Time for change

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We live in times of incredible change and few, if any, industries are immune to its effects.

The changes of recent decades have encompassed phenomenal technological developments and improvement in all areas, as well as changes in society that have fundamentally altered the world around us. But we have also seen profound change in the business world, driven by evolution of the wider economy.

Concepts such as partnerships have moved from being the exception to the rule, spurred on by the increasing need for efficiency and effectiveness. In today’s commercial world the secret of success is to work closely with customers, suppliers and partners to extract as much mutually beneficial effectiveness and efficiency as possible.

Nowhere does this reveal itself more clearly than in facilities management. By its very nature, facilities management is all about bringing together a range of services and disciplines, many of which are outsourced to external suppliers. The most effective and successful facilities managers are those that can bring all this together smoothly, whilst also extracting the most value from suppliers.

Security is one such function that traditionally has existed as a stand-alone bolt-on service with few, if any, touch points to other services, or even to the actual client organisation. The man or woman in the uniform and peaked cap has been left alone to provide a single service and with no other expectations placed upon them.

However, even that has changed. Today’s security offering is about so much more. It is about delivering added value and service, and crucially about being more integrated with the customer organisation. The touch point between the security service and the organisation has extended dramatically and includes the actual technologies being deployed. Security technology has become more discrete and effective, just as the service delivered by security personnel has become more effective and discrete.

Today’s security personnel are better integrated and representative of the client organisation. They act as the first point of contact for visitors and work closely with reception services to make the visit smoother and more productive. This in turn helps to make the security task more effective.

This evolution will continue. As the broad facilities management palette of services becomes more integrated and efficient, so all services areas will evolve and find more touch points. These may not be apparent yet and will come about as the result of further changes in technologies and habits, but come they will. Now is not the time to think about standing still.

As published in FMJ Magazine www.fmj.co.uk

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