12 May 2017 | Mark Tyson
It strikes me that as an industry we have become too focused on great-looking 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 transparency as it puts existing revenue/profit streams at risk.
The first point shows we aren't making the necessary changes, alongside new technology, with people and process. New data sources 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 and a service provider.
The goal for our sector is surely to disrupt ourselves by improving transparency and inventing new roles and processes before someone from another industry does it.
Mark Tyson is service delivery director at Capita