4 December 2017 | Roger Amos
Roger Amos, MD of Ayer Associates Limited, discusses how innovation in facilities management can enhance facilities.
If we ask ourselves "what are facilities for?" the logical answer has to be "to provide a built environment that is fit for its purpose". But how about taking it back a step further still and say "to play a key part in making our lives more comfortable and contented."
Take going to an airport and all the stages one goes through until the start of the journey - the plane, the car park, the bus transfer, departures, security, duty-free shopping and the departure lounge the bar, restaurant and the loo!
All of those places within one overall environment are there for the well-being of the passengers, all with a limited amount of time but some quite relaxed and others on edge and reminding themselves that flying is the safest form of transport.
The perspective of the environment or part of that environment we are in differs from one customer to another.
The facilities are reliant on the operators - check-in staff, security staff, gate staff - and depending on how they are set up it can dramatically influence the passenger's experience. Treat passengers like cattle and that will affect how they treat the facilities.
At a concert the first thing that will set the scene is the venue and if it doesn't make you happy, or makes you feel unsafe, the chances are that the concert won't live up to your expectations. And what about the artist backstage? If the artist or band feel comfortable and content in whatever form that needs to be for them, then that has to affect the performance they give and how the audience feels at the end of the night.
We have to constantly be taking that holistic view and looking for innovation but not losing sight of the fact that those users maybe the same on paper but their individual characteristics drive differing requirements from the environment they are in. We should encourage innovation from others to enhance the facilities. If we have those strategic discussions with the technology providers we will soon be seen as more than just someone who helped put a man on the moon (Hmm, sounds familiar - Ed).
Roger Amos is managing director of Ayer Associates Limited