Interviewee: Phil Bentley, chief executive of Mitie
Issue: Understanding risk and transforming service delivery
05 April 2018 | Phil Bentley
Phil Bentley, chief executive of Mitie, discusses how to understand risk and transform service delivery.
Mitie has turned itself around well in just months. To what do you attribute this?
Focus. On our business, our clients and our people.
We're one year into our three-year transformation programme and are absolutely focused on delivery.
Having done a full review of the business, we believe we have lots of opportunities on cost, savings and technology. We've made great strides, but we still have much more to do. We remain focused on excellent customer service, and the roll-out of game-changing technology that allows our frontline staff to deliver what Mitie stands for - the exceptional, every day. After all, that's why we're here.
How has Carillion's demise affected your outlook on how you manage your business?
No one wants to see a competitor fail, and hard-working people out of work. But, the main point is that service has been maintained.
As an industry, there are many learnings. The key ones being "Do we understand the risk we are taking on; have we priced it correctly; and do we have the balance sheet strength to take the knocks?" Customers rightly seek value from our expertise. At the same time, FM providers must be paid fairly for the work they do on a timely basis, and on fair terms that reflect the transfer of risk.
But remember, we have a different business model from Carillion. We've got a great and diverse list of clients and we're not exposed to any one sector.
How do you think it may change the business landscape?
I think it's too early to say, but we must have fair contracting; we must be transparent about how we fund the business; we must treat our supply chain fairly; and we should get the right balance between respecting employment terms - such as pensions - and paying senior management and shareholders.
What are the biggest challenges for you this year?
Our focus has to be on delivering great service through our people, and valuable insight through our technology.
What are Mitie's plans - specifically pertaining to FM?
The world is changing - AI, IoT, robotics etc - but the fundamentals of outsourcing - expertise, focus and scale - haven't.
With our Connected Workspace technology, we see the opportunity to provide unparalleled insight for our clients, helping them improve the performance of their buildings as well as create amazing workspaces where people give their best. To me, it's an incredibly exciting time to be in FM.