World FM Day is here!

Yes, it’s been a year already! World FM Day is back once again to raise the profile of the facilities management (FM) profession and showcase the vital contributions that it makes to an array of organisations across the globe. This year’s theme – ‘enabling positive experiences’ – looks to demonstrate the integral role that the industry plays in positive customer, client and employee experiences across all environments, from hospitals and industrial parks, to sporting facilities, shopping centres and beyond.

As well as celebrating FM’s successes, World FM Day also looks to instigate discussion around contemporary issues to help the industry keep pace with a rapidly changing landscape. In keeping with this, Magenta has asked some key figures in FM to get today’s discussion going by offering their two-cents. We asked them what they feel is the greatest opportunity for the FM sector?

First up is Gary Barbour, Director of Autonomous FM, who believes there is more that can be done with the data we are now accruing through advances in technology:

The ever-increasing developments and proliferation of technology is the greatest opportunity facing the FM industry. Through web enabled devices and crowd-sourced information every organisation is capable of achieving game changing benefits from the exponential growth in data. The challenge is not getting the data; it’s making sense of it all. We’ve all heard about the Prop-Tech revolution changing the property industry, but why not FM-Tech?

Colin Kenton, MD of Facilities Services at KBR, agrees adding:

Data analytics not just management information is going to change the way FM suppliers operate in the future. How do we attract talent with these type of skills from outside the industry to respond to this?

On the other hand, Angela Love, Director of Active, believes attracting and retaining talent is key if FM is to prosper as new generations of workers emerge:

Many of our clients struggle to attract the very best talent into FM, as it isn’t always seen as a first-choice career move. Organisations need to broadcast the opportunities for career development and piggy-back off the great work that organisations such as the BIFM are doing, if they are to attract the next generation into the business.

Graham Davenport, Director at Platinum Facilities Management Services, agrees adding that FM needs to promote itself better if the industry wants to grow:

The UK’s services sector is growing at an impressive rate. Yet whilst the service sector forms the basis of the British economy, not many people are aware of FMs huge role and significant contribution to the sector. FM is still a very much “behind-the-scenes” kind of profession with little recognition or appreciation. This lack of awareness prompts me to suggest that our greatest opportunity is the chance to encourage more people to join the FM industry and to promote the diverse and brilliant range of careers that it offers.

Finally, Colin Kenton offers another perspective for the industry to consider, he asks:

Is FM becoming a dirty word which just needs to be cleaned up or are clients looking for a service from suppliers that offers them more in the future?

Answers on a postcard, oh and happy World FM Day from the Magenta team!

Ben Keeley