In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we spoke to Bruce McDonnell, Managing Director at Incentive FM, about his company, industry issues, careers advice and Peaky Blinders…
Tell us about your company, products and services
At Incentive FM we self-deliver the full range of TFM services. Our model is open book, fully transparent and our aim is to work in true partnership with our clients as trusted advisors.
What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The effects of Carillion and other struggling businesses has placed nervousness with clients and supply chain alike. Brexit has, and is bringing its own challenges regarding the uncertainty and shifting rules around EU nationals working and applying for settled status as well as the whole debate over supply from the EU, the impact that may bring and identifying clear resilient processes to keep the wheels turning.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
I think the biggest opportunities for us as a business is that we are in a unique space in the market, we are not a huge multinational bottom line focussed corporate like many of our competitors. Instead we are fully independent, truly listen to our clients, we are empowered to make the right decisions and focussed on working with businesses to develop long term sustainable partnerships. We are seeing more and more clients looking for that independent partnership way of working.
What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2019?
People! We need to make sure that our people are at the heart of everything we do. The nervousness discussed already ripples through to employees and that coupled with Brexit and other factors mean that as always for us we need to keep our teams informed, be a good employer, reward and recognise great performance and live our vision of “to have staff who love working for us and clients who love working with us”.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2019?
There is a lot of excited buzz around Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things along with other smarter ways of working. For us, harnessing this technology to deliver real value to our clients and the industry is essential. There are a lot of white elephants out there so we all need to tread carefully and confidently in this emerging market. There are a lot of financial pressures in the industry, particularly in retail and clients are keen to see strategies that harness technology output to deliver savings. This will only become more prevalent. Working smart is nothing new, everyone needs to focus on evolution and how we adapt our overall approach to match future demands. Innovation isn’t just a clever widget or system, its doing things differently to enhance what or how we do things to deliver value.
In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?
As a fan of all things winter sport related I’m sure I will be talking about the Bejing winter Olympics. I’m fairly certain there will also be some talk of the football World Cup too!
Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?
The Home Secretary, National Security is part of facilities management for our nation isn’t it?
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?
The fact that it is the third largest employment sector in the UK behind the NHS and construction.
You go to the bar at the Facilities Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?
Japanese whisky served with a smile!
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Working with great teams.
And what’s the most challenging?
Sustaining the culture and values as we grow.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Leave problems and challenges on the wave behind and focus on the gap in the waves in-front of you! (I heard this from Humphrey Walters and his learnings from sailing around the world in the toughest yacht race, the BT Global Challenge).
Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?