6 Trends in Facility Management

What trends will impact the future of Facility Management? In this first blog of my “Facility Management Blog Series,” you can read all about it and find out what’s happening within this subsegment of the Professional Services Industry. 

My name is Pieter Hendrikx and I am the Industry Lead Professional Services & Utilities at Nextview.  

In the first blog, I will highlight the circularity & inclusive economy, the smart workplace, and the outsourcing revolution. In a second blog, I will discuss the “Greater emphasis on employee experience and wellness,” “Growing capabilities of AI & Robotics,” and “Future proof property management.”

Circularity & Inclusive economy

Circularity is all about resource cycles (preserve, recycle, reuse). They are often mentioned in the same context as sustainability, which is more broadly related to people, planet and the economy. In Facility Management (FM), there are great opportunities. Think about creating a great circularly and sustainably working environment. Facility Management (FM) companies are often involved, or even partly responsible for realizing the circularity goals of their customers. For example, based on their performance contracts.  

Inclusiveness is about providing equal opportunities for all. Studies have shown that diversity and inclusiveness drive business performance. FM companies need to be able to deliver an inclusive working environment. At their customers’ office location, they can support facilities that support diversity in age, gender, culture, ethnicity or physical (dis)ability. 

Practical examples for FM are providing a flexible office or working space that is accessible to all, including people with a physical handicap. Or think about food trends related to certain cultures that might challenge the current setup of the in-house food services. A final example would be to support an employee who needs to be able to work some days a week remotely. It’s a growing trend that FM companies need to support a more diverse range of requirements and office facilities, based on a diverse population. 

Finally, the workforce of FM companies themselves is, in general, quite diverse and inclusive already, which is a strength of this specific business. 

 

The Smart Workplace

The smart workplace is all about improving FM related services by making smart use of data that comes available, for example, via sensors in or around buildings and office workspaces. It is all about connecting data, devices and people. Connected data is a growing market and niche within FM. The technology aspect of FM is rapidly changing and growing with new technology-driven FM companies entering the market; providing smart FM services leveraging data. 

In general, the available data can be used, at first, to manage cost and to improve efficiency. An example of this can be to use data to reduce operating costs around energy consumption. Or using data to optimize building maintenance intervals based on actual maintenance status instead of just periodic inspections. 

Let’s move a bit closer to the workspace in the office. Think about data-driven services that make the wellbeing and experience for the people in, or around the office better. Or think about smart services around parking or office space availability with IoT driven meeting room availability and booking. And what if you don’t have to queue anymore in the office restaurant? Because you can order from a distance or you can see in real-time how busy it is without having to go down ten floors to the restaurant. Even more advanced would be utilizing data from weight sensors from the clean plate stack. That sensor indicates how many people are actually in the restaurant and translating this into kitchen staff capacity requirements. 

These smart workplace trends will have an impact on FM companies. Customers are expecting FM companies to adapt to this technology-driven trend and to improve their services further. Closing comment; it is much more challenging to retrofit a building to become smart than to design it smart during the initial concept design.

Outsourcing evolution

In the past, the main driver around FM outsourcing was cost management and flexibility. 

Today for many companies, it is all about customer value. There is an increasing push and stretch on each organization’s ability to deliver this increased customer value to stay away from commoditization in a certain area of business. 

This trend requires organizations to innovate constantly and to evolve further or even redesign their products and services. Sometimes the consequence is a further reduction in the non-core budget of an organization. FM is often not in the core capability of an organization. 

While reducing the available FM budget, employees have an increasing demand and growing expectation about even better, smarter and unique workplace experiences. This is where the outsourcing of FM is evolving from cost reduction towards a more strategic proposition in delivering this new type of workplace experience. Of course, with all technology available today, this opens up a new market of competitors in the FM market. 

The good news for the in-house FM teams is that they will evolve from a more operational or coordinating role, towards a more strategic position. In which they define how this unique workplace experience should look like and how this could be delivered. 

 

In the second blog, I discuss the “Greater emphasis on employee experience and wellness,” “Growing capabilities of AI & Robotics,” and “Future proof property management.”

If you would like to discuss these trends and how these trends impact your company. Feel free to send an email to Pieter: pieter.hendrikx@nextview.nl