Open-access content Wednesday 8th June 2016
The interviewee: Bob Taylor, CEO of OCS UK
The issue: Adapting to an ever- changing facilities management industry
9 June 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
OCS recently appointed Bob Taylor as its new chief operating officer. Taylor joined OCS Group in 2014 from G4S plc, where he was managing director of one of the business units.
Taylor's appointment comes at the end of a two-month strategic review period, which has resulted in two of OCS's UK divisions being consolidated into "a more streamlined organisational structure".
It has also led to 12 new appointments in the senior team. This will enable the business to put its resources into areas "where it is already strong" and has the potential to grow, according to Taylor.
The restructured team will "concentrate on providing services to organisations within education, healthcare, government, business and industry, leisure and retail" out of the 14 sectors that OCS covers.
Taylor says OCS also has another leg of the business for specialist services. This includes niche businesses such as asbestos removal, vegetation management and horticulture, security systems, high-level tower painting and waste management.
Taylor says: "There's still a misconception that OCS is just a cleaning company. When we reviewed the business there were around 140 different service lines. We have simplified this to 35 self-delivered services."
Taylor believes an emerging trend in the FM market is towards the provision of total facilities management, although he adds that when looking at purchasing trends over a number of years "the TFM percentage share of the market has not grown significantly".
"The main problem is that there isn't one clear definition of what constitutes TFM, although most people would have a view."
While an increasing amount of TFM is one aspect of what OCS does, the company says that it "must not lose sight of the fact that there are still 90 per cent of services that are not procured through TFM. People are buying single and bundled services and we must remain flexible and adaptable to the customer's requirement".
Taylor says that customers still buy single and bundled packages, "but on a much bigger scale, and it is important that we meet the needs of customers by providing an integrated model across each of the categories".
OCS is moving away from "a highly commoditised, generalist approach, with a number of scattered services, to become more focused" and the company proposes to offer integrated service delivery offering white-collar outsourcing as well as the blue collar services for which it is already known.
He also stressed that OCS was aware that the FM industry had an appetite for the new, and it is exploring different ways of contracting.
He believes OCS is "not as constrained as perhaps some other organisations are, and we are looking at models of contracting that involve SMEs, the charity sector and employee ownership".
In 2015, OCS became a Living Wage service provider, as recognised by the Living Wage Foundation.
At the time, Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: "The scale of OCS Group's influence in the market, coupled with the scale of the company's commitment to offering a Living Wage bid to all prospective clients, will help to set a new standard for recruiting and retaining quality people in facilities management."
Living Wage effect
Taylor says OCS was prepared for the effect the NLW would have on its business.
"We have done a good job of mitigating the impact on the business but we recognise that the customer budget is finite," he comments.
"As service providers, it is up to us to look at what the client can and can't afford, creating efficiencies to support the NLW.
"We will integrate our teams with the client's team, forming a partnership that will create increased understanding and support the business outcomes, rather than just a simple tick-the-box approach."