Data detailed in a new book suggests that legal compliance is a significant issue for the facilities management industry.
A book by Jeff Dewing, CEO of Cloudfm, entitled Doing the Opposite, states that only 30 to 40 per cent of buildings have the correct documentation and processes to protect the very people that operate within those assets. The book highlights “issues that range from a lack of compliance to overcharging and suggests ‘the traditional FM relationships are stuck in a cycle of self-destruction’”.
Dewing said: “It’s time to hold a mirror up to the industry; I set out to highlight some of the fundamental problems our industry faces and suggest a positive manifesto for change. We have the technology to enable a new era of transparency and behaviour that will rebuild trust and confidence in the industry and drive huge efficiencies and cost-benefits to all the associated stakeholders.”
He says that to change the culture of the industry, organisations must connect values to operations and seek “to address the culture of poor behaviour such as over-billing and ‘behind closed doors’ activity by creating accountability throughout the value chain”.
The book is primarily about Dewing’s life and business career and “examines the facilities management industry and highlights the life lessons that helped him build back from set-backs and shares essential tips for resilience in times of crisis for business, facilities management and life”.
In the 1990s, Dewing went from “owning a successful business and a football club to claiming benefits to try and put food on the table”.
In 2012, he co-founded Cloudfm and built a successful business that grew from zero to one worth £70 million in four years. But the industry has challenges.
Dewing said: “The traditional FM relationship is stuck in a cycle of self-destruction. Clients procure services the same way but expect different results. And it is not just the FM providers doing things the wrong way.
“Client FM managers tend to focus on the detail, not the big picture. They might have a £20 million contract, but rather than worrying if they are wasting millions of pounds, they obsess about a dishwasher that has broken down three times in a week. Even as intelligent people, we still stupidly focus on cost and not value.
“My vision was to change the industry from the bottom up because doing things radically different is the only chance you have of getting a different result. We are tearing up the template and doing things the right way. That cycle of self-destruction? Procure the same old way, focus on the detail, fix the same problem time and again? We simply step away from it.”