The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Tuesday, 28 January


24th January 2020

Got a story for us? Please send news stories & press releases to:

Corporate Receptionist of the Year

Ever since ThisWeekinFM publicised that entries for the Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award 2020 are now open - those entries have been flooding in.

This is the only award scheme that recognises the exceptional front of house receptionists working in the sector - either directly or through a third-party service provider.

To go to our full story and to enter - Click Here

Bad Refub

I know the exhibition itself is a bit fringy but this story is really about how not to plan a refurbishment project.

A friend of ThisWeekinFM runs Lockexpo. The 2020 show has had new dates and a new venue thrust upon it. (April 18-19 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel if you're interested.)

The organiser has had to put this down to 'unforeseen  circumstances'.

Would you believe that the massive De Vere Hotels chain that own the originally planned venue, the East Midlands Exhibition & Conference Centre (and the impressive Orchard Hotel alongside the venue) would choose to announce a nine month refurb of the venue in November and cancel everything booked for 2020.

Lock Expo is not a huge show - this singular move could have put it out of business and damaged the livelihoods of six people. Whoever heard of a venue operator not planning a refurb at least two years in advance and giving those who might want to do business with them plenty of time to make alternative arrangements?

Bad Procurement

Having just been awarded contracts with a total value of £1.1 billion, OCS and Engie will be disappointed to learn that strike action could be called before they even get going on April 1.

The Public and Commercial Services Union has condemned the Courts and Tribunals Service for overseeing the payment of 'poverty wages' for guards and cleaners.

Grapevine has read a great widely about the need to improve procurement in government. So why has Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (which announced the contracts on January 13), not taken heed of the advice? Why buy in to new contracts when you know the existing contracts are under strike threat?

Why not pay a Real Living Wage - coz the wages on offer at the moment are ridiculously low?

The union says those involved should be ashamed of themselves. Grapevine can't help but agree - and we know the Queen's Shilling (or £1.1 billion of them) is enticing but surely both OCS and Engie know they are simply making rods for their own backs...they should be better than that.

To read more on this story - Click Here

No Net Zero Know-How

Lack of know-how is holding back UK carbon reduction, says a new report which suggests nearly two-thirds of UK businesses don't have a net-zero strategy - and of those that do, many haven't set a date to achieve it.

The survey for Mitie Energy was conducted via 500 workplace energy decision makers. It does show there is huge ambition among UK companies to do their net-zero bit.

Late September 2019 saw companies with a combined market capitalisation of over US$2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants commit to taking action to align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

To read ThisWeekinFM's full story -  Click Here

A Life on Our Planet

'David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet' will be first shown in an exclusive World Premiere at the Royal Albert Hall.

Tickets for the event may still be available. However, all corporate hospitality packages have now sold out.

The full thisWeekinFM article also looks at how the Albert Hall become more sustainable?

To read the article - Click Here

Lightning Strike

Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) has announced new contracts to provide specialist electrical services at a number of sites in London and the South-East.

Project Hollywood will be London’s biggest Hollywood-style film studios. PTSG is providing lightning protection services at the data centre at the complex, in a contract with Phoenix Mechanical and Electrical.

In Sheerness, Kent, PTSG’s electrical engineers will install an isolated system at the upcoming Sheppey Energy anaerobic digestion plant in a contract with River Rouge Consulting.

Developer and contractor Durkan has contracted PTSG to deliver electrical services at Southmere Village Phase 1b in Thamesmead, featuring 130 new homes, an energy centre with associated district heat network, commercial space and parking, as well as a range of formal and informal public spaces.

PTSG Electrical Services Ltd will also be working for Durkan at Lisgar Terrace in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. This is an inter-war development that Southern Housing Group built in 1928 to provide homes for those who needed it the most. Last refurbished in 1970, the scheme has suffered from a long-term lack of investment with building conditions deteriorating and not meeting current building regulations.

For more on PTSG's recent contract wins and to see their Partner Focus - Click Here

Don’t Waste It Roundtable Series – Managing Demand and Expectations

ThisWeekinFm's 'Don’t Waste It Roundtable', sponsored by Reconomy, was a huge success in attracting those who wanted to learn and discuss the best way to manage waste with sustainability in mind.

We have the first in a four-part series of informative videos from the event - starting with 'meeting customer demands and expectations for managing waste'.

To watch them - Click Here

It's A Knockout

May 14 | Millennium Gloucester Hotel | London, SW7 4LH

The sixth annual Boxing Black Tie Dinner brought to you by is back on May 14 and set to be a complete 400 seat sell-out.

With a champagne reception, four bouts of top class boxing and a three-course dinner, this event is not to be missed.

Supporting Sponsors are already confirmed as AJ Products and the Europacar Mobility Group; with Oracle Asbestos Solutions as the Round Announcer Sponsor; and PPS Power as the Programme Sponsor.

For table bookings and limited further sponsorship opportunities - Click Here

Using Real-time Sensing to Optimise your Workplace

Thursday February 13 | 10:30am UK | GoToWebinar Web Hosting Service | 45 minutes duration

This webinar will cover understanding real-time usage of workspaces and meeting rooms; the ways technology can help end-users to find the right space at the right time; and how to leverage the metrics and patterns to make better real estate decisions.

If you are unable to attend, you should still register to be sent a recording after the event.

To register - Click Here

Networking Club

The first ThisWeekinFM Facilities & Workplace Networking Club of 2020 will be on 27th February 2020.

All the other dates have also been announced and appear on the Events Page - Click Here

Dates For The General Meets

27th February 2020

30th April 2020

25th June 2020

27th August 2020

29th October 2020

Go to the respective Networking Club Date to get your Password to allow you to book your ticket via Eventbrite.

Other ThisWeekinFM Events, such as the Summer Riverboat Party are also included on the Events Page along with exhibitions, conferences etc relevant to the sector.

Free Breakfast Briefing - Implementing Activity Based Working

Join OpenSensors and Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight & Engagement of IWFM, in London on February 5 for a Breakfast Briefing & Networking.

From 8:15am you'll get to share insights on key challenges and considerations when planning to implement an activity based working environment.

Register here -


FRP (the insolvency firm) has secured £11 million of refinancing for a  leading cleaning product business - Easy Cleaning Solutions. The money will now be used to fund a growth strategy.

FRP's Debt Advisory team advised Easy Cleaning Solutions with a deal coming from Close Brothers that will enable the manufacturer and distributor of cleaning products to drive organic growth and support its blue-chip customer base.

Easy Cleaning Solutions makes private label and own brand cleaning solutions.

Nick Grainger, Partner in FRP's Debt Advisory team, said: “This new funding provides the business with the headroom to deliver quality of service and product innovation to a growing client base.”

Three Buys

The DMC group has bought three office supplies businesses - Condor Office Solutions, Systems Technology and CSL Business Machines.

Each of the acquisitions are long established - both Condor and Systems Technology are southern based Canon Platinum partners, and CSL is a Konica Minolta Elite partner serving customers across the Midlands.

Horizon Capital first invested in DMC in July 2018 and since then the Group has made 5five acquisitions, diversified its offering and expanded its geographic reach across England. The Group now supports more than 10,000 customers across the UK and generates revenues of £65 million.

DMC CEO, Simon Davey, said “Condor, Systems Technology and CSL are exceptional businesses and strongly complement our existing operations. DMC continues to achieve considerable growth and we look forward to taking the business forward with Horizon’s continued investment and support.”

Luke Kingston, Partner at Horizon Capital, said “DMC was the first investment made by Horizon and we have seen tremendous progress to date which is a testament to the team. We will continue to support DMC in supplementing the organic growth of the business with acquisitions in what is a highly fragmented market.”

Platinum Announce Key Appointment

Platinum Facilities, the technology led hard FM service provider, has appointed Peter Brooks to the position of Business Development Director.

Brooks, who previously spent more than six years with Jaguar Building Services in sales and bid management roles, will focus on building client relationships and growing the business in London and southern England.

He will use his expertise, together with Platinum’s technology and energy management innovations, to help new clients take a strategic approach to managing their mechanical and electrical assets. A core focus is the support of sustainable building management and reduction in energy usage.

Plumb Job

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant has recently supplied Willmott Dixon Interiors with a range of brassware and sanitaryware products for Twickenham Stadium’s East Stand redevelopment.

The full £34 million fit-out encompassed 11,000sq.m of hospitality space and took 40 weeks to complete. The finished East Stand now consists of six floors of event space for private hire, including bars, restaurants, conference facilities and a rooftop rose garden, for use on both match and non-match days.

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant supplied contractors Willmott Dixon Interiors with a variety of sanitaryware products, brassware and other items such as hand driers and washroom accessories. The products were used to fit-out washroom areas across all six floors, including accessible WCs, cleaners’ stores and staff areas.

Dale Office Interiors Has Business Development Starter

Dale Office Interiors, the commercial interior design and fit out company based in Sheffield, has hired Charlotte Scaife as Business Development & Networker.

Scaife, who boasts 14 years’ experience working in the property and construction industry in and around Yorkshire and across the UK, has been brought on board to help Dale raise its profile in the Leeds City region specifically, with a focus on managing existing relationships and generating new business.

David Bricknell, MD said: “The Leeds City Region has a buoyant commercial market which is set to increase over the foreseeable future so getting Charlotte to focus on the area, with her experience and contacts spanning developers, agents, consultants, designers and contractors all in the Leeds City Region, is the type of growth that inevitably begets more growth. She’s already settling into the team really well and we’re thrilled to have her here - or there to be more precise.”

17th January 2020

CES 2020 finished last Friday (January 10). The huge Las Vegas  technology show saw AI and 5G being hailed as 'defining the future of innovation.

The FM industry is trying to get to grips with both technology - well AI now and 5G is on the horizon particularly when it comes to IoT, sensors and smart buildings.

CES 2020 had 4,400 exhibiting companies, 170,000 attendees across more than 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space. Ohhh my wordy! Who go to clean the Convention Center  each night?

As mentioned, AI was dominant but CES also had an entire 5G ecosystem showing that it will be the backbone for connectivity and transportation along with IoT - and it will be the technology that supports the roll-out to augmented and virtual reality, digital health and more.

Digital health technologies were a major theme, with advancements in digital therapeutics, wearables and remote monitoring. A Health & Wellness category saw 135 exhibiting companies. 

The Smart Cities exhibit area expanded by nearly 25% over 2019, with companies and organizations including the American Department of Transportation, Hitachi and Siemens, highlighting products that will revitalise economies and help communities survive and thrive.  

CTA also partnered with the World Bank Group at CES 2020 on a Global Tech Challenge, calling for companies around the world to create solutions focused on three key areas: health, gender inequality and technologies that enable communities to be resilient.

To read and watch highlights from the show - Click Here

The AR, VR and MR Market Is Estimated To Be Over $30 Billion by 2030

A new IDTechEx report on AR, VR and MR products by Technology Analyst Dr. Charlotte Coles says XR or extended reality, products are at the forefront of technological change.

Meanwhile, the virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) will hit the $30 Billion by 2030. "With so many different XR products now available for a variety of use cases, it is important to understand how the different technologies are used and companies which create them", said Coles.

IDTechEx Research provides an understanding of the XR market, and includes market research on AR, VR and MR .

One use case discussed in the report is the use of augmented reality products to help solve the skills gap problem. This is where talented, skilled workers are leaving the workforce to retire before the knowledge they have gained can be passed onto new workers. This report discusses how augmented reality headsets allow workers to record their processes, to be transformed into workflows, increasing efficiency for new workers who can follow the steps.

Could be good for the FM industry's declining number of engineers.

Pareto Pushes On

Facilities and engineering services provider, Pareto FM, has reported its annual turnover has risen for the fifth consecutive year.

Figures published this week ending January 17 for the year ending September 2019 show a 55% growth in turnover to £14.1 million.

ISOs For Corps

Corps Security’s commitment to quality, sustainable management and health & safety has been reconfirmed with ISO accreditations.

The company has achieved ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22301 and OHSAS 18001 renewal accreditations.

ISO 9001, the internationally recognised Quality Management System (QMS) standard, demonstrates the continuous improvement and streamlining of operations within Corps to reduce costs whilst raising standards.

The international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001, facilitates management of business at the highest environmental standard, going beyond compliance obligations to enhance environmental performance.

ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management offers tools for an organisation to best understand, prioritise, and manage any possible threats which may interrupt business continuity.

The Corps’ existing BS OHSAS 18001 accreditation has also successfully been migrated over to the new ISO 45001 international standard for occupational health and safety. This accreditation ensures the security services provider’s increased organisational resilience through proactive risk prevention, innovation, and continual improvement of standards within the organisation.

Skillett Fills It

Claire Skillett has joined the Gerson Relocation Client Services team. In her role she will be supporting relocating assignees and carrying-out global move management for our corporate clients.

With a career of almost 20 years in the relocation business, Skillett is highly experienced in both international moving and client relationship management. She said: “I am excited to join Gerson Relocation as I have heard many good things about them within the industry. I look forward to growing and succeeding with a company that focuses on excellent customer service.”

As part of her role, Skillett will apply her commercial background in Supply Chain Management to deliver consistent quality standards and value to Gerson Relocation’s clients.

Silly Bugers

Fancy Burger King launching a plant-based Whopper but it not being suitable for vegetarians or vegans as it is cooked on the same hot-plates as the meaty version?

Quite a number of FM caterers are now going down the plant-based avenue - there seems to be a big demand (which is where Burger King have missed a trick to re-enliven the appeal of their often shoddy outlets).

Next week Compass are hosting an event to launch their plant-based offering...sadly, Grapevine has lost its invite. So if anyone knows who sent it, give 'em a nudge from me will ya? (Presumably that makes me a silly burger as well.)

PTSG Answers Emergency Call From Staff At Bt Tower

Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) have completed an access and safety project at BT Tower, just hours after receiving the call.

Staff at BT Tower contacted PTSG as they were staging a charity abseil at the building the following day and needed to have their anchor points inspected to ensure they were safe and fit for purpose.

Specialists from PTSG Building Access Specialists Ltd were able to attend site within a few hours, test and tag the bolts and have the certification sent across without delay. The client was delighted with the work and the speed with which it was completed, giving them complete peace of mind.

BT Tower is the iconic communications structure situated in Fitzrovia, London and owned by the BT Group. The main structure is 177 metres (581ft) high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres (627ft).

This story and many more appear in our FM Digest. To read them all - Click Here

The Valuable 500

Sodexo has joined 'The Valuable 500' an international campaign dedicated to unlocking the business, social and economic value of people living with disabilities around the world.

Denis Machuel, Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo, said: “We are convinced that by mobilising our employees towards a more inclusive growth, we can eliminate misconceptions and biases that hold people with mental or physical disabilities back to make sure everyone can reach their full potential.

"We hope many other companies will join the Valuable 500 initiative to make our collective efforts part of the usual way of doing business.”

According to The World Bank, more than 1.3 billion people around the world live with some form of disability. To address this, The Valuable 500 was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019. Their goal has been to sign 500 national and multinational, private sector corporations and unite them to serve as role models for change on this vital issue. To date, more than 200 global businesses have signed up.

“It is extremely promising to see global companies like Sodexo, from all four corners of the globe and across a vast array of sectors, continuing to pledge to join our disability inclusion movement nearly twelve months on from its launch," said Caroline Casey, Founder, The Valuable 500. "As The Valuable 500’s historic return to Davos fast approaches, it throws into sharp relief our progress in tackling ‘diversish’ attitudes in the workplace over the past year.”

Anyone For Tennis

I liked the story I saw this week that said a number of protestors appeared in court this week because they had refused to pay their fines resulting from breaking in to Credit Suisse offices in 2018 - and playing tennis.

What would you do if you found a bunch of Extinction Rebellion-types serving for the match in you building?

(PS the story I read did not say where the offices were but they appeared in court in Lausanne, 7 January presumably in Switzerland, possibly Lausanne which is the country's fourth largest city - thanks Wikipedia)

The original protest came at Roger Federer taking sponsorship from Credit Suisse. Federer is due to play at the Australian Open - presuming more players don't flake because of the awful air quality caused by the bush fires.

I have a contact in New Zealand who says the air quality there is atrocious at the moment - and that's 2,582 miles away (Central Australia to Auckland - thanks again Wikipedia).

FM Aids Australia

The UK FM industry bodies, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) UK Chapter and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), alongside the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and volunteer groups including LGBT+ in FM and Emerging Workplace Leaders (EWL), have joined together to fundraise for the current bushfire emergency devastating Australia.

At this point in time the most efficient way to help is through monetary donations which can be distributed further down the line. These donations will go towards rescuing wildlife and supporting the volunteer firefighters and civilians who have lost everything.

Currently, the catastrophic conditions on Australia's east coast mean thousands are still being evacuated. Until such time as the fires are brought under control or stopped completely material donations and offers such as food, clothing and housing are more difficult to allocate.

Feeling helpless at a time like this is not unusual. However, by collectively donating, UK FM whose Australian counterparts will be an integral part of the response to the devastating effects of the fires, can show the power the industry can have in supporting this country and its people to get back on track as soon as possible.

To donate, go to

Blue Monday

January can be a tough month for most people as a combination of debt from Christmas, the cold weather, low motivation and failed New Year’s resolutions takes its toll on people.

For others, it’s a month of realisation, with January being the most popular month for people to seek new challenges and new jobs.

In fact, according to recent reports collected by Instant Offices most Brits are likely to hand in their resignation letters on January 31, with a number calling in sick on the first Monday in February to attend interviews.

A survey by Bidvine found the top priorities for workers in 2018 included travel and getting a promotion or pay rise, followed by the resolution to improve mental health. In 2019 a YouGov survey revealed much of the same, with people looking to eat better, exercise more, care for themselves better, learn new skills and get a new job.

As we say - you read it here first.