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SWG FM Trends Debate Webinar in conjuction with Facilities Show

At one of the UK’s biggest FM webinars this year, jointly hosted by FM software provider Service Works Group (SWG) and the Facilities Show, a panel of leading lights from the FM profession explored what the future holds for the FM industry in 2016 and beyond. Simon Iatrou, i-FM editor, who chaired the debate, kicked off the event by sharing the results of the online registration poll. Of the 500 respondents to the question ‘what do you believe will be the most important challenge facing facilities management professionals in 2016?’, the majority (27 per cent) considered this to be the use of technology. The next most pressing issue was meeting new legislation and compliance at 21 per cent; followed by energy management (16 per cent); professionalisation – standards and qualifications (15 per cent); and building client/provider relationships (15 per cent). How to effectively use data and manage remote working were also mentioned as important considerations for the future of FM.

A further poll conducted during the webinar, revealed that FMs are continuing to use FM technology for vital measuring and operational reporting (nearly 43 per cent), while a substantial number are now using this in a more customer-centric way to measure service delivery (over 31 per cent) and just over 23 per cent are using FM software for CRM and communication.

The experts believed that technology will become increasingly important for lifecycle asset management, driving resources more effectively and for investment decisions; that digital connectivity will deliver improved customer service; and that more technology and analytics experts would be needed in FM to embrace developing technology and to make the industry smarter and more productive.

Johnny Dunford, senior director and head of occupier management at BNP Paribas, Mark Kirkham, director Service Works Group, Deborah Rowland, head of property asset management for the Ministry of Justice and Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo’s strategy and marketing director were the FM experts on the panel. During the webinar, they discussed wide-ranging issues, including; what they believe will have the greatest impact on the future of FM, the Living Wage, the use of 3D BIM, machine to machine (M2M) technology, agile working and the potential for growth of global contracts.

The current FM focus on staff productivity and well-being was believed to be high on the agenda by nearly 48 per cent of the webinar participants. And, when asked about the industry push towards formal training, nearly 55 per cent of delegates said that they had no formal FM qualifications. The experts believed that good FM was not purely about training but should be a balance of experience, qualifications and behaviours.

A recording of the webinar is available at http://www.facilitiesshow.com/FMTrends