In an attempt to improve its understanding of client requirements, contract caterer BaxterStorey has commissioned a white paper. The company's chief executive, Noel Mahony, explains the report's findings
As a hospitality specialist, we must consider the role we play in a client's broader strategy. However, in order for us to do this, we must understand the challenges they face.
Based on a detailed examination of all FTSE 100 company annual reports and discussions with industry insiders, we commissioned a white paper to explore how facilities management (FM) providers can build value.
The paper, ‘What keeps chairmen awake at night?', was written by strategy consultancy Forward Thinking Inc. Launched to investigate the future challenges and opportunities for facilities management, it explores how providers of support services can deliver a competitive advantage. It identified five key areas for success:
It is here that the greatest long-term value lies for FM providers lies. The paper shows that clients need help in creating a flexible working environment successfully. FM providers need to be equipped to respond to this changing landscape to help clients work more efficiently.
The challenge here is to develop expertise to engage with clients around their brand. FMs must embed service delivery in the client's brand and measure how their services deliver added value.
There is considerable value and mutual benefits to be achieved by developing a successful partnership. The research shows that if FM is to deliver to its potential, it pays to invest in monitoring and tracking the client relationship. This way, interventions can be implemented to maintain the effectiveness of the relationship. Providers should also ensure key personnel are equipped with the skills to effectively manage the relationship.
Attracting talent to fulfil critical relationship management roles could also be key to a successful FM/client partnership. Learning and development should focus on communication, relationship management and managing conflict, alongside investment in performance management.
We expect to see continued consolidation in the industry, which will likely result in the larger integrated companies becoming stronger and the best niche specialists continuing to prosper.
The research highlights a host of opportunities for FM providers. We believe that focusing on work flexibility, brand reputation, mutually beneficial partnerships, talent and consolidation will be critical in capitalising on these opportunities. There is clearly potential for the industry to develop into a more centre-stage role, but for this to happen, key issues must be addressed.
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