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15 CONTRACT SERVICES Waud explains that one way to make savings is to re-jig

rosters. “Get people in on the right days, depending on footfall,” he

advises. “There’s no need to have a full cleaning team in on a Monday when it isn’t busy. And in terms of security, think about whether there are quieter times when the centre could be un-manned with someone keeping an eye on the CCTV from the control room instead? “It’s about challenging historic ways of doing things. You don’t need to deliver service when it isn’t needed - think about how it could be done differently.” Read, agrees. “If you re-evaluate the security shift system you

can spend more on cleaning and customer service in peak times of footfall,” he says. “With the multiple service model there’s flexibility to push and

pull on service lines and make sure money is spent in the most appropriate areas. If you only have cleaning it becomes difficult to take the cost out but with a number of services there’s easy

“With the multiple service model there’s flexibility to push and pull on service lines”

flexibility to look at overheads and compromise with clients who have budget constraints.” But Waud insists that centre management should differentiate

between savings and efficiencies. “If you’re going to spend £10,000 on painting and you don’t do

it, you haven’t saved money because that painting still needs to be done,” he says. “Whereas if you have seven security guards and you change the roster so you only need six – that’s taken £20,000 out of the cost of running the business every year.” Incentive FM have a series of models that can be tailored to fit

clients with budget constraints. “In the procurement process now most clients will reveal how

much they’re spending and on what,” says Waud. “If they’re trying to save money, which most are, then we’ll show them a model to assist them in that objective.” And they have a risk and reward initiative that helps to achieve

a high level of performance. If they’ve engendered a high level of satisfaction and operated within the budget, then the landlord pays out a reward bonus, half of which would go to the staff on the ground. On the flip side, if the score is too low or they’ve spent too much

Incentive FM would give that trigger amount back to the client. “With risk and reward, cost and performance are linked together,”

says Waud. Service delivery companies supplying retail destinations with cleaning and security staff who can provide all-important customer service is one way to secure added value. And for G4S customer service is a key concern. “The primary concern for a security provider would always be to

ensure that the shopping centre is a safe and secure environment for both the customers and the shop owners; however, customer service is also a key concern for the security team because essentially they are the human face of the centre,” says Pickford. “If they are courteous, knowledgeable and above all helpful, then the customer’s shopping experience is immeasurably enhanced.” This theory is high on the list when it comes to recruitment. As Pickford explains: “There are too many clichés regarding

horses and new tricks; but we firmly believe that effective training of shopping centre staff has to start with the right people being trained. The security sector employs personnel with a wide range of skill sets and aptitudes – but if a willingness to look after a customers’ interests isn’t demonstrated, then an individual is not considered appropriate for our shopping centre business.” Interserve is also big on customer service. According to Read,

the high level of training its staff have undergone in order to deliver contracts in government departments are easily transferrable to the retail industry. And for him, it’s down to the centre management team to make

sure staff have a level of ownership. “It’s important that our cleaning staff see what’s in it for them to

get engagement,” he explains. Waud believes that another benefit of FM is that the interests of

the client and the integrated service provider are aligned. “Traditionally cleaning, security and M&E are all trying to achieve

opposite objectives which leads to landlords constantly having to re-tender because they don’t trust each other,” he says. “Put them on the same side with an open book and there’s no reason why that contract relationship can’t last for years.”

Find out more: For more information, please contact the author: August 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE

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