1st & 2nd July 2024
Hilton Deansgate, Manchester

5 Minutes With… Guy Pakenham, Cordant Cleaning

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we talk to Cordant Cleaning Managing Director Guy Pakenham about his company, industry trends and difficult TV viewing choices…

Tell us about your company, products and services. 

Cordant Cleaning, part of the Cordant Group, is a Social Business whereby salaries and shareholder dividends are capped so that we can improve society person by person. Our teams deliver cleaning services throughout the UK predominantly in the transport and logistics sectors however we have a wide client portfolio in a number of markets. We have undergone a period of huge growth over the last four years, more than doubling the turnover organically to £80m.

What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?

The uncertainty of Brexit has certainly had an impact as FM companies rely heavily on a European workforce. There is no indication that existing staff will not be allowed to stay, however, GB has obviously become a less attractive destination of choice for those economic migrants of the future.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

Whilst the public sector seems to be more and more interested in taking services in-house we have certainly seen large companies in the private sector that were traditionally in-house operators look for the cost savings and other benefits of outsourcing.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2019?

To survive and thrive in the lead up to and new world of Brexit.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

I am speaking as an MD of a cleaning business, but how companies provide their clients with MI has seen a significant focus; moving away from paper and being able to communicate and see KPI performance in real time on screen. 

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

I really hope not, but probably Brexit. This topic may well be wrapped up in the performance of a new government that at the moment could be anyone…

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?

The strange situation that if end users want to save money they first go the FM companies who operate on the lowest margins. Or am I just being naive?

You go to the bar at the Facilities Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

Bottle of lager. Still a teenager at heart…

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Like most people who can make a difference to a large organisation very quickly, the most exciting thing is having ideas that you can put into action.

And what’s the most challenging?

There is no doubt that H&S, Compliance, GDPR and HR requirements has grown astronomically over the years. Some of these are appropriate, however, the amount of work, time, energy and expense for a business is always a challenge to get right every day…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Do not recruit in your own likeness.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

It has to be both!


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