Optimum gives its customers exactly what they want… plus a little bit more: visibility, responsiveness and trust.
Optimum Group Services are a specialist hard services maintenance provider with higher than industry standard client retention. This is down to our bespoke customer training, which embeds the company’s core behaviours of visibility, responsiveness and trust.
Many of Optimum’s clients are blue chip companies that include financial institutions and data centres; these have a big influence on ensuring that all the company’s processes are robust enough to suit such critical environments. “We’re going on a steady managed growth curve,” confirms Harrison. “We want the right type of work and we want it to naturally come on board through organic growth and retention. But what enables the growth is the retention strategy allied to winning new business.”
Reduction in infrastructure failure is helped by human factor training, which is given to engineers. This concentrates on human interaction with the plant – addressing the fact that a large proportion of failures are caused by people. The aim is to install sufficient skills and knowledge for engineers to be risk aware; for them to have enough confidence to point out and prevent unacceptable risks and to ensure the correct processes are in place and diligently applied. This has also prompted Optimum to put together a non-intrusive maintenance techniques package that avoids interrupting the flow of work while undertaking maintenance.
Training is key to Optimum’s growth and development. It is vital to have the right people in the right positions and to ensure that they are given the best training and support that the industry can offer. We view it as training each individual so they are ready to step into their next role, and thus the company’s succession planning will naturally flow from this. This will benefit our customers through retention of their site’s vital knowledge and empowerment of their staff.
Guy Holden, President of Enterprise Accounts, EMEA Global Workplace Solutions at CBRE discusses how the FM industry is responding to demands for improved quality at a reduced cost
Like all businesses, the facilities management (FM) industry is under pressure to do more with less. Suppliers are expected to deliver increasingly higher levels of service to building users whilst continually driving down operating costs.
The challenge is that building users are increasingly demanding more. They want to interact with their surroundings in an intuitive way and be supported so that they can be as productive and comfortable as possible. The organisations providing these working environments must therefore respond accordingly. However, for most corporations, buildings represent one of their largest operating costs, which they are constantly under pressure to reduce. These two goals – improved quality verses reduced cost – are often seen as mutually exclusive, and balancing these conflicts is an ongoing issue for the FM industry.
In response, and as the FM market continues to mature, most FM companies are specialising. Some are building their value propositions on being experts in service delivery: the provision of specific FM services such as maintenance, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security, catering, reception or cleaning. Others are developing their propositions on providing overall management of an integrated FM solution, focusing on managing a range of services across a large portfolio of buildings.
Guy Holden, President of Enterprise Accounts, EMEA Global Workplace Solutions at CBRE maintains that improved quality and reduced costs are inextricably linked. Holden suggests: “The only way you sustainably deliver low cost services is to have excellent quality using consistent tools, processes and training and repeat tasks. That is how you become world-class.”
GWS empowers employees at a local level to deliver excellent customer service through specialised service delivery teams, while also investing in the strategic element through its account management structure. Holden believes expertise in both areas is vital, adding: “Maintaining a joint focus on these two areas is core to GWS’ strategy and continued success.”
How can Facilities Management provide superior performance in an increasingly difficult environment?
There are many challenges facing facility management companies today. This can include, but isn’t limited to, doing more with less, aging assets, rising energy costs, life cycle sustainability, and socially responsible solutions. The key to these challenges is employing socially responsible solutions that can impact economic, environmental and social issues where FM companies operate. The cost to employ socially responsible solutions can be intimidating at first, but in the long run these solutions provide the most cost effective results.
Socially responsible solutions can be realised with the right combination of reliable service providers, innovative solutions and a working partnership with the customer. This combination results in a truly cost effective solution that impacts the customer’s bottom line in a very positive way.
Bandera is a privately limited company focused on intimate customer facilities delivery. When given the opportunity to work with a potential client, Bandera evaluates their current scenario and then offers the best socially responsible solution for the issues to be addressed. Bandera has done this from both an FM and a project basis.
Recently, Bandera installed a patented AC system that saved the customer over £400,000 annually in energy costs. This system will also be a fully sustainable installation once the solar array is completed next year. In addition, the system has no global warming potential and a very high coefficient of performance at 5; it is also the first of its kind in the UK. Bandera’s approach has saved the customer £1,200,000, and provided 100 per cent return on investment on their main FM contract.
Bandera believe that FM providers that continue to offer the fast and cheap solutions and customers that engage in this sort of approach will not be successful over the long haul.