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FM in Action


3. Continuous improvement Processes, systems and methods of working should be continuously improved through understanding, control and simplifi cation. You need to start at the beginning, but remember that normally ‘what gets measured gets done’. To this end, every employee should be encouraged to take responsibility for continually improving all aspects of their own work. Continuous improvement provides powerful tools and techniques that help in identifying opportunities and solving problems. The service delivery team’s approach should incorporate some of the following points: ■ Benchmark: establish where you are today and where you want to be in the future


■ Prioritise: evaluate options for improvement and perform cost/ benefi t analysis


■ Implement: make the recommended changes that are cost-effective


■ Communicate: both the intent and results to internal and external stakeholders


■ Celebrate: ensure you reward best practice.


Do the simple things fi rst and quickly. This builds credibility, momentum and commitment. Look at ways to get the different teams together so they can identify and develop opportunities to improve customer service and service delivery. Share problems and discuss ways to remove barriers to quality improvement. Celebrate, acknowledge and reward success.


4. Relationship building and meaningful communication One of the fundamental concepts for success when managing a TFM portfolio is building strong relationships with all the customers, understanding their needs and capturing data about them so you can build a customer profi le and therefore as a result you are able to service them more effi ciently. If the relationship is at its highest level and across all tiers of the business it will be diffi cult to see any difference between the client’s and the service provider’s operational delivery teams. Some of the best Partners across Borders winners at the EuroFM awards


had the best relationships between client and supplier I had ever seen. This symbiotic relationship will only come about if there is a very high level of communication between the two parties. Meaningful communication will be


a key contributor to ensuring the best possible relationship is delivered. The service provider should develop a communication plan that gives details of the proposed types and frequency of meetings between client and supplier and identifi es clear responsibilities for each level of the account. This should be communicated during the mobilisation process to all parties - the client, account and operation delivery teams - to help them understand the part they play in addressing all the contractual obligations agreed. Communication is one of the most important things to get right and this has to be planned with great dexterity and care especially when working across borders. You must take into account the culture, regulations and language differences that apply in each country. Policies and documents may need to be translated into several different languages and you may have to give language lessons to some staff in order to support key processes. It is easy to get caught up in the operational day-to-day activity and not communicate at the highest level. Where this happens the relationship quickly breaks down and things start to go wrong.


People power


Good FM organisations need to continuously adapt to remain competitive. To do this, they must learn; and FM organisations, like individuals, learn from experience – both from their own and that of others. Excellent FM organisations never stand still. They are always looking for the next opportunity to learn and improve and, above all, they recognise the power of their people.


Author information


Wayne Tantrum is Director of New World Sustainable Solutions, which specialises in advising anad supporting FM service providers and their clients.


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