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David Tan
David Tan

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1 April 2019 David Tan

With outsourcing on the decline in the UK, going green is the way forward, says David Tan.

While FM services are being seen in higher regard globally and are more in demand, organisations in different countries have different attitudes towards outsourcing FM services. 

Singapore, where I am based, has quite a mature FM services market, with a high outsourcing trend owing to the presence of many large multinational corporates that prefer to outsource FM. 

Historically, most organisations have outsourced hard FM because of the lack of technical skills, while delivering soft FM in-house. Yet the market is changing, with more companies outsourcing both hard and soft FM services as the philosophy of focusing on core competencies gains awareness. And improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprints through green and smart buildings are high priorities for building owners. This is fantastic for FM providers in Singapore as they can finally leverage their full potential. 

But the potential for growth in FM outsourcing in the UK over the past few years has been limited because of political uncertainty, cuts in public sector budgets, closure of facilities and a lack of large-scale projects undertaken in recent years. 

Healthcare and education are two of the largest governmental departments. Engineering, building, maintenance, and cleaning are the most outsourced FM services in healthcare. Administration, maintenance, and catering are widely outsourced within the education sector. But both sectors saw a decline in 2017 compared with 2016.


Still, as in Singapore, the call for energy management is likely to increase. This is the only silver lining as far as the UK’s FM market is concerned. 

But there is potential to improve. Raising awareness about sustainability and going green by focusing on reducing carbon footprint and boosting energy efficiency is the way forward for the UK. 

David Tan is director of Mr Wright in Singapore