Category

Facilities Management

Facilities management insourcing

Facilities Management – our key takeaways from this year’s London Build exhibition

By | Facilities Management, Procurement

After attending this year’s London Build, the UK’s leading construction and design show, Marcus Hill, Head of Facilities Management at Retearn shares his key conference takeaways on how the construction industry has moved from a focus on “bricks and mortar” to a greater focus on diversity, sustainable procurement, well-being and the role procurement has in championing these issues.

1: Inclusion starts with an I

The panel discussion on Diversity was by far the best attended session with standing room only!
Chaired by Christina Riley, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Kier Group she was joined by other panellists from Mace, The London Borough of Lambeth, VolkerWessels UK, A Traffic Signal Engineer who managed to overcome her disability (having had her leg amputated when she was a child) to become a Highways Engineer with Amey .
Covering all aspects of diversity it was clear that this is a key issue that modern day organisations need to address better with open dialogue and good communication central to deal with the range of prejudices and unconscious biases that exist when it comes to racism, homophobia and wider LGBT+ matters in the workplace.

2: Don’t buy cheap, unless you want to buy twice

No surprise, but a relentless focus on quality in construction is paramount – this was a theme championed in a session presented by Gary Edwards – Head of Engineering from the Royal Household. Gary has had a fascinating career working on many flagship UK projects and is currently working at Buckingham Palace. Gary passionately talked about how lifecycle costing is key and there should be a relentless focus on attention to detail and not selection based on the lowest initial price. A need for accuracy and not engineering down to a price should still be the guiding principle, as procurement professionals in Retearn, we are acutely aware of this.

3: Don’t let the small things build and build and impact on mental health

Or as Chrissi McCarthy managing director of Construction Equality Ltd who led this session shared – it can be the “last camel that breaks the camel’s back”
Chrissi’s passion for the social and economic impact of the construction industry led her to create Construction Equality Ltd, a consultancy with the aim of advancing diversity in the construction industry. She shared how she is developing new approaches to overcoming inappropriate behaviour in the workplace through the Duck project. Its key focus is on how emotionally draining exclusion and prejudice, be it direct or indirect effects individuals in the workplace along with strategies companies can adopt to overcomes this.

4: Procurement must play a key role in eliminating modern day slavery

The facts shared by the panellists (which included Helen Carter, Lead Consultant for Sustainable procurement, modern slavery and human rights, a Legal Counsel for a large infrastructure project in London and a Project Manager from “Buy with Confidence” – part of Trading Standards.) were
sobering to say the least.
The official estimate is that over 13,000 people in the UK are victims of modern slavery but the actual figures are hard to define as modern slavery still sits under the radar and could be as high as 100,000 and globally is estimated to affect over 40 million people. When the Modern Slavery Act first came in to being, it was based on the theory that it is largely an overseas problem and if tackled from the top down it will be reduced or eliminated.
The reality however is very differentas recent shocking events demonstrate. It is a global and not a UK issue as witnessed recently with the death of over 39 Vietnamese civilians found in a lorry in Essex. Modern Slavery exists from the bottom up with small business ranging from cleaners, kitchen porters as well as the more publicised professions such as nail bars and car washes impacted.
To tackle Modern Slavery, procurement functions and leaders must:

• play a key and active role in tackling and supporting its elimination through robust policies, processes and planning
• assess their whole supply chain and not just the companies they contract with
• ensure they have open dialogue and clear communication channels
• learn to spot the signs and confront it, using the myriad of resources that are available for example the Modern Slavery Helpline, Website and App.

Marcus Hill is Head of Facilities Management Consulting at Retearn. He is a seasoned Insourcing and Outsourcing Facilities Management expert and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and a member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (formally known as BIFM).

We have experience and expertise to help clients with insourcing facilities management be it a full insource or a partial insource to reflect your business needs. To find out more about facilities management click here, or contact Marcus on the number below or via LinkedIn.

Thoughts? Questions? Need more help? We’d love to hear from you at hello@retearn.co.uk or

Call us on +44 (0) 7795 236664

Marcus Hill

Head of Facilities Management Consulting

Facilities management insourcing: above-average risk, above-average complexity?

By | Facilities Management, Procurement

Sometimes, it happens through choice, as the result of a conscious board-level decision and sometimes it doesn’t – a facilities management service provider may have collapsed and businesses must rapidly plan to insource a previously outsourced facilities management provision.

Either way, the decision to insource your facilities management can launch your business on a complex project, affecting all parts of your operation including staff.

For example if your business’s catering, security, or maintenance service ceases to function properly, it is going to be quickly noticed putting your business at risk. If a Facilities Management operator ceases to trade then the staff have a legal right to transfer to the client organisation provided the service continues, so companies could overnight inherit a team of cleaners and all the challenges and distractions of delivering such a service.

In the meantime, your ability to operate—to serve customers and look after stakeholders could be impaired.

Skilled expertise is essential if sub-optimal outcomes are to be avoided. Below are some of the main factors that we would take into account to help clients achieve a successful insourcing solution.

1: Ensure you have high-calibre project management

Be under no illusions: particularly when insourcing a facilities management provision voluntarily, perhaps on cost grounds. Facilities management service providers won’t automatically grant you an extension if your business’s plans and preparations for insourcing are running late.

Why? Because they will have already looked at redeploying key people who may not be eligible to TUPE transfer, and their own suppliers, and will be unwilling to either expose them to uncertainty or re-negotiate term extensions with people and suppliers.

The problem, of course, is that insourcing a facilities management provision isn’t a project with which most businesses will have had much experience.

Some companies have outsourced for more than 20 years so first-generation outsourcing is but a distant memory. There’s a lot to consider if business continuity is not to be compromised, and the proper legalities correctly observed. Remember: even if your existing staff—those who are already in place, doing the work—are retained, they will be switching employers, and will be entitled to certain legal protections, under TUPE legislation.

Insourcing a facilities management provision isn’t something to learn about ‘on the job’. Skilled expertise, backed by high-quality project management, is essential.

2: Complex requirements must be met

Many businesses fail to understand exactly what an insourcing project entails.

A common failing, for instance, is to focus excessively on the TUPE requirements that must be observed when employees transition from one employer to another. These are obviously important, but TUPE’s impact on the timeline is the legal requirement to provide key data on the employees at no less than 30 days before the transfer and within an overall insourcing project timetable that typically stretches over six to nine months.

More fundamental issues such as the overall business case, establishing an appropriate supply chain of resources and subcontractors, developing the IT systems that will be required, and making payroll and human resources preparations for those employees who will be transitioning to the insourced facilities management organisation also need to be high on the list to ensure the full benefits of an insourced facilities management model are to realised.

3: Understand the failure points

Risk is another critical dimension of a facilities management insourcing project. Principally, although not exclusively—these revolve around two of the most important facets of the project: people-related issues, and procurement-related issues (both of which will be the subject of future blogs).

People-related issues are perhaps the simplest to understand. At a stroke, a business can experience a significant increase in headcount and potentially, an increase in headcount of a very different nature from the existing employee base. A professional services organisation, for instance, might for the first time find itself managing cleaners, caterers, security personnel, technicians and tradespeople.

Clearly, systems and procedures will have to be in place for any management and supervision issues that may arise;

 

  • How are training and discipline matters to be handled?
  • How is staff cover in case of sickness and holiday to be organised?
  • Who is going to be responsible for securing appropriate supplies and equipment—workwear, personal safety equipment or required cleaning consumables for example?

Procurement, too, is a risk

In theory, insourcing facilities management can result in cost savings, and a boost to the bottom line. But don’t forget that the organisation to which facilities management was previously outsourced will not only have longstanding supply chains and relationships with suppliers, but also possess in-depth knowledge—built up over many years—as to how to manage and negotiate with the specialist suppliers within its supply chains.

Put another way, if a business can’t match those supply chains, and manage them with equal skill, then a facilities management insourcing project can result in a facilities management cost that is higher than before, not lower than before and no guarantee of improved service.

In conclusion – let sleeping dogs lie?

Very easily, a business can come to imagine that insourcing its facilities management provision is too complicated and risky to carry out. Better by far, goes the logic, to let sleeping dogs lie, and continue with the existing outsourced provider.

Naturally enough, the existing provider won’t rush forward to rebut this conclusion, and is doubtless very happy for businesses to make this mistake.

For that’s what it could be: a mistake. Insourcing a facilities management provision if executed correctly doesn’t have to be too complicated or risky to carry out. A business might want advice, and help, but the eventual gains can make the exercise very well worthwhile.

Marcus Hill is Head of Facilities Management Consulting at Retearn. He is a seasoned Insourcing and Outsourcing Facilities Management expert and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and a member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (formally known as BIFM).

We have experience and expertise to help clients with insourcing facilities management be it a full insource or a partial insource to reflect your business needs. To find out more visit https://retearn.co.uk/facilities-management/or contact Marcus on the number below or via LinkedIn.

Thoughts? Questions? Need more help? We’d love to hear from you at hello@retearn.co.uk or

Call us on +44 (0) 7795 236664

Marcus Hill

Head of Facilities Management Consulting