The Leader Magazine

MAR 2018

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F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 42 MARCH 2018 t H e le A de R local management teams and integrate with their business. It would contribute to strategic thinking by providing accurate data and analytics, and it would enable the business by executing effective and efficient workplace strategy. This required processes for capturing data and providing analytics to ensure that strategic and operational decisions were based on facts. For example, data around current and future head count and employee satisfaction allowed GREF to better support the local business space and workplace-experience need. EMC's core values and mission were well documented, serving as the backbone to the organisation's success. The GREF team worked on adapting core company values into specific FM values and creating a service transformation strategy and roadmap. To help build a cohesive team and formally outline the change- management program to the wider service-partner community, a real estate and facilities leadership summit was organised in Paris in April 2014. Here, internal and external (vendor) team members spent inspirational and interactive time together. The impact of this time spent together should not be underestimated. Several of the service partners later acknowledged they were sceptical about the approach until that point, suspecting it was more about beating up suppliers than improving outcomes. In the end, a true sense of belonging, togetherness and camaraderie emerged in the group, which is extraordinary considering that the service partners are direct competitors. This was repeated in 2015 in Frankfurt and in 2016 in Cork. At the 2015 summit in Frankfurt, an awards programme was launched that recognised individual and team achievement, reinforcing desired outcomes. A key step was to understand the internal client's perception of the service. Although feedback had been received in the past, it was generally informal and without uniform criteria. Therefore, it was decided to introduce a survey that was specific to real estate and facilities. The survey revealed that, overall, the team was doing a good job, but also highlighted areas for improvement that were fed back to the relevant service partners. The branded survey became an annual event. Believed to be an industry first, a collaborative intranet system tool was made available to service partners through the firm's community portal, 'Inside EMC'. This provided common access to resources as well as a place to collaborate on specific projects and share ideas through blogs and forums. At the same time, working groups were set up, formed of experts from each service partner, in areas such as energy management, communications, and total customer experience to provide cross-border advice to the core business. A One Team global branding initiative was launched and gradually disseminated throughout all sites so that the brand was visible on everything from email signatures and newsletters to presentation templates across EMEA. This consistency was then extended into job roles and descriptions, so a corporate receptionist in Cork had the same job description as one in Frankfurt. t he results Measurement and insight is a core pillar of the FaaS operating platform, measuring success against the corporate objectives and then adapting accordingly to data. The impact of the FaaS operating platform is clear. Efficiency gains were a key target and were achieved with one initiative – the move to one invoice, per service partner, per month – resulting in a savings to EMC of $4.6 million over a two-year period. The energy management group enabled EMC to use substantially less energy than before the introduction of the program, resulting in a commensurate reduction in costs. And, one contract with a service partner went from a 2 percent cost reduction in year one to an additional 10 percent reduction in year two, and an additional 12 percent savings by year three – with no impact to service levels. At the same time, FaaS provided EMC with a predictable expense for a predictable outcome. The operating platform, to which all the service partners are aligned, ensures consistent systems, processes and standards across EMEA regions. There were no surprises for the core business. Employees' satisfaction with their workplace increased after the introduction of the program. In 2014, EMC was placed on the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, coming in at #18; in 2015, the business jumped to #6 in World's Best Multinational Workplaces category. It had not been previously placed in the rankings. Overall, there was a measureable and remarkable impact on the business, not just financially but in terms of a positive attitude throughout the service-partner community. There was also a quantum shift in service-provider thinking from seeing themselves as working alongside competitors for one client, to being part of one business family across Europe. It's something that seems more than a little unique in Europe today. Bruce Barclay is a business- transformation and strategy consultant primarily serving real estate and facilities professionals. His international career in business leadership and development includes 20 years at the senior management level for organizations in a variety of business sectors.

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