National Framework Manager at Forbo Flooring Systems, Sharron Kapellar discusses her company’s USPs, finances, wellbeing and blueberries with a G&T…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Forbo Flooring Systems is a leading global player in high-quality, commercial floor coverings and total solution flooring projects that include Linoleum, Vinyl, Luxury Vinyl Tiles, Flocked Flooring, Carpet Tiles and Entrance Flooring Systems. We are truly a manufacturer that believes in quality and sustainability, offering only products that we manufacture to a high standard – after all you spend 80-90% of your lifetime indoors. We want to make the best of that environment.
What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?
I would have to say finances and wellbeing, with many PFI’s coming up for maintenance renewals and clients wanting to improve wellbeing for personnel.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
I would say the above. Some other manufacturers only seem interested in the bigger construction projects and don’t seem to want to support FM managers.
What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2018?
Keeping finances above water with the minimum wage increase – it is quite a strain on the FM industry. Companies are also putting more pressure on the estate manager to give a higher environmental wellbeing for staff for longer periods of the day, but with no extra cash.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2018?
From A Forbo point of view, certainly more Dementia friendly products and colour hues, as the work force gets older, as well as more diverse. The work environment will have to change, not just for physical health but mental health wellbeing too.
From a total FM point of view hopefully more collaboration between construction and facilities companies so the FM company can truly manage the future of the building, taking lifecycle cost into consideration, and not just the construction company taking the lead on what goes into the building, to get a building out of the ground at least cost.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
We already have the latest technologies coming into business with computers predicting when things need changing. Also use of Drones; perhaps every office will soon have their own ‘Alexa’. With the increase of machines able to interact with human speech as well as FM managers now having an increase of collected data, then translating and communicating that into everyday practicalities. BIM buildings will have rules built into them and technology generally will learn from what it’s just done and possibly initiate improvement.
In 2020 we’ll all be talking about…?
Not enough charging points for our cars, and of course the weather.
Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?
I would love to have time with Deborah Rowlands, now with Sodexo, having moved up from the ranks as an assistant facilities manager, working with private and government sector companies.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?
That most FM managers don’t understand how much the correct flooring, specifically entrance areas although small, can give a big saving.
You go to the bar at the FM Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
Definitely Brockmans Gin & Slimline with blueberries
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
People and different challenges everyday
And what’s the most challenging?
At times, the people – it’s all about how I can help them manage the multitude of ever changing challenges they face.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never look back saying “if only I had”! Always try to learn from a mistake.
Peaky Blinders or The Crown?