11 September 2017 | Martin Read
Consistency in the delivery of service is one of facilities management's least discussed attributes, and the profession has much to benefit from making more of this necessary virtue, argues FM World editor Martin Read
If there's one word that stands out in the evolving lexicon surrounding the quest for innovation in the facilities management sphere, it's 'consistency'. You can come up with whatever cockamamie scheme you and your client like, but make no mistake that any project to innovate, repurpose or in any way improve the FM service is most likely to founder because of a lack of consistency in its delivery. Failure to fully understand the nature and routine availability of inputs will surely affect the certainty you can have about your outputs.
Consistency is a word close to my heart this month. It also gets an airing in our Facilitate features, our theme being facilities management's role as brand guardians. Talk is of "consistent service delivery by a team that believes in and follows the brand service", meaning "a continued programme of motivation, energy and regular coaching for the facilities team to ensure the approach remains the same". This is all supported by managers capable of training staff in how to maintain brand values and incentivising them consistently to do so.
If there's a recurring theme, it's that facilities management has much to gain from coming out from the back office into the full glare of 'hey, look what we do' self-publicity. A familiar refrain.
In the case of maintaining desired brand values, it's hard to put the case for any other departmental head having greater influence. FMs work across departments and property portfolios, interacting with those departments' personnel in ways that other departments do not. And given that every employee has a role to play in representing their organisation's brand values, who better than the FM to ensure the organisation's promise to its employees and customers is kept?
Finally, a word of thanks for our departing colleague Jamie Harris. After five years on FM World, Jamie has moved on to Building magazine as their digital editor, where I have no doubt his star will shine just as brightly as it did here. Jamie's role, much like that of the typical FM's, evolved over the years to fit an ever-changing requirement in an ever-evolving media landscape. Looking back, what was critical in Jamie's case was the consistency he brought to the delivery of his service outputs. It's nice to be able to mark Jamie's departure by linking his stand-out qualities to a critical part of FM's service proposition.
Martin Read is editor of FM World