the view that both the social value topic and the conference itself had ‘come of age’ this year.

Collaboration of an organisation with society to improve the community, economy and environment around it

The reasons shared for this ranged from higher levels of recognition and appreciation from the business community to the emergence of other trends, such as environment and social governance (ESG), further supported by its increasing economic importance.

Opening the event on the main stage of the Church House venue, National Social Value Taskforce chair and Durham County Council head of procurement, sales and business services Darren Knowd, accompanied by Social Value Portal chief executive officer Guy Battle, welcomed the attendees and explained the aims of the Towards a Social Value Economy event. Both presenters appeared on a regular basis throughout the day’s proceedings to support further interaction and deliver guidance around the main topic of discussion.

Following the event’s opening speech, delivered by Vauxhall MP and shadow cabinet office minister Florence Eshalomi, encouraging attendees to

“imagine the future” of social value delivery, the first panel debate took place. The longest session of the day, the Building the Vision discussion saw Ms Eshalomi continuing her involvement alongside fellow panel members CGI UK and Australia operations president Tara McGeehan, Fair4All Finance investment director Holly Piper, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) non-executive director Martin Esom and coordinator Ownership at Work chief executive Campbell McDonald.

Expert advice and comment was delivered throughout the session, justifying its prominence in the day’s programme and further establishing the aims and tone of the event. Following the many and varied points of information shared throughout, these made an excellent introduction to Grace Enterprises chief executive officer Matt Parfitt to share examples of the best outcomes of social impact. This has been seen to transform employment within businesses and has been used as a foundational element for the forming of new enterprises, he advised.

Expert advice and comment was delivered throughout the session, justifying its prominence in the day’s programme and further establishing the aims and tone of the event

Following Mr Parfitt’s presentation and the morning coffee break, four breakout sessions were held to discuss the topics of: Unlocking the power of the public pound; Developing an effective social value strategy; responding to community needs; and Towards a place-based approach for delivering social value.

Speakers and panel members were of a high calibre, once again, and included numerous government representatives, including those from the cabinet office, local government and major corporations.

The lunch break then preceded four more breakout sessions entitled: Business as a force for good; Building the foundations; Meeting community needs; and Radical collaboration.

With all attendees then assembling before the main stage for the afternoon session, the high quality of the content was further endorsed through discussions on individual tables around the hall and expert commentary from industry professionals.

The closing session saw Messrs Knowd and Battle returning to provide an overview of the many achievements of the day’s events and advising on the preparations for the evening’s Social Value Awards ceremony, which saw a high number of attendees continuing their involvement.

The ceremony was hosted by broadcaster, economist and former politician, Ed Balls, who announced that a record number of entries had been received for the awards’ fifth anniversary, magnifying the achievements of organisations and individuals going above and beyond to deliver added value to their communities.

Day two of the event saw attendees accessing the online presentations, designed to explore the potential of the business community to deliver social value and continuing many of the themes explored at the live version of the conference the previous day.

In addition to procurement, discussions also included social value versus CSR, whether social calue is working for the third sector and how it can help to win more work.

The opportunity was also taken to announce the new e-learning platform, the Social Value Academy, while including specific sessions for the construction, FM and investment sectors looking for new ideas to explore the topic in various ways.

Mr Battle said: “From delivering climate justice to engaging with the communities most affected by the cost of living crisis, this year’s conference will be packed with thought provoking speeches, breakout

The Social Value Awards 2023 shortlist and winners

Social Value Champion

Winner: Herman Kok

Olivia Sutcliffe - Highly Commended

Neely Mozawala - Highly Commended

Voluntary or Third Sector Leadership

Winner: Breadwinners

Family Action - Highly Commended

Social Innovation - Public Sector Project

Winner: Waltham Forest Winter Spaces Network

7F Commercial Services, Kent Police Uniform Project - Highly Commended

Public Sector Leadership

Winner: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Salford City Council - Highly Commended

Social Innovation - Partnerships

Winner: West London Zone (WLZ) Collective

Impact and Funding Model

Good for Me Good for FE - Highly Commended

Social Value in Defence

SME Organisation Leadership

Winner: LibertyBus

Best Public Sector Project

Winner: County Durham Pound

Cheshire and Merseyside ICB - Giving People

a Voice - Highly Commended

Private Sector Leadership

Winner: Compass Group UK & Ireland

Rise Construction FrameworkHighly Commended

panel discussions and inspiring stories designed to move the Social Value movement forward.

“No matter what stage a delegate is at on their social value journey, this year’s conference will provide answers to a number of questions that Social Value Portal and the Social Value Taskforce encounter on a regular basis. “There will also be opportunities to connect with colleagues and decision makers from all sectors with dedicated networking meet and greet sessions.”

Social Innovation - Private Sector Project

Winner: The Recirculate Project:

HMP High Down Construction Mentorship

Partnering Scheme - Highly Commended

Best Private Sector Project

Winner: Park Lane Special School

Wilmott Dixon Interiors - Highly Commended

Best Third Sector Project Winner: Family Action FOOD Clubs, Southend Change Please - Driving for ChangeHighly Commended


With FM becoming more closely associated with social value and community support, thoughts were shared by industry experts at a recent breakfast roundtable event

Raising of FM CSR actions and associated considerations


One of the many positives emerging from within the FM industry is the willingness to look beyond business operations to consider how companies, their staff, clients and industry partners can work together to deliver corporate social responsibility (CSR) tasks.

One of the most notable recent examples of this was the breakfast roundtable organised by Cleanology and held at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London’s South Bank area. In addition to industry experts from a range of charitable and professional organisations, including FM Director

Attendees were welcomed to the event by Cleanology sales director Stephen Lynch, before introducing Hygiene Bank chief executive officer Ruth Brock as the event’s guest speaker. The company is an established supporter of the charity and will hold its annual fundraising auction at the same location in October this year.

Esssential items

After thanking the company for its continuing support, Ms Brock asks attendees to consider their preparations and ablutions before travelling to the venue, then consider which products they would be willing to go without. She lists items such as shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, perfume or aftershave, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products, before asking those present how they would feel if they had been unable to access these.

“Would it have impacted our work, personal confidence levels or our mental health?” she asks, before explaining that these decisions are faced by many of those less fortunate within UK society on a daily basis.

Personal hygiene issues affect 3.1m adults in the UK, approximately one in 20 people with 20% of these classed as disabled, she continues. One in eight people admitted avoiding job interviews because of their inability to appear clean and Ms Brock further states that these issues frequently impact decisions on family life.

“We are all just one life event away from finding ourselves in hygiene poverty, it’s a unique challenge in that it comes with enormous stigma – 50% of those affected do not ask for help, while the impact on their working and social lives often mean that people are locked into hygiene poverty,” she states.

The vision of the Hygiene Bank is for everyone to have access to hygiene products and the charity has adopted a three-year strategy to assist those most in need. In addition to further extending the number of volunteers supporting it, the charity is targeting five key groups of low income families, with assisting people to return to work a major aim within this.

With food poverty frequently linked to hygiene issues, it has established strategic partnership with food banks for the distribution of hygiene products.

Mr Lynch then invites attendees to join the debate, with the opening comments adding more detail and considerations to assist in addressing the issue of hygiene poverty. These included statements confirming its presence in the workplace and particularly among lower paid staff members in hospitality, cleaning and other areas.

The inclusion of access to free hygiene products is considered one of the positive ways to address this and comparisons were additionally made between the impact of poor mental health and hygiene poverty. These issues are more often seen in those in lower paid work, although a higher percentage of people in these roles are classed as ‘key workers’.

We are all just one life event away from finding ourselves in hygiene poverty

With the discussion then moving to consider whether the provision of hygiene products should be made more widely and freely available, there is need to consider how this may impact competitive tenders. However, with more clients supporting the payment of the Real Living Wage, it is stated that educating clients about hygiene poverty can lead to wider consideration for the inclusion of products.

Ms Brock provides examples of how products rejected by manufacturers due to issues such as incorrect labelling, etc, can be distributed to those in hygiene poverty, while advising that more assistance from the government is needed. She further states that the most common cause of hospital admissions in children under five years old is tooth decay, which can easily be solved by access to free dental hygiene products.

Redistribution of products

The discussion then turns to examples of low-cost but effective initiatives carried out by businesses, such as the distribution of unclaimed items left in facilities –including clothing and hygiene products – to charities. In addition to meeting CSR objectives, these activities can also be used for positive PR and to increase awareness of the issues being addressed more widely.

Further comments focused on the need to avoid ‘green hushing’, when businesses do not advertise their efforts to improve sustainability in various areas. While green washing has been identified as an issue where companies make erroneous claims about their environmental initiatives, they should also avoid not speaking about more genuine activities.

With more focus on assisting and supporting others and the wider community emerging throughout the FM sector, these should lead to more opportunities for philanthropic activities, it is stated. This leads to the statement that more education is required on charities such as the Hygiene Bank and how they can be supported by businesses.

These efforts should also include highlighting issues such as excessive levels of spending on management consultants, particularly when

companies object to the purchase of sustainable consumables and hygiene products. Larger organisations are more likely to be involved in social activities, it seems, and this can be particularly effective when centred around regional offices and their local communities.

The benefits of accreditation by organisations including B Corporation are discussed, with the positive benefits including improving applicants’ efforts to improve their sustainability efforts and activities. With accreditation requiring evidencebased information to provide the successes achieved in areas such as reducing energy and water use, the gaining of B Corp status is considered a highly effective means of improving the operations of each applicant.

National hygiene poverty day

This leads to discussion over gaining more support for national days to recognise or celebrate specific topics, which leads to the suggestion for the creation of a national hygiene poverty day. Initiatives with local schools should also be considered, which can include pupil-focused groups to raise awareness of issues and help to address them.

Cleanology reports high levels of positive response from attendees, both on the day and after the event, including compliments for the quality of the venue and the wide range of topics discussed. The company is continuing to consider proposals for collective action for delegates and their companies to support and the results of these and other actions will be featured within the FM Business Daily brand to promote initiatives to the industry.

The CSR topic is highly relevant to all areas of the FM sector and is one of many areas of discussion that can be approached from a number of perspectives, providing further opportunities for debate. Further to this, interest is being shown by attendees to the Cleanology event on the topic of environmental and sustainable activities, such as waste management and the reduction or removal of single-use plastic from business operations.

The most common cause of hospital admissions in children under five years old is tooth decay, which can easily be solved by access to free dental hygiene products
The Cleanology Hygiene Poverty event will take place on Tuesday 3 October in The Balcony Room at the Globe Theatre in London’s Bankside area

Sustainable design is a central feature of the One Portwall Square offi ce facility, including a number of features that combine to future-proof the highly sustainable building

Recently-opened Grade A facility is located on Bristol’s newest square

CASE STUDY 46 August 2023

fter opening in August 2022, the award-winning One Portwall Square is continuing to enjoy commercial and industry awards success, which appears to offer considerable potential for the development of additional advantages in the years ahead.

One of the many reasons for this is that the facility has been designed to incorporate a range of environmentally sustainable features, some of which were further refined during the course of its construction. Having received planning consent from Bristol Council in 2019, which is also the facility’s next-door neighbour, Skanska began construction in November 2020.

FM Director met with Richard Jones and Katie Jay from the developer, Nord at the facility, who explain how the development of the site and its design progressed. “We began to look at the site and discuss this with Bristol City Council some years ago,” says Ms Jay. “It was a car park originally, located next to the Council’s offices and it’s perfectly situated within the city, being close to all the main transport links and also in the eastern district of Bristol, which is fast becoming its main area of business.”

A breath of fresh air

Mr Jones explains how the building’s design –completed before the Coronavirus pandemic reached the UK in 2020 – will allow it to take any further serious issues, such as Covid-19, in its stride. “We had already designed it to use fresh air and natural cooling, with each floor provided with an outdoor terrace and windows that open to allow fresh air to circulate easily.

“We use a traffic light system to show when windows can be opened and also use the concrete slab of the building for the cooling of the building. Water pipes are embedded in the concrete, through which cool water travels, and we then use this to reduce the temperature of internal spaces passively.

“We’ve made sure that the mature trees that grow near the building have been preserved and which now provide shade for the outdoor areas, too, and that reduces the indoor temperature in summer, as well,” he says. The silver maple trees close to the building are the main sources of shading, with other mature specimens separating the building and its neighbours from the nearby main road.

In addition to its use of fresh air and passive cooling, One Portwall Square features a generous floor-toceiling height of 3.65m, adding further to the feeling of space and comfort and providing yet more benefits in terms of air circulation. “There’s a lot of interest in natural ventilation in the post-Covid era and although we had no idea that the pandemic was about to hit when we designed the building, there are a number of features in the design that will enable it to meet any similar challenges in the future,” Ms Jay explains.

There are two main staircases within One Portwall Square, which means that these could easily be included within any single direction adaptations in the future. Further to these, the building additionally now includes touch-free entry and movement around the building, including operation of the lifts, with cards issued to all personnel who receive permissions to attend or work within the building.

Another advantage of this system is that each card can be programmed so that it allows access to the relevant areas of the building, raising the level of security and adding another important touchfree element that will help it to deal with any further pandemics in the future.

The traffic light system described by Mr Jones comprises red and green lights on each floor of the building, as one element of its mixed mode ventilation system. The Building Management System (BMS) monitors external weather conditions to alert facility users of the best time to use natural ventilation and reduce the need for mechanical assistance, with the result that energy bills are reduced considerably.

“When we designed the building it was obviously several years before the current issues around the dramatic rises in energy prices, but it’s another indication of how we’ve managed to include several elements that are future-proofing One Portwall Square to avoid or reduce the impact of these. We’re also connected to the Bristol Heat Network district heating system here, as well, which is another efficient means of reducing our carbon emissions,” Mr Jones explains.

CASE STUDY 47 August 2023
We’ve made sure that the mature trees that grow near the building have been preserved and which now provide shade for the outdoor areas too

Ms Jay explains how the building is meeting numerous requirements within the city of Bristol, which she describes as “dynamic, vibrant, creative and with an entrepreneurial vibe”, which is highly deserving of modern office facilities: “A lot of the offices in Bristol were built in the 1990s, so they are quite dated in their design.

“With the eastern area of the city proving more and more attractive to businesses, we thought the time was right for a well-designed and sustainable Grade A office building. It’s also Bristol’s newest square and we’ve made sure that the building’s tenants have access to it, so they can organise their own events which is helping them to achieve their social aims while supporting the local community,” she says.

“We’ve had a few of these in the first months of this year and, with just two floors to let, we’re expecting more in the future as more occupiers move in.”

With the city of Bristol aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions status by 2030, the fact that One Portwall Square is BREEAM 2018 Excellent accredited and has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of A provides further evidence to support its claims of being future proof. It has reduced its carbon emissions by 60%, compared to the Building Regulations Part L requirements, through the application of the previously described methods and systems, along with a roofmounted solar photovoltaic system that alone accounts for 20% carbon emissions reduction.

Sustainability in mind

Another supporting factor to its sustainability credentials is the 66 cycle spaces it provides, with 62 of these within the building complemented by changing, lockers and shower rooms to support attendees with cycling to work. The quality of these is affirmed by its Active Score Platinum accreditation for best in class cycling and end of journey facilities.

At present, there are just seven parking places for cars, with two of these providing electric vehicle (EV) chargers. “There are dedicated entrances for both cycle storage and car parking,” says Mr Jones, “and the building is designed so that it will be a relatively simple process to adapt the car park in the future to provide more office space.”

Those choosing to use public transport to visit the building have the option of utilising the railway network and arriving at the Temple Meads station, less than 500m from the building, or using the local bus service and walking 150m from the nearest stop.

“There are so many sustainable features of the building and we’ve also put a lot of effort into its interior design so that everyone can benefit from working

in an attractive space that includes a lot of natural light and outdoor areas,” Ms Jay continues. “We’ve also been delighted to be named as the winner of the British Council for Offices (BCO) regional award in the commercial workplace category, which means we’ve been judged to be the best office space in the South and South West of the UK.

“This means we’ve been shortlisted in the BCO National Awards, as well, with the winners announced in October,” she says. “It’s very noticeable that buildings are having to offer healthier working environments and that’s an integral part of One Portwall Square.

“The outdoor areas are often used as an extension to the office by the tenants and the fact that fresh air is a key element of our innovative ventilation system means that this is a very healthy building to work in. We’re seeing a few companies downsize their offices after Covid, but then aim to make sure their new space is prime Grade A, so that’s another factor working in our favour,” says Ms Jay.

The building is operated and maintained by Savills and includes the presence of a full-time Building Host on site in the form of Karen Bear, who is also the coordinator of its service providers. She states that this year has seen a significant increase in the numbers of employees returning to more regular use of their office space, which is regarded as further proof of the acceptance levels of the healthy aspects of One Portwall Square.

“We also have a fairly basic plant room, that just includes cooling plant and the water storage tank, which is divided into two halves so that we can maintain supplies if one of these needs to be taken offline while it’s worked on,” she says.

CASE STUDY 48 August 2023
With the eastern area of the city proving more and more attractive to businesses, we thought the time was right for a well-designed and sustainable Grade A office building

“As we’re connected to the Bristol Heat Network we don’t need to have a dedicated boiler and heating system, which is another factor that helps us keep the service charge at a manageable level. The building was designed by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), who were also one of our first tenants,” Ms Bear concludes.

One Portwall Square sustainability credentials

BREEAM 2018 Excellent

EPC A (14)

60% reduction in carbon emissions in use compared to Building Regs Part L requirements. These reductions include 40% from passive measures such as mixed mode ventilation, highly efficient MEP systems and 20% from roof mounted photovoltaics

Connected to Bristol Heat Network connection and aligned with the city’s strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030

66 cycle spaces (62 in cycle store, four outside on the square) encouraging sustainable travel.

Active Score Platinum accredited for best in class cycling and end of journey facilities

A mixed-mode ventilation system with concrete core cooling and the option of opening windows allows the building to be naturally ventilated for approximately 45% of the year, saving considerable amounts of energy

Bio-diverse roof planting

Many design elements perform two or more functions, such as terraces providing solar shading, saving materials and energy whilst offering desirable tenant amenity and the high performance building fabric which harnesses the thermal properties of concrete for structureand servicing whilst also contributing to the aesthetic appearance of the overall design

Net Zero Carbon aligned

In line with UK Green Building Council office energy performance targets 2020-25

Tenant Amenity

Wired Score platinum certified – best in class digital connectivity, resilience and infrastructure

Cycling provision – see above. Includes dedicated cycle entrance and bike repair station.

Excellent end of journey amenity – showers/ changing/lockers

Generous terrace on every upper floor, providing outdoor spaces/fresh air

Brand new square with bespoke seating and lighting, including mature silver maple trees providing urban greening

Less than 500m from Temple Meads railway station and 150m from the nearest bus stop to encourage sustainable commuting to the office

Generous internal volumes with 3.65m floor to ceiling heights, provision of fresh air, comfortable environment, good air circulation and a feeling of space

One Portwall Square

at a glance

Area: 33,767 sq ft NIA

Planning: granted March 2019

Start on site: November 2020

Practical completion: August 2022

Developer: Nord

Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

M&E Engineer: Arup

Structural Engineer: Elliott Wood

Main Contractor: Skanska

Building Management: Savills

M&E service provider: Facility Solutions

Cleaning service provider: Solutions

Facilities Management

Lifts maintenance service provider: Orona

Refurbishment Workplace Furniture Project Management Space Planning & Interior Design 0333 123 1234 Call now and use code FREEOFFDES For free office design Beautifully Crafted Performance Inspiring Cost Considered
turned out better than we imagined! The office now has such a lovely environment to go to work in everyday!” “D3 just get it, they make everything so easy”
CASE STUDY 49 August 2023

The crucial role of ESG in procurement

As organisations continue to grapple with global sustainability challenges the concept of sound Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks in procurement has emerged as an important principle for ethical decision-making.

For Procurement professionals, ESG considerations are often no longer optional; they are imperative in protecting brand reputation, enhancing supplier relationships and ensuring compliance with new and emerging supply chain due diligence. This blog post focuses on the importance of ESG for

procurement professionals when considering the triple bottom line and supply chain due diligence.

ESG and the triple bottom line

Put simply, the triple bottom line is a framework that evaluates business performance based on three interconnected pillars: environmental, social and economic factors. While profitability remains critical, the triple bottom line expands the scope of success to consider the planet and people alongside profits.

Environmental considerations encompass practices that reduce carbon emissions, conserve

resources, and minimise ecological harm. Procurement professionals play a pivotal role in selecting suppliers and materials with lower environmental footprints. By opting for sustainable sourcing, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and more environmentally friendly packaging, procurement can contribute significantly to reducing the carbon footprint of their organisation.

Social benefits can be more difficult to quantify than that of carbon reduction. The “S” in ESG often considers the well-being of employees, communities and other key stakeholders.

In today’s rapidly evolving business and regulatory landscape, the role of procurement professionals has transcended the traditional boundaries of cost savings and supplier relationships
ADVERTORIAL 50 August 2023

Ethical labour practices, diversity and inclusion and community engagement are all aspects that should be considered in procurement decisions. Partnering with suppliers who align themselves to internationally recognised conventions that prioritise fair wages, safe working conditions and freedom from discriminatory practices can foster positive social impacts and strengthen a company’s reputation.

The last letter in ESG, Governance can occasionally be forgotten, however, good governance is vital in ensuring an organisation has effective processes in place to remain compliant with international legislation. Effective governance can help to ensure transparent, accountable and ethical decision-making within an organisation. Procurement professionals are often required to collaborate with suppliers to ensure high ethical business standards are maintained. Through diligent supplier evaluation, procurement teams can safeguard against reputational risks and legal challenges which often result in financial impact.

Risk mitigation

ESG in procurement is a critical element of supply chain due diligence. The importance of social and environmental checks on the supply chain has increased dramatically in recent years with the introduction of anti-modern slavery laws and international supply chain due diligence regulations. Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on procurement teams to ensure supply chain compliance with international laws and guidance. By conducting thorough due diligence on suppliers, procurement professionals can support colleagues in other areas of their business like legal or sustainability in a variety of ways.

The immediate and perhaps most important opportunity that procurement professionals have is in identifying ESG risks within the supply chain. From human rights violations to environmental non-compliance, thorough due diligence can help to prevent reputational or regulatory impact on an organisation.

Due diligence doesn’t just have to be about risk mitigation it can also help to create innovative and resilient supply chains. Covid-19, extreme weather and geo-political unrest has highlighted the importance of resilient supply chains. By assessing the supply chain, procurement professionals can identify suppliers who can operate under difficult circumstances. Enabling businesses to prioritise suppliers with robust sustainability practices that reduce the potential for human rights or environmental violations during periods of supply chain stress.

Buying organisations can often have greater resources than those within the supply chain. Collaborating with suppliers who prioritise good ESG practices can help to drive innovation and encourage the development of more sustainable products, processes or technologies. Creating a culture of continuous improvement enables an organisation and the supply chain to be seen as industry-leading or forward-thinking.

ESG, more than three letters

ESG has gradually transitioned from being an ethical buzzword to a critical framework that can help to shape the future of business and those impacted by it. Procurement professionals, as the gatekeepers of many supplier relationships, have a unique opportunity to drive positive change through ESG considerations. By embracing the triple bottom line and implementing rigorous due diligence, procurement professionals can contribute to a more sustainable, equitable and responsible business ecosystem.

As the international community continues to focus on more sustainable ways of living, ESG integration into procurement practices is vital to support a just transition.

Learn more

To learn more about how you can support your organisation in increasing profitability and helping to protect people and the planet visit (link) to register for our upcoming ESG training academy.

For more information, visit:

ADVERTORIAL 51 August 2023

YorPower is dedicated to keeping businesses in all sectors powered up 24/7, all year round

Keeping businesses powered UP(S)

This is done through back-up power solutions tailored to the individual needs of its customers, from a newbuild diesel generator exported to Africa to an emergency UPS unit upgrade to keep a major UK railway station operating at peak time.

For some customers, such as healthcare providers, continuous power can be the difference between life and death. That’s why they place their complete trust in YorPower.

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are excellent for protecting mission-critical systems – working as a backup power supply as well as a surge protector. If there is a power failure, the UPS automatically switches to its battery pack to begin powering the devices. This solution provides a company enough time to evaluate the power issue, fix equipment problems, and/or save electronic documents and data.

Some facilities use a UPS system to power their entire facility, while others only attach essential equipment. Either way, the equipment ensures there are no unexpected outages due to power interruptions.

YorPower offers a wide range of affordable UPS solutions for small and medium businesses. They can be compact, free-standing or rack-mounted; these user-friendly, single-phase solutions provide unrivalled reliability and availability from 700 VA to 20 kVA. YorPower also supplies specialist UPS solutions for use in harsh environments and in external

applications and industrial UPS solutions from 30 kVA to 125 kVA.

Crucially, the company’s experienced team of engineers has also been providing maintenance and repairs for over 60 years. A planned programme of UPS maintenance should always be considered as an essential part of any standby power protection system.

Rapid response for a client in crisis

Recently, the YorPower UPS team were tasked with urgently supplying, installing and commissioning a new UPS unit for a laser eye surgery clinic, as its 15-year-old UPS had not been maintained since 2019.

The clinic needed its UPS back up and running within two days as its surgeons could not risk carrying out scheduled treatment without back up power, meaning they would be cancelling surgery if the UPS issue was not resolved.

After making contact with YorPower, an urgent Teams call was arranged with the client to discuss their exact needs and timelines.

YorPower’s team offered the clinic a like-for-like solution but the lead time was approximately five weeks; this was too long as their specialists needed to perform laser eye surgeries imminently – so the need back-up power was essential.

Therefore, a plan of action was devised which involved installing a 10kVA single phase Riello S3M

unit and 200 number of 12v 9ah batteries housed in a separate cabinet.

Once the unit and parts were ordered, UPS engineer, Jack, travelled to Riello HQ in Wrexham to collect all the kit. Within two days of first contact with the client, Dylan and UPS Technical Manager, Annmarie, headed to site to strip out the existing system and prepare for the new one. The UPS was situated on the roof of the building with only a lift for access, which had a 400kg weight limit. Furthermore, the roof was covered in gravel, which made it tricky for the team to transfer the equipment. Jack delivered the new kit and the team of three started the build. Altogether, the installation took around three hours and the UPS was commissioned at 7:45pm and tested on load. Within two day of initial contact, the clinic had a reliable UPS unit up and running and could continue business as usual.

Ongoing contracts

They were so impressed with the quick response and resolution of the team, that they have now awarded YorPower with the UPS and generator maintenance contracts which include two visits per year. Their feedback was glowing:

“Annmarie is really great at explaining intricate and technical bits of UPS in terms which we can understand well in order to make an informed decision.”

“Annmarie and Kerry were so very helpful and went to great lengths to help us in a crisis.”

ADVERTORIAL 52 August 2023
24/7 Nationwide UPS & Generator Experts The People You Can Trust: Annmarie UPS Technical Manager Uninterruptible Power Supplies 0345 200 9888 The Experience You Can Trust: 2,585 Generators Under Contract in the UK 1,856 UPS Under Contract in the UK 1,516 Generators Sold Last Year 315 UPS Sold last Year

Jeff Flanagan is celebrating his fi rst year with Bidvest Noonan, providing the opportunity to look back over the achievements of the last 12 months and his various work-related successes

The making of an experienced chief executive officer

INTERVIEW 54 August 2023

nother of the many strengths of the FM industry is the number of highly experienced people it attracts, all of whom bring unique skill sets and talent to add to the diversity and creativity of the sector.

FM Director further endorses this view through speaking to Bidvest Noonan chief executive officer Jeff Flanagan as he prepared to celebrate his first year in his most senior role to date. His career began after graduating with a first-class degree in civil engineering from Imperial College London in 1982.

“I initially worked as an engineering consultant at Rendel, Palmer and Tritton, gaining experience in site investigations for nuclear power stations and the construction of a major North-South Road in Wales. I was passionate about engineering and I still am,” Mr Flanagan continues.

People’s value

Another element of considerable interest is that of his appreciation for the value provided by the people around him and the need to ensure that they are fully supported to enjoy their careers and high levels of wellbeing and safety in their work.

Beginning to feel the need to broaden his horizons, this led to him taking the opportunity to join leading accountancy company KPMG in 1984. He describes the transition from engineering to account as a “pivotal moment” in his personal development.

“I found that many of the skills I developed as an engineer, such as problem-solving and project management, were transferable and after just over two years of hard work, I became a qualified chartered accountant. The knowledge and experience I gained working at KPMG were invaluable to me,” he says.

Embracing his new employment with considerable enthusiasm, Mr Flanagan was assigned to a position

in Toronto, Canada in 1982, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). “This experience had a profound impact on my professional development, helping me rapidly expand and deepen my understanding of business,” he says.

Returning to the UK in 1986, he continued his M&A role with his employer for the next 10 years, when he joined cleaning and security services provider Executive Group as finance director. The business enjoyed significant growth, further adding to Mr Flanagan’s level of job satisfaction, until it was purchased by Mitie in 2003, after which he was appointed to the position of managing director for its Security division with a staff of 11,000 security officers.

His next role came in 2015, when Mr Flanagan joined Interserve as managing director of its private sector FM division, with a team of 13,000 employees in the UK and Spain delivering hard and soft services and adding further valuable experience to his career journey.

“By the Summer of 2022, Bidvest Noonan had established itself as one of the leading players across the UK and Ireland. I’d been aware of the business for many years, and I had been watching with interest as it grew its reputation, capability, and footprint,” he continues. “When I received a call inviting me to come and meet group CEO Declan Doyle I was delighted. I knew this was a great business and that I could see how I could contribute to its success. When I was offered the role, I didn’t hesitate,” he says.

Mr Flanagan states that he had become keenly aware of Bidvest Noonan’s growth and development and its rapidly increasing influence on the market.

“And as soon as I met the Bidvest Noonan team, I was convinced the company was destined for growth and industry leadership. I wanted to be part of that,” he continues.

INTERVIEW 55 August 2023
I found that many of the skills I developed as an engineer, such as problem-solving and project management, were transferable

“Being offered the CEO position at such a robust and ambitious business was an honour. I believed that my journey through engineering, finance, and finally, facility services had equipped me well, enabling me to bring substantial value to this role. Importantly, the company culture and values resonated with my own, particularly concerning the appreciation and empowerment of employees.”

Having formed an accurate view of the business before joining, Mr Flanagan states that he was delighted to receive a “warm and enthusiastic welcome from the entire team. I found myself feeling a sense of belonging within just a few weeks”.

His enthusiasm for his role has been further enhanced by the openness of colleagues to new ideas and their readiness to challenge conventions, he continues. “It was very easy to align my team with my vision for this business and this means that the pace of change has been faster than expected.

“Of course, like any business, we’ve encountered challenges, specifically those typically associated with post-acquisition transitions. We have worked hard to preserve the strengths inherited from our acquisitions while striving to unify our systems and processes. I feel that we have done a very good job of maintaining a keen focus on supporting our people and clients during this transitional period to emerge stronger than ever,” he states.

Supporting growth

Mr Flanagan plans to continue his focus on supporting the company’s growth through enhanced performance, including the streamlining of operations, investing in its HR structure, building on company culture, improving customer experience and exploring new opportunities. The completion of recent acquisitions has been assisted by the delivery of efficiencies in all areas of the business.

“By implementing process improvements and harnessing technology, we’ve become a more robust and agile organisation, better equipped to respond swiftly to market fluctuations and customer needs. Cultivating a strong company culture has also been a priority.”

Mr Flanagan’s long industry experience has taught him the many benefits emerging from a motivated and engaged workforce. “We’ve put initiatives in place to foster open communication, collaboration, and employee development, resulting in increased employee satisfaction and a boost in overall performance,” he continues.

The company’s customer experience (CX) team has contributed to its new vision of making Bidvest Noonan the partner of choice. “The CX team has been pivotal in making this vision a reality by improving our understanding of our customers’ needs, enhancing service quality, resolving issues swiftly, and helping us to build stronger relationships. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by their accomplishments this year,” says Mr Flanagan.

Additional beneficial outcomes have resulted from the delivery of a new applicant tracking system (ATS) by its transformation team, streamlining the recruitment of new talent. The team has also delivered further innovations to reduce the administration workload of managers and allow them to spend more time with clients.

“We’ve introduced a robust sustainability strategy - a clear commitment to responsible, sustainable growth,” he continues. “This doesn’t just focus on reducing our environmental footprint, but also extends to operational practices and our commitment to supporting local communities, make our workplaces even more inclusive and supportive and becoming a more transparent marketplace with equal opportunity for all. These achievements have been delivered through the forming of an ESG council, fully supported by the executive team.”

With Mr Flanagan’s appointment coinciding with the various challenges emerging over the last 12 months across the UK and international markets – including shortage of labour, rising inflation and energy prices – he states that these have been met by extensive efforts to mitigate cost pressures, protecting the business and its customers.

Investing in technology

“Our procurement teams worked closely with our supply chain partners to ensure costs were managed and we have invested in innovative technologies to reduce spend in areas such as water and energy consumption. We have already seen positive effects from these measures,” he continues.

Challenges within the labour market, experienced by businesses throughout Europe and beyond, have been met with the development of a new recruitment strategy and considerably assisted by the ATS system. The company is continuing to invest in its staff, which has included internal promotions including that of James Dunnett to the position of managing director.

“Even as the economic outlook remains uncertain, our experience has shown that customers will continue to value reliable and professional services. We are very confident and optimistic about our business. We know that by focussing on delivering great service solutions and great customer experience, we will continue to win business, support our people and grow,” says Mr Flanagan.

Ongoing developments within the company include transforming its HR division to further support its colleague investment strategy and ensure its teams remain motivated and perform to high levels.

“We have made great progress and we are very excited about the next phase. We now employ 27,000 people across the UK and Ireland, so HR plays a crucial role. We want to ensure that we empower our HR team to be as successful as they can be and have made significant investments to optimise its structure and ensure our HR teams have the resourcing they need to support our growth.

“Our HR team also play an important role in cultivating a strong and cohesive company culture. We have worked hard to develop a culture that enables everyone to thrive and contribute to our collective success. We want to ensure that our culture is well defined, strengthened and experienced across all parts of our business,” he says.

Mr Flanagan describes the growing sense of urgency within the business to raise its sustainability levels further and support the sustainable future of the industry.

INTERVIEW 56 August 2023
Even as the economic outlook remains uncertain, our experience has shown that customers will continue to value reliable and professional service

Additional efforts are also being devoted to supporting the community, including partnering with the Unseen charity that provides safehouses and support for victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

“We have done some good work in the area of sustainability, but we are ambitious about the strides forward we can make. We track our performance carefully and have high expectations for the next 12 months,” Mr Flanagan continues.

“We’ve seen the pace of technological development accelerate and there are technologies with the potential to disrupt industries already available in early forms, such as generative AI. Making the best use of technology is a challenge we will all face.

“We are typically early adopters of technology and have always embraced innovation as a core part of our identity - not just in terms of adopting the latest technologies, but also in how we approach problemsolving, develop new services, and drive strategic initiatives. This commitment to innovation has been instrumental in driving our business forward and will continue to be a key driver of our growth,” he says.

Bidvest Noonan plans to continue its leveraging of cutting-edge technologies, including AI, cobotics, and data analytics, further supporting its sustainability and efficiency ambitions.

Reflecting on his first year in his role, Mr Flanagan describes the experience as “rewarding, challenging, and full of growth, and I couldn’t be happier with my journey so far”. He further states that he is “absolutely certain that it was the right move”.

“We also have lots of exciting plans ahead, but at the top of my list, it’s our people – our colleagues. As I approach my one-year anniversary, my focus is on making sure we’re giving them everything they need to not just do well, but to really thrive and feel fulfilled in our business.

“Our colleagues are the heartbeat of Bidvest Noonan. Their wellbeing, and professional growth are incredibly important to me and to us as a company. We are committed to initiatives that help balance work with life, support health and wellness, and recognise our colleagues’ amazing work and achievements.

“I truly believe these measures help make Bidvest Noonan a place where everyone wants to be. Our focus on our colleagues and their wellbeing isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. It’s the cornerstone of our vision. So, as I celebrate my first year with Bidvest Noonan, the priority that is top of my mind is ensuring we are putting our people first in every decision we make,” he states.

Although some of the company’s expansion can be attributed to its M&A activities, Mr Flanagan is keen to emphasise that organic growth has made a significant contribution to the size and progress of the business. “Moving forward, we remain focused on organic expansion as the primary driver of our growth. Our strategy revolves around winning new business by designing innovative service solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients. Additionally, we are committed to growing our existing accounts by consistently delivering exceptional services and providing an outstanding customer experience.

“While organic growth is our main focus, we are open to exploring opportunities that align with our long-term goals and enhance our capabilities. If we identify opportunities that make strategic sense and enable us to further strengthen our offerings or expand into new areas, we will consider them. Our priority is always to ensure that any potential acquisitions complement our existing services, align with our values, and contribute to our overall growth strategy,” Mr Flanagan concludes.

INTERVIEW 57 August 2023
We also have lots of exciting plans ahead, but at the top of my list, it’s our people – our colleagues

Revolutionising the catering industry with AI

Clients are granted access to a comprehensive cloud-based dashboard, affording them realtime access to an array of essential information, including menus, inventory records, and sales statistics, available around the clock.

One of the defining strengths of the Autocanteen Self-Service solution lies in its commitment to data security. Operating exclusively through secure wired interfaces, the technology ensures that sensitive customer information is safeguarded throughout the transaction process. By merging innovation, efficiency, and security, Autocanteen has reimagined the self-checkout experience, offering an allencompassing solution that caters to the needs of both customers and businesses.

Autocanteen’s self-service technology has numerous benefits to users

Unmatched Accuracy and Efficiency: With a remarkable 97% accuracy rate and an average transaction time of just 10 seconds from the first scan to receipt, Autocanteen redefines efficiency in the catering industry.

In an age where technology is reshaping the fabric of our daily lives, innovations are not only enhancing efficiency but also fundamentally altering the way industries function.

One such transformative force is Autocanteen, which has harnessed cutting-edge technology to create the UK’s first touchless self-checkout solution, marking a significant leap forward for the food service sector. By integrating computer vision and machine learning, Autocanteen is redefining the customer experience, streamlining operations, and empowering catering managers like never before.

The foundation of Autocanteen’s impact rests on its state-of-the-art self-service solution, which has shattered traditional norms in the catering industry. Conventional checkout processes often involve manual scanning of barcodes, leading to long queues, inefficiencies, and ultimately, unsatisfactory customer experiences.

Autocanteen’s revolutionary approach circumvents these issues by utilising advanced computer vision and machine learning algorithms which can identify items – from plated meals to beverages and snacks – without the reliance on barcodes.

This innovation translates into shorter wait times,

improved operational efficiency, and a heightened focus on enhancing customer service.

New technology

The core of the solution lies in its intricate operation. It commences with the deployment of a cutting-edge 3D image scanner, which captures high-definition images of food items. These images are then subjected to a computer vision algorithm, leveraging a deep neural network powered by artificial intelligence. This dynamic algorithm intelligently dissects the captured images, recognising and categorising the objects with remarkable precision. The result is a streamlined process that rapidly identifies items based on classifications, effectively bypassing the limitations of conventional barcode scanning.

Once the objects are recognised and categorised, the system quickly calculates the total cost, which is prominently displayed on an intuitive self-service kiosk. Customers can then effortlessly proceed with their payments making the experience seamless.

Apart from the immediate transactional benefits, the company’s technology is able to gather invaluable analytical data from each interaction which is then securely transmitted to the cloud, paving the way for knowledge sharing and insights.

Elimination of Barcodes: By eliminating the need for barcodes, Autocanteen simplifies product labelling and augments operational speed.

Offline and Online Transactions: The system is flexible enough to support both offline and online transactions, with data seamlessly synchronised to the cloud via a secure connection.

Shared Knowledge Base: The technology is designed to instantly disseminate acquired knowledge to all connected terminals, creating a shared knowledge base that enhances operational efficiency.

Back-Office Integration: Autocanteen’s solution easily integrates with existing in-house business systems, ensuring compatibility and adaptability.

Multilingual Capabilities: The technology accommodates customers from various linguistic backgrounds, displaying information in multiple languages including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch among others.

Customer-Centric Accessories: Autocanteen enhances customer convenience through modular peripheral accessories such as magnetic stripe readers, status lights, and payment terminals, fostering a user-centric experience.

Sergii Khomenko is a technology and e-commerce expert and co-founder of Autocanteen, the UK’s fi rst touchless self-checkout solution which increases checkout effi ciency
OPINION 58 August 2023
READ THE LATEST EDITION ONLINE NOW Take FM Director wherever you go

Not so much talk of COVID, it’s all about the travel bug this season

Recent research shows that 90% of Australians plan to travel internationally in the next year1, and more than half (52%) of Britons intend to take a summer holiday, with 42% doing so overseas2. With travel on the rise, airports, planes and transport hubs, with many people sharing the same spaces and touch points hands can be a germ motorway.

With transport providers and hubs such as train stations, airports and airlines facing increased demand for their services, here’s how travel providers can keep hygiene standards up through the use of effective products and science-backed protocols.

Keep surfaces clean by adopting targeted hygiene practices

According to a study conducted by Auburn University3 , germs can linger for days, even up to a week on airplane surfaces such as armrests, window shades, tray tables and toilet handles. Furthermore, even after cleaning, travellers’ hands can pick up and spread contamination around, quickly making surfaces unhygienic in busy spaces. For this reason, understanding where and when to direct cleaning and disinfection measures is critical.

By applying a Targeted Hygiene approach –disinfecting at key moments where hygiene surface and hand hygiene interventions need to be prioritised – we can ensure resources are used effectively when and where they are most needed4,5. This means focusing on what needs the most attention, for example, disinfection of seating areas between flights, and disinfecting high touch points such as in bathrooms when they are in greater use during flight times, for example after mealtimes, when the lights come on after a period of rest and before descent. This Targeted Hygiene approach can also be applied to airports and train stations considering peak travel times.

Combat hygiene complacency using ‘nudge theory’

Hygiene in public spaces is a shared responsibility between users and businesses or facilities management. This means that we need to consider what people do in the spaces and encourage them to help with hygiene through hand washing and sanitising at key moments such as after using the bathroom.

A great approach to encourage behaviour change whether on a societal or an individual level is the use of ‘nudging’ to influence a person or group of people to adopt a particular behaviour.

An experiment by Richard Thaler at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in which his team etched a fake fly into the airport urinals unveiled that men’s aim reduced spillage by 80% when urinating6. Taking this approach, nudging can be adopted to encourage a variety of behaviours, such as hand sanitiser usage, hand washing and empowering travellers to make the most of disinfecting wipes and sanitiser by placing them strategically in plain sight.

For example, at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Dettol Pro Solutions placed hand sanitiser dispensers within easy reach (preferably not wall mounted), used talking dispensers at entrances and placed engaging stickers on the backs of toilet cubicle doors to remind people to wash their hands. Disinfecting wipes can also be provided, for example for travellers to wipe down surfaces in their spaces on aircrafts or in restaurant or desk areas on the ground; these are all important components of an inclusive hygiene solution.

The benefit of brands with heritage

As we move closer to pre-pandemic levels of travel, it’s important that consumers feel protected from the spread of germs in public spaces. Ensuring the environments travellers’ find themselves in are hygienically clean, implementing specific measures rooted in efficacy and efficiency is highly important.

When used as instructed, disinfecting products by brands who prioritise research and rigour can help to reduce viruses and bacteria on surfaces and hands. Using well-known and trusted products such as products within Dettol’s range, can have a highly positive impact in supporting the travel industry. For example, the recently launched Pro Cleanse Liquid Hand Wash is a testament to Dettol’s commitment to quality. It’s Dettol’s first 1st Ever Liquid Hand Wash Purely for Professional Use. With an antibacterial formula that’s tough on dirt, soft on skin and is dermatologically tested to ensure suitability for frequent and repetitive use in professional settings to effectively break the chain of viruses and bacteria infection.

Travel providers are a vital part of all global economies particularly in the UK and Australia, and helping to protect consumers and employees from the spread of germs when travelling will allow for the continued vibrancy of the industry as a whole.

Head over to the Dettol Pro Solutions website to find out more about implementing healthy hygiene practices that help stop the spread of bacteria and viruses and keep customers safe.

1 Clarke J 2023, ‘Covid, cost-of-living pressures aren’t contagious, wanderlust is the only thing biting in winter’, The Australian, accessed 12 July 2023 <https:// 5ccd87bd071ea9948>

2 Readly 2023, ‘All abroad: over a third of Brits will travel abroad this summer’, Readly, accessed 12 July 2923<–over-a-third-of-brits-will-travel-abroad-thissummer,c3787899>

3 handle/10415/4066?show=full

4 Bloomfield SF, Rook GA, Scott EA, Shanahan F, Stanwell-Smith R, Turner P. 2016. Time to abandon the hygiene hypothesis: new perspectives on allergic disease, the human microbiome, infectious disease prevention and the role of targeted hygiene. Perspectives in Public Health. 2016;136(4):213-224. doi:10.1177/1757913916650225

5 The Case for Targeted Hygiene, 2019, Accessed 7 July 2022 at: 177/1757913919864070#:~:text=Targeted%20Hygiene%20is%20an%20 approach,in%20Figures%20 1%20and%202).

6 Oullier, O., Cialdini, R., Thaler, R.H. and Mullainathan, S., 2010. Improving public health prevention with a nudge. Economic Perspectives, 6(2), pp.117-36.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis biting hard, the Northern Hemisphere summer is in full swing, and both Brits and Aussies are heading on holidays in record numbers, explains Jonathan Weiss, commercial director for Dettol Global Business Solutions
OPINION 60 August 2023

FM Director will publish an overview of the industry’s latest senior new starters and details of their roles in each of its monthly publications

Latest appointments of senior FM professionals

The Momentum Group has further strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Matthew Pilling as a director of the business. In his role, he will further develop Momentum Maintain’s operational excellence to help meet the group’s ambitious five-year growth plan. This will include implementing sustainable facilities management practices and establishing best in class efficiency through the implementation of sector-leading innovation.

Mr Pilling joins from GeoBear Global where he was managing director for Residential. Previous roles include working for BNP Paribas, Incentive FM, Cloudfm and Engie, where he led on the US Airforce FM contract for all nine of its UK bases and at Capita, where he headed up its portfolio of more than 250 London properties.

Co-founder and director Chris Bliss said: “Matthew is innovative, dynamic and passionate about his industry. As well as a significant track record, Matthew brings a fresh perspective, having expertise in both driving business growth and working with large commercial clients. He is a key appointment as we continue to evolve our FM business and build upon a period of sustained growth.”

Compass Group UK and Ireland has launched a new career hub for people struggling to gain employment.

The Social Partner Hub will support candidates from a range of backgrounds who are facing barriers to enter into the job market.

Included in this are care leavers, ex-offenders, long term unemployed and people with disabilities.

The platform is being launched as part of the company’s Mission to a Million commitment, which aims to provide support to a million people by 2030

through jobs, training, community engagement and development.

This initiative is part of the company’s wider social value strategy and a key aspect of its Our Social Promise.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has appointed Paul Gandy FCIOB to the position of vice president.

In 2025, he will become the 122nd President of CIOB. His presidency will follow on from that of

Mike Kagioglou FCIOB, who will succeed the current president, Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, FCIOB, in the summer of 2024.

Mr Gandy is the chief executive officer of Tilbury Douglas.

His career which started in 1979 as a trainee engineer with Trollope and Colls and has seen him hold positions as director and managing director at a number of major construction businesses, latterly Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty, Kier and now Tilbury Douglas. He is currently an elected director of Build UK.

MOVERS & SHAKERS 62 August 2023

The board of The British Land Company (British Land) has announced the appointment of Amanda Mackenzie as a non-executive director, with effect from 1 September. She will join the Remuneration and ESG Committees upon appointment.

She is currently a non-executive director of the Lloyds Banking Group where she is chair of the Responsible Business Committee and a member of the Remuneration and Nomination and Governance committees.

Ms Mackenzie was chief executive of Business in the Community which promotes responsible business and corporate responsibility. Prior to that role, she was a member of Aviva’s group executive for seven years as chief marketing and communications officer and was seconded to help launch the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

She is also a former director of British Airways AirMiles, BT, Hewlett Packard and British Gas.

Commenting on the appointment British Land chairman Tim Score said: “I am delighted to welcome Amanda to the British Land Board. Her deep marketing expertise, coupled with her track record in sustainability and corporate responsibility will complement the skillset of our Directors as we progress our ambitious corporate and sustainability strategy.”

Facilities, property and workplace management service provider Service Works Global (SWG) has appointed Radu Boeriu as a building information modelling (BIM) consultant.

He has 15 years of experience as a BIM manager and architect, having previously worked as a BIM and design system manager at international architectural practice, Foster + Partners, where he was responsible for helping the practice achieve BIM maturity. He has also worked on large, worldwide BIM implementation projects including Mexico International Airport and Shurayah Island.

At SWG, Mr Boeriu will harness his industry and technical knowledge in the operational phase of contracts and support the commercial and development teams in driving forward the QFM BIMi

FM service provider Bidvest Noonan has announced the appointment of Nick Platt as director of sales for Great Britain.

He is a senior executive with more than 17 years of leadership experience in the industry also joins the company’s executive committee.

Mr Platt has built a long and successful career in the industry, leading sales for organisations such as Rentokil, Interserve and, most recently, Salisbury Group. He has a proven track record of managing high-performance teams and delivering strong organic growth.

In his new role, Mr Platt will contribute to the company’s growth, leading the sales function for all its strategic business units. As sales director, he will help shape the company’s strategies and he will take responsibility for identifying new opportunities to increase and strengthen its market presence.

Winter maintenance vehicle manufacturer Econ Engineering has appointed Gareth Legg as its new operations director.

The Yorkshire-based business has been at the forefront of winter maintenance vehicle solutions for close to 55 years. It designs and manufactures gritters and other vehicles that are widely used by local authorities and private contractors across the UK.

Mr Legg, who will report into managing director Jonathan Lupton has come on board

from his most recent role as managing director for Crossroads Truck & Bus, part of the Hartshorne Crossroads Group of companies, with a turnover of approximately £100m across nine locations in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Fast growing facilities management company The Westgrove Group has confirmed the appointment of Glenn Wilson as group’s managing director.

He joins the business with considerable industry experience gained most notably with Incentive

FM. This ultimately resulted in a senior board role as divisional director in the Retail and distribution arenas.

Mr Glenn has delivered proven success stories with innovative and sustainable service solutions across all sectors of the FM market. His aspirational leadership played a pivotal role in the company’s success in the Midlands and North regions. This also contributed significantly with a more global dynamic to the overall sustained growth before its recent merger/sale to OCS.

MOVERS & SHAKERS 63 August 2023

300 North is a team of Facilities Management (FM) recruitment experts who source permanent, temporary and fixed term contract solutions for the UK Facilities Management, Mechanical & Electrical and Construction sectors.

0113 336 5161

360 Sport Finance and Mentoring is dedicated to helping professional and semi-professional sporting clubs and venues with sustainable financial growth, including non-event day business.

01482 427360


Specialist contractor Composites Construction UK operates throughout the UK and Europe. Using innovative methods, we carry out structural strengthening and repairs to concrete, timber, and masonry structures.

01482 425250


When it comes to pest control in London, Dyno-Pest understands how to handle your problems. We offer a simple solution, using the latest methods to deal with pests effectively and responsibly.

0800 802 1246


FASET is the established trade association and training body for the safety netting and temporary safety systems industry. We support members with guidance, training, and exclusive benefit schemes.

01948 780652


GIND UK delivers ambitious projects in challenging environments. Our London-based engineering and design team specialises in bespoke access system maintenance for the world’s most iconic buildings.

0800 448 8884



A service provider for the future, Advance Facilities Solutions Ltd delivers complete building solutions to customers in the industrial, commercial, and domestic sectors.

01622 720 888


We create, maintain, and monitor healthy spaces –using pioneering online and apps-based technology. This includes working with suppliers and products in the marketplace to deliver long lasting and scientifically tested air and surface protection.

020 7096 1941


Integral Cradles Ltd. delivers permanent façade access solutions across the UK, specialising in high buildings with unique specifications and demands. A whole life-cycle solution.

0845 074 2758


DIRECTORY 64 August 2023

For almost 30 years Julius Rutherfoord has been passionate about providing professional cleaning services to some of the most prestigious organisations in the London area. 020 7819 6700


Launched in 2008 following the merger of two 50-year-old companies, Magicccote provides a range of expert commercial cleaning solutions to customers across the UK. 01482 211033


PPSPower (PPS) is one of the industry’s largest and most respected providers of generator and UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) installation, maintenance and repair solutions. 0345 200 9888

Keytracker Ltd is the most prominent provider of both mechanical and electronic key and equipment control systems for the workplace. +44 (0)121 559 9000

Established over 70 years ago, KCS has rapidly grown from its roots as a respected local window cleaning business, to a nationwide commercial cleaning company.

01482 648 737


neutral carbon zone (NCZ) is a full-service platform that gives you the tools your company needs to make the transition to a carbon neutral business and beyond. 0845 094 5976


Pace Security is a London-based privately owned company managed by some of the UK security industries’ most experienced and respected security industry professionals. 0208 529 3888


Premier Technical Services Group Ltd (PTSG) is the UK’s leading provider of specialist services to the construction and facilities management sectors. +44 (0) 1977 668 771


Working with globally recognised organisations, we are specialists in creating Online Induction Systems, Turnkey and Bespoke Software Solutions, Websites, Mobile Apps and a lot more. 01724 376002




DIRECTORY 65 August 2023

With over a decade of experience in safety solutions for working at height, we are the ideal partner for solving your roof safety problems, and we pride ourselves on having the highest level of commitment to ensuring safety at work.

07889 572315

SAEMA has a long history in delivering the best training and guidance in the temporary and permanent suspended access industry. We are committed to advancing safety through raising the standards in best practice. 01948 838616


At Safety Inspection Solutions Ltd (SIS Ltd) we’ve been helping companies to stay legal for over ten years. Our qualified engineers provide fair, efficient, and flexible onsite inspection services, working closely with clients to understand their needs.

0800 6696 018


Seddon Management Services strives to offer the best solutions for trade associations to keep their members safe and compliant. 07854 226251

Safe Electric is an NICEIC-approved Electrical Contractor, serving Peterborough, Milton Keynes, and Cambridge. With 48 years of industry experience, our electricians and compliance experts can undertake any project. 01487 813 600


SLM can provide all types of waste management tailored to meet the customers’ requirements. We deal in all types of recycling; electrical, hazardous, clinical. Anything you need disposing of, SLM can help. 01304 775000




Reach up to 20,000 FM industry professionals List your business here for just £200 Contact Cheryl Ellerington – DIRECTORY 66 August 2023
Find your dream FM job The new FM job board Start your search, upload your CV today Contact the team to discuss your recruitment needs on 01924 667939 or



Some of the UK’s buildings need no introduction – they are instantly recognisable.

Our Electrical Services engineers work behind the scenes at the former Battersea Power Station, ensuring this new mixed-use development is protected from lightning strikes.

Our work keeps buildings safe, compliant, clean and efficient for 20,000 customers each year. Let’s talk about how we can help you.

01977 668771
Electrical Testing Lightning Protection Systems Lightning Protection Testing Specialist Earthing Surge Protection

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