Centralised FM procurement boosts belief in best practice, research finds

Gurjit Degun
24 July 2014

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24 July 2014 | Gurjit Degun

Companies that buy facilities management (FM) services centrally believe they outperform their peers in terms of good practice.

That’s according to a study by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) published today.

“Those organisations that ranked themselves above average for their adoption of good practice in FM policy were more likely to be managing their FM through a centralised team,” the study said.

BIFM explained that this “routine communication” between an organisation and its suppliers is important to developing trust to enhance performance. Around half of the 151 organisations surveyed manage spend on FM services through a centralised team.

Chris Moriarty, head of insight and corporate affairs at BIFM, urged centralised procurement teams to make themselves more visible in the business.

He told SM: “The centralised element is working and that makes senior management that much closer aligned to the business. However, I would caution that you cannot have procurement centralised and for it to be hidden.”

He explained procurement teams need to work in partnership with FM and other departments to ensure people are using the processes it has set out.

The research also highlighted a link between a company’s confidence in its FM performance and the stage at which the expenditure on FM is recognised. “Those organisations who ranked themselves above average for their adoption of good practice in FM policy were also the organisations that recognised the cost of their FM spend sooner,” the report said.

Looking to the future, respondents said their relationship with suppliers could be improved if they had more real-time and trustworthy data. “People that really trusted their supplier relationships were of such a low percentage at 11 per cent, and only 8 per cent felt they have a true partnership with their FM provider,” said Gareth Tancred, BIFM chief executive, speaking at a breakfast briefing on the report in London this morning.

“I was quite surprised by that. But when we asked the question ‘what would improve that relationship?’, 26 per cent said ‘having trustworthy data’ and 28 per cent said ‘having real-time data’.”

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