Perry Morgan, Head of FM Operations, BK Gulf Facilities Management
For us at BK Gulf Facilities Management, 2020 will be remembered as a year of challenges but also success. A year in which we changed the way we do things, as a business. Some for better and some for worse. Many of the activities we took for granted within our everyday lives were disrupted and replaced with either an obstruction or innovation.
From a Facilities Management perspective, many companies officially became part of the core frontline teams on disinfection and critical maintenance and in so doing set the standard for first response activities within the facilities we maintain.
With the first quarter of 2021 well underway ther e is no reason to see this changing, at least in the foreseeable future of 2021. Far from being discontinued, the operational procedures that we, as an industry put in place during 2020, will continue to serve, become standardised, and even evolve during 2021, as we learn and find more innovative and effective ways, to contain and fight this virus.
Trend #1: Integrated Services Model
As the world continues to accept a new normal, there will also be the continued trend in Facilities Management to a more integrated services model approach from service providers, with more and more client-side stakeholders requiring that service providers can provide the additional services and expertise within their current framework, without the need of the client having to contract elsewhere.
Trend #2: Transparent & Unified Approach
Whilst these will have a positive impact on the Facilities Management industry in the longer term, one area of concern is the continuing effect of pricing pressure on service providers and their ability to offer a relatively high standard of service, whilst being cost-competitive. This has for many years been the catalyst for inconsistent, short term, and often imprecise decision making on the part of clients, as top-tier service providers, with integrated, value-based solutions, have had to water down the approach to compete within a market dominated by price.
Quite often there has been a simplified approach of passing on losses to service providers with little or no regard to the growing input costs of the industry, its ability to deliver, and its sustainability as a company. We at BK Gulf Facilities Management believe that the answer to these challenges most likely lies in a transparent, unified approach to each client/service provider partnership and the willingness of the client to engage with the service provider on a cradle to grave, value-based solution.
Trend #3: Performance Parameters
Similarly, the focus of consistent pressure on utility costs and overall sustainability issues looks set to continue. The trend of performance parameters being utilised for benchmarking and the obvious incentive of cost savings, has led to a consistent focus on areas where not only statutory requirements are being met, but also an increasing social responsibility to save and the benefit of utilising these for company marketing and publicity.
Overall, 2021 looks set to carry a very large hangover from 2020, with most of these trends continuing to develop. As with the events of 2020, that affected us all, the key to finding solutions in many of these, is for us all to approach them and offer a combined, openminded, proactive approach to ensuring a successful 2021 and beyond.