Editor's Viewpoint

Seizing the high ground

The FM industry does a lot of things really well. What if we added one more to the list that could lift our perception, our value, our reputation?

Happy New Year?

A new year is traditionally a cause for celebration, marked by optimism, determination and positive thinking. How long all that lasts, of course, is another matter. And this year there's a question mark over whether any of it even gets started.

The productivity gap: what are we missing?

Last week Mace Macro launched a new report analysing our work environments and uncovering a series of problems, along with associated opportunities for improvement. That set me thinking.

Is technology FM's game-changer?

It's a common view in FM these days: we're on the brink of fundamental, widespread change in what we do and how we do it. The driver is clear: rapidly developing technology. But is this really the case?

Brands talk, and people listen

'Brand' is one of those ideas that can seem a bit too trendy for their own good. Of course this particular concept means something in the fast-paced and increasingly global commercial world; but what's it got to do with real life?

Technology is the future

It's become a feature of every market survey, every industry conference, every insight report into the discipline: technology is the future of FM. That is certainly true; and it always has been.

More questions than answers

Predicting change is a mug's game, especially these days when some of the old 'rules' seem particularly unreliable. But it does feel like the times might be ripe for some kind of tipping point in UK facilities management.

Planning for tomorrow

One of the big challenges for every FM service provider these days is sorting out its strategy for the future: how does it see its markets developing? how does it want to be perceived? what sort of clients does it want? what's the right service offer?

What's in a name?

Naming, and the related branding, forms part of the bedrock of marketing strategy. There’s a lot of science to both and a huge amount of material on good and bad experiences. But in the end, you make your decision, unveil your work and pray for the best.

Culture is more important than technology

That's the statement that stuck with me from Wednesday's Smartworking Summit, the latest in the series organised by consultancy Quora and this time focusing on AI in the workplace.

A tale of two FMs

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. Sometimes it can indeed be hard to tell where you and others actually are.

Thinking about what we're doing and why

I'm usually the interviewer not the interviewee. Being the one questioned is an unusual experience for those of us on the media side of the business; but it can bring a new perspective to the issues.

The outsourcing debate: do they mean us?

Outsourcing has always been a touchy subject. It’s a good, sound business practice, widely used and time-proven; but it can also be an easy target for criticism, a magnet for hot-button claims around jobs, costs, quality, accountability and more.

Technology and people: An uneasy relationship

Videos of dogs doing tricks are always cute. But what if those dogs are actually quadrupedal robots that can open doors?

Conflicts of interest

Last week, i-FM reported that support services firms on the FTSE index announced more profit warnings than any other FTSE-listed companies in 2017. But why is this so?

Disturbing times

I’m not talking about Carillion going into liquidation or the recent news that Capita saw its share price plummet due to a profit warning, adding to market uncertainty and another knee-jerk reaction to the idea of outsourcing.

Crisis response

In over 20 years of being a part of the FM industry I don’t think I have ever seen so much change taking place in one period of time, and with such potentially fundamental implications.

Making the case for adding value through FM

Welcome to 2018, the year that is likely to see profitability at facilities management companies coming under more pressure than perhaps ever before.

The good news or the bad news

Negativity sells. We live in a moment when this observable truth feels more acute than ever.

Enduring narratives

While it seems almost unfathomable now, more than 2,000 years ago the Greek philosopher Plato was warning his peers of the dangers the written word posed to intellectual society.

We need to talk about jobs

Crisis may be too strong a word. Challenge might be a better description for the array of workforce issues that seem to be looming up on the horizon for facilities management.

The fight for professional emancipation

By far the most memorable session of this year’s Workplace Trends conference was a simulated court scene in which the issue of flexible working was put on trial.

Brand values: what do you stand for?

Brand is a simple word for a simple concept with which we are all familiar. Everything for sale is branded but the concept extends far beyond that, even to 'personal brands'. Labelling stuff has its advantages in a busy world.

Value for a new age

Not since the end of the Cold War has the future seemed so uncertain. Faith in age-old institutions is dwindling and the global hegemony feels a little less stable.


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