Daily Archives: 10/12/2013

Showsec achieves record-breaking Approved Contractor Scheme rating

Showsec has raised the bar once again by achieving a record-breaking score in the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme audit for an eighth successive year.

A rigorous three-day assessment of the company’s operations resulted in the award of an impressive score of 132, putting Showsec in the Top 5% of security companies in the UK.

The Approved Contractor Scheme auditors for door supervision and security guarding services praised all aspects of Showsec’s set-up, highlighting as good practice the ways in which the company’s training modules, its e-learning platform and senior management support all help to stimulate career development and progression.

The assessment covered all elements of the business over the three days of inspection, the findings reached after interviews with staff at all levels as well as representatives from client organisations.

Showsec scored particularly highly in three of the nine categories – strategy, financial management and leadership – while performing strongly in all other areas to ensure there was a rise in the company’s rating.

Good benchmark of progression

“This assessment provides a good benchmark of how the company progresses year-on-year,” said Showsec’s managing director Mark Harding, “so it’s extremely satisfying for everyone that we’ve achieved our highest-ever score yet again – the eighth year in a row we have done so.”

Harding continued: “The ACS is a recognised hallmark of quality for companies looking to engage security providers. To be up there in the Top 5% of over 650 companies is an achievement we should all be immensely proud of.”

Showsec's managing director Mark Harding at this year's Download Festival

Showsec’s managing director Mark Harding at this year’s Download Festival

Showsec delivers 97% of its business through its own staff. That being the case, clients can be assured that the standards achieved through the ACS are directly reflected in the solutions delivered to them.

“We were one of the first companies to adopt the ACS upon its introduction,” asserted Harding, “because we were committed to encouraging and driving the raising of standards across the wider security industry. This latest excellent result will certainly give added impetus to the dedicated efforts of so many people within the company, and that can only boost our attempts to keep pushing that bar even higher.”

He added: “We’ve consistently done that over the past eight years which is very pleasing, but there is always room for improvement and we will be endeavouring to do that with our ongoing initiatives aimed at raising standards. This is especially important with the introduction of business licensing in 2015.”

Addressing challenges faced by security companies

Mark Harding has a dual interest in Showsec being at the forefront of a co-ordinated path of career progression in the sector.

In addition to his role at Showsec, Harding sits on the Strategy and Standards Advisory Board for the UK Crowd Management Association which addresses challenges faced by security companies.

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MITIE study predicts “dramatic change” for FM sector across next decade

The facilities management industry will change dramatically over the next ten years as clients increasingly look to FM for advice on business operations, a new study has found.

The research states that property directors increasingly view FM providers as the ‘feet on the ground’ within organisations, providing management with essential information needed by the Board.

This will transform perceptions of FM from that of a commodity service to a provider of vital information that can ensure effective operations.

Entitled ‘The Future of Facilities Management’, the research was commissioned by FTSE 250 strategic outsourcer MITIE and draws on in-depth interviews with 30 senior property and facilities directors across the UK to develop a closer understanding of the issues and opportunities they face.

Key findings of the research

• Outsourcing as a means of reducing cost is becoming less popular than as a way to harness expertise
• Companies are becoming more interested in consolidating multiple services to single suppliers as a way of improving value
• Energy and carbon consumption are playing a growing role in property decisions and strategies, with a focused effort to drive down both
• There’s a significant consolidation opportunity for service providers able to deliver an integrated package of broad property services
• A focus on KPIs is rapidly being replaced by a focus on outcomes, with the value attached to the broader outcomes rather than the minutiae of a contract

The facilities management industry will change dramatically over the next ten years as clients increasingly look to FM for advice on business operations

The facilities management industry will change dramatically over the next ten years as clients increasingly look to FM for advice on business operations

Many FM providers now use the huge amounts of data they capture on operational costs and premises efficiencies, along with their own experience, to identify opportunities for improvement in their client’s organisations.

The result is that companies, and in particular their property directors, now rely on FM providers to assist with changing property strategies that must incorporate an attractive working environment with the need to contain all operational costs.

For example, FM providers can now use their data about occupancy rates and how their premises function and operate on a daily basis to help property directors realise the most effective strategy for property rationalisation and utilisation.

Moving towards a more integrated approach

Martyn Freeman, managing director of MITIE’s Facilities Management business, said: “The FM industry is still relatively new, having only really been around for the last 20 years or so. In just that short amount of time, we have seen a change from a demand for single services with multiple providers to a more integrated approach.”

Freeman continued: “This research shows the industry has huge potential to elevate itself and become fully integrated with its clients, thereby adding more and more value. FM providers have their fingers well and truly on the pulse of their customers’ enterprises and, as such, are best placed to act as consultants for particular issues, such as reducing costs or increasing efficiencies.”

Paul Harrington, real estate director at PwC (one of the participating companies in the survey), explained: “The approach to outsourcing has changed over the last few years, and will continue to evolve perhaps at an even faster rate than it has to date. A combination of changing work patterns, coupled with the continuing need to reduce overall occupancy costs, will enable service providers to play a more strategic role in the delivery of operations supporting the business.”

Harrington went on to state: “For FM providers to evolve as a trusted business partner they need to provide that ‘value add’, offering solutions flexible enough to meet those changing business needs.”

Speaking specifically about this latest research, Harrington said: “This report recognises the trend for FM providers to work harder at developing closer relationships with their clients to better understand their business needs moving forward, and to step up to the challenges ahead.”

Making way for additional change

The report has also identified that, if the FM industry is to continue growing in stature, it needs to make way for further changes. In particular, the FM industry needs to examine how it can add genuine value rather than just deliver to an agreed service level.

To achieve this, a shift in focus is required from the minutia of contract terms towards instead creating programmes based on delivering a quality of service that goes beyond basic commodity delivery.

Those interviewed as part of the research thought this gave FM providers an unrivalled opportunity to demonstrate their increased value to organisations.

Over the coming months, MITIE is holding a series of debates with key individuals in the FM and property sectors to further explore each of the main themes from this research.

Most recently, the company facilitated a debate around ‘agile working’, exploring the arguments for agile working and the barriers holding the practice back from becoming fully integrated in every day working life.

To download the full research paper and join in the debate online visit: http://www.mitie.com/themitiedebates

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