17 January 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has said the collapse of support services and construction firm Carillion will lead to "important learnings for our industry".
In a statement issued this morning, the BIFM said it was "sad and shocking" to see the well-known industry name enter liquidation, but the "clear priority is to ensure that the work the construction and services firm is contracted to do can be completed and the impact for the thousands of Carillion workers, as well as its customers and suppliers, can be minimised".
It added that BIFM had already begun to reflect on the evolving landscape for FM and would be reaching out to its members affected by the collapse.
Chief executive Linda Hausmanis has written to reassure the learners from Carillion currently studying for a BIFM qualification in facilities management that their situation is unaffected by the news and encouraging them to complete their studies as normal.
The trade body for facilities managers said it was "too early to draw conclusions about what the collapse of Carillion means for the wider outsourced services industry".
But beyond the widespread concern for the thousands of people directly affected, it said "the case is already raising questions around the now established arrangements in our economy where outsourcing is a mainstay of so much public and private service provision, not least facilities management".
Last week the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) published the first phase of a new £12 billion Facilities Management Framework that is expected to launch in May and aims to help more SMEs enter the supply chain.
The BIFM says that "the inclusion of components such as 'social value' into tender specifications can assist firms who might otherwise fail where lowest cost is the primary denominator" and "in the light of this week's events especially, we will be working with members to scrutinise the framework".
Linda Hausmanis said: "The news of Carillion is indeed a sad moment for all those affected. BIFM's immediate priority has been to reassure the learners from Carillion studying for qualifications in facilities management that their situation is unchanged. I want to encourage them to continue their self-development and I wish them luck.
"We can't change what has happened, but we must learn from this event and use it as catalyst for change. The case can and must be made to change from a model of service delivery that is driven by cost alone to one that is driven by value".
You can read the full statement here.