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Driving the industry forward

The summer is almost upon us and hopefully we are getting ready to go away on holiday. Or are we? asks Stuart Harris
, deputy chair at the BIFM.

 

2 June 2011


The summer is almost upon us and hopefully we are getting ready to go away on holiday. Or are we?

With the current tough economic times, can we afford to go away? And how is the economy affecting us and the facilities management industry as a whole?

In a recent article written by the deputy governor for the monetary policy, Bank of England, Charles Bean describes the current conditions, noting that many recent indicators have given comforting signs that a recovery is underway. But he notes it may be some while yet before normality is restored.

But how far has the impact of the prospective fiscal consolidation already been taken on board by us and all households, and how much adjustment is yet to come? Bean also cited evidence from the recent Bank of England Consulting Survey, which indicates that the majority of households expect to be affected in some way by the fiscal tightening, but less than half have so far actively responded. With regards to business spending, he says that, while financial conditions are currently more supportive than in the recent past, he believed that investment spending is likely to be restrained. However, this does depend upon which sector you are working in, as the public sector will probably take longer than the private sector to respond.

With this in mind, facilities management professionals will need to show more consideration towards how we drive our services forward, and relationships between clients and suppliers will be key.

All services, and it doesn’t matter if they are in-house or outsourced, will need to be both more flexible and show an economy of scale with their delivery, with a great deal of innovation and creativity being shown and applied.

I believe that when times are tough, it is the best time to show just how good we really are at delivering an innovative facilities management service, for our clients, senior management and our industry. There is a lot of free advice and support available, with industry peers being more than willing to offer help.

Please do look at the BIFM website (www.bifm.org.uk) and, in particular, the events calendar or the events page within FM World, and come out and network.

I would particularly like to remind you about the BIFM AGM and Members’ day (www.bifm.org.uk/AGM2011), to be held at the British Library, on Thursday 30 June. This is an excellent day, open and free to all BIFM members. It’s all about getting involved, networking and celebrating success.

Let’s all lead by example and show how positive we can be.

Stuart Harris 
is deputy chair at the BIFM