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Managing FM teams across borders. By Bruce Barclay from Dell Technologies

30-05-17, 14:13

Bruce BarclayFollowing the publication of BIFM's Good Practice Guide to Managing FM Teams Across Borders, its author Bruce Barclay, from Dell Technologies, discusses the benefits of a cross-border approach ahead of a webinar taking place on 9 June that will explore the subject further.

The world is getting smaller, but as it does, the FM sphere is growing. Companies are increasingly operating at pan-European and global levels, which means FMs are finding themselves working across borders. And that trend is only going to continue. Research from Global Industry Analyst reveals over 70% of organisations plan to adopt multinational FM contracts by 2020, compared to 40% in 2010.

That was one of the drivers behind the recent publication of BIFM's Good Practice Guide to Managing FM Teams Across Borders. How do FMs get to grips with managing FM in different countries, cultures and time zones? Or do they manage it on a country-by-country basis?

The benefits of a cross-border approach are clear, and this methodology has had considerable impact in my own organisation. Increased value, better outsourcing outcomes, consistency in workplace experience, flexibility and agility, risk mitigation, better collaboration and innovation, increased ability to recruit and retain FM talent and better communication are just some of the many benefits from managing FM at a regional or global level within businesses.

But there are challenges to this approach. There is an enormous difference in legislative requirements across Europe, let alone the rest of the world, for example. Tax arrangements vary from country to country, while the political and economic upheaval and Europe is creating ambiguity for businesses operating in this way. And that is without thinking about currency risk, cultural differences, working in different time zones, different levels of FM market maturity and supply chain challenges.

These are just some of the issues we will be discussing during the BIFM webinar on the topic of 9 June.

Organisations go about delivering cross-border FM in many different ways. From the increasingly rare in-house delivery, single service delivery in each region, local bundled providers, to regionalised providers, global providers or bundling property and FM functions together, there are numerous options, including the option we chose, which is essentially to see the small internal FM team as the managing agent managing different TFM service providers in different geographies.

This ensures the core business maintains a strong intelligent client operation and distils the organisation's culture out to the service providers. It also brings in-house the 'managing agent' layer of cost.

But there are many options, each with its pros and cons. So, join a panel of experts, facilitated by BIFM's research and information manager Peter Brogan, to explore the issue of managing FM teams across borders, an issue which is only going to grow in importance.

 
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