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news 18.03.14

Facilities Management 2014

Last week saw the inaugural Facilities Management show at the NEC in Birmingham. Amongst the speakers was 14forty’s Strategic Solutions Director, James Wood, who was joined on stage by Anthony Collett, Strategic Director of Integral, our hard services partner. Together they gave an absorbing seminar on the role of partnership in delivering quality IFM, looking specifically at the collaboration between 14forty and Integral and how it benefits clients.

The pair discussed examples of partnerships and how equality and mutual respect can be viewed as essential to their success. 14forty’s commitment to service excellence demanded a hard services provider able to match its high standards in delivery. As the largest privately owned maintenance and engineering business in the UK, with 1,600 clients in more than 100,000 sites and engineers in every postcode, Integral was the natural choice.

The reasons for partnership between defined hard and soft service providers were also addressed. It was explained that whilst the over-arching driver is to ensure excellence across delivery lines for the best possible price, there are also nuanced cultural differences between hard and soft services that make it difficult for one organisation to operate both lines effectively. The best solution therefore is to run them in parallel, with formal channels of communication ensuring their complete co-ordination.

The pair discussed how together 14forty and Integral are working to bring about joint innovation for clients. An unfaltering focus on client requirements was said to be key, with systems, processes and structures being built around these. The BS11000 Collaborative Business Relationships framework was also cited as supporting their collaborative decision-making by helping to define roles and responsibilities and eliminating the known pitfalls of poor communication.

James and Anthony’s concluding point was that all parties feel the benefits of partnership in IFM. The cost savings made through partnership are passed onto clients, whilst providers gain new business as a result of their ability to offer an enhanced service with shared values. Their departing statement provided the resounding take-away for the day; partnership is the only way forward.

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