Quite by accident, Newton Fox have, over the last five years or so, become heavily involved in the promotion of facility management companies offerings to a broad industry spectrum.
Our activity has taught us much about the stance industry takes on the perceived value of FM and we’ve seen that in over 70% of cases cost savings against budget is the number one motivator for engagement.
As a team of appointment setters it’s our job to pique interest and open up a dialogue with prospects that leads to a meaningful meeting to discuss requirements. However, it’s never that simple. Prospects (and their boards) often don’t understand the value of good FM and so can’t see what all the fuss is about. Historical inertia sits heavily on the thinking of these prospects and they often have a ‘not broke so why try to fix it?’ mentality.
unless this attitude toward FM is tackled head on and the prospect can see for themselves the value to be gained then we are wasting our time progressing the lead. so how do we do this?
Retail can often offer some ‘lower hanging fruit’ as they are amongst the first group to recognise the importance of a safe, clean and pleasing environment given the direct link with customer satisfaction and so profits. But what of industry, commerce, manufacturing and engineering as examples. what value can FM bring to these companies and how can we demonstrate in a compelling enough way to encourage further exploration?
Proven Strategy For Success
We certainly haven’t got all the answers and I can think of at least two dozen companies right now that we’re talking to on behalf of clients that have yet to see the light. However, our experience tells us that by far and away the most effective way to get someone’s attention is with hard, irrefutable facts and figures taken from a model closely mirroring theirs. It’s a battle for hearts and minds but the mind has to come first. They must at least be able to perceive the possibility of not just cost reduction but an array of hitherto unconsidered benefits including improved efficiency, fostering better relationships with staff, supply chain etc. improved HR and compliance, bench marking against competitors etc. etc.
Then, and only then, might they take a fresh look at what a well thought-through FM strategy might do for thier organisation in short, medium and long term time frames.
Research compiled from Workplace Law’s 2013 ‘Leadership in Facilities Management’ report showed that almost 80% of those surveyed either agreed or strongly agreed that it was hard to assess the cost effectiveness of FM services provided and over 90% agreeing that FM would have to find new ways to deliver value if it’s to find it’s rightful place as a credible service offering. Most also felt that FM is a supportive function rather than a strategic one.
Given these attitudes it’s not difficult to see that anyone attempting to promote an FM service has their work cut out for them! There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel. As FM grows as an industry (conservative estimates say that the FM industry in the UK alone will be a worth a respectable £117 billion by 2017) then we are exposed to more and more anecdotal evidence of not just it’s successes but also the ways in which it’s capable of transforming the overall strategy and ethos of an organisation.
Helping to promote best practice, aligning core values with staff, suppliers and customers, clarity of purpose and corporate social responsibility are all being heard in the same sentences these days as FM. Cost cutting, greater efficiency and budget slashing are still a big part of course but as CFO’s begin to wake up to the enormous benefits to be enjoyed via a professional FM enterprise then the industry is set to grow exponentially in the coming decade and beyond.
For our part, we continue to work with our clients to create opportunities to pitch and tender accordingly. It’s a steep climb but one we’re winning, one company at a time!
For a message from our MD Chris Newton regarding FM sales please click here