Facilities Management – Why This Is An Exciting Category To Explore!

Posted 13/07/2016

Well fellow Purchasing professionals, it would seem that it’s time for us to wake up and shout a little louder and more often, as today, July 13th , is World FM Day.  When is World Purchasing Day? 

However putting aside the point that as a profession they would seem to have much better PR and advertising compared to us, my view is that there are many other similarities which are worth exploring and explain why we should almost always seek to ensure that FM as a Category is included within any projects we can secure.

OK, so what is Facilities Management (FM)?  Well, first for the big number: it is currently estimated to represent 5% of global GDP. At a recent client, a massive mining company, their spend within the FM category was in the region of $1B, or put another way some 7% of their total spend, depending on what you include and how you allocate internal management costs, and I will come back to that point a little later. 

Sub-categories in scope could include HR services, security, catering, cleaning and gardening, property and asset maintenance, Fire services. Environmental, Financial and IT operations - indeed practically any non-core activity or category of spend. Customers cover every segment of commercial activity and are widespread through the public sector. Next time you are out on business, look closely at the insignia on the car park attendant, the receptionist and whoever serves your lunch. Many of the larger FM companies provide procurement packages, so perhaps worth checking who is paying the salary of the person on the other side of the desk. 

FM has also been called the business function that coordinates space, infrastructure, people and the Organization.

The core competencies of the people are equally widespread and include; technology, property management, leadership and strategic awareness, project management, financial and business acumen, business continuity, environmental stewardship etc. 

And back to World FM day, the declared aims of which are “Empowering people for a productive world” and “Enabling different business disciplines to collaborate and deliver high quality business performance”. See where my thoughts on shared similarities come from! 

Talk to any senior executive at an FM company and they will outline the primary benefits of an Integrated Facility Management solution, and they will probably be: cost reduction, savings, supplier reduction, cross functional and cross business communication and solutions, greater transparency and better quality Management Information. All of which in turn allows managers to focus on core activities leading to yet further performance improvements across the business. 

All of which sounds very similar to some of the benefits we seek to provide to clients. And especially when the savings could equate to a total of 20%+ over a three year contract or even 35%+ over the length of a five year contract. With the further benefit of using one company who can provide a proposal, which may simplify global delivery and implementation opportunities. 

Oh, and World FM day is a truly global activity with events, seminars, forums taking place from New York to Sydney, and including all points in between from the UAE to Ukraine and from Sudan to Chile. If any of this is of immediate interest or application to a current project, more details are available on www.globalfm.org  and this provides full details of events and webinars. Go on, check it out, it might be the best thing you do today!

Tagged by topic: Facilities Management

  by Ian Satchwell

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