Interviewee: Martin Reed, managing director, Incentive FM group
Issue: Smaller players in the outsourced FM market
13 October 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
How do you think the FM market is currently doing?
From our perspective, it is doing very well. it’s becoming an interesting market in that the bigger players are suffering from being big, while for smaller and medium sized players it is opening up new opportunities they may not have been considered before.
It is now more about who we want to work with. That’s partly why we’ve done so well over the last couple of years. Clients want to feel significant with the providers that they have. If you have a multi-million pound contract with one of the big boys which is doing a lot of government work, they don’t necessarily always feel that significant and the providers don’t work that hard at making them feel significant.
Businesses have reported operating losses post-Brexit. How is Incentive dealing with the new climate?
I don’t think the results are anything to do with Brexit. I think the strategic decisions that they made were well before Brexit, and they are just using Brexit as a smokescreen. For me, Brexit hasn’t changed a thing. We are not in the public sector very much. But no one in our client base or prospective client base has put a hold on things or asked for a different commercial agreement or for things to be downscaled. It’s made no difference whatsoever, partly because nobody knows what it is. We don’t know if it’s going to affect the free movements of people, currencies, or whether it means Scotland voting away from the UK. To me, it’s business as usual.
To what would you attribute Incentive FM’s recent run of contract awards?
We are very much focused on people. If we get that right, everything else just flows. If people feel significant in an organisation, they will give it their all. To me, it’s all about cherishing people and making them feel significant. Happy staff mean happy clients; that’s the tagline for me.
As we get bigger, my message to my team is to think like a small company. We are now at £100 million turnover, or very close to it. My message to our business is to think small because small companies tend to be more agile, creative and driven than the big companies that become corporates. What people like about us is that we are driven, creative and flexible.
What are your future plans?
We have a multifaceted structure that I would say is unique. Our original FM business provides all of the multi-service delivery. We then have cleaning, security and maintenance businesses. We bought two window-cleaning businesses over the last twelve months and we’ve just taken on some surveying capabilities. This has added more capability to our service offer.