Ravi Bhatnagar, Account Director at Anabas, believes TFM providers should focus on how important it is for the FM team to understand their buildings culture and ensure that they support it with a tailored and seamless service.

Total Facilities Management (TFM) by definition, according to the IWFM website is: ‘A strategy in which a provider takes responsibility for the delivery and management of all required service lines on the behalf of a client. The integrated nature of TFM solutions will often provide both cost, operational and performance efficiencies.’

Whilst this is an accurate definition, if you were to ask a frontline team member what they think TFM means, you are likely to receive a very different response. It is not uncommon for receptionists to think they will have to act as security officers, engineers expecting they will have to clean toilets, cleaners imagining they will be asked to change light bulbs and security officers wondering if they are going to have to decorate meeting rooms.

When introducing a TFM solution, most providers and clients focus on technology as the key to linking the services together. Practically speaking, even though a focus on technology is important and requires investment, this should not be at the expense of investing in the right people and training to deliver it. Whilst technology will help to ensure a smooth customer journey and provide great management data, it’s the people that make it happen and the technology is only ever as good as those who use it.

It goes without saying that an FM partner should work with its clients to design a tailored service that suits their


specific needs, working environment and most importantly, corporate culture. However, often not enough time is spent educating team members on what an integrated culture actually is. We can’t forget that moving to a TFM solution is a significant change for the frontline team and one that needs to managed carefully and diligently to ensure its success.

The responsibility for the delivery and management of all required services in the definition of TFM not only refers to technology and task, but must also include education on how the client and provider’s cultures combine to create a ‘One Team’ culture. Critically, the company cultures for both client and provider must be aligned, and this successful integration should enhance your client’s workspace and customer journey to support the delivery of a great service experience to everyone.

In an ideal world, when a client selects a provider, they should be clear on how the companies fit together and be able to see cohesion between the two. A client whose culture is based on collaboration, creativity and wellbeing for example, should partner with a provider who can clearly demonstrate employee engagement and satisfaction along with innovation and service improvements.

However, even when a common synergy is recognised, establishing a ‘One Team’ Culture from an aligned client

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