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22 March 2019
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Chris Jeffers at the Facilities Show

19 June 2018 | Martin Read

Speaking at today’s Facilities Show, Chris Jeffers, chairman of BIFM’s procurement special interest group, has suggested that empathy in FM contracts, “to put yourself in the other party’s shoes”, is critical to overcoming contract performance shortfalls.


Explaining the need to procure the FM service through a structured analysis of potential service providers, Jeffers advised that “you cannot learn procurement from a book or a classroom”, suggesting instead that the audience should spend time getting to know the nature of the services required.


“It’s important to give yourself enough time to do this work,” continued Jeffers. “Because procurement is cyclical by nature, we often don’t make the time to consider properly what we want and how we want to get it.”


Discussing vested outsourcing, Jeffers suggested that the value of the much-discussed model – new to property management in his view, at least in the UK – obliges a performance-based partnership which involves the ability to flex the scope and the form of the contract over time.


“That’s important in FM,” said Jeffers, ”because in the past we’ve suffered from a lack of flexibility.”


The benefits of a collaborative relationship come down to effective outcomes, new perspectives on challenges, mutual learning and a shared ownership of both risk and reward – thus leading to less conflict.


Jeffers also spoke about the need for both parties in the relationship to achieve common purpose and have it underpinned by the commercial model. Both parties need to be clear about how they will get from the agreed pricing model. Often, for various reasons, that model is not understood – which is why ongoing collaboration is so vital – “and you can’t read that in a book”.