4 December 2018 | Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor discusses the importance of good service delivery from FM service providers.
The idea that good FM should support a business's strategic objectives, organisational culture and employees' needs isn't new. Yet, somewhere along the way, our industry lost sight of this lesson.
Service lines - cleaning, security, catering, M&E - have been added to the gamut of 'facilities', pushing the discipline out to the fringes and leaving it susceptible to ruthless cost-cutting measures.
The sector's tendency to deliver by service lines disregards the cultural and operational differences between customer sectors. Coordinating FM with a customer's people and work is impossible with a one-size-fits-all approach.
With faith in the outsourcing of services diminishing, however, the onus is now on the industry to show how FM can deliver genuine strategic value.
We believe this is only possible by adopting a sector-led approach to service delivery. Our organisation made the decision to organise our integrated facilities offer by sector so that we could establish our experience and expertise in the industries our customers operate in.
But this has also prompted us to reconfigure the way we measure success. Cleaning methods are broadly similar across different sectors, but the desired outcomes may vary greatly.
In retail or hospitality spaces a spotless environment is all about keeping up appearances. But for hospitals, keeping wards and operating theatres clean is a matter of life or death. Likewise, school children will have different nutritional needs to a factory worker.
As the organisation acquiring the risk, it is vital that FM service providers understand the challenges unique to each sector.
If FM is to truly become a foundation of the pyramid supporting people, process and place, the industry must rethink how it makes a difference in each sector.
Bob Taylor is CEO of OCS Group in the UK, Ireland & Middle East