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RICS Strategic FM Conference Hits the Mark

01 July 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
ThisWeekinFM was at the RICS Strategic Facilities Management Conference in Kensington on Thursday (26 June). Under the title of 'Thought Leadership and Innovation in Facilities Management excellence' approximately 100 attendees actively engaged in what proved to be a thought provoking and very successful event.

The event was Chaired by Ian Brodie, Chair of RICS Facility Management Professional Group, who set the scene for the day and ensured the event flowed well throughout the day.

Ian Campbell, Group Property Director, Rolls Royce gave an impressive account of defining the strategic plan including real examples from his business. He gave specific examples of the challenges and key areas of engagement required to deliver the plan and the concept of ‘agile working’ for organisations/workplace management. Delegate questions from this session brought out the management of compliance issues, (particularly when operating in an international field).

Peter Scanlan, Vice President, Professional Services, VFA Board, focussed on the subject of investing for management systems to improve facility and estate efficiency. This demonstrated the concept of graphical representation of an estate and prioritising facility (building) requirements with data management then used to prioritise delivery against variable budgets in the future. An area most of the audience had a direct interest in-one way or another!


No to living wage

Martin Attfield, recently appointed Head of Facilities Management, Crown Commercial Services, discussed the approach being taken by CCS to procure services. Within his presentation Martin, also shared previous experiences from his roles at Tesco and Royal Mail. Questions In this session (and others) included ‘Commoditising of FM’  and what is still yet to be fully answered in that how the living wage debate will really affect future FM provisions and contracts? When pushed, Attfield categorically stated that Crown Commercial Services would not be adopting the living wage as the estimated rise in salaries would top £20million.


Planning space and creative transformations

One of the highlights of the day, was Alexi Marmot’s (from UCL) thought provoking and engaging presentation on planning space and creative transformations. This prompted thinking way beyond space and traditional desking, into creative use of space, embracing culture, emerging technology and “Big Data” shaping our future environments. Alexi also shared her ‘Ladder of Change‘ which graphically demonstrated options against time and impact. Particularly with the supporting point that, that even small steps with the right engagement over a period on time can result in transformational change.


Afternoon programme

Before Lunch Tim Davidson-Hague Sheffield Hallam/RICS, outlined 'the open space solution planning' session that was to be the afternoon programme. The concept for this brave step (and later to prove very successful to the RICS conference) was that the attendees chose subjects they wished to debate. Tim then helped to shape these to the agreed working titles for each subject.

After lunch five syndicate rooms were available, with two subjects per room, facilitated by RICS FM. Delegates attended their chosen subjects, but were free to move between if they wished to contribute to more than one area.  All groups produced a wealth of ideas information and prompts for RICS FM  to consider going forward, particularly around Innovation, Workplace planning and Compliance- Watch this space for further updates!


Straight talking

The final formal session of the conference was kicked off with Kath Fontana MD BAM FM and Geoff Prudence Chairman CIBSE Facilities Management sharing their straight talking views and experiences on innovation and leadership respectively.

This session and questions after were fitting with the conference as examples of Leadership, ‘Business case Vs freedom to innovate’, BIM and the opportunity to drive the strategic agenda of FM all featured.

Iain Brodie closed the conference and summed up on what was an interesting, engaging, thought provoking conference. There was certainly something for everyone to take away from the event.


TWinFM view - Well done RICS FM. You hit the mark!



Article written by Jeff Sagacitas | Published 01 July 2014


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