Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

By Jeremy Waud, Chairman at Incentive FM Group

It has been suggested that ‘the only thing that is constant is change’ – which perhaps is a fair observation for the wider facilities management and contract service industry in 2019. So what are the main influencers and disruptors of the moment?

Stability of Competitors

It cannot have escaped the attention of many that big names in our sector have got themselves into trouble over the last year. These include: Carillon’s collapse into the warm and friendly arms of its bankers; Mitie’s long spell of enforced restructuring; Interserve’s ‘Pre-Pack’ to a new owning company to avoid a complete collapse; and Kier are in the news and under the microscope. A number of smaller single service companies have also gone out of business as a result of a tough market which we consider to be largely driven by the factors below:

Politics and the Economy

The majority of our politicians have clearly never run a business and may not have ever even run for a bus! Yet, they are empowered to decide on the health and direction of our nation, whether in Europe or out and it seems to make little difference which party, or which Prime Minister is at the helm. It has been a shambolic year which has not helped businesses one iota. The lack of clarity or certainty for our clients across a wide spectrum of sectors has been an unhelpful side effect of Brexit, and is reflected in the incredulity with which we are viewed from overseas. Our customers are understandably nervous, uncertain and risk averse at every turn, which is not a healthy backdrop to try and operate in front of and to make investment decisions within.

Friend or Foe?

Another major change of the past year has been the effect of some of the major global surveying organisations diversifying into service delivery. For example, CBRE acquired skills and capability in the mechanical and electrical maintenance sector for the buildings it manages through the acquisitions of Norland and Johnson Controls GWS. These skills, now wrapped under the parent branding, are changing the way it chooses to deliver services to its managed properties and it is not clear where this will this end up.

Similarly, JLL made the significant M&E acquisition last year of Integral. These businesses are indeed friends of ours and big customers as are other major surveyors, notably Savills, who this year acquired the property management business of Broadgate Estates from British Land.  All the while these organisations buy from us in sensible volumes, we will not be entering the property management market – hence we are all friends and not foes.

Procurement Trends

We are of course a big service delivery organisation, employing more than 3,200 staff in the process. We therefore spend a large part of our time on the receiving end of procurement departments and specialists with differing levels of appreciation of what we do and what needs to be done. Buyers are largely charged with the responsibility of delivering even better value for their ultimate clients.  Longer term viability and operational reality can often be a secondary consideration. This drive comes from economic pressure, opportunism and of course good practice, as defined by corporate governance and the likes of the RICS in the challenging retail sector. Our consultancy business, along with other specialists in this sector, helps many high-profile companies with their procurement strategies and processes. Having specialist FM procurement, such as Incentive Consultancy, can help to understand and bridge the gap from ‘generic’ buying practices to a 360-degree view of the challenges from all sides.

Commercial Sanity

None of the above drivers or disruptors make for higher contractor margins, in fact quite the opposite. The result is too much risk exposure and cash management pressure being levelled on the contractors in the sector, so much so that you can almost hear the pips squeaking!

The challenge for the market going forward is to not be backed into the corner at every turn, but to deliver attractive, creative and mould breaking service delivery solutions that share risk with the clients and intermediaries.

So a final message to all those who think contractors can operate within the 5-10% gross margin space, take high risks, be paid at 60 days, employ all of the semi and lower skilled staff that are needed in their operation and then invest in all manner of skills, experts and technological advances – please get real and think again. Thank you.

IFM News –

Purple Tuesday

Purple Tuesday

Several of our sites took part in supporting purple Tuesday this week. Purple Tuesday is a day which was created to bring improvement, value and awareness to disabled customers.
Across the UK, the Purple Pound – the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families is worth £249 billion and is rising by an average of 14% per annum. Worldwide the Purple Pound equates to a staggering £2.25 trillion, yet less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this market.
The photos show 3 of our sites taking part which include Bluewater, Broughton Shopping Park and Clarks Village.
Bluewater is the first UK shopping centre to achieve the status of Disability Confident Leader. To support retailers, they produced a pocket guide which provides practical hints designed to support retail staff in becoming more confident in providing good customer service to disabled customers. We are thrilled to announce that Bluewater have also recently introduced hidden disability sunflower lanyards. These lanyards indicate that the wearer has a hidden disability and may require additional assistance when visiting (e.g. hard of hearing, dementia etc).
European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards Winners

European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards Winners

We are so proud to announce that Incentive QAS were winners at the European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards last night in the Sustainability Category.

Jamie Wright, Managing Director at Incentive QAS, said:

“We are committed to sustainable business and do whatever we can to improve the impact we have on the environment, our staff and the wider community whilst providing our service on a daily basis. We do this with the support of our suppliers, customers, business partners and consumers who have all contributed to this award.”

Loo of the Year Awards 2019

Loo of the Year Awards 2019

We are thrilled to announce that Broughton Shopping Park has been awarded platinum status and entered into the final for the 2019 Loo of the Year Awards. At Incentive we run the cleaning and security services for the shopping centre and we are so proud of our team for achieving this.

Swan Shopping Centre in Eastleigh have just been awarded Diamond Loo Of The Year, The new level of award for 2019 will supplement the Platinum award and focus on the highest standards of cleaning, special facilities for babies, children and those who need Changing Places or Space to Change toilet facilities – the provision of facilities to meet all user’s needs. In particular the winning report highlights the excellent work undertaken by Dawn Smith and she is mentioned by name in our judges report. Well done Dawn and Team Swan.

Grade, 2 Platinum for The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol after The Changing Places and toilet facilities provided for guests were inspected by judges from the Loo of the Year Awards with unannounced visit between July and September. In addition to the platinum grade, inspectors also gave Incentive FM Housekeeping Team a special certificate for the outstanding high standards of cleanliness they maintain. We are now considered for major Awards at a prestigious ceremony at the St. John’s Hotel in Solihull on 6th December 2019.

Well done to all!

Incentive Consultancy Brochure

Incentive Consultancy Brochure

Our consultancy business started in 2003 and has evolved through client demand and need across a range of disciplines that have been of great help to our clients. The reviews and restructures vary considerably but have the common theme of improved efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The Howard Centre contract win

The Howard Centre contract win

We have been awarded a three year dual service contract by Savills. Located at The Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden city.

The deal is worth more than £1.5m and brings together two of our teams Incentive Lynx and Incentive QAS.

The Howard Centre is situated in the heart of the town centre. It attracts around 8m visitors a year. The centre provides 230,000 sq ft of space set across two levels, with tenants such as Marks & Spencer, Boots and Next.

We will provide a manager responsible for 10 security guards and seven cleaners, providing an efficient, integrated approach.

Shaun Wall, manager at The Howard Centre, said:

“Incentive FM Group not only has the right expertise and skills to support us, but they also share our commitment to developing their people. This like-minded approach was key in our decision to award them this contract.”

Incentive Lynx announces internal promotion

Incentive Lynx announces internal promotion

Incentive Lynx, the security arm of the UK’s Incentive FM Group, has appointed Jaime de Gouveia as Business Development Manager.

Jaime has been with the company for more than eight years after initially joining as a site-based Security Officer and later being promoted to Security Manager. He previously worked at Central Saint Giles and MidCity Place in Holborn.

Announcing the appointment, Stephen Waud, Incentive Lynx’s managing director, said:

“The role of Business Development Manager will become increasingly important to our organisation as we look to further grow our client portfolio. Jaime has fantastic understanding of the Incentive Lynx model of delivering industry-leading security services which made him the perfect candidate for the position.”

Jaime added:

“I am extremely proud to have been given this promotion and I cannot wait to play a key role in the company’s ongoing growth and success.”

Incentive FM win contract with Shrewsbury shopping centre

Incentive FM win contract with Shrewsbury shopping centre

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.

Lynx supports Police training at the Leadenhall

Lynx supports Police training at the Leadenhall

Incentive Lynx, has played a vital role in an important anti-terrorism training exercise conducted by the Met Police and the City of London Police. The security specialist welcomed the two forces to The Leadenhall Building to carry out the practice mission involving multiple hostages and casualties.

More than 200 participants took part in the exercise, including police, the Incentive Lynx on-site team members – who were tested on how they would react during an emergency situation – and the people who played the hostages and casualties. There were around 40 fire arms officers involved along with their trainers from SCO19 (Specialist Firearms Command).

Incentive Lynx has delivered a bespoke 24/7 front of house security solution at The Leadenhall Building since 2015. A team of 40 security officers are tasked with providing an exceptional guest experience in conjunction with a safe and secure environment. They are on hand to welcome and assist any workers and visitors arriving at the 224-metre tall building, as well as patrolling the boundaries of the building, which is home to a wide number of the UK’s leading businesses.

Stephen Waud, Managing Director of Incentive Lynx, said: “We are extremely proud to help both forces come together and take part in this vital training exercise, which is designed to ensure the safety of all those people who live and work in London, as well as the millions of tourists that visit each year. Our officers assisted with the treating of casualties and keeping the building, its occupants and the public safe – it was a valuable experience.”

Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre

Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre

Crystal Peaks is a well known large out of town shopping centre with 35 acres (550,000 sq.ft total lettable area) of Retail & Leisure, an average footfall of over 250,000 per week and 2,000 FREE car parking spaces offering a distinctly different experience to its mammoth neighbor at Meadowhall. The site is owned by Hermes property and managed by Workman.

How did we help?

Incentive FM were awarded the £ 1.5m per annum contract on March 1st 2008. Incentive employed a new site facilities manager and a further sixty staff were transferred to us from a number of individual historic service providers and our client. The net result was a single branded team forming one cohesive unit delivering security, cleaning, maintenance, grounds maintenance, customer service and administration functions amongst others.

What were Workman looking for?

Crystal Peaks has developed over recent years into one of Yorkshire’s largest regional shopping centres. There are 85 tenants at the centre, including Sainsbury’s, TK Maxx, Wilkinson’s and NEXT. The Centre’s historic services were coordinated by a variety of remote suppliers, leading to communication issues with site teams and ultimately a lower than acceptable standards of service and higher than average costs. Our clients were looking for a step change in service delivery, staff morale and statutory compliance.

The Results

From commencement of the contract, there have been consistent improvements in H&S compliance, cleaning standards, cost control, grounds maintenance and above all staff morale. Incentive’s innovative, integrated and highly transparent management and service delivery model consistently deliver results, both in cost savings and operations. The results and services provided at Crystal Peaks have enhanced the important relationship Incentive FM have with Workman. Our retail team throughout the UK continue to refine and develop site tailored systems and processes which offer continuous improvement and an outstanding customer experience.

In our 10 year relationship with IFM Crystal Peaks has become a multi award winning shopping centre, which reflects the dedication and focus shown for continuous improvement from all levels of the Incentive team. Although enjoying a very high staff retention level with many team members celebrating long term service anniversaries, any recruitment that is undertaken is targeted to enrich the team. The team have benefited from the extensive training provided by IFM and most recently three apprentices have successfully joined the team through this pathway offering exciting opportunities to local young people.

Beyond the standard KPI’s and SLA’s, the IFM team have spent the 10 years developing close links with the local community. The team have been involved with school landscaping projects, house painting initiatives, city farm assistance, and even building the odd dry stone wall. Thousands of pounds have been raised for local good causes through charity events, in 2016 Crystal Peaks led the way in a Sheffield wide “Herd of Elephants” event.

Environmental and biodiversity initiatives are a passion that has itself grown over the 10 years, this has helped nurture over 500 trees, develop areas of beautifully landscaped gardens and wildflower areas alike. The installation of the “stumpery” and management of a local waterway help attract more than just customers to the shopping centre with an abundance of wild flora and fauna including the rare bee orchid that calls Crystal Peaks its home.

Client Comment

“We were looking for a truly integrated solution at Crystal Peaks and we felt that Incentive FM were one of very few companies in the market who could deliver it.” “Since Incentive took over there have been significant improvements in all areas of the operation allowing my team more time to concentrate on tenant satisfaction, CSR initiatives and increasing the value of the center for the landlord.” Lee Greenwood, Centre Manager at Crystal Peaks.

Lee Greenwood, Centre Manager at Crystal Peaks.

Incentive Awarded Prestigious contract

Incentive Awarded Prestigious contract

Incentive QAS has been awarded a three-year contract by a leading property management company to provide a full range of cleaning services at Birmingham’s 55 Colmore Row office space.

Under the terms of the agreement, Incentive QAS will professionally clean all communal areas across the Grade 2 listed building, as well as providing washroom services, consumables supply, periodic cleaning and pest control. The company will deploy its bespoke LEVIY contract management system at the facility, to deliver a streamlined service, as well as investing in specialist floor cleaning machines, pressure washers and a sweeper for the car park.

As part of the deal, SWC, Incentive QAS’ sister company, will provide quarterly window cleaning via abseiling and MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform), whilst delivering other services as required.

Incentive QAS stood out during a competitive tender process due to its commitment to innovation and strategic decision making, including switching the time of the core cleaning in order to maximise efficiency and reduce disruption. Incentive QAS recruited a new six-strong team from day one with each member of staff receiving comprehensive training, support and branded uniforms.

David Brown, Commercial Director at Incentive QAS, said:

“This is a significant win for our business that further strengthens our presence in the flourishing city of Birmingham, as well as underlining our position as the industry leader. We carefully analyse the needs of our clients in order to create bespoke solutions that not only deliver a superior service but also value for money.”

Incentive FM retains shopping centre for another 3 years.

Incentive FM retains shopping centre for another 3 years.

Friars Square Shopping Centre in Aylesbury has extended its contract with leading independent facilities management company, Incentive FM for another three years. The new contract awarded by Montagu Evans, enables Incentive FM to continue to provide full TFM service model at the centre. The decision to extend the relationship with Incentive FM follows a successful 36 month period.

Friars Square is a shopping centre located in the town centre of Aylesbury. The landlord is Patrizia, and managed by Montagu Evans.

The shopping centre is a mixed-use development, including over 50 shops and restaurants, offices, 400-space multi-storey car park and bus station.

 “Business continuity is a very important part of managing a shopping centre. The continuing partnership with Incentive FM has enabled the successful renewal of the contract for a new term a very easy decision”


Andy Margieson, Centre Manager.

“Our one team approach and continual drive to identify innovative new ways of working, has enabled our partnership with Friars Square to continue.”

Claire Rumsey, Operations Director at Incentive FM.