Interviewee: Katy Dowding, executive vice-president, at Skanska
Issue: Uniting the group's facilities services and M&E engineering businesses
06 June 2018 | Katy Dowding
Katy Dowding, executive vice-president at Skanska, discusses the union of the group's facilities services and M&E engineering businesses.
How do you see the current FM landscape changing, especially
after the collapse of Carillion and
the Grenfell tragedy?
Carillion was a huge FM contractor, so of course its liquidation is going to have an effect on the market. I think we will see customers looking to limit their risk, to avoid being affected by something similar in the future. This might be through sub-dividing future contracts. This should benefit providers as well, as the risk will be proportionately less for them too.
Prompt payment is another important area, also linked to risk. If subcontractors are left out of pocket through late payment, that adds risk to the supply chain, which serves no one.
In an FM context, I think the Grenfell fire reminds us of how important it is for FM providers to regularly engage with both customers and building users as part of an active fire safety strategy.
What will be the challenges in bringing together facilities
services and M&E engineering businesses into a single organisation?
Skanska has been providing all of these services for many years. Bringing them closer together is simply building on the solid foundations that already exist. We are simply bringing our capex and opex elements together, if you like. We have a number of sites where our FM and MEP teams work together.
What do you see as the solid advantages of such a unification?
It's more efficient for us to manage our FM and MEP expertise under one group. Shared learning is easier and we can align to our customers' needs better.
Seamless communication with the customer is one of the biggest advantages of an integrated team. A single point of contact who leads on the projects and has overall sight of targets, issues and progress is a real asset. Unifying the business also creates opportunities for our people to develop their skills.
"Making facilities management a chartered occupation is long overdue"
How will it change/improve the way facilities services are delivered?
Bringing FM and MEP together helps us to enhance our whole life cycle cost work and advice for customers. It's easier for us to bring the latest MEP innovations to the FM market, too.
What plans do you have for Skanska and the FM division in particular?
We will continue building our FM business and nurturing our long-term relationships with customers. Our growth will be measured, with a balanced approach to risk and reward.
Adam McDonald, MD of our combined FM and MEP business, brings with him extensive experience of MEP. He is keen to employ technology, such as intelligent asset management, to help improve delivery and meet customer needs.