The rapid advancement of technology in the consumer space and innovation in FM means that no two years are the same for the facilities management sector. With almost three decades in the FM sector, it’s fair to say that we’ve got a great sense of where the marketplace is and where it’s going.
The key drivers of FM change:
An innovative facilities management company should utilise these areas to effectively deliver efficient FM service:
- Technology and IoT
Correct Data Plays an Increasing Role in Decision Making
Powerful analytical tools such as CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Management) are becoming commonplace in this sector. They provide valuable and accurate insight that can be used to inform top-level business strategies as well as day to day operations. This kind of business intelligence is becoming the new standard, and innovative facilities management companies have embraced and developed these systems for the future.
Facilities Management and the Mobile Workforce
It is important to think of facilities management as a mobile solution. The majority of field working staff move from site to site to deliver effective FM services and get a better understanding of the premises for which they are responsible. CAFM offers businesses and client’s further bolt-on systems to enhance mobile working, so we expect FM to become more efficient, flexible and productive as a result.
The Power of ‘Internet’ Will Drive Change in FM
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a way to connect with assets and appliances as they communicate with each other online. In the consumer space, this summons up thoughts of Bluetooth coffee machines and Wi-Fi fridge freezers, but the implications are far-reaching and all-encompassing.
Consider equipment and assets that can self-monitor and automatically report when they need servicing or work orders that appear and are addressed before a company even realises it is needed? The Internet of Things will change the FM game in a drastic way.
We’ve become an app-driven society. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, we’ve become used to doing pretty much everything with just a few taps on the screen. We expect that ease of use to extend to our work environment as well, with the tools we use every day made as simple as possible.
FM Technology Innovation
The I-Mop is the first of its kind. RFM Group has trialled them with some of our contracts and we found that the I-mop solves the problems of floor cleaning systems by combining the flexibility of a mop with the power and speed of industrial-strength scrubber dryers.
The I-mop makes it possible to clean any surface with freedom of movement and a great sense of ease. No borders or boundaries. The benefits we found were:
- Replaces a standard mop and bucket
- Leaves no dirty residue on the floor
- Scrubs and dries at the same time
- A cordless wonder with a Li-Ion battery with a 1-hour recharge
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Can “turn on a sixpence”
- Time and labour saving
RFM has also been trialling Numatic’s iconic Henry battery vacuum cleaner. The cordless Henry HVB160 is one of very few bagged cordless models and has a large capacity, which has meant fewer trips to the bin and quicker turnaround times on the client’s premises.
Innovation in FM Means That Throughout the Contract, There May be Changes
RFM believes that in order to manage and assist in any period of change effectively, you need like-minded people in place; indeed, people are central to delivering effective FM. Our approach to contract changes for a number of FM customers is to support our clients in a flexible, approachable and collaborative working relationship. RFM Group promotes systems that improve communication and co-operation between the parties, an ‘Early Warning System’ being a good example.
Once a partnering contract commences it is advisable to run a review to identify changes early, specifically related to understanding the effect, outcome and future delivery.
In summary, an effective flexible approach should include:
- Finding the common aims, objectives and goals
- Respect and trusting each other
- Working with a ‘One team’ mindset
- Transparency – providing all partners with open access to all performance and financial information
- Flexibility to ensure that the changing needs of the client and the partnership, and the changing needs of diverse customers are addressed
- Identification of bespoke risks and their management.
The internal processes for dealing with contract change should involve all employees that may be affected by any changes. We have found the sooner we involve employees that are affected by the change, the better we have been able to implement change. It is recommended that FM providers and clients set up a formal communication channel that is more effective for implementing change than a negative informal one.
We’ve written about cleaning contracts and TUPE in previous insights.