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Build the workplace of the future

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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 / p.aitken@forumevents.co.uk.

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

Bayer turns its AV systems up to 11

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical company Bayer has unveiled new AV systems throughout its Green Park headquarters in Reading to create collaborative meeting spaces, meeting rooms and presentation suites.

The pharma giant hired Shure Distribution, MiX Consultancy and Focus 21 to handle the work.

“The convergence of IT and AV is not a new trend but something of increasing significance for new builds and refurbishment,” explained Glynn Seymour, IT project lead for Bayer.

“The Bayer UK headquarters move was part of a wider culture change to a more agile way of working and our new home had to reflect and support this, whilst adhering to corporate standards in many areas. We were challenged to create a variety of meeting spaces that were versatile but retained ease of use and bolstered the image of Bayer as an innovation-driven Life Science organisation.”

Shure Microflex products were chosen for the project as they are corporate network ready and can connect to networks and third-party control systems using standard protocols for remote management and campus-wide implementation, delivering versatile, flexible meeting spaces that had to be consistent, reliable and easy to use.

Lloyds Energy to create 700 jobs in liquid gas trade

Lloyds Energy Group LLC has submitted a formal application to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to countries with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, creating a large number of jobs in the process.

Production involves extreme compression of natural gas, often methane, in order to improve the transportation process. The volume in a liquid state is 600 times less than in a gaseous form.

Exporting from their facility in Calhoun County, Texas, the project will be known as Point Comfort LNG and aims to significantly benefit the south central Texas coastal region, in part in the creation of around 700 direct, long-term jobs.

Lloyds Energy expects the project to also indirectly lead to thousands more jobs, as well as economic benefits and a predicted hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

“Lloyds Energy is strongly positioned to meet client demand, and submitting our Point Comfort LNG FTA application is an important first step towards making the final investment decision,” said Philip Holland, Lloyds Energy CEO. “The U.S. has an abundant supply of natural gas and the international market has a growing demand for cleaner, more-efficient fuel.”

 The company hopes to expand further into new territories, and with a potential new deal between the US and UK on the cards, many more could start setting their sights on Britain within the coming year.

Crises, CCTV and Cyber Crime top the total security summit

The global landscape has experienced a rather monumental change over the last year, with security being more relevant than ever as we go into 2017.

The first Total Security Summit of the year is determined to address these issues and uncertainties in a bespoke two-day event for security professionals.

Meet, share, connect and debate business relevant to your current and future projects with matchmade face-to-face meetings, experience a day of dining, drinks and discussion as you network with fellow business professionals and attend seminars covering a range of relevant topics.

Reaching a landmark age in political global challenges and uncertainties, it’s vital to prepare for the future, protecting crowded areas, addressing terror threats and discussing counter-terrorism is Dr Anna Maria Brudenell, Lecturer in Military and Security Studies,
Cranfield Defence and Security for the first seminar on Global Security Strategy.

As terror threats continue to rise and evolve without warning, discussing and understanding the implications is crucial to develop your security in a crisis. Chris Phillips, Managing Director, International Protect and Prepare Security Office (IPPSO) is presenting seminar 2 on Crisis Management and Communications

Video surveillance is being used in greater quantity and with higher quality expectations, with Britain among the leaders in CCTV operation, but are the benefits worth the cost? With few resources and increasing legal parameters, Simon Lambert, Independent CCTV Consultants, Lambert Associates is discussing  CCTV and Video Surveillance in seminar 3.

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John Marsden, Head of Fraud, Equifax, is discussing how to identify and tackle theft as it happens, assessing risk, detecting threats and ensuring on-going training in Seminar 4: Keeping your Business’ Cash and Assets Safe and Secure

Going into your second day, and following morning networking, James Willison, Founder, Unified Security Ltd goes digital. As our dependency on technology grows, many companies are more vulnerable than ever, between data and privacy risks to ransomware, hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and businesses need to adapt quickly for Seminar 5 on Cyber Crime – the United Security Response.

With a continuing rise in companies at risk of fraud, from physical fraud to high level hacking, security needs to be tight across the board, and the final seminar before more discussion and networking addresses these fears. Fraud Prevention with David Lee, Fraud Prevention Manager, Transport for London sees the summit almost to a close.

Taking place between the 13-14 March at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, this year’s Total Security Summit is the industry go-to for professionals.

To secure a complimentary delegate place at either of the two annual Total Security Summit events, call Liz Cowell on 01992 374 072 or email l.cowell@forumevents.co.uk.

Or, to attend either event as a supplier, call Nick Stannard on 01992 374 092 or email n.stannard@formumevents.co.uk.

For more information, visit www.totalsecuritysummit.co.uk.

Facilities management growth to soar, says specialist

As the facilities management sector is reportedly set to double in size, companies are being advised to reduce costs to make the most of this growth in the next 7 years.

The facilities management in North America is predicted to grow from $606.4 billion to $1,887 billion by 2024, but the key to survival in such a rapidly building sector is to remain available and be sure it’s possible to offer clients lower costs, according to specialists.

“Businesses desire premium services from experts, but at low prices,” warned David Lynes, director of UniqueIQ, “but at low prices in order to keep in line with budget. Failing to meet this price expectation could result in lost custom.”

Responsible for managing a variety of workforces, regularly sourced from external companies, facilities management costs can too easily spiral out of control, according to Mr Lynes.

With industry growth also comes increased competition and it’s important to to remain appropriately competitive if companies want to continue securing future contracts.

“Keeping overheads low by streamlining the management of each outsourced service that is provided, and gaining clear insight into the movements of staff can help facilities management,” said Mr Lynes, “making it possible to offer the rates that organisations are looking for.”

Imtech Inviron in blockbuster contract with BFI

Imtech Inviron have announced a three year deal with the British Film Institute (BFI).

The major project involves full time mobile engineering, helpdesks, energy solutions and further services across BFI’s five UK sites.

The meticulous planning and organising involves covering film premier events, as well as protecting the Master Film Store, a £12 million Warwickshire archive securing highly sensitive film reels dating back to the birth of film.

The almost half a million make up the world’s largest collection of moving image and film, which consists of cellulose nitrate, an incredibly flammable material that requires specially trained HVAC engineers.

“We are delighted,” said Duncan McKeich, BFI’s head of facilities, “The team have a great attitude and knowledge of all our sites, which is vital.”

“Their technical expertise and experience in this sector has ensured the smooth operation of our portfolio and through new initiatives, the partnership continues to evolve.”

The continued upkeep of the Master Film Store, according to McKeich, ensures “preserving the National Collection for future generations.”

Guest Blog, Cathy Hayward: FM in 2016 – what we’ve learnt and 2017 predictions…

The end of a calendar year provides the perfect opportunity for lines to be drawn, and predictions forecast. And while 2016 will largely be remembered for the number of famous lives it took, the surprise Brexit decision and election of Donald Trump, there were also more positive developments in the FM and workplace sector.

This year saw the word wellbeing become part of the workplace lexicon and that’s only going to intensify in 2017. Workplace design will focus on creating less sedentary work practices, says Adrian Powell, director at office design and build firm Active, through encouraging movement around the office space. “Companies recognise this will lower absenteeism and help to attract talent. Employees are certainly more educated now about healthy living and have become much more health conscious. Companies also realise that workplace stress is a massive health issue, so designing and creating a healthier and more relaxed environment will create true benefit.”

Powell predicts a real emphasis on ‘teams’, continuing the theme of collaboration spaces which took centre stage in 2016. “Employers are beginning to recognise that companies structured into high performing teams are enabling themselves to compete and win! This will be pushed for by millennials and gen Z workers who have grown up playing team sports, who may have the same expectations of their office.”

With a growing millennial workplace population, technological innovations will continue to make a major impact on the FM world. There will be more connection, more automation, and more significant impact in business and investment than ever before. “Service companies will need to be more technology savvy in the delivery of services and production of management information, as technology is shaping the human life at a rapid pace and service delivery needs to keep a pace with that ‘instant’ culture,” says Glen Cardinal, managing director of Platinum Facilities and Maintenance Services.  But he acknowledges that there’s a balance to be had with old fashion face-to-face customer relationships.

The Internet of Things which started being talked about in 2016 will become more affordable and be used by leading organisations to support enhanced workplace experiences. That’s the prediction of Andrew Mawson, founder and MD of Advanced Workplace Associates. And it’s backed up by Andrew Sugars, director of corporate development at Servest Group. “Data analytics and IoT will be more entrenched in FM’s way of thinking, in terms of helping the decision making process of where to direct their focus. The move from service focused KPIs to enhancing customer experience metrics will be driven predominantly through apps, that are changing the way end users interact day to day with their work environment.”

2017 will yield even more integration of CAFM and other systems within a building, adds Gary Watkins, CEO of CAFM provider Service Works Group.  “Effective management of the facilities lifecycle is often cited as an enterprise’s second largest expense, and system integration will allow better access to information, with intelligent workflows automating processes for high efficiency.  We expect data across all applications to be standardised, driving the market forward in areas such as automated guided vehicles, increasing productivity and work place safety.” Watkins also forecasts increased mobility, the rise of ruggedised devices, more wearable technology, increased location-based services and bigger big data.

There will also be a fundamental shift in service delivery models. Traditional FM service delivery models are going to come under increased pressure following the uncertainty of the Brexit decision, the recent election of Donald Trump as US president, Government policies around the apprenticeship levy, the new minimum wage level and the pressure, in the public sector at least, to involve SMEs in the supply chain.

“We are going to see more innovation around FM models, particularly for organisations with large property portfolios,” says Colin Kenton, managing director, FM services at KBR. “The Integrator model, whereby one outsourced organisation offers the client a cohesive solution by integrating process, technology, reporting and performance measurement/management across all service providers in the supply chain, will gain ground,” he predicts. This matured and adapted version of the managing agent model provides the client with a stand-alone matrix of processes, resources, skills and knowledge to manage all of its services, which crucially, meet their specific needs. Its innate flexibility responds well in changing economic and political times.

There will be further consolidation in the FM supply base, as service providers become unprofitable after further cost cutting. That’s the prediction from AWA’s Andrew Mawson. “Meanwhile larger SMEs and more thoughtful occupiers will seek out boutique FM supply companies to provide more innovative partnership based ‘workplace management’ services.”

With all these changes, there will be a major push by companies to attract and retain the top talent in the industry, forecasts Dave Kentish from people development specialists Kentish and Co. “This means that they will have to invest in developing people within their business and making sure they get known for being the company to work for. It’s all about growing your own.”

That’s certainly something that Nikki Dallas, MD and founder of FM recruitment business Talent FM, agrees with. She forecasts a need for more project management and space management professionals once the timetable for Brexit is known and banks and other financial services firms decide if they’re leaving or staying in London.  There will also be a demand for UK qualified talent in the Middle East with Expo 2020 Dubai and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. “These large events require an improvement in infrastructure which means more need for built environment and FM professionals,” she predicts.  

What’s clear is the ramifications of the big decisions of 2016 are going to be felt throughout next year and beyond, but the enthusiasm for the FM sector to innovate, grasp the nettle of new technology and new service delivery models will ensure it triumphs over any further adversity.

 

Cathy Hayward is a communications specialist with over 18 years’ experience in a range of journalistic and marketing roles. She founded Magenta in 2011 after 13 years as a business journalist where she launched FM World and edited Charity Finance as well as working on titles such as Financial Management, Supply Management, Unions Today, Marketing Week, Soccer Analyst and Director.

Guest Blog, Liz Allen – The Circular Economy: Re-thinking waste…

We have become used to the idea of recycling.  We do it at home, and more businesses are recognising the financial benefits of waste segregation and recycling in the workplace.  But is this enough? What ‘matchmaking’ could you do for your business waste? Could your unwanted waste material be just what someone else needs?

Each time a material is recycled, its quality is generally reduced leading to a higher demand for virgin raw material.  According to Friends of the Earth, humans today extract and use around 50 per cent more natural resources than 30 years ago – that’s about 60 billion tonnes a year.  If we continue in the same way, the amount could be 100 billion tonnes of raw material by 2030. It’s not just the environmental problems associated with resource extraction, there are often social problems such as human rights violations and poor working conditions linked with these industries which we should be taking into account.

There is nothing wrong with recycling, and we should all keep up the good practice while looking out for opportunities to think a bit wider and add an extra loop into a products’ life cycle.  The challenge is to move away from the ‘take-make-dispose’ linear route, and move to a circular model where the life of products and materials are extended before they are repurposed, reused or reprocessed to provide new or different services.

The beauty of a ‘circular approach’ is that it can be tackled at any point of the value chain – anywhere from extraction of raw materials, design and manufacture, through to use and disposal. This affects everyone and is providing the inspiration for all kinds of new business models which appeal to the millennials, who are less materialistically-minded, and environmentalists alike.

All kinds of organisations are piloting new business models to try and rethink waste.  These range from product leasing – where you hand it back for someone else to use, to improving product performance by building in upgradability, through to remanufacturing.  All these approaches try to keep the original material in use for as long as possible to get the best out of it before recovering or regenerating products and materials at the end of their useful life.

Organisations such as WRAP and the Dame Ellen MacArthur Foundation are championing approaches to support innovative business models.  These are popping up all over the place including a company in Holland called Mud Jeans which lets you lease a pair of jeans for a year. After that, you can return them for repair, get a different style or purchase them. St Albans based office furniture specialist, JPA will collect, repair and refresh your office furniture, rather than it going to landfill, while businesses in the FMCG market are looking at ways to redesign products so they can minimise the use of virgin material.

We are great at accumulating ‘stuff’, and apparently up to 80 per cent of the products made are thrown away within the first six months. As a society, we have gotten used to wanting the latest trend and another bit of kit, but this cannot be sustainable? All these products have used other materials to make them and there is not an inexhaustible supply.  Think about the opportunities; we are happy to download music and no longer own CD’s, therefore eliminating (or at least significantly reducing) the production of plastic discs.  So what else could we do?

 

Liz Allen is an environmental consultant at Hosking Associates Ltd, and has many years’ experience working with diverse businesses to translate environmental issues into practical actions. She helps organisations prioritise risks and opportunities to reduce costs, and manage compliance. Liz is a chartered environmentalist with experience in designing and delivering CSR, sustainability and stakeholder engagement programmes.

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