We sat down with Dan to discuss his storied experience in the FM sector, how businesses offering IoT are going to succeed and his favourite film series...
Could you start by telling us about your role at mpro5?
Hello, I am the Sector Director for Facilities Management and Healthcare.
And what was your background before joining the company?
I was an independent financial advisor for many years. It was a demanding face-to-face job that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Going even further back, I grew up working for my family’s FM company. I was sweeping shop aisles when I was 15 but more importantly, I was learning about the sector I now solve problems for.
I understand the pain points of larger providers, why scaling operations can be challenging and what digital solutions can offer.
I talked to everybody at every level, from tradesmen to stakeholders, and I’ve been in many of those roles at one point or another. It gives you a complete understanding of the business that I think is quite rare.
I take pride in being able to come up with solutions quickly for a business, understanding their goals and problems and what a minimum viable product looks like for them. We want to get this going as fast as possible so that they can start innovating on this foundation.
So what’s your day-to-day like?
Although I’m a salesman, when I’m prepping to talk to a new company or a customer, I’m not thinking in terms of a sale, I’m approaching it as an open discussion where I try to find a solution to their problem.
The fundamental question is whether I can add value to their business. If I can add value the sale comes naturally. If I can’t justify day-one value, it’s not going to work – I’d rather point them to someone who can in these instances.
But if I can help, then we have the second meeting where I try to really understand the intricacies of what they are trying to achieve.
Throughout the process, it’s about collaborating with them to work out the value we can add.
How do you think the FM sector has changed in the past five years?
When I first started working at mpro5, the trend was towards ‘Total FM’. This meant that specialist providers, whether that was security, cleaning or maintenance companies, were trying to consolidate under larger umbrella groups and companies to provide a single contract to a given customer.
The thinking was that this allowed them to make partnerships to bid on total FM provisions, but now I think the wind is changing as this consolidation often ends in mediocre results for customers.
On the more techy side, the conversation around IoT has moved on a lot in the past few years. At first, I don’t think that many in the FM space really understood the potential benefits of using sensors, it just seemed like an empty buzzword.
But innovation is becoming more commonplace, and so is an understanding of the substantial ROI from IoT networks. Now, everyone is offering IoT, but what’s going to separate providers is the quality of insights into the data and the savings they can deliver.
Some companies will be offering IoT out of a feeling of necessity, without really understanding what the value is but with time it will be more apparent who really has a grasp of this.
Finally, and most importantly, what is your favourite film?
I don’t know, I just watch them! I’m looking forward to the Ring of Power series that’s coming out on Prime. I’ve always liked the Lord of the Rings films and I enjoyed The Hobbit, so hopefully this will be good.