If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that facilities management industry plays a pivotal role in nearly every aspect of life and work. First and foremost, facilities managers are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of work environments and other public spaces. Today, however, it’s impossible to ignore that FM is fundamentally about people, and that means both the people in those environments and those who deliver FM services.
That’s why World FM Day 2023 is all about ‘making a real difference’. Held on 10 May annually, World FM Day recognises the contribution that FM professionals make all over the world.
This year, we want to celebrate how Integral people make a real difference to our customers and their people in three core FM areas: people, place and technology.
Apprentice Refrigeration Engineer
Facilities management is nothing without the people who deliver the services, such as Cole Gibbons, a refrigeration engineer who is training to become a specialist in cooling technology and is currently in the middle of a three-year apprenticeship at Integral.
How do you make a difference in your role as a maintenance engineer?
As an engineer, I aim to ensure that every job is done to the highest standard and that the customer is 100% satisfied. We also help clients save money by refitting old equipment with new, more efficient and sustainable equipment that uses CO2 rather than more environmentally harmful hydrofluorocarbons.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from working on customer sites?
Working on customer sites has taught me how to problem solve a lot better as there are plenty of times when we encountered a potential challenge but always figured out a way to overcome it.
What advice would you give to anybody else thinking about an apprenticeship in FM?
Anyone thinking of coming into FM would be making the right decision for their career as there are so many opportunities to expand and learn new things and understand what makes a building tick and how it is maintained.
Wendy Goodland, Marie Watts and Kat Dodds
With corporate workplace strategies changing dramatically in the hybrid era, it has never been more crucial to create a warm and welcoming work environment. That’s what Integral’s front-of house teams know innately.
How do you make a difference in your roles as the front-of-house team?
A can-do attitude is a prerequisite, as is a willingness to think outside the box on many of the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. We understand our client and their business. This ensures that we can offer an exceptional front-of-house service which we deliver for our client.
How do you make a good first impression for employees and guests?
Service with a smile and confidence, which we have developed from working very closely as a team, together with our combined years of experience working within the front-of-house team.
What’s the secret to becoming a member of your customer’s team?
The ability to recognise ourselves, warts and all. Above all, to be able to have fun and a laugh so that we enjoy our work and look forward to coming into work.
Facilities management is an industry transformed. Today, technology is at the centre of our service and that means our people are developing new skills.
How do you make a difference in your role as a technical manager?
I’m empowered to support and assist contract delivery managers and facilities managers with new and existing commercial building systems technology. I am a communications conduit between technology and operational realms, someone people can pick up the phone to for any tech question. And if I don’t know the answer, the never-ending challenge of learning and discovery helps me to help others.
I’m proud to have been able to provide support for innovative building technology trials, provide basic energy reviews with straightforward actions, and delve into the world of asset collection, data driven asset lifecycle and forward maintenance planning.
How can facilities managers get buy-in from the board to invest more into technology?
There can sometimes be difficulty knowing the best targets. However, from my experience, there is already tremendous agreement on all organisational levels that technology investment is essential.
As there has been such a phenomenal expansion of technology offerings in recent years – with smart building design, AI plant operation etc – keeping up (let alone maintaining a deep understanding of all the intricate workings and what makes one product fit a use case in a particular group of building types more than the next) is a difficult landscape to navigate.
Providing they are right for the job, technology solutions, automation, and good consistent data, lead to greater efficiency and money savings.
What’s the next significant trend for technology in FM?
Facilities managers are busy, they really don’t need another dashboard. What they need is for the data to be interpreted into an action that they can implement or, better yet, can be automatically implemented. For example – “your chillers are running at 2am on a Sunday, consider turning them off to save X pounds and X kWhs”. Better still – “your chillers were running at 2am on a Sunday, because the building was empty, we turned them off and saved you X.”
In a nutshell, the big buzz should be around data, equipment metering, sensors, and how that’s analysed to enable decisions to be made quickly and easily.
To see how more of our Integral team for our business and our customers make a difference by delivering service with character, click here.
Happy World FM Day!