Years of uncertainty driven by COVID, climate change and the more recent economic downturn, have forced many changes to the facilities management (FM) industry.
All providers have had to adapt to fluctuating demand, rising costs and staff shortages, and the market itself is demanding more value for money.
Consolidation in Facilities Management
This has led many to turn away from models such as Total Facilities Management (TFM), but Lucy Jeynes, Managing Director at Larch Consulting, said, in our recent webinar, that sustainability, social value and consolidation mean TFM is likely to remain popular:
“It’s arguably easier for bigger companies to demonstrate these things [a commitment to social values], but responding better to tenders does unintentionally discriminate against smaller suppliers, which means there will be space for SMEs to get started as innovators.”
Lucy’s point is clear: the market isn’t purely interested in the bottom line, despite the tight economy, but in ‘big-picture’ issues such as sustainability and social value.
Further, she points out that committing to this is easier for large groups or Total Facilities Management providers, because they have far more resource to deploy and benefit from their scale.
These social issues position larger groups as the best equipped to solve these challenges.
Adversity will drive innovation in FM
Adversity often drives innovation, and the current circumstances are no different – with almost all providers in the FM space looking at new tech, agile ways of working and better use of data.
It’s increasingly common to see companies using a cloud-based FM strategy, or experimenting with AI and VR to enhance their operations and deliver efficient, socially conscious services.
Although larger FM groups have their advantages, Lucy Jeynes believes that small and medium-sized companies will disrupt the market and lead the way when it comes to innovation:
“I think what we will see with all the mergers and acquisitions happening is, as everyone is being sucked up into the mushroom cloud of these massive organisations, there’s space underneath there for medium-sized companies to grow, innovate and disrupt.”
The future of TFM
The landscape is changing in facilities management, but time isn’t up for TFM. Rather, this period is an opportunity for both providers and customers to consider what a successful partnership means: efficiency, trust, transparency, innovation and social consciousness.
TFM and smaller providers are already rising to the challenge.