Technology, regulations and energy management top challenges for facilities managers

Poll reveals the most-important challenges facing FM professionals in 2016 and beyond

The poll explored the most-pressing challenges facing FM professionals

The use of technology, meeting new compliance regulations, and energy management are the three most-important challenges facing facilities managers, a new survey has found.

At a recent webinar, jointly hosted by FM software provider, Service Works Group (SWG), and the Facilities Show, a panel of experts from the FM profession explored what the future holds for the industry in 2016 and beyond.

Simon Iatrou, i-FM editor, who chaired the debate, kicked off the seminar by sharing the results of the online poll.

Of the 500 respondents to the question ‘what do you believe will be the most-important challenge facing facilities management professionals in 2016?’, the majority (27%) considered this to be the use of technology. The next most-pressing issue was meeting new legislation and compliance at 21%; followed by energy management (16%); professionalisation – standards and qualifications (15%); and building client/provider relationships (15%). How to effectively use data and manage remote working were also mentioned as key issues for the future of FM.

The webinar poll revealed that FMs are continuing to use technology for the more-standard function of measuring and reporting (nearly 43%), while a substantial number are now using this in a more customer-centric way to measure service delivery (over 31%) and just over 23% are using FM software for CRM and communication.

The experts believed that technology will become increasingly important for lifecycle asset management, driving resources more effectively and for investment decisions; that digital connectivity will deliver improved customer service; and that more technology and analytics experts would be needed in FM to embrace developing technology and to make the industry smarter and more productive.

Johnny Dunford, senior director and head of occupier management at BNP Paribas; Mark Kirkham, director of SWG; Deborah Rowland, head of property asset management for the Ministry of Justice; and Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo’s strategy and marketing director were joined by an audience of around 250 facilities managers.

They discussed wide-ranging issues which they believe will have the greatest impact on the future of FM, from the Living Wage to the use of 3D BIM and machine to machine (M2M) technology, agile working, and the potential for growth of global contracts.

The current FM focus on staff productivity and wellbeing was believed to be high on the agenda by nearly 48% of the participants. And, when asked about the industry push towards formal training, nearly 55% of delegates said that they had no formal FM qualifications.

The experts believed that good FM was not purely about training, but should be a balance of experience, qualifications and behaviours.

Click here for a recording of the webinar.

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