Sharing best practice

Procurement and supply chain management are essential aspects of delivering FM, whether in the sourcing of specialist services and products or getting the best deal on behalf of organisations and clients. 

The wider challenges that FM faces - perception of low wages, narrow margins, lack of value (on many levels) - can often be traced back to the procurement process and subsequent contract management. 

The collapse of Carillion brought much of this into sharper focus and highlighted a need for change. Our recommendations for achieving this change are:

- Focusing on a value-driven approach, incorporating quality and social value, which delivers for all parties
- Enabling realistic margins
- Professionalising/upskilling
- Advocating consistent prompt payment 
- Minimum standards in an updated code of conduct
- Promoting transparency and an open book policy 

We have been sharing these messages with relevant stakeholders in Government and Parliament and they are guiding our initiatives to instil best practice across the board. 

In addition to the knowledge-based approach in our guidance and training, we are also working on several projects that embed a comprehensive, values-based approach. These are intended to bring about a cultural change which incorporates a collaborative approach between contract partners. In turn, this will enable the profession to demonstrate that it does indeed add value. Our work includes:

1) A joint initiative with NEC to develop a new FM specific contract. This partnership follows feedback from our members that existing forms of NEC contract, developed primarily for use in construction or mechanical and electrical projects, did not meet the more diverse needs of FM. Once the contract is developed, further activity will include cooperation on training and upskilling opportunities for FMs to optimise the impact of the contract.

2) Partnering with the National Social Value Taskforce and the Social Value Portal to develop FM specific minimum reporting standards. The standards will be free to use for anyone who wants to complement their own social value policy or make a start on recording the impact they are already making.

3) Liaising with stakeholders within and close to Government to work towards a better articulation of what value the workplace and FM sector can add to both the public and private sectors through service delivery.

Please check back here for future updates and events around these and other projects.