Open-access content Thursday 11th December 2008 — updated 12.32pm, Wednesday 6th May 2020
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18 December 2008
The year just gone will be indelibly etched in the memory for a long time to come, but for all the wrong reasons. As I reflect on what has for me personally been a most memorable year, I do feel empathy for many of my professional colleagues in property-related disciplines, and this includes the bankers, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves nervously anticipating what will happen next.
The fortunate thing for FM is that while we are not immune, we have to a certain extent managed to stay under the radar of the recession. I did not use the words recession proof in July, and I still don't use them now. Someone did tell me recently that The Times had included a number of prominent FM businesses in their "Top 20" share tips, although I take that with a pinch of salt, as I can only imagine who was on the list last year.
The management team of the institute, which includes members council, the board and the executive, have all been carefully looking at the fluid situation and discussing prudent risk management actions to shield us from the recession. I am pleased to report that, despite current trends, we have continued to deliver the medium-term strategy we commenced a year ago.
We recently agreed to continue to focus on the delivery of this strategy to the overall benefit of our members. We also agreed to make sure the outputs deliver to you, the coal-face member, the tools you may need to survive in these tough conditions.
BIFM has had a good year. We became an awarding body; we established the very successful WiFM SIG; we have continued to grow our membership; we organised successful national and regional conferences, gala balls and the awards dinner; we held a huge number of events and through BIFM Training delivered hundreds of training courses, and next year we are going to do even more of the same.
I look forward to 2009 with quiet anticipation. I believe that FMs and the industry can prosper in these conditions. We have after all been telling everyone we have the tools to help them manage their facilities and ergo their spending more efficiently. I think, if we take care of our cash, and continue to focus on quality FM, prudently priced, then we can do well. As individuals we must keep the learning curve steep and agile. Come to the conference if you want to learn more.
I wish you all a very pleasant holiday season, and a prosperous New Year.