Opale Management Services Ltd

Opale examines the question:

“Is the client holding the suppliers overly responsible for the failure of an FM delivery organisation or Real Estate function in any organisation, when more often than not the fault, at least in part, falls firmly at the client’s door?”

Strategy first, structure second, people and the supply chain third, is arguably the right way of delivering FM, with the development of the Strategy and the Structure being the principal responsibility of the client.  Get this wrong and the outcome will be wrong.

Often FM change or thinking starts with people or supply chain with no clear strategy, or one that is diluted by the difficulties created by the internal client’s FM organisational attitude, culture or ability and interdepartmental conflicts (commonly articulated as internal politics); frustrating attempts to enable the changes required by the company and the supply chain deployed to achieve it.

 “Hospital pass” (a term used by rugby players) to the supply chain as the FM client does not have the knowledge, strength of management or will to resolve their own difficulties before engaging with the market.

Does a “hospital pass” deliver a stable, mutual beneficial outsourced regime that has longevity of relationship? The odds are not great and in Opale’s experience it merely creates conflict and an outcome that is not “best for the business”.

Perhaps, the question is more about maturity. Is the supplier mature enough to deliver to the client need, and is the client mature enough to enable the supplier’s success? If the answer is no, then success for both will be difficult to achieve.

If the client objectively understands themselves, their maturity and capabilities today and where success needs to be tomorrow, then the strategy, structure necessary to achieve that strategy and the people and supply chain necessary to enable that structure will be more easily definable. Increased success would be the outcome.

Unsuccessful FM delivery is not all the responsibility, fault or failure of the supplier market. The client has a hand in this also, and perhaps should examine themselves more.

There is an argument that “Strategic Partnering” concepts and “Integrator Models” of delivery are, at least in part, a response offered by the supplier market to improve client maturity. These concepts are well published now and appear to be growing in popularity.

Does the concept of Strategic Partnering, Integrator Model spell the end of the FM client as we know it today?    Article to be published in June 12

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