I N F O R M I N G FA C I L I T I E S M A N A G E M E N T P R O F E S S I O N A L S
fm-world.co.uk / May 2017
TA ST E R E D I T I O N
For #WorldFMDay, a report on how different territories value the FM function in 2017
VALUE CHAIN Deﬁning the building blocks that make up FM’s value proposition
GDP PLEA Seeking to establish the true contribution of the FM function
GLOBAL GATHERING FMs from across the globe talk about the state of their sector
F M WO R LD M AY 2 0 1 7
CONTENTS COM M UNI TY
2 2 PE R SPE C TIV E S The four most interesting and insightful opinions on FM this month 2 5 A BIT A BOU T YOU Lydia Clare doesn’t work at Hogwarts, but sometimes…
26 THINKF M 201 7 Three of this year’s speakers on the use of data in the workplace
ANA LYS I S
7 TH E O UTE R L IMITS London’s outer boroughs are becoming more attractive to workers 8 FI T B UILDIN G TE ST The Fitwel Certiﬁcation System for healthy workplaces comes to the UK
KNOW LE DGE
35 DESIGN FOR LIFE Clerkenwell Design Week scales the heights of oﬃce style 36 FACMAN AND WIFE How does a husband-and-wife combo in FM work?
28 M AY @ BIF M The people and projects currently informing BIFM activity 3 2 C A LL S TO AC T ION The events, surveys and discussions that deserve your attention
3 8 NO- F LY ZONE FMs should not be complacent about the risks from ﬂy infestations
10 O N YE R BIK E ! A new study associates commuting by bicycle with longer life expectancy
3 9 C LE A R ING THE A I R The quality of the air we breathe is crucial to health and productivity
11 NATI ON E STATE The government must squeeze more value from its estate, says the NAO
4O T HE C IRC U LA R E CO N O MY Don’t skip it – ﬁnd a better way to recycle large items of waste
13 NEWS MAK E RS The stories proving most popular with FM World’s online visitors this month
44 M A NAGING T HE RI S K The challenges of and solutions to asbestos management
FM World’s in-depth analysis section 48 VALUE JUDGEMENT Attempts to put a monetary ﬁgure on the market for FM services have grown over the last decade as economists and business leaders seek to ﬂesh out in ﬁgures what remains – and is likely to remain – an incredibly diverse component of the world’s business sector. Here we look at attempts made to date.
52 THE FULL SPECTRUM The key to deﬁning facilities management’s much sought yet always illusive value proposition lies in ensuring that the true spectrum of FM’s multiple impacts is visible. We look at the issues that routinely ﬁnd themselves up for debate when ways to clarify FM’s value are discussed.
56 GOING GLOBAL With a third of the world’s population, India and China – and their extraordinarily M AY ’ S dynamic economies – is set TO P I C to have a big say in how FM HOW IS FM develops in the near future. VALUED GLOBALLY? Here we look at these and other markets to provide a snapshot of global facilitiesW management W W. B I F M .O RG .U K / F M WJ O I N as it stands in 2017.
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HOW THE FITWEL SYSTEM WORKS
F RO NT D E S K A N A LY S I S
t the tail end of March a “cost-effective” certification system for promoting healthy workplaces in existing buildings was launched. The Fitwel Certification System, created as a joint initiative led by the USA’s General Services Administration (GSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was piloted in 89 public buildings across America for five years before launching in the UK. Fitwel provides 63 “costeffective design and operational strategies for enhancing building environments to improve occupant health and productivity”, according to Joanna Frank, executive director at the New York-based Center for Active Design, which operates Fitwel in the US and beyond. Each strategy is linked by scientific evidence to one of the seven health impact categories including what aspects of environment instils feelings of well-being, what reduces morbidity and absenteeism and what promotes occupant safety. Frank told FM World that the certification system is about “getting knowledge into everyone’s hands” that can be used by any firm for a small fee. She said: “We are interested in lifting the base for everybody and that means having an egalitarian approach so that it doesn’t matter where
Complete Scorecard + Receive Immediate Score
Register + Input Building Information
organisations are now as a workplace but showing them that there is something they can do and there’s a way they can use Fitwel to benefit their staff or the environment – that’s the point.” According to Frank, a lot of the work required to obtain a Fitwel certification is operational, with responsibility for changes falling to facilities and building managers – Fitwel could fit into an organisation’s renovation, refurbishment and refitting programmes. “Pest management policies, procurement contracts for food vendors, the way you stock a vending machine – all of those aspects which are operational but have a big impact on people’s behaviour is where changes could be made,” she says. The certification had a ‘beta launch’ in the US in February, and the Center for Active Design has been “inundated with
Fitwel provides 63 “cost-effective design and operational strategies for enhancing building environments to improve occupant health and productivity”, says Joanna Frank
WORDS: HERPREET K AU R G R E WA L WORKPLACE WELL-BEIN G
HOW BUILDINGS CAN TAKE A FITNESS TEST
HEALTH IMPACT CATEGORIES
Each stratergy within the scorecard is linked by scientific evidence to at least one of Fitwel’s seven Health Impact Categories:
Impacts community health
Instils feeling of well-being
Increases physical activity
Reduces morbidity + absenteeism
Provides healthy food options
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S U P P LY S I D E
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CO M M E NTARY
BANG GOES THE NUCLEAR THEORY G R A E M E D AV I E S email@example.com
PPP CON TR AC TS
Mears revisits PPP schools deal with Highland Council
or companies in the support services sector, long-term outsourcing contracts from the government have been a rich seam to be mined in recent years. Public sector contracts often form order books that span many years ahead and give investors the confidence to buy and hold shares. But what happens when contracts go bad? We have much evidence of companies underestimating costs and struggling to fulfil contracts profitably. But miscalculations from the other end of the equation – the public sector – appear to be less common. But they are no less damaging. Witness the recent example of the government’s admission that it had got the pricing wrong on a big nuclear decommissioning contract and was bringing it to an early end, at a significant cost to the government in the process, but also a hit to companies involved. Nuclear decommissioning is expensive and unpredictable. This is the first fleet of nuclear reactors to be decommissioned, given that we only embarked on nuclear generation in the 1960s. It should come as little surprise that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has been forced to admit that the £6.1 billion, 14-year deal handed to the Cavendish Fluor partnership, in which Babcock International has a 65 per cent stake, was priced too low compared with the work required and would be terminated nine years early in 2019. For Babcock there is no reputational damage – it has done nothing wrong, but £800m of revenues is stripped from its order book, or around £100m a year from 2020, plus an additional £1bn removed from its £11bn bid pipeline. Given the nervousness in the services sector following profit warnings from the likes of Capita and Mitie, investors marked Babcock shares down even though City analysts pointed out that Babcock will be well placed to bid for the work when it is retendered at the correct price. What can be learnt from this sorry tale? For investors there is little to go on, given that the government got its sums badly wrong rather than the company, and Babcock may well have dodged a bullet. For Babcock even an £800m hole is minor in the context of its £20bn order book. Investors in smaller companies should beware of too much reliance on one end customer or a contract on which risk can coagulate.
“FOR BABCOCK THERE IS NO REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE – IT HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG”
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GRAEME DAVIES writes for Investors Chronicle fm-world.co.uk
The Highland Council and Mears, in conjunction with Alpha Schools (Highlands), have made additional agreements to their 30-year contract. The new negotiations agree cost and risk reduction measures on the PPP Highland Schools project that are “set to deliver million-pound savings to the council over the life of the contract”, according to Mears. Mears has worked in partnership with Alpha Schools (Highlands) and The Highland Council since the 10 new schools were opened in 2007, and is contracted to deliver the services for 30 years. With 20 years remaining on the project, the targeted cost reduction measures will “deliver substantial savings to the council, without compromising the quality of the total facilities management (TFM) services being delivered by Mears”. Highland is UK’s largest local authority and the geographical spread of the schools requires Mears to adopt innovative service delivery methods, using local subcontractors to assist in the works. Many schools also have facilities that act as community hubs – such as libraries, swimming pools, leisure centres, arts centres, adult education centres and offices. The agreement ensures “the continued satisfactory operation and maintenance of each site with a set of additional agreements that safeguards The Highland Council’s risk any W W W. B I Ffinancial M .O RG .U K /inF M WJ O I N given year”, says Mears.
V I E W P O I NT PERSPECTIVES
Interpreting the data
Sharing the health vision
ELAINE CLOUTMAN-GREEN is an infection prevention and control practitioner and lecturer at Great Ormond Street Hospital
he NHS has always been a complicated environment in which to work. There are so many departments and knowledge sets that must come together to deliver the best possible patient care. Now hospital environments are increasingly demanded to be more like home/hotel environments than the traditional healthcare that we have all known. This is important for patient mental well-being but is challenging in terms of wider patient safety, for both estates and facilities teams and for infection prevention and control. Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem, and many of the bacteria linked with this are able to survive for a long time on surfaces, especially on items such as sinks. So how do we manage in this new environment? First, share knowledge and expertise. Facilities teams have vast experience with different surface materials, with cleaning agents and engineering design. Infection prevention and control teams know about how different microorganisms behave and the challenges linked to transmission. As requirements become more
require new skills and roles with people who previously wouldn’t be looking at our industry suddenly able to apply analytical skills and carve a long-term career path. Alongside this, and linked to my second point, we have to create processes that give people time to use the data and an incentive to act truly in the clients’ interest. These new roles, and entry levels to our industry, will create diversity of thought and also greater transparency. In a truly transparent model why do the operatives and FM management need to sit with an outsourced contractor? I can understand why this happened in the first wave of outsourcing, as without the people you didn’t have control of the product. I’d argue now that it is this control with its associated mark-up that prevents real change at point of delivery. Separating the data mining and strategy formulation from the delivery therefore should create a healthy tension between a client transparency as it puts and a service provider. existing revenue/profit The goal for our sector is streams at risk. surely to disrupt ourselves The first point shows we by improving transparency aren’t making the necessary and inventing new roles and changes, alongside new before someone technology, with people and WW W. B I F Mprocesses .O RG .U K / F M WJ OIN from another industry does it. process. New data sources t strikes me that as an industry we have become too focused on greatlooking dashboards and extracting data from buildings. The real challenge is what you do with the data and how you create new business models from it. That in itself is the problem – from what I can see one of two things happen at the moment: 1. A large amount of data is sent to an FM or contract manager to interpret then act on while carrying out their normal day job. 2. The operating model/ contract doesn’t incentivise
complex we need to develop a common language and ensure that our interventions deliver for patients. Secondly, we need to discuss things earlier. When
“ALL SIDES NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN THE STRATEGIC MEETINGS” new hospitals are being built or wards refurbished, everyone needs to have a shared vision at the design stage of what items are key non-negotiables for each of the groups involved. This data must be consistent and shared to support the process. All sides need to be involved in the strategic meetings at trust level. If FM is involved in flushing for Pseudomonas aeruginosa control, for example, then it needs a seat at the table during water management committee meetings. Having the ability not just to share knowledge but to impact on its use is essential to improving the process. Everyone talks about multidisciplinary teams in the NHS. The time has come to make them work in practice .
MARK TYSON is service delivery director at Capita
“WE NEED TO TAKE A LONGERTERM VIEW AND CHALLENGE EXISTING CONTRACT STRUCTURES”
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V I E W P O I NT
SESSION: PEOPLE ANALYTICS
I am going to discuss people analytics – specifically, how to use data about how people work to change how companies make people decisions. The complexity of the work we do has increased at a phenomenal rate, but is quickly running up against some fundamental limitations of how we manage businesses because we don’t actually know how our organisations operate. We can’t even answer basic questions like how much two teams communicate. The answer to questions like these should drive major business decisions like reorganisations or new office designs, but instead, we focus on
easy-to-gauge metrics like cost. While costs are important, they are inherently myopic and don’t capture the ROI of decisions. People analytics shows this ROI and helps align decisions with actual results. We all know that it’s cheaper to not have offices than to have offices. If we continue the current trend of focusing solely on costs, offices will cease to exist in the next few decades. If, however, we’re able to prove the ROI of good office design and facilities more broadly using people analytics, then we can start to transform the industry from one focused on reducing costs to one focused on improving performance.
BEN WABER, leader of behavioural analytics for Humanyze
SESSION: PLEASE TELL US WHAT YOU THINK, MR OR MRS BUILDING! Most buildings are built for people to do something in, such as get better, have fun, live, work, build something, but often we lose sight of this. We spend about 90 per cent of our time in a building, and yet our experiences of being in buildings have not dramatically changed in the recent past. We still can’t find our way around, or it is too hot, or too dark, or we can’t find a free meeting room. My presentation will talk about how by using existing data building data and new data from IOT devices, we can deliver a superior experience for users. Cognitive computing and machine learning is enabling us to understand how buildings respond to their occupants, and in turn how they can be places that are not only efficient to operate, but also cool to be in. A huge amount of data that is generated by sensors and other devices is not analysed and ultimately lost; we call this dark data and it represents a lost
opportunity. The reason for this dark data is that up until the cognitive era there were not the analytic tools to deal with these huge volumes of data from many sources – only structured data could be analysed. Cognitive computing provides the capability to analyse, deliver insights and continuously learn from the explosion of IoT devices, which yield tens of thousands of new data points. Building owners need to be aware of the advances in cognitive computing so that they can be equipped to deliver buildings that people want to be part of. ‘Cognitive buildings’ will radically change the way that people interact with their physical environments and how businesses operate. Cognitive buildings will transform the way FM is delivered, FM services will become more automated, more predictive – the result being transformed businesses and superior building experiences. CLAIRE PENNY is global industry leader for
IBM Watson Internet of Things for Buildings fm-world.co.uk
SESSION: THE LONG WINDING ROAD TOWARDS TRULY INTELLIGENT BUILDINGS
I will be talking about the Internet of Things and will present research published at the end of last year that looks at its impact on the built environment. Technology in the built environment is becoming more commonplace from video cameras and electronic readers on doors. But we have to remember it’s not just about collecting data but interpreting it and seeing how to use it to add value to an organisation. In the future it will form the central nervous system of a building. It will allow us to focus on – not just the output of a physical building – but assessing whether buildings are more fit for purpose for users. For instance, hospitals make people well again – how can the building help with that? More efficiency within a building would improve patient recovery times. A lot of companies are focused on retaining staff and providing an environment where people want to work and where they won’t get sick – another indication of how the data can be used. We are focused on buildings and outcomes against the way the construction industry has [traditionally] operated, which has been more of a ‘measure, quantify and define’ approach. Predictive maintenance is a big issue for FMs and it should be a part of the feedback loop. It is better to see the early signs of problems and deal with them before they appear.
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K N OW W H OW EXPL AINER
DAVID CROSS is head of technical training at Rentokil Pest Control
F LY INFE N FESTAT STAT IO NS
KEEP YOUR BUSINESS FLY-FREE Flies carry diseases and pose a threat to your workforce if found on site – and FMs should not be complacent about the risk. David Cross at Rentokil Pest Control offers his advice
hile some of us may rejoice at the arrival of warmer weather, spring is not without its challenges for facilities managers. It is also the season when many flying pests emerge from hibernation. Adult flies will have spent the winter sheltering in the nooks and crannies of buildings, and in the spring they emerge to find decaying food, animal or human waste to feed on and lay their eggs in. Flies are more than just an annoyance. They are a risk to human health because they can cause contamination when they land on food, work surfaces or equipment. These insects spread diseases such as salmonella and E.coli as they move from one food source to another, while some species of fly can also bite. The onset of fly activity presents a good opportunity for FMs to work alongside cleaning staff to ensure that they have the right measures in place to prevent an infestation. It is particularly important to protect food preparation and dining areas, as flies are one of the UK’s most common causes of food poisoning. Diligence around the entire premises is advised, as they will make a nuisance of themselves es wherever humans go.
TYPES OF FLY
Defending your premises against a fly infestation
There are practical measures that you can implement to ensure that flies do not enter the building:
Flies are typically attracted to unhygienic places, so the first line of defence should be to make sure your premises are clean. FMs should liaise with cleaning staff to design a schedule that covers a regular clean of walls, floors, ceilings and windows. In kitchens and eating areas it’s important that equipment is routinely wiped down inside and out, including fridges and freezers. Food waste must be collected frequently, before bins overflow. Kitchen doors should be kept closed when they are not in use and that there are enough eradication measures in place to cope with the arrival of these pests.
Fly defence units
Fly screens across windows are a must to stop insects from entering the premises. In addition, fly boxes can help to control the number of flies around external areas of These boxes, which a building. T target flies at the adult stage of their life c cycle, can be placed on external walls near bins, refuse waste areas. They contain or wa
There are roughly 7,000 types of fly species in the UK. The housefly and bluebottle are the most common pest species:
Housefly House flies can be a problem for businesses, especially those that handle food, as they are major carriers of microorganisms that can cause diseases, including salmonella and E.coli. Houseflies feed by regurgitating acids onto food and then proceed to suck up the resultant mush.
Bluebottle fly Otherwise known as a blow fly, bluebottles can often be seen hovering around dustbins. They are scavengers and are particularly attracted to faeces and dead animals, but are quite happy to feed off of cheese and deli meats too. They feed in a similar manner to houseflies and as a result can also spread microorganisms in the premises.
fast-acting and highly effective insecticides to eliminate flies on contact. This will make sure that the insects are caught during their breeding cycle. Rentokil’s fly control unit doesn’t need electricity to work – offering flexibility on placement. Fly control indoors is equally important for the determined few that manage to find their way inside. Opt for a fly control unit that encapsulates captured flies, rather than zapping them. Units that electrocute flying insects release micro-particles into the air, which can then fall onto surfaces and food. Fly control units that transmit ultraviolet (UV) light are useful. Up until now, fly control units have used standard UV tubes, which need to be replaced annually and are energy-hungry. Rentokil recently launched an energyefficient fly control unit called Lumnia, the first one to use LED lights to transmit UV light. This delivers an average of 61 per cent in energy savings when compared with standard tubes. The UV light, generated by LEDs, is transmitted 40 per cent further, extending the unit’s catchment area. Lumnia can also be serviced safely without the requirement for a ladder owing to the provision of an internal sliding mechanism.
FMs shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that their premises could never host a fly infestation; these pests can lodge anywhere. Whether you are dealing with a fly problem or are looking to prevent nt one, it is vital to know who to contact. act. If you are in any doubt as to o what methods to use, check ck with W W W. B I F M .O RG .U K / F M WJ O I N the experts.
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K N OW H OW EXPL AINER
R ECYC LING LARG E R IT EMS
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE: BULKY WASTE AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY When FMs are dealing with large items of waste, such as office furniture or redundant fixtures and fittings, one of the first ideas that comes to mind is to hire a skip or large container. But is there a better way? FM World spoke to people from the Furniture Recycling Group, WCRS and Premier Sustain to give the options available to FMs, as well as legislation to consider
NICK OETTINGER is managing director at the Furniture Recycling Group
What are the cost implications for the FM/ organisation?
Landfill tax has been steadily increased over the past 10 years, now at £84.40 per tonne, to encourage organisations to recycle waste instead. Choosing environmentally friendly methods of disposal and recycling rather than sending to landfill used to be more expensive, however, costs are now at a similar level with the continually increasing landfill tax. FM organisations should therefore be investing in responsible methods of disposal to reduce the levels of ground pollution caused by landfill sites and improve their corporate image. Forwardthinking organisations will ensure budget is allocated for recycling processes at the start of each financial period.
Whose responsibility is it to solve the issue – the suppliers or the FM?
Disposal of bulky furniture such as mattresses and white goods is particularly problematic for FM companies offering their services to social housing organisations. When FM organisations are considering suppliers of bulky items they should spend time researching their policies on recycling and disposal. If the suppliers don’t offer a reputable recycling service, then the responsibility falls on the FM organisation to ensure a recycling or reuse process is in place for end-of-life items. Having a contingency budget for this eventuality is essential to reduce the risk of unexpected costs.
What are the current barriers to achieving a fm-world.co.uk
circular economy – and would simply making it easier for the FM to recycle ycle such items go some way y to solving the issue?
Embracing the circular economy and building these practices into business activity also supports the ‘triple bottom line’ – another aspect that FM organisations should be educated on if they’re not yet aware of it. Triple bottom line accounting incorporates profit, people and the planet, also referred to as the three Ps, as opposed to a traditional single bottom line: profit. In other words, an organisation can choose to consider the social and environmental impact of its activities in the pursuit of profit and improve its corporate image in the process.
Many organisations are unaware that partner organisations and processes es exist for the recycling and reuse of bulky products. Many any are still under the impression ion that mattresses, for example, le, are too large and complex to be broken down and recycled, led, much less reintroduced into to the economy as new products. ucts. A lack of traceability with h circular economy processess is also creating a barrier, ass organisations are unable to o quantify their efforts and therefore unable to justify budgets for these activities. s. This discourages them from m investing in recycling services ices and keeps them dependentt on landfill as an easier solution. n. Educating these organisations on the possibilities will in turn also so go some way to solving the e W W W. B I F M .O RG .U K / F M WJ O I N issue of landfill reliance.
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ENABLING PRODUC TIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR PEOPLE AND BUSINESS
World FM in motion From across the globe, stories of how the facilities management sector is evolving
STRAINING TO TRAIN The territories that seek to boost FMsâ€™ skills
DESIGNING FM IN Countries aiming for earlier FM involvement
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experience pushes FM W W W. B I F M .O RG .U K / F Mon WJ O I N
FAC I LITATE
VA L U E O F F M
It’s an established truism that while those working in the FM sector are keenly aware of the value they bring, it’s an understanding that all too rarely permeates outside of the department. Only in times of crisis or malfunction does the wider organisation appreciate the benefits that an effective facilities management team can bring. Yet there clearly is a broader underlying value, and there is a growing recognition of what it is. The problem? The sheer breadth of FM’s reach. One firm may appreciate a clean office, for example, while another focuses on the provision of highquality concierge. Both may be important, but firms will differ in what weight they give to each. FM’s overall value, as a result, can fall between the cracks. Jane Bell is an independent FM consultant and the director of learning and development services at BIFM Training. She has worked in the sector for more than 30 years, and believes that any answer to the question of FM’s value proposition needs to encompass the sheer variety of activities it can encompass. “FM is very diverse in terms of its operations, and that makes it quite challenging to come up with a single, simple model to demonstrate its value.” In fact, Bell even questions whether the quest to define FM’s value contribution – a
constant refrain – is a healthy pursuit in the first place. “This search for a model has been a holy grail in the profession for as long as I have been involved,” she says. “I don’t think it can ever be achieved.” It’s a complicated quest that’s compounded by the trend by larger FM providers to move into other areas, suggests Dave Wilson, non-executive director of Morphose. “I’m one who argues strongly that FM can do lots of things and is not confined to offices,” says the former BIFM deputy chair. “But there’s a world of difference between running a facility and taking on social and healthcare, and those boundarypushing measures that larger companies in particular seem to do can also muddy the water in terms of what we do.” Yet these great leaps in ambition have their place in the quest to earn FM’s due ‘respect’. For FM’s role to be truly valued, the sector needs to be able to demonstrate benefits in other areas than just providing the basic essentials. “If we’re looking for ways of catching senior management attention and measuring value, the most positive direction for FM as a profession is to focus on the business itself, and aligning the way that it not only delivers services but measures impact and success or failure in line with those business objectives and the needs of customers,” says Bell. Which brings us to productivity – very much the intangible yet crucial concern to organisations of all types, although notoriously difficult to measure. As evidenced in The Workplace Advantage report published by the Stoddart Review earlier this
year, herein lies FM’s opportunity. “No one can measure productivity any more,” says Wilson. “We’re not in a world where people are churning out widgets and you can count how many an hour they produce. You have elements like the Leesman Index, which is fairly scientific, but even that is constrained by the fact that it’s about people’s perceptions of what makes them more productive.” Wilson suggests that for commercial bodies the route to identifying FM’s value may lie in looking at the specific metric of revenue as an indicator of per capita productivity. The key – and challenge – is to flesh out FM’s role in such an indicator. “No one in an organisation leaves all the levers alone and only pulls one to see what happens. They’re constantly pushing all the buttons.”
Risk = reward
Colin Kenton, managing director of FM services at service provider KBR, believes the environment is right for FM to focus on the value it brings in mitigating risk, an area of growing importance, given the heightened threat levels in Europe. “FM’s ability to manage risk and disruption is an opportunity to raise its strategic importance in the eyes of senior management, for example in how it supports business continuity through effective preparedness, crisis management and recovery – by people and building systems alike – when there’s a threat to or interruption of operations,” he says. And, says Wilson, there are ways in which FM can help to create the conditions whereby the value it delivers is better understood. Making the case to senior
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FAC I LITATE
S O U TH AM E RIC A & T HE CA RIBBEAN
FM’S SLOW ROAD TO RECOGNITION
BR A Z I L
Across latin America and the Caribbean, development of FM’s status varies not just from country to country, but city to city as well CARIB B E AN
Facility Management ‘savant’ based in Trinidad & Tobago Key themes in the Caribbean Scarcity of funding Growth of professional networks Disaster preparedness
The Caribbean suffers a scarcity of funding, with FM too often seen as an afterthought when proposing business cases for operations & maintenance funding and other capital initiatives. However, awareness of FM and what it can do for organisations is growing as regional FM communities network together more routinely. Tourism, a large part of most Caribbean countries’ GDP, has declined steadily since the US financial crash, with other less tourism dependent (for example Trinidad – Oil; Guyana – Natural resources / minerals) sectors also affected. The upshot? FM professionals called upon more frequently to help organisations cut costs. This, says Tyrel Melville, creates a valuable opportunity
for FMs to be strategic. A spate of construction in the region has energised FM with the Caribbean built environment modernised significantly over the last 10 years. This has led to increased demand for FM jobs and an increase in their proficiency. As organisations have modernised their buildings they have improved the criteria they use to recruit and hire facility professionals, as evidenced by the advertising of FM positions and growing number of professionals on LinkedIn bearing the title facility manager or similar. The legislation driving how FM is practised are the various national Occupational Safety & Health Acts. (Not all countries have had their acts passed by their respective government legislative bodies, but most are close to being enacted.) Key issues range from disaster preparedness to health and safety, but one that particularly concerns Melville is FM’s battle to be considered more in the design process related to new construction and renovations. “Our respective construction industries have been slow to include FM as a part of the construction solution. This has led to many instances of retrofits, long lead times to order replacements, consumables that aren’t readily available locally, and no local subject matter expertise for the assets being installed. It’s a steep curve to be behind on, but its gradually being overcome.”
“As FMs, we are already sitting in on IT meetings as well as meetings about people and business strategy. FM is becoming more involved. It’s happening.”
Vice President, ABRAFAC Key issues in South America: FM integrating into businesses Legislation allowing more outsourcing Varying FM maturity across latin America
ABRAFAC, the Brazilian FM association, has a ten-year plan to set up a common standard with a clear definition for the role of an FM. Thiago Santana, ABRAFAC’s vice president, explains that FM in Brazil is not seen as a career under the title of the facilities manager – a profession not officially recognised in official labour legislation in Brazil. But there is progress. “We are already sitting in on IT meetings, and meetings about people and business strategy. FM is becoming more involved. It’s happening.” The market is being helped by changes to legislation, too. “Very recently, the government approved a law so that companies can outsource whatever activities they want, core or non-core. The market will selfregulate and organisations will have the flexibility to decide what activities they want to outsource.” The maturity of FM across latin America can be divided into three groups, says Santana. “In Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina you have an open environment for outsourcing and FM activities. In Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay, for some activities they clearly understand the outsourcing of services such as cleaning and security - but they still retain a lot in-house. But other countries are still some further steps back, having even multinational organisations facing challenges when trying to apply international contracts in W W W. B I F M .O RG .U K / F M WJ O I N those geographies.”
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