David Smith, Bellrock CEO, on the company's acquisition of software business Concerto, as the emphasis on data monitoring in the FM sector this year.
13 March 2017 | Jamie Harris
What was the strategic rationale for purchasing Concerto?
We see Concerto as a transformational acquisition, one targeted to accelerate access to new capabilities such as improving reporting in real time and joining the dots for clients between asset management, property management, project management and FM. It also allows us to look at new markets such as those multi-site location organisations that have in-house provision of FM and property services as well as those that have an outsourcing strategy.
Concerto's platforms are being rolled out across your client base - is there a client sector that could benefit most from this?
Concerto has a client base of over 50 local authorities and multi-site businesses such as retailers. These sectors will continue to be a target market. But we see a unique chance to partner with any organisation however they manage their property and FM. The technology can be deployed to support an in-house team just as easily as it being a tool for Bellrock to manage operations on behalf of a client. The strategy is to migrate existing clients onto the Concerto platform, maintaining all the benefits of the previous platform and introducing new ones.
Why are organisations not making the most of the data they gather?
Many do not have visibility of the full range of assets within their estate, let alone an understanding of the maintenance regimes, costs and services. As organisations grow their capability to gather data, we can facilitate with analysis and insight. The term 'Big Data' probably explains the challenge. A wealth of data can be overwhelming We use our experience and facilities knowledge coupled with our building estate management, property management, asset management and project management expertise every day. Concerto allows us to support this with insight and a more holistic view of activity across all strands of property and FM.
We believe that insight can help restructure workflows, redesign building use to monetise after-hours access to facilities, and maximise the value of capital being spent on projects.
Should the FM team own this data within the organisation?
An FM may need data relating to a project or an asset whereas the C-suite is looking at long-term trends and compliance. We are focused on not only creating those different views, but also overlaying the supply chain data to create unique insight. As a result we challenge the nature of the FM role. We see FMs as business managers. A key skill for business management is owning and managing data that helps you to make informed decisions about your area of expertise and structuring it so that it has value.