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5 Minutes With… Bayer Environmental Science’s Gary Nicholas

In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series we spoke to Gary Nicholas, UK & IE Sales Manager (DPM) at Bayer Environmental Science, about Digital Pest Management, the role data & analytics can play in controlling pests and the rewarding nature of working with the facilities management community…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

The Bayer Group is managed as a life science company with three divisions – Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science, Bayer are very well known for our chemical products and we’re now combining these with digital solutions.  Solutions such as Digital Pest Management (DPM) to enhance our professional pest management products range.

What benefits and ‘value adds’ does DPM offer FMs?

DPM allows for real time 24/7/365 chemical-free remote rodent monitoring.  The software is able to produce trend analysis and other analytics from the data capture. Benefits and ‘value adds’ of this for FMs are such thing as:

  • Real time live digital site plans showing the precise location of each individual trap. Smart traps that can be represented on the digital site plan by coloured icons which change colour depending on their status.  No more guessing or ‘not knowing’ where traps are located and what state of service they are in.
  • Real time trigger and capture notifications which can be sent to QA and pest manager’s devices, or indeed anyone who is authorised to receive alerts through the system software. Vastly reduced reaction lead time to pest sightings and activity.
  • Reducing the use of chemicals and rodenticides to a point where usage is very precise and very targeted and used only when absolutely necessary.
  • Heat mapping technology which provides invaluable data on current and historic rodent activity, where activity is reducing, increasing and importantly where there is no activity.
  • Daily diagnostic system checks on every trap on every site, which provides QA and pest managers with automated digital, data driven reports on status and activity. This is the equivalent of having all traps inspected, serviced and digitally reported on 365 days a year.  Real time 24/7 integrated pest management systems.
  • Audit ready systems supported by the manufactures.
  • Transparency of service.

All of this would be impossible to achieve without DPM.

Do different types of site require different DPM solutions – what are the key considerations?

Not necessarily different solutions, but each site will have individual needs.  The system is flexible enough to allow bespoke solutions to meet those – Key considerations would be:

  • Nature of the business.
  • Size of the particular sites where DPM is to be installed.
  • Are non-chemical solutions preferable? I.e. food & beverage manufacturing, critical health care, and the impact of using chemicals on the business and surrounding environment.
  • Levels and locations of recent, current and historic rodent activity
  • Will the customer benefit from an audit ready digital platform? Invariable the answer to this will almost always be ‘Yes’.
  • Tailoring the system to the exact requirements of individual managers and their sites.

What is your biggest priority in 2021 (in terms of developing the DPM solution)?

To ensure businesses managers, FM managers and pest managers are aware that our system is available and on the market.  To demonstrate its functions and all the benefits of DPM.  We’ll also be ensuring that everyone’s able and confident to work with our system on their sites. Myself and the Bayer DPM team are dedicated to offering our full support to all users for as long as it is needed.

Tell us about the underlying technology in Bayer’s DPM solution

It’s a cloud based, remote management system, developed in conjunction with Microsoft that uses LoRa technology to connect smart traps, both rat and mouse, to a central Gateway.  It can be used indoors and out, plus smart traps are water and dust resistant. Continual development and data refreshes bring new features and functionality – ultimately the solution is designed to enhance and compliment the skills and abilities of the service technicians and the wider pest management industry, bringing all the benefits of digital to their customers.

What role does data and analytics play in more effectively managing pests?

In short, monumental improvements in ‘knowing’ the pest status of sites, every day of the year.  In particular, trend analysis helps PCOs understand and get to the ‘root causes’ of infestations, control infestations in a very targeted and much quicker manner, and predict when and where future activity may occur, understanding the rodent behaviour and  acting accordingly. Therefore, the data protects people, property, assets and reputations from rodent damage. Plus, using data to ensure when chemicals and rodenticides are needed and employed means the system is very targeted, precise and therefore sustainable.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

The widespread use of mobile apps to self-manage medication and personal healthcare. Providing real-time status on such things as vaccinations and wellbeing.

Which person in, or associated with, your industry would you most like to meet?

All of my Bayer colleagues in our team. COVID restrictions have so far meant that we have been unable to meet in person since I joined Bayer last October.

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

Not surprising, but certainly what I have learnt most is just how much I enjoy working with the FM industry. It’s challenging at times in terms of tailoring specific solutions to such diverse needs and requirements, but always great fun and very rewarding.  I’ve met a lot of lovely, interesting people, surveyed some iconic and often fascinating buildings and locations, and made some life-long friends from within the FM industry/sector.

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

Sauvignon Blanc – Chilean if available, and a large one, thank you!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Being the person at Bayer ES leading the commercialisation of, in my opinion, professional pest management’s latest and most exciting innovation in the past 50 years or more. I get let loose on the technology and get to showcase it to businesses and people across the UK, Ireland and also into Europe! That’s amazing!

And what’s the most challenging?

Helping the pest management industry to shift its mindset from age-old ways of thinking and working and getting those people to share our vision that digital innovation brings.

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

Be yourself. Trust and believe in your own ability and never stop learning.

About Gary Nicholas

Over 35 years working within the pest control industry, the last 20 of which have been working closely with Facility Managers and Building Managers, previously as Surveyor & Account Manager and now as UK & IE Sales Manager (DPM) for Bayer Environmental Science. Lives in NW England in the beautiful Fylde coastal town of Lytham St Anne’s with wife Paula. Outside of work, enjoys watching Rugby and MotoGP as well as having a keen and active interest in aviation and flying.

5 Minutes With… Lina Bubulyte, Head of Operations at Principled Storage

In a wide ranging interview Lina Bubulyte, Head of Operations at Principled Storage, discusses how the Hertfordshire-based company is tackling the data storage needs of UK businesses with RFID technology, the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the potential for 5G to shake up the market…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Principled Storage is based in Hertfordshire and has been formed with the objective of supplying a convenient and economical data storage solution which is fully compliant with legislation for companies.

We provide companies in the UK with the ultimate storage solution at the most competitive rates, helping our clients reduce their costs, whilst keeping their documents safe, secure and easily accessible.

Our storage box holds 20% more documentation than any of our competitors. They are made from high-tensile plastic rather than cardboard and are therefore a more sustainable and cost-effective solution to storage. The boxes are robust and are sealed with a tamper proof security tag, hence offering the most complete GDPR product in the UK. The boxes are also fitted with RFID tags and are fully trackable, point-to-point, through the whole process.

At Principled Storage, we recognise our responsibility and obligation to work to reduce the direct impact of our business operations on the environment, both now and in the future.

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

Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing and health and safety matters;

Brexit uncertainty in the UK;

Environmental impact;

New legislation, including GDPR.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

Technological advances, especially allowing people to work from home during the pandemic.

Automation: robotics, building automation systems.

A diverse workforce with widely varied skills and perspectives.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2020?

Resource optimisation: intelligent planning tools and mobile systems.

Health issues: environmental and workplace health hazards.

Sustainability and eco-friendly products and services.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

Focus on working from home and health and well-being of the employees.

Economic growth and increasing competition.

Sustainability: natural resource preservation, climate, pollution.

Technological development.

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

That could be 5G data networks.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR).

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

Outsourcing. According to the studies, by 2025 the global outsourced market in FM services will be worth $1 trillion. Outsourcing is increasingly delivering more complex services.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Every day brings new challenges which transforms into new opportunities.

And what’s the most challenging?

Keeping up with technological advances and changes to legislation.

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

In the world where you can be anything, be kind.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Definitely Peaky Blinders.

5 Minutes With… David Kennett, Head of Technology & Operations, Flexicount

In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series, we spoke to Flexicount‘s Head of Technology & Operations, David Kennett, about the company, the challenges posed by COVID-19, new technology and industry opportunities…

Tell us about your company, products, and services

The Flexicount brand was created off the back of a request for a wireless battery-operated sensor to count visitors into washrooms, primarily in large office buildings.

Our parent company StoreTech has been providing footfall counting to the retail sector for over 22 years.

With Flexicount we were able to use our StoreTech experience of using the best-of-breed people counting technologies along with our knowledge of how to make visitor data actionable with our simple web portal and share it with a sector that is crying out for actionable data.

Delivering cleaning services to demand is just like scheduling staff to demand in retail and the only way to do this effectively is by using some form of people counters; therefore we developed our own low-cost usage sensor which provides dynamic updates throughout the day.

The system predicts more efficient cleaning schedules based upon usage and allows for live alerting and cleaner response times, so it improves service levels whilst simultaneously driving down costs.

The other smart building solution is an occupancy counter which is >99% accurate and ideal for managing a building, floor, or room capacity data. With thresholds, alerts, and digital displays the occupancy solution is ideal for the current social distancing laws and smart building data insight.

What are the biggest challenges the FM and cleaning industry will face over the next 12 months?

Developing an effective cleaning and disinfection programme is critical.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for smart technology to enhance cleaning operations and maintain social distancing.

Without usage or occupancy data, there is minimal understanding of the key metrics required to implement this and ensure employee safety.

With just a small proportion of the workforce heading back to the office, it’s imperative that FM companies are able to make data-driven decisions around occupancy or usage of facilities, in order to plan cleaning resources and safety precautions to their optimal level.

Cleaning to demand will be the new way of working to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and ensure efficient cleaning and social distancing where required.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…

Hopefully, something other than COVID-19!!

Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?

Martin Pickard aka The FM Guru!

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

I have to admit I’m a lager-boy at heart – nothing too exotic! Maybe a Baileys before bed!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Learning how advancements in technology year on year continue to expand the possibilities of smart tech into the workplace.

And what’s the most challenging?

In the IoT technology sector, new products are being prototyped all the time.

To be honest, they don’t always work first time as real-life environments can be very different from testing in laboratory conditions. So it is a challenge, but I do enjoy the ups and downs and the whole team strives to get over every hurdle until we have selected the best IoT products for each sector we work in.

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

Failure is good, if you recognise it, learn from it, be open about it, and strive to keep going forward.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Stranger Things!

www.flexicount.com

5 Minutes With… Jim Phelan, Irisys

In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series, we spoke to Jim Phelan, Director of Smart Buildings Business Development at Irisys, about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges posed by COVID-19, thermal temperature scanning and autonomous buildings…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Irisys are people counting experts. We have been making people counting solutions for 24years and have deployed over 500,000 sensors. Our sensors are trusted by big companies around the world such as Morrisons, Kroger and Samsung.

Our latest product is called SafeCount. It is an occupancy monitoring solution that was developed in response to COVID-19 to help businesses measure and control occupancy within their buildings to enable social distancing to take place and to protect the safety of all occupants.

SafeCount can be deployed at a building or room entrance, such as a washroom or a canteen area; and multiple entry and exits points are handled with ease. When occupancy limits for an area are reached, visual alerts are sent to display screens to advise building occupants that it is not safe to enter.

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

The obvious, COVID-19 was the unforeseen global challenge that has impacted the personal and professional lives of every human.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

Innovation prevails during time of crisis, and necessity is the mother of all invention, and so on…  This pandemic has forced building operators to take a calculated approach to re-populating their buildings by optimizing existing building systems and introducing new technology to manage building usage.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2020?

Determining how to safely re-populate buildings and responding to the highly likely remote working strategies many companies will introduce.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

Building health and wellness and its impact on its occupants.

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

Thermal temperature scanning of building occupants and occupancy controls are already making a significant impact to the re-population of buildings, I see this continuing for a long while.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Boy, COVID-19 was a real gamechanger huh…

Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?

Whoever first successfully develops an autonomous building.

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

Technology adoption moves at a much slower pace than the residential market.

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

Willett Rye Whiskey “double neat”.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

No two days are the same.

And what’s the most challenging?

No two days are the same.

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

Vent up.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Ozark.

www.irisys.net

5 Minutes With… Genetec’s Paul Dodds

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we spoke to Paul Dodds, Country Manager UK & Ireland at Genetec, about the company, industry opportunities, the challenges posed by COVID-19, de-centralised working practices and Newcastle United…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Genetec is a forward-thinking technology company that improves security and operations by ensuring facility managers can manage all of their IP security systems from one, intuitive interface. By unifying the likes of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and analytics, we help users to gain a better understanding of what is happening inside their facility, thereby ensuring operators can respond faster, more effectively and with greater confidence.

We are open-platform which means our customers aren’t restricted in their hardware choices. They can select the cameras, door readers and a myriad of other sensors based solely on what best meets their budget and requirements.

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

Undoubtedly it is Covid-19 which nobody could have comprehensively planned for back in 2019. All of a sudden, the FM industry has been tasked with introducing and enforcing the new hygiene protocols, physical distancing requirements and strict occupancy limits that allow for workplaces to be safely re-opened.

Digital technologies were already shifting the needs and expectations of an organisation’s physical premises. but the changes now required are on a scale not seen before. It will require a lot of time, effort and access to the right technology to make these adaptations.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

We now have a window of opportunity in which the wider business fully understands the need to completely overhaul premises and the way they are managed. So now is the time when additional budget may just be available to push through projects that ensure facilities can operate safely and securely.

The FM industry shouldn’t pass up this opportunity to look at options that both address the immediate post-lockdown challenges and that provide a clear upgrade path to anticipate and respond to future requirements. For example, can we centralise security operations to monitor all of our sites from one location? Can we reduce training costs by enabling operators to manage all systems through one intuitive interface? And can we use our system beyond security to give us a better understanding of how the space is being used?

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2020?

The single greatest priority has to be ensuring facilities can safely re-open and function, so that employees are confident in returning to the workplace. We need to use all the technologies at our disposal to get facilities back up and running and to ensure that any incidents have minimal on-going impact on day-to-day operations. For example, should an employee test positive for Covid-19, the ability to quickly identify where in facility they have been and who they are likely to have come into contact with could be critical in preventing one isolated case from becoming a disruptive localised outbreak.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

I expect many companies will rethink their real estate requirements. For example, Barclays’ CEO has already said putting 7,000 employees into a large central headquarters may be a thing of the past. It’s likely that larger companies will move towards a more decentralised approach that sees employees combining working from home with visiting many different smaller sites. This will change the way security and operations must be managed.

The unification of video, access control and intrusion detection is another trend I expect to continue in 2020 and beyond. People are growing increasingly frustrated with isolated systems that are inefficient to manage and which provide an incomplete understanding of what his happening inside the facility.

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

In the circumstances I expect access control and video analytics will have a strong year as they can simplify many of the new measures currently being put into place. For example, people counting software is a great way of warning when occupancy limits are close to being breached so that guards can take action before it is too late. Equally, access control can alert cleaning staff when a room needs to be sanitised and automate record-keeping of exactly who was on-site at any one time.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Within FM circles I’d like to think we’ll be celebrating the long-term benefits of the new technologies we’ve introduced to meet the demands of the modern workforce. I hope cybersecurity and privacy will also be much more front of mind. Right now many organisations are rushing to deploy solutions such as thermal scanning and video analytics to address their immediate operational challenges. Both technologies have their place and can be introduced in a manner that doesn’t put the organisation at greater risk or unduly impinge on the privacy rights of visitors and employees. In time I think we’ll see users grow less accepting of technology deployments that didn’t consider cybersecurity or privacy at the outset of their deployment.

Outside of work, I hope we’ll all be talking about the resurgence of Newcastle United in the style of Leicester City back in 2016!

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

Probably a crisp lager but right now I’ll take anything wet if it’s an opportunity to meet with my peers face-to-face.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Without hesitation it is speaking to partners and end users about the specific challenges they face so I can come back to them with a solution that will best meet their needs. In this regard I’m very lucky to work for Genetec for two reasons. Firstly, as we’re open platform I can be technology and vendor-agnostic, choosing hardware solely on whether it is fit-for-purpose and answers their requirements. Secondly, I’m backed up by a talented team of developers who quickly predict and respond to customer needs. For example, recently – at the request of our customers – quickly developing a contagion reporting capability and an access control application for the distribution of personal protective equipment.

And what’s the most challenging?

In the current climate it is frustrating to see some organisations rushing towards specific technologies without a thorough understanding of their effectiveness, suitability for the task and where they’ll fit into wider operations.

A good example is thermal cameras which are often being purchased with proper scrutiny, leaving people susceptible to dishonest marketing claims. In many cases it is technology in search of a problem. Whereas we prefer the approach of starting with the challenge the business needs to solve and only then selecting the technologies that can help.

5 Minutes With… Neal Grant, Derwent FM

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we sat down with Neal Grant, Derwent FM‘s Head of Business Development, to talk about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges of Covid-19, new technology and Game of Thrones…

Tell us about your company, products and services

We deliver a range of hard and soft FM services which combined mean we can offer a total facilities management service for our customers. We cover a national spread of sites from Glasgow in the north down to Bournemouth on the south coast, we have also started delivering services in Ireland. The majority of services we deliver in house through our skilled workforce, with specialist services such as lift maintenance delivered through our select group of supplier partners.

Our services are delivered with sustainability and customer experience as the key focus areas, all underpinned by total compliance across every aspect.  We are one of the first FM companies in the country to achieve the energy management ISO 5001 accreditation, illustrating our drive to lead on sustainability, and also have a wide portfolio of long term partnerships centred on customer excellence. Social impact is a huge part of our business also, this is reinforced by each and every penny of our profits being fed back into social housing delivered via our parent company. We therefore deliver an FM package with an ethical approach and a clear beneficial social impact all centred on sustainability.

The structure of our business means that we are ‘small enough to care but big enough to deliver’. As a business with circa 250 employees and £18million turnover per annum, our size means we can tailor and adapt our offering for our clients in a flexible and focused manner, whilst also offering the security of our £800mil+ parent company, Places for People, to meet all financial surety requirements.

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

The industry is still recovering from the Carillion fall out, trust in the outsourced market has dipped as a result and even SME suppliers are looking to spread their risk from a supply perspective in case a similar scenario repeats. The skills gap in the country around reliable, experienced tradesman remains and recruitment of electricians, heating engineers etc also remains challenging particularly outside London.

Given the new threat of Covid-19, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the FM sector in the long run but in the short term simply delivering services when social distancing is so important is incredibly challenging but not insurmountable at the moment. Additionally, the threat to the skilled workforce as the case numbers begin to increase could become a problem.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

The wider focus on climate change and managing our impact represent huge opportunities for the sector. These opportunities are not just reputational, in the form of minimising our impact on the environment and ensuring our future generations actually have a sustainable planet, but there are huge financial savings to be made from delivering more sustainable buildings. We know as a business, if there is a focused approach to reducing energy via ways of working or strategic capital replacement works, clients can save vast sums from their bottom line as well illustrating their green credentials which is incredibly important now for their staff and customers alike.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2020?

Covid-19 will clearly change the landscape for the duration of this year and beyond. Initially the focus will be purely on delivery services and ensuring compliance and service standards are maintained. I suspect however by the end of the year we will be asking how we can change our ways of working which will bring in questions about social impact and environmental focus to make the whole sector more durable and sustainable.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

Clearly Covid-19 will be key focus for the sector this year. How businesses react to the virus, building in resilience and management of their workforce and suppliers will be key now. As the economy shrinks, which we can say for sure it will, there will be balancing act for the sector to deliver value for money whilst retaining their workforce and ensuring delivery whilst managing social distancing for a period of time.

In addition, sustainability and energy management will continue to be a key focus not only in 2020 but beyond. Only in the last 2-3 years, partly due to the rise of Extinction Rebellion and the clear change in weather conditions, finally the population has begun to understand how significant our contribution to climate change is. There is a link within this arguably to globalisation and the Covid-19 virus also, so going forward a local, sustainable approach to the FM sector will become increasingly important through 2020 and beyond.

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

Digital apps for the clients and customers will transform how clients and customers interact with their FM suppliers, which we have already seen in our business in 2019. Everybody has smart phones these days with which they run their lives in effect, therefore having a means of communication and reports for clients on these devices is key going forward to drag the sector into the 21st century. Delivering smarter, instantaneous communication to our clients and customers in 2020 will be key.

Decarbonisation of the national grid will have a large role to play over the coming years also. Given the energy savings for the clients, removing gas fed equipment and installing electric dependant M&E systems such as air source heat pumps will become increasingly important.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Hopefully Climate Change in a positive manner as oppose to Covid-19.

Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?

Given how much of a focus sustainability is and will continue to be, David Attenborough would be a fascinating person to meet and discuss how industry has affected the natural world.

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

I find it surprising how far behind the curve many building owners are when we talk about energy consumption and savings. There are huge benefits, both from a financial and reputational perspective, and I find it incredibly surprising how little attention is paid to this.

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

Any local ale – Tom Long from Stroud Brewery is the ideal scenario.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Feeling like you are making a positive difference, both for your workforce but also your clients.

And what’s the most challenging?

Time away from a young family.

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

‘There is no substitute for hard work in life’.

Baptiste or Game Of Thrones?

I’m sorry to say Game of Thrones.

www.derwentfm.com

5 Minutes With… Brendan Musgrove, Cordant Security

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we sat down with Cordant Security Managing Director Brendan Musgrove to talk about his company, industry trends and Tripel Karmeliet…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Cordant security has a turnover of £110m and is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of manned guarding. Family owned, we are social business operating beyond the usual shareholder driven values.

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

Attracting the right calibre of candidates at the market rates some end uses demand has proven increasingly difficult. We are trying to address this through best in class recruitment processes and making security an attractive career by offering a fully structured approach to development.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

There have been some major changes in the competitive landscape which has created opportunities for those agile enough to take them.

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

To come up with new and innovative ways to deliver value for money over and above the traditional models which may have worked up until this point.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2019?

For suppliers, it has to be being increasingly judged on output rather than input, demonstrating the value they add to their clients. In fairness this is continuation of a trend that has been developing for some time now.

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

I believe it will be putting two way data in the hands of the security officer. Both in order to direct their actions in a more targeted way, but also to provide Management Information to the end client.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…

Brexit… Still I suspect!

Which person in, or associated with, the industry would you most like to meet?

No one in particular. I have had the pleasure to meet such a wide range of people in this industry, some of the most interesting being those you wouldn’t necessarily think so. Therefore I’ll keep an open mind!

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

That some clients rightly value security very highly… and yet want to pay so very little for it.

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

A nice strong Belgium beer – Tripel Karmeliet.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

It has to be the variety, no day is ever the same.

And what’s the most challenging?

Nothing much. Surely, the difficult bits are all part of the fun of it!

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

“If your snout is too far in the trough you can’t see what the other pigs are doing”…

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Peaky Blinders of course! No contest!

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!

5 Minutes With… Bruce McDonnell, Incentive FM

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?

Peaky Blinders!

5 Minutes With… Julian Harrison, Director, myfm

In the latest instalment of our executive interview series, FM Briefing sat down with myfm Director Julian Harrison to talk about the company’s offerings, market opportunities, industry challenges and Line of Duty…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

We are an FM management company that provides our clients with an end-to-end project delivery and support services. We work closely with the industry’s largest service providers. Either placing our associates into management positions within a contract, or by directly delivering solutions and supporting our clients in the delivery of high quality services, Myfm strives to deliver an accountable, totally dependable management resource that provides real value to our clients. 

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

Our impact on the end-user. The industry has been getting used to moving away from the concept of “facilities management” towards that of “workplace management”. Whereas before FM tended to limit its focus on the “bogs and basins” fundamentals of keeping a building going, it’s now more about how building users feel about their organisation and their environment.

Many people in FM are still talking solely about workplace. The challenge for both end-user clients and service providers is to re-orientate our business to focus more on how our services can impact the success of our host businesses through impact on people, brand and productivity.  

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2019?

I’ve noticed a shift amongst service providers from focusing solely on information transparency between ourselves and the client towards how we use information and technology to improve our services. Who’s in meeting rooms and when? What washroom and kitchen facilities are being used etc. 

We recently worked with a client using an occupancy monitoring and resource deployment solution which informed janitors in real time what facilities needed to cleaned, massively improving efficiency and service quality. Any technology that can accurately monitor usage of facilities and disposables will have a significant impact in disrupting the market in coming years.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Energy management and sustainability will be even more high-profile areas. Buildings themselves will have to become more flexible to accommodate a “revolving door” of users. Buildings will also make far greater use of IOT “internet of things” to provide integrated facilities services that are far simpler and more effective to manage. 

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

I’ve been surprised by how slow FM has been to leverage our effects on the success of the core business. Workplace quality and environment have a huge effect on staff wellbeing & retention, which in turn has a huge effect on the success of a building user’s business. I’m surprised that FM hasn’t made the case that we are not just a “necessary evil” or overhead but can be a dynamic and influential factor on business success.

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

This is easy. Mine would be a Young’s extra special bitter or any well-kept real ale. 

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

FM is a diverse and dynamic industry. No day is the same so the problems we help our clients deal with always present exciting new challenges to tackle.  

And what’s the most challenging?

Sometimes political relationships between service provider and end-user can blur our understanding of where accountability and responsibility lie in a contract. This can sometimes disrupt our ability to maximise our potential value to the client. 

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

Listen carefully and thoroughly. Let others have their say first. Often task-orientated people can jump too quickly to reach a solution. It’s far more engaging and effective to let others clarify their objectives and concerns thoroughly first.

Baptiste or Game Of Thrones?

Baptiste. But Line of Duty is better. 

www.myfm.co.uk