Over the years, the Facilities Management (FM) sector has changed exponentially from a cleaning and handyman service offering to an organisational change catalyst where it influences organisational culture to business growth.
According to Katlego Maribe, Portfolio Director at Broll Facilities Management, FM services are no longer seen as a procurement process but it have matured and is now accepted as part of the partnership relationship by investors and occupiers.
Maribe explains that with high energy costs and a move towards green building and sustainability, facilities management now influences investor strategies. In essence, he says sustainability from a facilities management perspective refers to the balance between the environment that a business operates in and business growth.
This he says is evident when facilities management is involved from infrastructure design phase until disposal phase, as result, influencing the return of investment for investors, says Maribe.
According to Martijn Drost, FM Operations Director, Netherlands CBRE, the facilities management function can influence investor strategies by identifying future locations (in case of existing property) that are already LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) or GreenStar certified or that can become certified without having to invest excessive amounts of money.
Drost notes that if the choice is to develop a new building, the added value can be found in professional advice on the design (interior, exterior, installations) of the building to become a green building from the start. The long term reduction in energy and resource consumption compared to non-green buildings will contribute to the profit of the investor/company.
“Together with the benefit for our planet and the people living on it, we can speak about the positive influence of the triple bottom line and building towards a sustainable future,” says Drost.
Speaking from a global perspective, Drost says in the past five years, there has been a major shift in the sector from subcontracting individual services to specialist single service suppliers, via the subcontracting of bundled services towards a model of outsourcing the full FM spectrum to a single supplier. The total FM provider will to a larger or lesser extent self-deliver the outsourced services.
“We believe that the added value of FM service offering is moving more towards a fully integrated service model, thinking beyond “the building” and beyond the specific “services offered by the FM division. Facilities Management is increasingly critical to overall corporate growth by creating interconnected value between people, place and property,” says Drost.
Locally and globally, investors and occupiers take certain important factors into consideration when approaching sustainability in the buildings they buy or rent. In South Africa and Africa, Maribe says they look at the organisation’s reputation (emphasis on core values), sustainability leadership (have dedicated key people who drive sustainability within the organisation and the occupied/owned building) and return on investment as this is ultimately the reason they invest in buying buildings.
Drost says investors and occupiers are now making sustainability part of the strategic agenda of the company. They also partner with corporate real estate services and FM service provider as these providers are able and are committed to drive the sustainability agenda for the full life cycle of the property.
The implementation of programs and building design that positively influences the way of working for the end user of the building is also seen as important by investors and occupiers, says Drost.
He notes that with growth in FM services, they are seeing acceleration in outsourcing with greater aggregation (scope and geography) as companies look for interconnected value: people, place and property.
Investors and occupiers seek sustainable reduction in costs and this drives a need for real understanding of service delivery mechanisms and cost levers. This stresses the need for up to date and factual data to base decisions on.
Greater expectations around risk transfer and acceptance of liabilities which is out of proportion to returns, for example, large occupiers of space now shift more risk to the service provider. As a result, while the risks are high, the returns are not keeping up pace, adds Drost.