Right now, the market for facilities management is good. Most organisations are optimistic, forecasts are strong and the mood reported by the media is positive. But whilst the volume of business and opportunities is on the rise, a lot of it, especially work in the public sector is being determined based on price and not value.
Many client organisations talk about value, but the reality is the economics now are pushing procurement decisions into a corner, making price the real deciding factor. Sadly, this often means some FM companies ‘over-selling’ and then under-delivering.
There is a big risk that the industry suffers because of this trend. Worse, the risk is that we follow the trend like sheep and do not think differently and challenge the preoccupation with price.
Everyone wants better value. But it is only achieved through partnership, collaboration and a willingness to think differently. What is required is a drive to re-engineer the way organisations are structured and the way deals are outlined. It also requires a far more open and transparent way of working. Clients and suppliers need to challenge each other, to be honest about their respective issues and margins. No service provider should be ashamed of making a profit. We are in business after all. But making a margin is going to be a whole lot easier if we are honest about it in the first place.
Being consistent about the numbers is the first step. The second is being collaborative, taking a chance and sharing that opportunity.
That is what we are trying to do with our people and our customers. We are consistent in how we present our costs. We are focussed on delivering a solution that works for everyone involved in a project – we enjoy thinking differently and trying out new ideas. If more people were willing to go a little further, beyond the comfort zone and focus on doing a job right and pricing it properly then value would be less of a luxury and much more of a core criteria on a procurement tender document.