Procure smarter not harder: BIFM offers to assist Government in the wake of Carillion collapse

Date: 14th Feb 2018

‘While it appears that most of Carillion’s loss-making contracts were not FM contracts, the company’s collapse has highlighted the problems which very low margins and outsourcing to a small number of large contractors can cause.’

This was the conclusion of BIFM engagement with industry leaders on the implications of Carillion’s collapse for the facilities management industry. They also suggested that the Government needs to reduce risk by changing buying patterns and reducing reliance on megaliths.

The Crown Commercial Service, one of the nation’s biggest purchasers of FM services, had already recognised some of the issues and has taken steps to change its latest FM framework, putting greater emphasis on quality, including more opportunities for small suppliers and extending the time limit for applications.

However, one of the compounding factors, insufficient expert professional and sectoral resource among the government teams managing the contracts, may actually be exacerbated by these latest changes, which clearly recognise the need for additional skills in the Government’s wider procurement and contract management teams.In response, BIFM has stepped in to offer help to Government staff wishing to become ‘Smart Clients’, building on its initial focus of getting help to those affected most.

Growing expertise in procurement and contract management are key workstreams in BIFM’s plans to professionalise further the FM industry. These competencies are intrinsic to the professional standard which BIFM expects all professional facilities managers to achieve. They also feature in BIFM qualifications at all levels.

To ensure that even those without a BIFM qualification can become ‘smart clients’, BIFM additionally offers a range of four separate two and three-day courses on:

  • Contract Management: Models, KPIs and SLAs
  • FM Strategic Sourcing ISO 41012
  • Successful Outsourcing Through Collaboration; and
  • Managing Flexible and Remote Teams in FM
  • But recognising that Government training budgets are tight, BIFM has teamed up with the organisers of The Facilities Show, which takes place in London from 19-21 June, to provide a full morning of FREE training toward becoming a ‘smart client’ which will be followed up with a practical session where delegates can try out their new skills on potential suppliers.

    The session will be repeated on each day of the exhibition, and all three are open to all FMs, not just to government staff. As spaces are limited, BIFM is advising all those interested to book early via the BIFM website:

    BIFM chief executive, Linda Hausmanis said:

    “Experience suggests that if something is going wrong with an FM contract then the seeds of the problems may well lie with the procurement of the service. The boards of many astute client organisations recognise this but so far, too little has been done to reduce risk by raising the competence of the hiring teams in an ever-changing landscape. I urge all those who are procuring or managing FM contracts to make sure that they know how to avoid problems and form positive ongoing relationships with their service providers. In particular I urge the Government to engage with upskilling its teams. BIFM is here to help.”

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