18 October 2011
I admit my blogging contributions of late have been pretty poor, but I do have an excuse.
My time has been taken up almost exclusively with the future strategic shape of our FM service and how we can contribute to the financial challenges we are facing, both as an industry and a sector.
Working with our strategic outsourced partner, we've now restructured our FM delivery model incorporating a thin client commissioning structure, we've novated services and contracts that had remained outside of the original deal, and value engineered significant savings and margin back into the council. As a result, we now have our sourcing strategy in place, building on this security to maintain a long term partnership to 2016.
What's motivated me to write this week is that, during this past year, I've learned some valuable lessons that I thought worth sharing with those of you starting down this journey.
First, working in partnership is key and keeping that mind set will result in far greater gains that allow both to operate in a commercial context. Second, clear and open communication results in the ability to be frank, honest and constructive. It also helps with those awkward grey areas that need addressing. Third, approach your needs with a degree of pragmatism and, finally, think big - you can always scale back.
The most important lesson I've learned, however, is that "sometimes the big picture is all about the small things". As managers, we can be engaged in the big strategic conversations, building new service models to address future challenges, but we forget the business as usual in the here and now at our peril.
As facilities managers we must always remember that it's ALL about the lights and lifts, the toilets and roofs, the deli and cleaning. Forgetting to keep one eye on this while looking strategically at the long term is the hardest task of all - and sometimes the hardest lesson to learn.
Finbarr Murray is head of facilities management at London Borough of Croydon
Other news for Thursday, 20 October 2011Salford City kicks off with Azure
ISS scoops Essex catering deal
Seasoned Events lands luxury boat deal
NG Bailey flying high with £9m Heathrow deal
Hard but valuable lessons
BIFM Award 2011 winners by category:
Client of Year – The Co-operative (Highly commended: Everything Everywhere)
Consultant of the Year – EC Harris
Judges' Special Award - PriDE
Sustainability and Environmental Impact - Modus Services Limited
FM of the Year – Chris Stoddart scoops top prize at BIFM Awards
Overall Industry Impact – Lionel Prodgers
Innovation in Products – Plastic Surgeon
Service Provider of the Year – Westway Services (highly commended: SitexOrbis)
Innovation and Technology and Systems – SGP with Altius Vendor Assurance (highly commended: Serco for Forth Valley Royal Hospital)
Communications and Marketing – HSS Hire (highly commended: Liz Kentish Coaching and Managed Support Services)
Impact on Organisation and Workplace - Telefonica supported by ISS (highly commended: Balfour Beatty Workplace, BBC Workplace and ID:SR)
Innovation in Customer Service – Carillion (highly commended: Devonshire Square Management)