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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.

Impact of COVID to push FM market to $1.62 trillion by 2027

The global facilities management market is projected to reach $1.62 trillion by 2027, driven by technological advances and the impact of COVID.

According to a report published by Fortune Business Insights, Facility Management Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, the market was worth $1.24 trillion in 2019 and will experience a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period.

The report covers a wide range of FM segments, including maintenance, support, project management and user management.

It says rising investments in the development of efficient management services will help FM companies improve their overall business outlook, ensuring safety and comfort in the workplace and subsequently enhancing the quality of the work environment for clients.

The report asserts that the global facility management market will derive growth from massive technology investments as well as advances in the deployment of advanced concepts by major companies across the world. The rising demand for an improved workplace environment and the increasing awareness regarding workplace safety will create several growth opportunities for the companies operating in the market.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of panic among people across the world. Accounting to the rapid spread of the disease, governments across the world have imposed well-documented lockdowns. Moreover, the practices followed by people to curb the spread of the disease have led to a shutdown in businesses.

However, corporate offices are resuming operations under certain conditions and this will subsequently create several opportunities for the companies in the facility management market, the report says. In particular, it says the demand for sanitized and safe workplaces due to the coronavirus outbreak will bode well for the growth of the overall market in the immediate future.

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.

Commercial property yields climb in 1H19 – Savills

Property specialist Savills’ latest Market in Minutes report has indicated that the UK’s average all-property yield has reached its highest level since November 2016 at 4.90 per cent.

Yields rose a quarter point across retail warehousing and leisure assets through July 2019.

The report also revealed that while investors are becoming increasingly active studiers of the UK market, particularly of the retail sector, transactional volumes remain low as they are largely waiting to strike at the ‘right’ price, although investment volumes in high street shops did tick up by 9 per cent in H1 2019 compared to H1 2018.

The main exception to the upwards trend of the last 12 months is the City of London office market, where prime yields hardened from 4.25 per cent in June to 4.00 per cent in July, supported by the sale of 8 Finsbury Circus, EC2M, to Singapore-based Stamford Land for £260 million.

Mat Oakley, head of UK and European commercial research at Savills, said: “The depth of interest and the prices we’re seeing being achieved on prime London assets indicates that there is a still a significant depth of demand for high quality commercial property. With these assets also continuing to deliver positive capital value growth, any further weakening of sterling in the second half of 2019 is likely to see additional demand unleashed and rising volumes. 

“There are also investors circling ready to buy distressed retail assets although the prices they’re willing to pay will have to be commensurate to the risks involved.”

CENTRICA REPORT: Future-Proofing Your Company’s Energy Needs

By Centrica

Every business relies on energy for critical tasks – but with this dependence comes risk.

As organisations seek to become more sustainable, it’s vital to plan not only for short-term energy needs, but also for long-term energy security.

Increasingly, businesses that are digitalising processes are becoming ever more dependent on power to run them, making it critical to plan effectively to reduce risks and ensure energy resilience.

Our new report, Future-Proofing Your Company’s Energy Needs, highlights rising awareness of resilience as an issue for organisations across the globe, and practical steps you can take to mitigate risk.

Click here to download the report.

Healthcare FM demand to hit $515.31bn by 2024

The global healthcare facilities management market is set for rapid growth, with a CAGR of 13.6% over the next five years.

That’s according to a new report from Zion Market Research, which says technological innovation in the sector, combined with increased demand from emerging markets, is driving the sector forward.

The research says North America is the largest consumer of healthcare FM among the geographies it covered, followed by Europe.

Meanwhile Asia Pacific will grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period, at which point the global market will be worth $515.31 billion.

Zion identifies the key market players as Epic Systems Corporation, eClinicalWorks, Practice Fusion, NextGen Healthcare, Allscripts, Cerner and MEDITECH.

IRENA reveals latest renewable energy data

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

Corporate Sourcing of Renewables: Market and Industry Trends, the first global assessment of trends and policies in corporate sourcing of renewables, shows that renewable energy sourcing by private sector companies, made possible with the right policy framework in place, can be a key factor in the world’s pursuit of a sustainable energy transformation in line with the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.

According to the report, environmental and sustainability concerns, social responsibility and reputation management and economic and financial objectives are the three primary drivers of corporate sourcing.

“Renewable energy sourcing has become a mainstream pillar of business strategy in recent years,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “While environmental concerns initiated this growing trend, the strengthening business case and price stability offered by renewables can deliver a competitive advantage to corporations, and support sustainable growth.”

The findings of the report show that half of the over 2,400 large companies analysed are voluntarily and actively procuring or investing in self-generation of renewable electricity for their operations. Of the companies in the study, more than 200 source at least half of their power from renewables. Electricity self-generation is the most common sourcing model, followed by unbundled energy attribute certificates (EACs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“Corporations are responsible for around two-thirds of the world’s total final electricity demand, making them central to, and key actors in, the energy transformation,” continued Mr. Amin. “As governments all over the world recognise this vast potential, the development of policies that foster and encourage corporate sourcing in the electricity sector and beyond will inject additional needed investment in renewable energy.”

The report finds that the corporate sourcing trend is widespread and dynamic, with companies participating in the practice coming from various sectors. By volume, the majority of renewable electricity was consumed in the materials sector while the highest shares of renewable electricity consumption are found in the financial (24 per cent) and information technology (12 per cent) sectors. Countries in Europe and North America continue to account for the bulk of corporate sourcing.

Of the companies analysed in the report, only 17 per cent have a renewable electricity target in place. Three-quarters of those targets will expire before 2020, representing a significant opportunity for corporates to develop new medium to long-term renewable energy strategies and targets that factor in improvements in renewable energy technology and cost declines

The report is a contribution to the Clean Energy Ministerial “Corporate Sourcing of Renewables” campaign, co-led by China, Denmark and Germany and co-ordinated by IRENA.

View and download the Executive Summary of the report here.