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FM as a force for social good

Published by Colin Kenton, Managing Director FM Services on 16 November 2017

There are many examples of the facilities management sector being a force for social good. From employing former offenders and bringing disadvantaged young people onto apprenticeships and training programmes to minimising business impact on the environment and campaigning for fairer wages for the low paid, the FM sector should feel proud of the way it contributes to a fairer society.

Which is why I am personally pleased to see how the FM Integrator model of service delivery, which I developed with the property services team at the Metropolitan Police, has played a key role in social change. By using the FM Integrator, the Met Police increased by 40% the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its supply chain. And it’s that journey that I talked about at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on 8 November, as they unveiled their fifth series of facilities management case studies, focused on FM and social good, which includes the Met Police’s Integrator programme.

 

SMEs are largely seen as the engine room of the UK economy, providing six out of ten private sector jobs and being most associated with growth and job creation, often at a local level in deprived areas where big business doesn’t exist. Recognising that SMEs are a force for good, the Government has set a target for a third of all public sector procurement to go to SMEs by 2020.

SMEs offer a number of benefits to the public sector including more flexibility, quicker response times and innovative approaches, but dealing with the public sector as an SME is not always easy. Bidding for government business is complicated and expensive, discouraging many smaller operators from the start. And even once the work has been won the problems don’t disappear: chasing for invoices and POs create cashflow problems,

And that’s where the FM Integrator comes in – and where it worked brilliantly for the Met Police. Under the Integrator model, just one single organisation is responsible to the client for integrating process, technology, reporting and performance measurement and management across all its service providers, particularly SMEs where appropriate. 

To encourage SMEs to apply for contracts, the Integrator organisation prepares all the tender documents issued through the client’s tendering system, providing evaluations and recommendations to the client for the PTQs as well as managing the Invitation to Tender. 

Ultimately, however, the client contract is forged directly with the SME suppliers, so in the future, should the client move to a different operating model, unlike a TFM agreement, the contracts remain intact between them and their FM suppliers.

Under the Integrator, the SME is fully supported and can professionalise their own service delivery systems and processes, learning new techniques from the bigger organisation. And the Integrator takes on the more onerous task of providing, and analysing, data around the service delivery and estate performance to the client, leaving the SME to focus on delivering great service.

All of which benefits the client, the SME and the local community in which the SME operates, contributing to FM’s force for social good. Something I’m proud to be part of.

 

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