How can we shift the cost v service power balance?

It’s an age old debate but how can the operations team providing support services on the ground influence the power brokers of procurement?

Procurement have always played a big part when it comes to awarding new service contracts but over the last few years there seems to me to have been a dramatic shift of power with the driving force now being cost over service.

As FM suppliers in an industry reliant on maintaining and winning new business with our clients, we are in jeopardy of devaluing our service by cutting costs too much. The onus is on us to change the perception of what we really can bring to an organisation and how much that perceived value is really worth.

We’ve mastered the art of engaging with our key clients, building relationships, showcasing our service and really selling the benefits we bring to a contract but are we engaging with and selling ourselves to all the right people?

As front of house specialists, we are the face of an organisation and have the ability to really influence a customer’s opinion.  We manage the customer journey from the moment they enter a building to the time they leave but how does the procurement team put a value on that?

The value and expertise we can bring is not always recognised in the right places and this is the area where the operations team on the ground can have most influence. We need to ensure the procurement team have a more balanced view that’s not focused around cutting costs at every corner and one that helps to raise the overall profile of FM.

So, let’s work in true partnership with our clients and all key stakeholders involved in the contract, demonstrating through ‘lunch n learn’ sessions, road shows and feedback the value that we bring.  It’s procurement’s job to get the best deal but it’s our job as service providers and FM specialists to show them that cost isn’t the only factor.

By David Howorth, Director of Operations


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