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Is FM ready to face up to the big challenges and define its own future?

Following the Workplace Futures conference, a White Paper has been produced looking at the future of Facilities Management. The paper, New Needs. New Solutions? is the fascinating reaction of several key players in the world of FM strategy to the question of whether the sector can continue to grow in the face of the continued bleak economic outlook and, indeed, evolve to add value to organisations that are looking to slash the cost of anything and everything.

The Paper discusses how the recession has reshaped client needs and expectations, how ‘green’ issues, once fringe subjects that could be ignored or embraced according to the prevailing mood, have become mainstream features of corporate reality and that FM providers need to take a more strategic view of organisations’ operational needs.

One of the central messages of this White Paper is that globalisation will change the face of FM.  ‘Globalisation is arguably the most important factor currently shaping the world economy. Although it is not a new phenomenon, the changes it is bringing about now occur far more rapidly, spread more widely and have a much greater business, economic and social impact than ever before.’ FM must react and adapt in this new world.

FM service providers will also find many useful pieces of information in this Paper, such as about how they can play a decisive and positive role in creating the buildings of the future. It also touches on the role of technology and social media in the future of FM: ‘it may be tempting to skip the initial phase of research and stakeholder engagement when looking for new technological solutions – but don’t ever be tempted to short-cut this part of your journey.’ At Larch we wholeheartedly agree with this assessment and have developed a number of innovative approaches in this area.

As well as a fascinating case study on how FM at the BBC is supporting their brave new strategy with their move to Salford, one of our favourite pieces in the Paper is by our Managing Director, Lucy Jeynes, on communication between clients and service providers. Lucy offers several helpful tips for completing tenders, as the involvement of the purchasing function in the procurement of FM services has significantly increased in recent times. She concludes that ‘if buyers seem to be speaking a foreign language, learn it or enlist the help of an interpreter’ – and we happen to know a very good one…

Read the paper here.