Colt Technology discuss the benefits of working with a Managed FM Service provider | Macro

Colt Technology discuss the benefits of working with a Managed FM Service provider

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By Helen Bailey, Head of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities for Colt Technology

Helen Bailey is the Head of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities for Colt Technology, the providers of Network, Voice and Data Centre services to businesses, worldwide. 

Helen joined Colt three years ago, just as Macro began mobilising the newly won contract to provide facilities services to 73 sites across 13 European countries.  The contract is delivered under a Managed Services agreement, and provides a full range of soft services, M&E, project support, and management of the variable spend. The majority of buildings are highly technical facilities that require specialist cleaning and M&E. 

No sooner had the contract began, then Colt began a rationalisation programme to significantly reduce headcount and streamline the services it offers. Corporate Real Estate were tasked with reducing costs by £1.1 million and turned to Macro to put the promise of the ‘partnership approach’ into action. 

Helen says, “We underwent a procurement review which slashed the cost base, but also reduced the scope of some of the service lines. We were incredibly impressed with how the Macro team supported us as I think most companies would have balked at the size of the reduction so soon into a contract. They were certainly under no obligation to help, but they worked with us in a true partnership fashion.  Macro are now helping us to align the operation to the financial decisions taken.” 

The rationalisation of the Colt business, and Helen’s own background as a Chartered Accountant means that cost has always been high on her radar.  She says, “I like the Cost Plus approach that Macro takes.  It’s under a GMP model, and is very transparent which makes decision making quicker. This is one of the advantages of a Managed Services agreement, as I think with self-delivery providers, the true cost of a service can get clouded very easily. 

“Macro is one of the smaller FM providers, and that has a lot of advantages.  They are extremely flexible, they listen and adapt to our changing needs quickly.  We can get straight to top of the management tree, when necessary, and the MD, Ross Abbate, brings a great deal of common sense to negotiations. It’s easy to get bogged down in what should or shouldn’t be in the contract, but he sees the bigger picture and will make the pragmatic commercial decision.” 

Reflecting on the journey so far, and what’s been achieved, Helen says, “Prior to outsourcing we had an in-house facilities offering, across Europe, with each country operating differently. It wasn’t clear who did what, which service was being offered, or what it was costing us. Bringing everything under the ‘Macro umbrella’ has enabled us to understand the cost base, suppliers and start working towards standardisation. Also, as a team we can stand back and review any issues objectively, which can be difficult in a self-service model.  With our rationalisation complete and the basics in place, we can now work with Macro to implement new ideas that will give something back to the staff.”

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