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13 CONTRACT SERVICES


sighted. “Crystal Peaks won Security Team of the Year at the 2011


SCEPTRE awards which is proof that you don’t have to be a specialist to perform well,” he says. G4S is a multi-disciplined organisation offering a range


of services to shopping centres but as a security specialist, it advocates the need to maintain core skills. “We recognise that pooling management resource into one


central team can provide economies of scale and cost savings through improving synergies between different services for example, cleaning and security,” says Kevin Pickford, sector director at G4S Secure Solutions UK. “However there is still a great need to maintain core skills.” G4S, which does a significant proportion of retail property work


with managing agents, provides an operating model that best fits with the client and advise them as to how they might demonstrate value to the landlords if they are managing a bundled supplier. “As a service company, we need to ensure we are primarily


securing the centres and meeting the needs of our customers. The use of a specialist security provider, with the support infrastructure that a company the size and scope of G4S, gives peace of mind that the shopping centre is always in safe hands.” And when it comes down to experience, for G4S training is


absolutely key. “From a customer care perspective, we train our teams to


communicate effectively through a process of teaching underlying theory which is then enhanced through realistic practical exercises,” explains Pickford. “These training sessions, which cover how to stand when


being approached by members of the public, how to question their requirements, to confirm understanding and then to respond in a clear concise and effective way, are often videoed to provide real time feedback.” Depending on the location of the shopping centre, G4S will


also take account of local sensitivities, and train their personnel accordingly. As Pickford explains this can range from ethnic and cultural


awareness of differing attitudes to personal space to communicating with unaccompanied women. Waud believes that integrated service models could be extended to include things like website design and support, something that Incentive FM is able to orchestrate. “You’ve got the centre manager and their support team, the


off-site professionals, the marketing and web team which may be handled by a separate agency and the service delivery company which deals with the people on the ground,” he says. “There’s an opportunity to hook that all together.” “Contract services is about managing people and delivering


performance and applying the right people to the right jobs. The management team and the off-site professionals aren’t about people, they’re about assets and that’s the key issue. Give the things that require people skills to the service provider because they’re going to be better at it.” Colin Read, head of property at Interserve, believes that landlords


have been tougher in the procurement of their FM contracts. And it all comes down to cost. “It’s tougher in a number of ways because people are thinking


short-term and are more interested than usual in reducing the cost element - there’s been closer scrutiny of numbers and deliverables. By taking a pragmatic approach we can generate savings and make service sustainable, demonstrating service improvement for the same money or maintaining service levels for less money. “Working across several different services like cleaning, security and maintenance we have visibility of the whole cost and work closely with our clients on service charges. “We can make reductions in certain areas and strip out inessentials where costs can be avoided. And those savings can be re-invested.”


www.shopping-centre.co.uk August 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE


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