23 April 2015 | Leigh Carter
One of the three themes for the BIFM Awards 2015 is innovation - so what does this term mean to the world of FM services and delivery?
It is a term that is liberally used in bids and many clients bemoan the lack of it in delivered contracts, so what is it and why is it important?
We live and work in a fast-changing world - and this means constant new changes that impact the workplace, workforces and customers we support. Which means the services and support we deliver need to constantly evolve.
This brings great challenge for FMs and specialist suppliers, who often have little time, resources and budget to research and develop new ways of doing things, but is also a great opportunity to be truly innovative about how and what services are delivered.
Innovation doesn't necessarily need to be big or expensive; sometimes it is the simplest ideas and changes that can have a major impact. In our industry we also have the opportunity to 'borrow' innovations from other industries and sectors. How much of the technology we take for granted today started life as an innovation in the FM industry?
Another important point to remember is that in the FM industry we all tend to innovate day in, day out, as a matter of course. FM is largely about responding to a myriad of ever-changing circumstances and challenges that require inventive and new solutions. What we are not always good at is recognising our 'innovations' and packaging and sharing them more widely.
This is why these categories in the BIFM Awards are so important - as hopefully it encourages everyone in the business to stop and think about what they have done and write it down.
The innovation categories for the awards typically generate a wide range of entries from large and small organisations. Here is a reminder of the categories and what we are looking for:
Innovation in Technology and Systems
The most innovative application of systems or technology in FM. It can be simple and inexpensive or the most complicated rationalisation.
New Product or Service of the Year
The product or service that through its development and utilisation has had the most positive impact in the work and/or social environment in which we live.
I look forward to seeing your pioneering entries!
Full details on all BIFM Awards categories are available on www.bifmawards.org. Entries close 22 May.
Leigh Carter is Lead Judge for 'New Product or Service of the Year' in the BIFM Awards, and Strategic Development Director at Interserve