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5 Minutes With… Dan Lee, Managing Director at phs Compliance

In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series we spoke to Dan Lee (picture above, far right), Managing Director at phs Compliance, about the company, the ongoing effects of the pandemic, increased post-lockdown demand for FM services, automation and why having a wellbeing strategy is important…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

phs Compliance is one of the UK’s leading providers of workplace compliance and building engineering services, offering everything businesses need to stay safe and compliant.

Fully accredited by all leading industry regulatory bodies, phs Compliance has the largest team of specialist statutory testing operators in the industry. It provides statutory electrical services including testing (including PAT tests and fixed electrical testing), inspection services, maintenance, and remedial work. As the UK’s leading provider of electrical testing with nationwide coverage, phs Compliance ensures workplaces of all sizes stay safe and compliant. It is part of the phs Group.

phs Compliance also offers a comprehensive project design, installation, commissioning and maintenance service for fire and security systems.

Accredited to the highest standards, phs Compliance offers significant experience, technical expertise and nationwide capability to support customers’ capital expenditure project needs for fire systems and security systems.

phs Compliance also offers expert project management services, including the design, supply and installation of everything from power and lighting to electric vehicle charging points.

With over 400 engineers across the UK, phs Compliance delivers more than 14 million compliance inspections for 35,000 customer sites nationwide every year.

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

The uncertainty around the pandemic has been a big challenge. The different lockdowns, lower occupancy rates in buildings and the work from home orders have forced the FM industry to relook at almost every factor in the built environment to find new strategies.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

We have been able to build even closer relationships with current and new customers as we help them navigate their way through these challenging times. Our business critical services have really supported customers and helped them to meet their regulatory requirements and stay compliant.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021/22? 

As businesses continue to reopen, we are seeing an increased demand for services that may not have been able to be carried out during lockdowns. This will undoubtedly bring some challenges given the current labour market, but we are confident that with strong account management and clear communication, we can work closely with our customers to ensure full compliance.

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

I would definitely say automation. We are always looking for ways to improve our customers experience and our visibility.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

The economic outlook.

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

A pint of lager followed by a bottle of red wine!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

I’d say it’s the people I work with every day – those in the field, back office and all of the support teams. The loyalty and dedication I saw during the pandemic was exceptional.

I was also particularly pleased to see our communication and wellbeing strategy recognised as outstanding in a recent engagement survey.

And what’s the most challenging?

It has to be the current labour challenges and the recruitment of skilled electrical engineers to support our exciting growth plans.

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

You have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason; use them wisely…

Technology provides a more sustainable future for rodent management

The use of technology is the ‘norm’ for facility managers and is already being used to improve efficiencies and sustainability in many areas of the business. However, pest management has been slow to the party, with limited digital options on the market, but there’s now a solution available.

Gary Nicholas, the Digital Pest Management sales manager at Bayer Environmental Science, says with all aspects of sustainability high on the agenda for businesses, facility managers should be adopting the technology out there to help improve the efficiency, traceability, accountability and transparency of rodent management.

“Facility management businesses use technology such as vehicle recognition on entering sites and digital login systems and pest management, should not be any different,” he says.

This tool can provide facility managers with accountability for rodent management on their site, as it gives them access to all the required resources to be confident in the system they have in place.

“Digital Pest Management provides a full trap activity history, ensuring complete traceability and transparency. It also helps reduce the manual aspect of rodent management and reporting, which can be inaccurate and hard to interpret. Live reporting removes the risk of any mistakes and is always up to date.

“It also allows facility managers to adhere to current stewardship guidelines. It uses smart traps, allowing rodenticides to be integrated into the wider rodent management programme and used in a very controlled, precise and targeted way,” adds Gary.

“When it comes to sustainability, an automated, digital system like this can help improve efficiency and effectiveness, which can reduce the financial investment required for rodent management. The targeted and precise use of rodenticides also helps improve environmental sustainability,” he explains.

“From a social aspect, this system is also much safer for people and wildlife, as there’s a greatly reduced need for rodenticides on site, which are of course toxic.”

Gary says facility managers have been using technology for several years and so now a solution is available for rodent management, it makes sense to use it to help improve the sustainability and efficiency of this across facilities.

For more information, please visit or contact the Pest Solutions Team on

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: OUTCO – Outdoor Estate Compliance Experts

OUTCO offers the UK’s first end-to-end estate maintenance and compliance solution powered by smart technology. It provides a full range of grounds maintenance, surfacing, civils and infrastructure, EV charging solutions and winter services to clients nationwide.

We protect, maintain and improve outdoor estate infrastructure. Our unique combined service offering provides a new way for customers to manage outdoor assets by bringing together multiple outdoor services for greater efficiency, performance and convenience.

Our complete service keeps our customers one step ahead of regulatory and operational compliance, ensuring their outdoor estate looks good and runs like clockwork come rain, shine or snow, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Year after year.

Our long standing relationships

We are extremely proud to have long-standing relationships with some of the UK’s biggest brands, including some of our most valued institutions, such as the NHS, the majority of the big supermarket chains and nine out of ten of the UK’s major retailers. These include the biggest names in the UK such as Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys, BP, BT, CBRE, Savills, McArthurtGlen, ISS and Amazon.

We have become a valued partner for our clients and are trusted by them to manage more than 7,500 of their sites across the length and breadth of the country. This is not a responsibility we take lightly.

OUTCO values the trust placed in us by our clients and appreciates the continued confidence given that we will effectively protect, maintain and enhance their outdoor environment.

Benefits of working with OUTCO

  • Proactively safeguard against predictable and reputational risks
  • Guarantees compliance and total peace of mind
  • Delivers a clear audit trail of estate activity over time
  • Confidence that outdoor estates will be safe, compliant and fully operational all year round
  • Supply chain simplification and cost efficiency through delivery of an end-to-end service
  • Supply chain simplification, service bundling and technology integration
  • Support facilities and property managers in delivering on their service level agreements with assured delivery
  • Support facilities managers’ strategies to deliver ESG benefits to their clients
  • Customer experience enhancements from innovation such as EV charging and COVID-secure outdoor space use.

Our services include

  • Surfacing & Infrastructure:
  • Car Park Surfacing
  • Civil Engineering
  • Drainage
  • Line Marking
  • Specialist Coatings / Waterproofing
  • EV Charging Solutions
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Grass, Lawns, Sports Pitch Care
  • Tree Surgery
  • Winter Services
  • Gritting
  • Snow Clearance


How long it took to paint the world’s most iconic buildings

There are, of course, many different trades involved within the construction industry, from surveyors to bricklayers to roofers. But what about those who give the important finishing touches to a new development – the construction painter, or painter and decorator.

This got us thinking. How long did it take to put the finishing touches on the most iconic buildings in the world? Here, we cover how long it took to paint some of the world’s most renowned buildings…

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is in the unique position of not only being one of the most recognisable landmarks on the planet but also as the home of the most famous ceiling, and arguably the most famous painting, in the world.

Michelangelo’s masterpiece, which features his most famous piece of work, The Creation of Adam, spans over 3,600 feet of ceiling and wall. It’s easy to see why it took the artist four years to complete the whole artwork! It was certainly worth it – it’s considered one of the most significant pieces of art in history.

Originally, Michelangelo was reluctant to agree to the project because he primarily plied his trade as a sculptor, but Pope Julius II wouldn’t take no for an answer. The artist compromised with the Pope, who originally wanted the painting to feature the 12 Apostles, and instead created nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. No wonder it took four years to finish off this stunning piece of history!

The art has been restored a number of times in the hundreds of years since it was first painted. A 1566 renovation saw the work repainted by Domenico Carnevale which, for years, remained undetected.

Annibale Mazzuoli and his son undertook a further three-year restoration mission between 1710 and 1713, which included repainting some of the work, and there have been multiple smaller-scale maintenance projects in the 1980s and 1990s. While not quite as intensive as the original completion of the painting, it takes quite some work to preserve!

The Eiffel Tower

The quintessential French monument gets repainted more than you’d think – on average, every seven years! Made from wrought iron, the tower must be maintained with fresh coats of paint frequently so the metal doesn’t corrode.

In order to complete this vital task, painters first must strip the tower, clean it, and rust-proof it before painting. At 324m tall (1,063 ft), that’s a lot of puddle iron to treat and then paint.

The tower has been many different colours over the years, starting off with “Venice red” paint in its early years before transitioning to reddish-brown, ochre brown, and yellow-brown, before the “Eiffel Tower brown” we all know today was settled on. Jotun has been the paint supplier of choice for a few years now, and it was recently announced that the tower’s colour will once again change. For the 2024 Olympic Games, the tower will be repainted in a golden colour, which more closely reflects Gustave Eiffel’s vision for his work.

In each repainting, approximately 60 tonnes of paint are used by 50 painters trained in working at great heights to paint a total surface of 250,000m². Even with so many painters on the job, the course of painting the tower can take between 18 months and three years. This is because the tower can’t be painted if it’s wet or too cold.

The White House

As its name states, the US presidential residence is famed for its bold white colour. This requires a lot of upkeep, receiving a new coat of paint every four to six years. It’s estimated that around 2,591 litres of specialist paint created in Germany is used in each recoating. In 2019, Duron’s Whisper White shade was used for the project. This paint, like UK brand Little Greene paint, is designed to preserve historical buildings.

A common misconception is that the White House was painted white to cover up fire damage from an attack by British soldiers in 1814, but it was in fact white long before this. A lime-based whitewash was used to coat the building in 1798, just six years after its erection.

It’s estimated that the repainting of the White House in 2019 took a week, with the West Wing alone needing around 1,363 litres of paint. It can take up to 30 coats of paint to effectively rejuvenate the historical building, giving you an idea of the magnitude of the project!

There’s no doubt that the most impressive buildings and monuments on the planet take a lot of work. Many take hundreds of years simply to construct, but we often forget about the essential finishing touches like painting. As we can see, keeping these landmarks in tip-top condition takes a lot of work – and paint!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

FREE white paper reveals how to make your office Covid-secure

Facilities managers face a monumental challenge – preparing the workplace for the return of its workforce.

To lend a helping hand, Zip has launched a FREE whitepaper, published in partnership with Facilities Management Journal, which reveals top tips from industry experts about modifying the workplace for a covid-secure return to work.

Read ‘6 Steps to Facilities Management in the Post Pandemic World’ to find out more on ways to keep the workforce safe, what a post-pandemic office might look like, how to create a space of belonging, strategies for managing c-suite and finally, ways to encourage staff back and generate trust.

Download your copy today – you’ll just need to input your email address and the 34-page, easy to read whitepaper packed with useful hints and advice will be at your fingertips.

Don’t forget you can also benefit from Zip Water’s touch-free trial!

One simple way to make your workplace more covid-secure is to install touch-free technologies such as our industry-leading HydroTap. Zip is offering a free 60-day trial, which includes its popular touch-free infrared sensor operated model.

Simply sign up and one of our team will be in touch to arrange a site visit and installation. It’s entirely free.

Global integrated FM market to hit $116.25 billion by 2026

A rise in demand for standardisation and simplification of facilities in industries and residential buildings due to the need for good working environment and reduced energy output costs are expected to positively influence the global integrated FM market, says new research.

Reportlinker expects the market to grow from $84.65 billion in 2020 to $116.25 billion by 2026, having segmented into hard services and soft services, where hard service segment held a market share of around 53% in 2020 due to rise in investments in energy and project management to achieve long-term efficiency.

Based on service, the market is segmented into building and property management, cleaning and hygiene, security and staffing, IT support and others. Among these, the market share of building and property management segment was around 26% in 2020.

The report says the increasing development of sustainable infrastructure and growing presence of many enterprises to adopt changing organisational structure and work management are the key drivers for the growth of the global FM market.

The largest contributor to demand is North America, with around 39.15% value share in 2020.

The leading players as ranked in the report are JLL Inc (Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc), ISS A/S (International Service System), CBRE Group Inc, Cushman & Wakefield plc, Sodexo, Compass Group plc., Aramark Corporation, Coor Service Management Holding AB, Mitie Group PLC, MacLellan Integrated Services, Inc.

Adding social value with facilities management contracts

By Derwent fm

Derwent fm provide facilities management services for a number of buildings at Brindley Place in Birmingham, which are the offices for the organising committee of a major sporting event to be held in the city in 2022.

As part of our wider objectives as a business to bring about positive change in our wider communities (which is also closely aligned with our client’s mission). We sought a catering partner which will deliver a positive social impact that will help the region grow and succeed.

Birmingham based Evolve is a not-for-profit social enterprise giving support to 16 – 25-year-olds who face barriers to employment. They provide training and employment opportunities to young people via their not-for-profit coffee shops where young people are trained as Baristas on 6 – 12 month fixed term contracts.

Evolve’s second active coffee shop is now opening and operating at Brindley Place. The space has been donated rent free by our client as part of the social impact and legacy value associated with the city hosting a major sporting event.

Service started in May 21 and will, once the whole team are in place, be able to serve up to 800 customers each day from the buildings been used by the organising committee (at their peak occupancy in 2022). All profits raised from the coffee shop will be re-invested into the sporting events legacy fund for the city.

You can read the full article here.

Build the workplace of the future

By Mapiq

The next chapter of work isn’t about taller buildings. It’s about building a thriving, digital-first work environment that increases employee well-being.

Mapiq’s smart solutions help you anticipate the changing needs of your employees and keep you one step ahead. With Mapiq you can easily see which workplaces are available on the 3D map of your office.

Next to that, you can track real-time occupancy data in your analytics dashboard and make sure everybody stays safe. Simply integrate the hardware and software into your smart office and let us help you build a better place to work.

Are you ready for the next chapter of work?

Click here to find out more.

5 minutes with… Nick Platt, Salisbury Group

The fast-growing facilities management group’s Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, Nick Platt, discusses the FM sector’s challenges, opportunities and working together better as an industry…

Tell us about your company, products and services.
Salisbury Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of facilities management, maintenance and energy solutions. We provide services to more than 170 clients and manage over 10 million sq ft of facilities at over 1,000 sites across the country. Recently, we have grown our business by winning new contracts in both public and private sectors. We now work with some of Britain’s best known brands in commercial property, finance and insurance, retail and hospitality, infrastructure and logistics. It’s a very exciting time in the company’s history.

What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?
Since entering FM in 2006, I have never seen so much negative press towards our industry. If you compare the current share prices of most of the quoted companies, you see a pattern. Unhappy shareholders, multiple profit warnings, changes in leadership… these issues lead to short/medium-term turmoil and constant restructures, which is normally not in the interest of the customer. The industry’s biggest challenge is to change the perception of our industry at all levels. This will require real co-operation between lead companies, suppliers, subcontractors, shareholders and also the customer.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?
At Salisbury Group, we see a lot of opportunities. With a sustainable contract management policy, low overheads, a national presence, self-delivering the vast majority of services and an entrepreneurial senior team, we are well placed to be the credible alternative to the struggling companies.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2018?
We need to work together as an industry more. We don’t have a unified voice and the whole industry suffers from that. Hungry FM companies looking for growth and procurement departments driving savings have reached a tipping point. For both service providers and customers, the biggest priority needs to be sustainability of contract, with reasonable KPIs/SLAs delivered in a transparent way.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2018?
The growth of exciting medium-sized businesses – like Salisbury Group – challenging the established companies. Also, technology is becoming more affordable and FM providers can produce more data than ever before. The question is what to do with it?

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
FM is traditionally slow in terms of investing in, testing and implementing new technologies and platforms. The remote monitoring of assets – connected in the Internet of Things – has the potential to rewrite the rule book for FM. However, this type of innovation can be seen as a short-term threat to revenue streams. Salisbury Group is proud to be a disruptor and is currently trialling some technologies that will improve efficiency and reduce costs.

In 2020 we’ll all be talking about…?
A more dynamic FM market in which customers have alternative choices to the usual suspects.

Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?
Rupert Soames CEO of Serco. No nonsense industry leader.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?
No matter the role or level of seniority, I meet people on a daily basis who are passionate about their work and the customers they serve. It’s very inspiring.

You go to the bar at the FM Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
A glass of dry, crisp white wine.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Meeting people and companies who want to make a better environment for their colleagues. When I first entered FM, my family and friends thought I was nuts. I have visited many locations and facilities that are not accessible to the public, which is always interesting. I still cannot believe how privileged I am to work in this industry. Every day is a school day.

And what’s the most challenging?
Due to the amount I travel, I have to spend time away from my family and balancing things can be difficult. Like most people, achieving a good work-life balance is very important to me.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Employ people better and more intelligent than you.

Peaky Blinders or The Crown?
Both. I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Peaky Blinders and the stability of the Crown. Both can be described as ‘The Firm’.

FM Xmas Party

FSI Global is ready for the FM Industry Christmas Party!

We are delighted to confirm FM solutions specialist FSI Global an Event Sponsor for the FM Christmas Party, which is being hosted by the team here at the Facilities Management Forum, along with our friends FMJ.

Taking place at London’s stylish Grange St. Paul’s Hotel on Tuesday, 28th November, 200 of the FM industry’s leading buyers and suppliers will gather under one roof for a fun-filled, relaxed evening of networking.

“FSI Global is proud to be sponsoring this year’s FMJ Christmas party,” said Sally Wootton, Marketing Manager at FSI. “As the market-leader in Workplace Technology, our solutions help clients from a single-user instance, through to a global property portfolio, and anything inbetween. We look forward to meeting you and discussing our innovative solutions at the FMJ Christmas party.”

The FSI Global range of services includes:

  • Concept Evolution: an enterprise CAFM / IWMS solution, merging powerful functionality with sophisticated technology
  • Concept Advantage: a suite of social workplace apps, integrated with Concept Evolution, connecting the entire workplace community with the FM services in their building
  • FSI GO: a mobile application solution, extending the functionality of Concept Evolution to your mobile workforce

Register Today for the FM Christmas Party!

Individual tickets are priced at just £35 (+VAT) per head, including drinks, canapes and entertainment.

Don’t miss out! Book here or contact Paige Aitken for more information on 01992 374079 /

Our Event Sponsors for the FM Christmas Party also include CEF, Salisbury Group, NorthlandATEC Security and De-Ice.