Incentive FM Group have been commended in the Southwark Business Excellence Awards 2020 for Best Customer Service.
There has been a lot of buzz about the industry over the last few years about intelligent buildings, smart apps, and the internet of things amongst many others. It has to be said, there are some fantastic concepts out there and even as a consumer it is now possible to network and make you own home smart.
The challenge within our sector is an integrated approach, pulling together a great concept with real application to deliver value to our clients, whether that is real cost savings through energy consumption reduction or operational efficiency or enhancements to the built environment to improve building user experience. If you believe the marketing then anything is possible, the only problem, is it really?
Somebody described the IOT and smart technology sector as the modern day wild west with so many tech companies scrabbling for market share and recognition as innovators. It is possible to implement technologies which control, systems which analyse and learn as well as provide automation of various activities.
We have been treading cautiously into this sector, making sure we are not duped into technologies with limited dynamic application which could mean wasted investment and reduced long term benefit. We have trialed various technologies to provide assistance in delivering enhanced experience and improved efficiencies and energy reduction, some of which have proved to be useful but not going all of the way to a truly leading edge technology.
It is fair to say that BMS systems provide significant opportunity for connectivity and interoperability with other cloud enabled systems, with some of the technologies available, even remote or dumb assets can also be activated through the use of smart tech. The trick for us is the platform we use to link and consolidate application across all activities and to use the data to prioritise critical intervention and downscale non value adding costly resource attendance.
That leads us to our road map. We are in the process of working with a number of trusted partners to bring together a vision which encompasses all of the aspects. Our vision is to have a developed third-party platform which links all value assets, monitors environment and attendance/ usage of space to provide an intelligence led output or activity with automated instruction and integration through our CAFM system. This is an exciting and bold step and one which we believe will place us in a unique spot with a broad range application not just focused on limited specific activities.
Our clients are at the centre of our objectives with a focus on user experience, efficiency of both labour and energy as well as lifecyle improvements. In this strange time where the use of buildings going forward will no doubt change and adapt, we need a platform which can not just assist in the efficient running of these buildings but also play a part in enabling the changing work patterns. This is not just innovation for the sake of it, it is for absolute necessity in an evolving world. We are aiming to bring this concept to life during 2021 and we will update you more as we go.
By Bruce McDonnell, Managing Director.
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British Land, one of the largest property development and investment companies in the UK, has awarded Incentive FM three new shopping centre contracts and renewed a further two more contracts at sites across the UK.
Leading facilities management specialist Incentive FM has been awarded contracts to provide a range of soft facilities services for Ealing Broadway in London, Beaumont Shopping Centre in Leicester, and Crown Wharf Retail Park in Walsall. British Land has also renewed Incentive’s contracts to provide similar services at Whiteley Shopping Centre in Hampshire and the Old Market in Hereford.
Under the terms of the 3-year deal for each site, Incentive FM will be responsible for ensuring the centres are Secure, Safe, and Clean as well as providing world class customer services, front of house, and car park services. Over 110 staff will be mobilized across all five locations where the teams will be using the latest equipment, technology, and other systems coupled with best in class development training to develop and enhance the quality of service delivery.
Richard Nield, Head of Retail Operations at British Land, said:
“The successful relationship we have built up with Incentive at Whiteley and Old Market Shopping Centres, along with other retail locations over the last three years made them an obvious choice to award three more contracts. They were undoubtedly our preferred partners of choice for this contract.”
Glenn Wilson, Operations Director at Incentive FM, said:
“We look forward to continuing to support British Land with our added value and partnership approach. Our portfolio of shopping centres and retail parks now stretches the length and breadth of the country from Inverness Shopping Park in Scotland to Drakes Circus, Plymouth in the South, bringing us to over 40 sites in the UK.”
Some text mentioned has been taken from IFM
As businesses prepare for a return to the office, there will be a number of concerns and
challenges not previously encountered in the work place. Staff want to be confident of their safety and employers want to ensure that well being and safety is at the core of office working. Incentive Consultancy are providing support to new and existing clients to help bridge some of the gaps in knowledge and experience.
To find out how we can help you and your business please view our helpful guide here.
Incentive FM has become nationally accredited on the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).
CSAS, a voluntary scheme, sees chief constables accredit employed people already working to improve community safety with limited but targeted powers. The scheme was created to develop a framework for public and private bodies to partner with the police to provide additional uniformed presence in communities. Specific security employees of Incentive FM will now be available for CSAS appointment, capitalising on their skills and engagement within the community to assist police activity.
Andrew Robbins, Associate Director of Security and Risk at Incentive FM, said:
“It’s a privilege to join the CSAS initiative and work with the police to prevent and deter crime and disorder. Our security teams are invaluable ambassadors to business and the wider community. There will now be a strict selection process for security officers who will then undergo training by a CSAS accredited provider, and in some cases, the police will deliver the training directly. When our security officers are trained, they will be given authority by the relevant Chief Constable to have specific powers to help the police tackle crime and disorder.”
Since starting in 2002, CSAS has incorporated the services of neighbourhood wardens, hospital security guards, park wardens, shopping mall security officers, and train guards. CSAS accredited persons within Incentive FM will carry official identification badge endorsed by the local police force on their uniform. The scheme has benefitted local communities with an increased uniformed presence on the streets, saving valuable police time to tackle with low-level crime and disorder.
With greater business involvement with the police, the scheme allows police officers to influence the training of Incentive FM to develop a two-way exchange of information and intelligence between both agencies. When a Chief Constable accredits a person with powers under paragraph 1 of schedule 5 of the Police Reform Act 2002, he or she may also choose whether to give the accredited person the power to issue fixed penalty notices.
“As a business we will look to have an incremental roll out of the scheme across key locations to further enhance the solutions we provide to our clients. All schemes are managed, monitored and assessed at a local level by the responsible police force.”
Text taken from FMJ
We are so very proud of all our people who are facing up to the challenge of Covid-19 in whatever way possible. We all have our part to play and whether you are adhering to the request to stay at home or providing service to clients ranging from offices to hospitals this time is frustrating, worrying and in some instances frightening. We will do everything in our power to make your work as safe as possible and we salute you all for your efforts.
In the spirit of applause for NHS staff each Thursday the Managers and Directors of Incentive FM Group would like to say Thanks’ to you in the best way we can.
Lots of love to you all and stay safe!
Incentive FM, an independent facilities management company, has been awarded a three-year contract by managing agents Montagu Evans, to provide a total facilities management solution at three shopping centres in Shrewsbury
The deal, worth in excess of £3m over three years, builds on the existing relationship between the two companies, with Incentive FM already responsible for services at St Nicholas Shopping Centre in Sutton and Friars Square in Aylesbury.
The Charles Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres are in adjoining sites in the town and have a large range of high street shops and restaurants. Under the terms of the contract, Incentive FM will self-deliver all security, cleaning and MEBF (mechanical, electrical and building fabric) services, operating seven days a week.
Incentive Facilities Management has expanded its retail portfolio after securing a three-year contract with property development and investment company British Land to provide services at three shopping parks.
Under the terms of the agreement, Incentive FM will deliver a range of specialist solutions at Broughton Shopping Park near Chester (cleaning and security), Mostyn Champneys in Llandudno (cleaning) and Queens Shopping Park in Stafford (cleaning). The three locations measure a combined 750,000 square foot, accommodate 4,000 cars, and are visited by more than 19 million visitors each year.
Incentive FM was awarded the contract following a competitive benchmarking exercise and will welcome 21 new colleagues to the business under TUPE regulations, who will each benefit from the company’s dedicated induction and training programmes.
The agreement further strengthens the relationship between the two companies, who have worked successfully together for over eight years.
i-FM looks back through the archives to explore the story behind Incentive FM
Jeremy Waud (right) has stronger ties than most to the world of facilities management. He began his four-decades-long career with family firm OCS at the tender age of 18. He was appointed to the board in 1999 and cut his teeth as the Managing Director of Select Facilities Services, OCS’s early attempt at a bundled services business.
By the turn of the millennium, however, Waud had become increasingly disillusioned with the direction of the group, and in 2002 he left to form his own business, taking a number of his colleagues with him. Incentive FM emerged soon after but the split from OCS was far from amicable. The family business took Waud to the High Court and, even though Incentive FM emerged victorious, the whole protracted saga ensured that the company’s initial years were anything but simple.
Nevertheless, Incentive FM Group stands today as a solid, mid-market FM service provider. Over the course of 15 years the company has enjoyed steady growth, while Waud and his team show no signs of slowing down. In its latest financial report, Incentive FM posted revenues of £107m. Meanwhile, Waud has developed a reputation as one of the FM sector’s most outspoken personalities and most vocal exponents.
Now, i-FM takes advantage of this fact by asking Waud to help us trace the origins and growth of Incentive FM as well as where this might all lead.
Published: 14 January 2002
One of the UK’s oldest FM companies, OCS Group, has announced a radical restructuring to create a singe company rather than its current complex offering of support services.
Waud left OCS at this point and Bill Pollard, then Operations Director for Select Facilities Service, followed him out of the exit door. OCS Group’s Managing Director, Chris Cracknell, said the company needed to take advantage of the growing trend towards larger and more complex support services contracts and reduce the confusion created by its 35 brand names and 16 trading companies. The new brand strapline, “One Complete Solution”, would be in place by April.
Waud says that it was difficult for Select Facilities Services to gain any traction within the group for precisely the same reasons. Despite the illusion of integration on the surface, OCS’s disparate businesses were often at conflict behind closed doors. “There were internal fiefdoms that needed looking after, so building a TFM business within the group was pretty difficult. That was part of the issue, and ultimately we felt as a management team that we didn’t fit the mould,” he explains.
Incentive aims high
Published: 16 April 2002
Jeremy Waud, MD of new facilities management company Incentive FM, plans to build a £100m turnover business within 10 years.
While the High Court had barred Waud and Pollard from approaching any of their old clients at Select Facilities Services, the business secured a couple of contracts in quick succession. Waud, in boisterous mood, claimed that Incentive FM could reach £100m in turnover within a decade.
He says now: “We were a little more entrepreneurial, a bit more dynamic, and we wanted to do something different. We felt that we had a point to prove and thought there was a better way of doing it.”
Incentive FM didn’t reach £100m in 10 years, but it did hit this target within 15 years. “Broadly speaking, we achieved what we said we would achieve,” says Waud. “We wanted a £100m business and we got it.”
Incentive FM wins £2.25m Colgate Palmolive contract
Published: 1 December 2003
Colgate Palmolive has chosen niche facilities management specialist Incentive FM to provide a total FM operation at its UK head office.
Incentive FM claimed that its success with Colgate Palmolive was down to an “open, costed and fully auditable budget structure”.
Incentive FM’s philosophy was, and still is, open books and clarity. “We believe in this whole mission of transparency,” says Waud. “The customers who believe in it and like that style engage with you and don’t go anywhere else.”
Incentive oiling the wheels at petroleum company
Published: 5 September 2005
Petro-Canada UK, the UK subsidiary of one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in Canada, has Incentive FM to advise on setting up new offices.
Incentive FM has built a strong reputation over the years not just as a service provider but an FM consultancy, too. Petro-Canada had previously brought the business in to advise on contract renegotiations and retenders, and now it was looking for help as it moved 250 staff to a new London office.
“There’s a perception in the market that we’re very strong in consultancy, but we’re probably just fairly high profile. It’s not a massive part of our business,” says Waud. “We generally look at each opportunity as it comes – where is it better for us to sit? Sometimes the mood changes and the customer doesn’t need consultancy any more, and we’re invited to the table. A lot of the competition doesn’t like that.”
Incentive carries expertise into Europe
Published: 18 May 2007
Independent facilities management company Incentive FM has created an international team, following a number of overseas contract wins in the past 12 months.
By 2007, Incentive was growing in revenue and in confidence, and the team wanted to replicate some of that success abroad. Automotive parts manufacturer Delphi had tasked Incentive to review the FM in its multiple manufacturing sites across Europe.
It is a relationship that still exists today, with Incentive having completed a number of full FM reviews for its client over the years. “The service delivery challenges are roughly the same,” says Waud. “Their sites are all in Europe and they’re operating under pretty similar laws. Cleaners clean, good food is good food, engineering is engineering, wherever you go. We are using our expertise to benchmark and challenge cost base, structure and strategy wherever we go.”
Incentive in largest ever win
Published: 12 October 2009
Independent facilities management business Incentive FM has won a record-breaking contract, a five-year multi-million pound deal covering a range of services for Covent Garden Estate.
In 2019, Incentive won its biggest and most prestigious contract, with one of London’s most popular tourist destinations. The service provider was brought in to deliver cleaning, maintenance, security and even street performer management at a site which houses hundreds of tenants and attracts approximately 43 million visitors each year.
Incentive still has that contract today and it has even been expanded to include street cleaning services. Waud describes Covent Garden as a “one-off client and a one-off series of assets.”
Hollow rhetoric from the PM
Published: 14 December 2011
It was heralded as the next big opportunity for smaller businesses, yet public sector outsourcing contracts still remain a closed door for most of us.
Over the years, i-FM has given Waud the opportunity to give his thoughts on a number of important industry issues and Waud has never been shy to express them. On this occasion, Incentive’s man was railing against what he saw as government hypocrisy. Ex-Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged to give SMEs adequate opportunities on government frameworks, but Incentive’s experience did not reflect this.
Waud wrote: “For all but the biggest FM sector companies it is very difficult to get past ‘go’ when it comes to tendering for public sector work that is anything other than small, insignificant or just menial. First, you have to ‘get on the list’ by jumping through seemingly impossible (or is it irrelevant?) hoops, and then you have to allocate valuable time and resource to overly complex tenders that often come to nothing.”
Ask him about his business’s opportunities in the public sector and it is clear his opinion hasn’t changed much. “Some people who spend more time in the public sector might say otherwise, but it hasn’t changed much in our world,” Waud says.
Though Incentive does do some public work, including a longstanding relationship with police forces in the South East, the business has very little exposure to this sector. “All they ever seem to do is make those contracts larger and more complicated and they reduce the field of those who can possibly bid,” Waud explains. “The government isn’t clever enough to manage them properly and the contractors are smart, so eventually they make their money somehow.
“Is that really what it’s all about? Is that promoting our industry in an intelligent way?” he adds. “I believe the bigger players have relied on this as bulk in their business and clearly we’ve seen some financial gymnastics from those companies who have now got caught out in the way they account for the value of those contracts. They’ve had too much rope and strung themselves up. They are so large and so complex these contracts that even the auditors didn’t really understand what they were auditing and the auditors are now looking stupid because they were signing off accounts that weren’t quite right.”
Incentive buys security company
Published: 15 February 2012
Incentive FM Group has acquired Lynx Security Services, a 20-year-old business with current annual sales of £12m.
Incentive FM has never been afraid to grow through acquisition when the right opportunities have presented themselves. The business bought Lynx Security Services, which was posting a revenue stream of over £40m and employed 1350 staff.
Yet Incentive has had mixed fortunes with its foray into the security market, as Waud explains: “I find in security the loyalty isn’t as great. We’ve changed our executive team and we’ve done so in response to the market. The customers are looking for something a little different and we’re going to try to do that.”
Margin dive: but how far?
Published: 30 July 2013
For years people in the wider facilities services industry have complained about the commoditisation of contract services.
In 2013, i-FM again gave Waud the chance to comment in our pages. He wrote: “The new competition appears to be the race to the bottom of the pond (or is that puddle?) of available margins in order to secure the business out there in the private and public sector.”
Incentive FM debuts at Somerset House
Published: 2 April 2014
The mid-market FM services group has been awarded a three-year contract at Somerset House, the major arts and cultural centre located on London’s Strand.
The business picked up the FM contract of another prestigious London contract, very much in the same mould as Covent Garden. This three-year contract added to a portfolio that already included Covent Garden, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Liverpool Football Club.
Incentive lands Bluewater: bigger ever win
Published: 6 August 2015
Incentive FM Group has secured a three-year contract with Land Securities to provide the full range of FM services at Bluewater, Kent’s retail and leisure destination.
Incentive FM’s Managing Director, Martin Reed, called it “one of the proudest moments in Incentive FM Group’s 14-year history”. The business won the deal to deliver engineering maintenance, cleaning, security, grounds maintenance and environmental management.
Incentive in third M&E acquisition
Published: 6 September 2017
Incentive FM Group has acquired a third M&E business in a move that will increase the geographical reach, scale and range of its Incentive Tec operation.
The acquisition of Weston Electrical Services took the total number of engineers at Incentive Tec, the company’s M&E business, to 220 engineers and created a total turnover of more than £30m. Waud explains: “We decided M&E was very important to us. We made three acquisitions in three years. We’re now quite a big player in that market and the business now has a tremendous head of steam.”
So, what next for Incentive?
The challenge now for Incentive is to keep growing. “Where’s the next £100m coming from? That’s something we clearly discuss internally,” says Waud. “We think hard about what we should be doing, what our competitors are doing, and where we fit. Why do people buy from us and not from someone else?”
The relationship with shopping centre Bluewater was a watermark moment for the company. It began as a consultancy deal but a changing of the guard, from one managing agent to another, gave the service provider a chance to self-deliver FM services. “After that nobody in the market could say, ‘This is too big for you,’ which of course we had grown up with,” says Ward.
He explains that, as the business grows in value, the pace of that growth gets quicker and the market opportunities become greater. “There are fewer doors slammed in your face,” he says.
Incentive would like to buy something in Scotland to complete the geographic matrix of offices, but it’s not critical. The business already has offices in London, Weston Super-Mare, Kings Langley and Derby.
Finally, Waud believes that there is room for Incentive to exploit the current market conditions in FM. “If the Mities have fallen and that represents opportunities with customers to deal with us, then great,” he says. “Does it mean we want to go scrapping at 6% margins? No. We believe in a reasonable margin so that we can reinvest, pay people properly, and not kid clients. I’m convinced those people are kidding the clients, kidding themselves and kidding the market.
“How do we turn our £100m and a bit business into £200m? And how long does that take? This journey that has taken 15 years, the next piece will take a lot less. The world is particularly wild.”
According to i-FM.net review, 2016 was a very busy and even dramatic year for the industry. Incentive FM Group appears twice in the review, recognising our ambitious acquisitions and developments in both the M&E and Window Cleaning sectors.
For Industry representative bodies the tale is one of collapse, change, instability and uncertainty. For some of the larger players and Mitie in particular it’s tale of woes are recorded perhaps as a warning to all of us about how we manage our businesses. Jeremy Waud – Incentive FM Group Chairman
It’s been a busy year, with the usual mix of contract wins, senior appointments and new ventures. A typical year in UK FM. But it’s also been a period of uncertainty, with the effects of previous events lingering, plus some new ones coming through.
Notable amongst the latter was the Brexit referendum. That uncertainty was apparent in some quarters of the market, and it seems inevitable that there will be more to follow. Still, FM as a whole continues to prove itself resilient, creative and above all an interesting place to be.
One of the most interesting, and perhaps instructive, companies to watch in the whole outsourcing marketplace over the past few years has been Serco. On most measures, the company has been a considerable success; but along with that success have come some problems – including a loss of focus on a coherent strategy and standing as a target for various issues and criticisms. One of Serco’s growth plans some years ago had been a big push into business process outsourcing. But when its fortunes turned, that looked like a big mistake – and the start of the year saw confirmation that it had finally sold that part of the group. The disposal was a key part of its wholesale makeover – which, though it is still very much underway, seems to be working.
On the flipside of that, acquisition remains a key part of growth strategy for many in FM outsourcing. January also saw the news that Servest had bought Accuro Catering, a national operator specialising in the education and healthcare sectors. Servest called Accuro ‘a good strategic fit’ that would lend support to its expansion in the catering services area.
January also brought news of the not wholly surprising collapse of the Building Futures Group. BFG was the product of a merger in 2013 which brought together Asset Skills, the sector skills council for facilities management, cleaning, property, housing and parking – an unlikely blend in itself – with the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning & Support Services Association. In fact, it turned out in January 2015 that the CSSA had never quite finalised its part of the merger when it declared that it was quitting the group. In any case, BFG had never seemed to find sufficient purpose to ensure a long life.
In other break-up news, it emerged that Germany’s Bilfinger Group had appointed advisors following receipt of offers for the acquisition of its building, facilities services and real estate divisions. The group, which had been struggling with market conditions for some time, said its executive board would review the offers, focusing on the best interest of the company and its shareholders. That, of course, led to considerable speculation about who was interested and what might happen next.
Another big change in the status quo saw Royal Mail confirm that it was preparing to bring Romec, its facilities and maintenance operations service provider, in-house after running it as a joint venture business for nearly 15 years. Engineering group Hayden first took a 49% stake in the business in 2002, creating the jv. That stake was subsequently transferred as Hayden moved into Balfour Beatty, with the ownership moving again to Cofely (now ENGIE) with its acquisition of Balfour Beatty Workplace in 2013. It seemed ENGIE wasn’t interested in that particular part of the status quo.
If technology is one of the great themes set to shape the future of FM, it often seems that energy is another. The first is about how businesses do things; the second is something they can buy into – and many service providers have moved to take advantage of the opportunities. Early in the year it was BAM with the formation of BAM Energy Limited, a new company that would draw on group expertise to offer design, installation, management and maintenance services, as well as support with finance. That was the second such move in a week. The Robertson Group had earlier announced the appointment of its first Energy Director, who will be running a new energy services business operating within Robertson Facilities Management.
On the institutes and associations side of the industry, the British Institute of Facilities Management confirmed the appointment of Ray Perry as its new Chief Executive Officer. BIFM had revealed late in 2015 that then-CEO James Sutton would be stepping down over the summer. Perry, at that point Chief Executive of the National Pawnbrokers Association, was due to take on his new role in time for the institute’s pre-summer AGM.
Returning to the busy mid-market theme, this month also saw the completion of an MBO at the £20m Premier Support Services group. The Birmingham-based business specialises in cleaning, security, and property and grounds maintenance, and that move was part of a plan to grow both organically and through acquisitions with a view to double pre-tax earnings over the next four years.
Energy is a recurring theme in FM. It cropped up in March as ENGIE announced the acquisition of digital energy management specialist C3 Resources. ENGIE said the deal supported its strategy to deliver innovation in customer-led solutions using technology. Its plan was to use C3’s platform to enhance the way it analyses data in order to better serve energy supply and service customers across various sectors. That platform is ideal for managing large volumes of energy and environmental data and tracking actions through to resolution in compliance with ISO 50001, ENGIE said.
In the same month, CIBSE had had enough, slamming government for its lack of consistent energy policymaking and disjointed attempts at delivery. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers in a submission to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee argued that the UK’s lack of progress on the energy efficiency of its buildings was down to the lack of a long-term plan from successive governments and the failure to treat energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority. Sara Kassam, Head of Sustainability at CIBSE, said: “In their current form, national energy policies are hampering efforts to make buildings more efficient. By giving energy efficiency the national attention and funding that it deserves, we can tackle the UK’s energy trilemma of reducing carbon emissions, enhancing energy security and ensuring that energy is affordable and accessible.”
More acquisition news. The Dublin-based Noonan Group extended its security operations with the acquisition of The Shield Guarding Company. Shield, which reported a £3.6m loss on a £59m turnover for the year to end March 2015, had been the subject of rumours in the industry for some time. Noonan has grown significantly in recent years and was already operating throughout Ireland and the UK. It said the buy would extend its security operations significantly.
And more institute and association news – with the announcement of a collaboration between the International Facility Management Association and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. By joining strategic resources, IFMA and RICS said they intended to create ‘an unprecedented level of industry support’ to meet growing demands from the 25m FM practitioners around the world, as well as launch ‘a single and compelling career pathway’ into the FM profession. “As global thought leaders dedicated to the professionals who support the built environment, IFMA and RICS identified a unique opportunity to team up and fortify existing resources to enhance the outstanding level of service they already provide to professionals and built environment industry,” said IFMA President and CEO Tony Keane.
The FM Business Confidence Monitor, produced by BIFM in partnership with i-FM and Barclays, has established its place in the industry as a test of business sentiment, both at the moment and projected out over the remainder of the year. 2016’s survey found that, though there were plenty of reasons to be cautious, the general mood in the UK facilities management sector was one of optimism. Despite concerns about political and economic factors affecting the wider business climate, almost two-thirds of participants said they were positive or very positive about the environment. That was down somewhat on the previous year’s results, but nevertheless indicated considerable confidence within the industry for its immediate prospects.
As spring approached the facilities services business Temco UK announced that it had bought itself out of the wider group. That followed the acquisition of the group at the beginning of the year of the ambitious French services business Atalian. The £5m Temco UK said the deal was ‘amicable’ and would lead to benefits for both parties.
A couple of weeks later Servest and Atalian revealed that they were launching a 50/50 owned joint venture business, operating as Atalian Servest Ltd, to offer integrated FM services to both existing and new customers across national boundaries. Commenting on the motivation for the deal, Rob Legge, Servest Group CEO UK and Europe, said: “The world is becoming a smaller place and we have seen that businesses are now looking for unified solutions that bring their communities together. We wanted to offer our customers a pan-European solution with a partner that operates with the same cultural and business philosophies as adopted by Servest in the UK.”
Also in the news this month was Carillion with hard evidence that sustainability pays. That came in the form of its annual Sustainability Report, which for the first time, included a financial analysis. The company was able to show that its sustainability strategy and the associated actions and behaviours had made a clear contribution to its profit of £33.8m. Commenting on the strategy overall, Chief Executive Richard Howson said: “Our sustainability leadership makes us a better business to invest in and work with. Just as importantly, it helps us to attract, develop and retain talented, loyal people.”
And on the subject of business success and getting the best from talented people, May’s BIFM conference saw the launch of The Stoddart Review, an ambitious programme aiming to bring together business leaders and workplace experts to assess why organisations continue to see the workplace as a cost rather than an asset that they can use to unlock latent value in their workforce. Launched in memory of Chris Stoddart, the backers of the initiative intend it to serve as a legacy for a man that helped shape the FM profession.
The Incentive FM Group announced that it had acquired ACE Environmental Engineering, an HVAC design, installation and maintenance specialist. The deal was seen as complementing Incentive’s earlier buy of Comserve, a mechanical and electrical maintenance and installation services company. The group said its intention was to create a strong national M&E service offering with a multi-skilled mobile engineering workforce.
In a different segment of the FM world, workplace technology specialist Condeco announced the acquisition of myVRM, a New York-based software company with workflow automation expertise in video collaboration, content sharing, unified communications, virtual meetings and analytics. “This move will provide the scale to underpin our continued global expansion, which has seen us achieve over 40% growth in 2015. Adding scale to our already global business will help as we respond to the appetite for workplace utilisation tools – demand which is increasing exponentially as companies strive for efficiency, competitiveness and productivity,” said Condeco CEO Paul Statham.
In other acquisition news, property services group JLL confirmed that it was buy property maintenance provider Integral. JLL said the acquisition would strengthen its ability to self-perform maintenance services for clients across the EMEA region, as well as add an engineering centre of excellence in the UK. The deal valued Integral at about £230m.
Back in the mid-market segment again, in mid-June Kingdom announced the acquisition of Ocean. A £20m business, Ocean specialises in cleaning services, complemented with a variety of other offers. Its acquisition moved the ambitious Kingdom, best known for its cleaning and security operations, to an estimated annual turnover of £105m.
On the negative side of the news scene, it also emerged in June that Warwickshire-based hard services specialist EIC had in the administrators, surprising many in the industry as well as most of its employees. Formerly an £80m business, the company operated from seven offices around the country specialising in M&E design, installation and maintenance services, though its offer had broadened in recent years – including a recent push in the direction of more mainstream FM. The explanation offered for the failure was ‘poor recent trading performance, underpinned by an ever increasing competitive market’.
Summer brought the news that Kier was doing a bit of business restructuring to launch a Workplace Services division. Building on its existing FM capabilities, and combining the business services expertise acquired in its Mouchel buy, it had devised a new offer focusing on the physical workplace, workplace services and transformation programmes. Managing Director Steve Davies said: “Bringing our successful facilities management and business services units together means we can offer clients end-to-end business solutions, which leaves them free to concentrate on their core business.”
Incentive FM Group was back in the news with another acquisition, this time of ARL Support Services, a specialist window cleaning company. That was its second move in this service area: it had bought window cleaner SWC earlier in the year.
More summertime buying. Bellrock confirmed that it had acquired two firms with the goal of expanding its portfolio of property consultancy services into new markets. Added to the portfolio were Stanley Hicks Ltd, a 200-year-old chartered surveying business based in the City of London, and Property Solutions (UK) Ltd, a service charge specialist for the office and retail sectors, based in Bristol. Bellrock would follow this in September with the news that it had acquired Concerto Support Services, an FM, asset management and project management software business.
In a small echo of December’s news that the landmark Southwest One contract had no future, the Department for Work and Pensions announced plans for the replacement of its PRIME contract. That 20-year deal had been put in place at a time when it looked like big deals combining serviced accommodation with facilities management services might be the future, at least for big organisations. PRIME seems to have been a success, but DWP was confident it was time for a change in any case.
The close of summer brought the news that the Bilfinger group had completed the sale of its property and FM division, a prospect that first hit the headlines in January. The buyer was investment group EQT, which some years ago was also a major investor in the ISS group. The sale price of €1.2bn was built on a complex deal that gave Bilfinger an immediate cash injection while holding back a substantial proportion for payment later, on the theory that the previous owner could share in the value achieved by the new owner when the business was subsequently sold on.
Fittingly for back-to-school month, new student experience survey findings from the Association of University Directors of Estates showed that facilities remain a key factor for nearly two-thirds of students when choosing a university. For the third year running, study facilities, including IT stations and libraries, came out on top, with only 24% of students placing importance on entertainment and social buildings when it comes to deciding their choice of higher education institution. AUDE Chair Trevor Humphreys commented: “Effective estate management is key to ensuring higher education institutions deliver the best possible student experience, both academically and socially, so it’s encouraging to know that despite many sector challenges, a very high level of students feel their university offers clean and well maintained buildings.”
A little later in the month, CoreNet Global, the CRE professionals group, confirmed what we all know anyway – the speed of technological development is dramatically reshaping the way that corporations manage and use their real estate. Or if it isn’t happening already, it surely must and probably within a matter of just a few years. Group Chair Kate Langan observed: “The ramifications are quite dramatic: these shifts will impact everything from traffic patterns, the environment and energy, to daily living and the overall quality of life.” Technology reshaping the world is simply a fact of life.
Insights into a different kind of market force followed with the release of a trading update from Mitie that warned of ‘significantly’ lower operating profit for the current year than previously forecast. The company said its was feeling the effects of economic pressures, specifically lower UK growth rates, changes to labour legislation, further public sector budget constraints and uncertainty both pre and post the EU referendum. Capita was in the news only days later with a similar warning on its performance. Outsourcing markets in particular like confidence, consistency and clarity. Any dent in that can lead to client unease, delays in decision making and holes in the financial strategy.
RICS and IFMA were back in the news with the announcement that they were working together to develop a unified career map in order to align training courses, qualification requirements and certification levels. IFMA said the map would deliver ‘unprecedented clarity and internationally recognised authority on the required skills, training and experience necessary for all professional stages and goals’ within FM. It was being positioned as one of many resources coming out of the collaboration between the two bodies, unveiled in the spring.
Mitie was also back in the news, with the announcement that after 10 years as Chief Executive, Ruby McGregor-Smith was to leave the company in December. The process of finding her replacement started late last year when she made her plans known to Mitie’s board and was already complete, the group said. Phil Bentley, ex-Group CEO at Cable and Wireless Communications, was set to take the top job.
BIFM also hit the headlines in October, first with the news that it was calling a halt to its long-standing relationship with Quadrilect, its partner in BIFM Training. That joint agreement would come to an end in September 2017, the Institute said. It went on to explain plans to launch a new training programme centrally as part of a new BIFM Academy, with a range of courses to be delivered nationally after September 2017. CEO Ray Perry said: “The BIFM Academy will become the central professional development hub for disseminating continuing professional development content and training.” But later in the month Perry himself was the news as BIFM revealed that he had left the job he’d started only months before following a mutually agreed decision with the Institute’s board. Linda Hausmanis, Director of Professional Development, was named as Acting Chief Executive.”
More M&A action in the broad mid-market area of FM as Servest confirmed that it had acquired Catering Academy in a strategic move to grow its existing catering division. Established in 2004, the independent catered was a national player working mainly in the business and industry, education and healthcare sectors. Servest said it saw the acquisition enabling it to expand and develop its catering presence in education in particular. That news followed quickly on the heels of the FM group’s move to buy building services contractor Arthur McKay. Speaking about that deal, Serves CEO Rob Legge said: “The acquisition is part of our growth strategy to become one of the top five FM service providers in the UK.”
Also this month, hard services group Spie bought the Birmingham-based technical facilities management and property services provider Triosgroup. The deal brought to Spie’s portfolio a team of about 690 people spread across five regional offices – Birmingham, Enfield, Cirencester, Basingstoke and Warrington. The £61m Triosgroup operated in three divisions: Property Maintenance, Legal & Statutory Compliance and Access and Security. Spie said the deal would diversify its end-user markets, expanding its presence in particular in retail and leisure.
Later, another senior departure was announced – this time it was Interserve CEO Adrian Ringrose saying he would be leaving the group is to once a successor was in place, a move expected to be completed in 2017. Ringrose said he was planning to pursue the next phase of his career after 15 years with Interserve.
Then Mitie was back in the news again, this time with even more bad news. Publishing its interim report, it revealed that for the six months to 30 September 2016 group revenue was down 2.6%, operating profit was down 39% – and the loss for the period topped £100m. The company’s share price graph literally looked like the price fell off a cliff first thing in the morning after publication of the report. It blamed the problems on, amongst other things, changing market conditions as clients adjusted to rising labour costs and economic uncertainty. It also declared its intention to exit the home healthcare business as quickly as possible.
One regular December occurrence is confirmation of the finalists in the running for the annual i-FM Technology in FM Award. We’ve past the 10-year mark on this competition, and the entries just get better and better – a clear sign that technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in FM. The finalists for the 2017 Award were ENGIE, Interserve, JLL, Mitie and CDS. The winner is revealed at each year’s Workplace Futures conference, held in February.
The development of officially recognised standards for FM has been a long, slow process – a real labour of faith and determination for the handful of practitioners who have championed this. One – probably the key figure in the whole effort – was honoured late in the year with the presentation of a BSI Leadership Award. That went to Stan Mitchell, who was praised for his “enthusiasm, superb industry reputation and support for new members” of the pro-standards campaign.
A much-anticipated report from The Stoddart Review also hit the headlines this month. Positioned as a wake-up call to business leaders, the report, ‘The Workplace Advantage’, called for an industry-wide rethink to demonstrate and measure the value of the workplace as a counter-balance to the prevailing cost focus – offering a series of recommendations for action. Programme Director Polly Plunket-Checkemian said: “We’ve found some excellent examples of best practice where firms are moving away from an approach that until now too often has been driven by cost-cutting, space-saving and an inflexible approach to office design. Agility is the key in facilities management and we need to do more to demonstrate and measure value rather than count the cost.”
Finally, the latest report from business advisors Grant Thornton on M&A in the FM sector noted continued high levels of deal activity throughout Q2 and Q3 2016. A total of 30 FM deals were announced in Q3 2016, the highest amount since Q2 2012. The first nine months of the year saw a total of 76 deals, the highest level of activity since 2011. If deal activity remained strong in Q4, GT said, deal volumes could exceed the 97 recorded in 2015 – and we could see activity hit the 100 mark for the year, last achieved in 2011. But, the firm cautioned, while many service providers were adopting a business-as-usual approach and maintaining their growth agendas, the full impact of the vote to leave the EU remains unknown and could still have implications for the sector.
Published: 21st December 2016
Author: i-FM News Team
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Incentive FM Group, treated its clients to a night of quintessentially British fun as a way of thanking them for their business over the past year. The event took place at one of London’s oldest members clubs, The City Of London Club.
Following the theme, the canapes were chosen to be specifically British including variations on Cumberland sausage and mustard. Similarly, the wines, provided by Waud Wines, were chosen to complement the theme including the English sparkling wine, Nyetimber.
In order to mark the occasion guests were treated to music by The Martineau Brass Quintet and caricature portraits. Guests were then invited to take part in a challenge guessing the country, region and grape of a variety of the two mystery wines served with the cheese!.
Jeremy Waud, Chairman of Incentive FM Group, said:
We started this business15 years ago with good contacts and a strong team. Now we have a turnover of nearly £100 million and employ over 2,500 people and we wanted to thank all our clients that have made that growth possible.