Integrating small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) into the facilities supply chain is a big challenge for both the public and private sectors. With public sector organisations all agreeing to spend at least 30% with SME’s, it is a challenge to engage with them as history has shown that public sector outsourcing is generally more favourable to larger providers.
One of the barriers to success is the increased management resources needed to manage multiple smaller regional contractors. With management resource already stretched, FM’s are fighting a losing battle. With little C-Suite influence and growing responsibilities across the wider workplace, do they have the time and support to integrate SME’s? Probably not is the answer.
But, is there another solution? Outsourcing to one company has been the preferred choice for many reasons. It is easier to deal with and pay only one company, that company can provide a full end to end management with FM’s responsibility only being auditing and signing off works. Outsourcing puts the majority, if not all risk on the outsourced contractor, and often it seems like the most cost-effective solution – but is all of that true?
No, in reality, you can lose control and visibility when outsourcing through TFM and most often than not, what is promised at the tender stage is not delivered throughout the contract. When chasing the unsustainable margins that were tendered, contractors are more likely to cut corners and underdeliver. As a lot of contractors use their own systems for self-reporting, it is often difficult for the client to get transparency and in turn, this can create an issue with trust.
Now we are not saying that all TFM contracts are bad, but a lot can be improved and through our experience the above outlines the thoughts and concerns of some clients that we work with and speak talk to regularly. On the flip side, integrating SME’s into the supply-chain on a direct contractual basis also has its barriers to success.
Both local and central government contracts can be sizable, often enough to put significant strain on an SME in both delivery and management of contracts. The scalability of such organisations can be a concern. Some SME’s don’t have the same quality business processes or CSR experience that more prominent, more established contractors do, and this can also be a put-off.
So, is there a better way to integrate SME’s into the supply-chain? In short, the answer is yes. How? Use an FM Integrator.
BIFM describe the Integrator as “a matured and improved version of the Managing Agent model. The Integrator sits between the client and supply chain providing business intelligence and an independent, impartial view on supplier performance, finance and cost control, workplace experience and FM compliance together with a strategic approach to the entire estate.
“The benefits include a single point of information and the ability to choose the best service partner for the job together with an increased strategic insight into the estate. This approach is being adopted by organisations with large, complex portfolios”.
An integrator provides independent asset and contract management using advances in technology and business intelligence to deliver FM services. As an independent management service, we can manage and audit a TFM contract, or more importantly integrate any number of specialist service providers to support facilities delivery. We offer the flexibility to choose the best possible solution while using one management resource.
We provide third-party technology to funnel all performance information through a centralised system, by removing self-reporting from contractors, we can monitor, audit and approve work in real-time. Working in real-time allows us to manage data and use business intelligence for benchmarking and trend analysis, which is proven to save clients an average of 30%.
Our integrated model is 100% client focussed, with no vested interest in the contract delivery we are free to create innovation, value and improved integration throughout the supply-chain. With SME’s set to miss out on £33.5bn worth of contracts by 2020, we offer a scalable solution that is proven to deliver results.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mark Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07518 444 838 to discuss the Integrator model and see how it could benefit your future FM strategy.
Link to Proactis blog on SME’s losing out on £35.5bn worth of contracts by 2020 – https://blog.tendersdirect.co.uk/2018/04/09/smes-to-miss-out-on-33-5bn-worth-of-government-contracts-by-2020/
At Autonomous, our whole business model is designed to add value to clients by ensuring they always receive improved service, greater value and innovation from their supply chain. We do this in several ways:
- Big Data & Business Intelligence (BI) – Our BI platform allows us to centralise data from multiple sources to provide one view of FM activity. BI enables us to provide faster and more accurate reporting, analysis and planning for more informed decision making which ultimately leads to cost savings and service improvements. Big data management is now key to the success of contracts and working in real-time allows us to identify trends more quickly and work with clients and vendors more efficiently. BI aligns performance indicators with FM strategy to empower insights for more strategic decision making.
- Procurement – Using BI, we know precisely how vendors and assets are performing, we can run cost comparisons and get the best possible overview of service delivery. We then use this BI to procure in much smarter ways to drive best value and efficiencies. Unlike large outsourced models where you are tied into a fixed contract, and it is often hard to switch out under-performing vendors, we offer that opportunity at ease. As we centralise and manage all vendors, we can switch contractors without any disruption to normal service and deliver greater savings or performance improvements. Using your client data, we can empower your procurement team to buy in smarter ways.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – We are now rolling out IoT devices to remotely monitor water quality and cleaning for clients. We have removed the need for engineer visits and our team now manage the water compliance at our service centre. We have set parameters for all aspects of compliance and alarms to alert us to any issues. On the cleaning side, we have automated cleaning schedules and use IoT to monitor activity, tracking cleaners throughout their work to benchmark time and divert from areas of low footfall requiring less cleaning. We have saved significant time and money in engineer visits and management time by automating this process, and it is something we are looking to expand into other areas of plant, electrics and compliance to add further value. IoT monitoring will help FM delivery move away from just in case maintenance, to just in time.
- 1st Line Service Support – Our facilities helpdesk is experienced in providing 1st line advice, support and task closure. We don’t just take a call or email, raise a ticket and send it straight to an engineer. Our team will question the request to find out if anything can be done to resolve 1st level requests. Simple things like turning off alarms or adjusting heating can be easily explained, and for more advanced issues we can arrange engineer callbacks. 1st line support can reduce engineer visits by up to 40%.
- 360° Building Modelling – We use 360°building modelling to virtually map buildings and add current assets in accordingly. This means that any engineer that visits can access the site using their mobile phone to find exact assets, along with their operating manuals, value and service information. For clients, this can be an excellent tool for getting an understanding of a remote site or multiple-sites across various regions/countries. For our helpdesk teams, it means that we can also remotely advise vendors and staff of asset information and use it to offer our 1st line support service.
- Scalability – There is no limit to our scalability. We have developed an adaptable business model that has evolved over the past couple of years into a unique proposition. All we require is an understanding of the estate and necessary resource; then we can replicate the model to provide an optimal solution, whatever level of service is needed. Our systems are all cloud-based, so there is no country integration and no painstaking time is taken to introduce our technology, once we have the asset and contract information it is almost immediate.
- Sustainability – We support our clients to achieve their sustainability targets. This could be through reducing their carbon footprint, moving to 100% renewable energy sources and diverting even more waste from landfill. Recent projects have seen us help clients reduce their carbon footprint through reduced engineer visits using IoT technology and LED replacements schemes to PIR sensors, cutting use of lights down from 24/7 use to an average of 6hrs per day.
- Learning and Development – At Autonomous we work with your in-house FM function to support and develop skills and knowledge. Our systems and processes are set to the highest standards of FM delivery using best industry practice and experience of contract delivery. We have a proven track record of helping clients FM’s to develop their facilities, workplace and stakeholder management skills by allowing them to concentrate on their job. By taking the day-to-day management of vendors and providing real-time BI, we empower FM’s to drive innovation in the workplace, which creates much better value for their organisation, and a culture of best practice.
- Future Proof FM Delivery Through Emerging Technology – The technology available to FM’s is evolving at high-speed. It is hard for Senior FM’s to adequately plan for capital investment in technology when the evolution is happening so quickly, and this can add a sense of uncertainty. At Autonomous we drive the innovation for clients and make it our job to stay ahead of the game regarding emerging technology. We are now working with some companies around the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in FM for big data management and improved BI. We are also looking to bring Blockchain to FM for smart contract management and enhanced critical supply ordering.
We would love to let you know a little more about our unique Facilities Management Integrator service and how it could benefit your future FM requirements. To find out more, please contact Mark Taylor at email@example.com or 07518 444 838.
The race to the bottom has been a common theme in facilities management procurement for some time, and with so much competition in the market there will always be a contractor willing to do it for less, but as we’ve recently seen with Carillion, it is not sustainable.
Most property and procurement professionals know there is a smarter way to procure but don’t have the data that they need to do so. In a recent paper by RICS on ‘Big Data’, 37% of respondents were in the pre-adoption stage of implementing big data management while 35% are in the early adoption stage. The research highlights just how few companies are collecting or using the potential data they have available.
In our experience, very few clients have any data of value, with most assets lists out of date and lacking quality information. Having the correct data on your assets and contracts allows for specific smart procurement which creates much better value in the long run.
We generally find that:
- FM’s don’t know how or don’t have time to manage big data and extract value from it
- CAFM systems tend not to be used to their full capacity, and in turn, the data is not there to make more informed decisions
- FM’s are not making the most of the asset lifecycles due to lack of information
- There is very little visibility of real-time spend as contract delivery is reviewed monthly or quarterly, often through contractor self-reporting
With advances in technology, managing assets and contractors has never been as efficient. Costs can be benchmarked across different contracts and countries to get a real cost of FM delivery, allowing you to highlight areas of concern.
Through benchmarking, you can see where you are paying over the market rate, and it allows you to explore the reasons in real-time as soon as a trend is identified. The same goes for where you are potentially paying lower than the market rate, trend analysis can highlight that under-spend is potentially putting your assets, compliance and general maintenance at risk.
By using real-time business intelligence and benchmarking, we can procure or work with procurement departments to use the most accurate asset and performance data to benchmark current market costs.
The benefits to successful procurement are massive, you know before going to market what the prices are to deliver the work through already benchmarked data. You use that data to assess the submissions and help inform your decision making picking the best contractor for the job.
The other main benefit is using the data to split tenders into regional/national specialists, moving away from TFM to gain even better value. SME’s and regional contractors can’t compete nationally and often struggle to compete with the established main contractors. Our solution supports SME’s and simplifies tendering by using benchmarked information that is true and valid.
We aim to remove the often-blind pricing process, using out of data cost schedules and poor asset information. Instead, we offer real-time asset, contract and performance information, benchmarked against other contracts on a national and international level.
In the case of Carillion, had benchmarked data been used by the numerous public and private sector organisations it would have become apparent a lot sooner that their pricing and delivery was unsustainable and may have led to Carillion winning less work and stopped them becoming a “giant and unsustainable corporate time bomb”.
This blog follows the recent article published by FMJ titled ‘Life After Carillion’ – https://www.fmj.co.uk/life-after-carillion/
Link to the RICS Paper titled ‘Big Data: A new revolution in the facilities management sector’ – http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/research/research-reports/big-data-a-new-revolution-in-the-uk-facilities-management-sector/
Link to Parliamentary Inquiry into the Carillion collapse – https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/carillion-report-published-17-19/
In the wake of the collapse of Carillion and diminishing trust in outsourced contracts, the FM Integrator model provides clients with all of the benefits of outsourcing to one company while putting you in full control through a true partnership for improved facilities management.
A facilities management integrator will work with your in-house FM team to provide a holistic view of FM and the workplace, focusing on key metrics like KPI’s, benchmarking, business intelligence and asset life-cycles & Capex projections – the real value added services that FM’s sometimes struggle with when managing day-to-day works.
Here we have put together some of the main advantages of the Integrator model:
- Independent & Impartial
We never work for or employ contractors directly to allow us to provide unbiased real-time independent management and reporting. We have no vested interest in service delivery meaning we are free to derive the best value, service improvements and innovation with 100% focus on clients.
- Simple Centralised Solution
A single point of information and the ability to choose the best service provider for the job. Through our integrated systems, we can ensure all FM delivery is carried out to the same standards and processes, controlled centrally from inception to completion.
- Full Visibility & Transparency
We remove contractor self-reporting and centralise all data to provide a consolidated view of all delivery. This gives you the most comprehensive overview of performance and full visibility of spending on a regional, national or global scale.
- Improved Supply Chain Performance
We work with your existing or new supply chain using business intelligence and performance data to improve service delivery. We make sure works are completed and closed out on time and within SLA.
- Minimum 10% Savings
Through our real-time contractor monitoring, 1st line resolutions, data analysis and benchmarking we could commit to a saving of at least 10% in the first year while improving service delivery, increasing to 20-30% over three years.
- Complete Compliance
We ensure you are fully compliant with all regulations and provide real-time information demonstrating progress and outstanding issues across your estate. We make all compliance records available in real-time and accessible from any device.
- Multi-lingual Support
Our 24/7 multi-lingual service centre supports German, French, Italian, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Norwegian, Chinese and Russian languages, and we are happy to support any other languages as required by clients.
- Contractor Auditing
We carry out real-time audits. No works are closed out for billing unless we see live cost data, real-time material costs, and photographic evidence that work is carried out to a high standard.
- Real-Time Spend Analytics & Invoice Certification
Our systems show in real-time how long your providers worked on sites allowing us to ensure you only pay for the actual works completed. We benchmark costs to ensure that what you pay is accurate and provide consolidated invoice certification for all works to reduce our client’s administration time.
- Asset Capex Projections
We carry out full asset cost verification and provide real-time spend analysis on asset performance allowing for automated five and ten-year asset projections.
- Data Belongs to You
We will provide any business intelligence report you require. The data is yours, and we can provide full downloads in any format you require. We remove the need for self-reporting and make it easier to switch out vendors if there is a performance or cost benefit to you.
- Introduced at Any Time
Because we can take over management of any contractor from a full TFM outsource through to multi-vendor services we can be implemented at any time to deliver immediate savings and service improvements.
Please contact Mark Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07518 444 838 to discuss how the Autonomous Integrator model can benefit your future FM strategy.