The value of FM consultancy | Macro

The value of FM consultancy

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By Hugh Henderson, Director of Consultancy

As I sit on an aircraft bound for another immigration control, I’ve time to reflect on the success of the FM consultancy offering around the globe. 

I’ve spent the last 10 years working on large and small scale FM projects for clients in most of the Gulf countries as well as Europe, North Africa and elsewhere. I’m also fortunate to have a good network of colleagues in the FM industry around the globe so we are able to share ideas and experiences.

There are a number of variables and differentiators of each market location we have to take account of, including:

  • the maturity of the national and regional markets
  • the construction industry and the build quality
  • the awareness of FM
  • the availability of skills and expertise
  • the level of expectation of the client. 

Throw these into the melting pot and you have a heady mix that will challenge/inspire even the most capable of consultants.

We’ve worked with receptive and informed clients and while many are happy to admit they don’t have all the answers, the common trait is that they have the foresight to ask for help. We successfully overcome language and cultural differences and quickly focus on the objectives and the solutions. Identify the financial benefits, link FM to social and commercial objectives and it’s hard for any client to deny the value that we can add. Improved build quality and maintenance standards in schools help improve educational standards, well maintained and clean hospitals support increased life expectancy, well planned office space helps improve productivity of any commercial organisation….and it goes on. 

Buildings and Facilities are often the second greatest cost (next to their people) in any organisation so it is imperative to take the long term view of facilities and asset management to ensure you  see the clear financial benefits over the life of any asset. Effective FM is one of the keys to optimising return on investment and maximising profits. Long term savings can easily exceed 10% when compared with adopting outdated practices with the more traditional supply chain. Modernise these system and processes, introduce new technology and focus on effective supply chain management and you have a powerful tool. 

The international FM consultants need cultural awareness, business acumen and a broad grounding in the profession in order to maximise their worth. From the clients’ perspective my advice is: get the consultants on board quickly, use them sensibly, and listen to their advice. Clients can overlay local knowledge on top of international expertise and with that blend of international standards and local expertise a good solution is never far. If we concentrate on the value that consultants bring, the real benefits will easily be derived. 

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