Thoughts, insights, musings and, being honest, random thoughts from Andrew Porter, Managing Director of Spingate Consulting
9th July 2019 - Keynote Speaker at the BACHE Annual Conference, Keele University
I have just presented at the BACHE (British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education) Annual Conference in association with Quadrilect on the issues facing estates and facilities managers and how they can be resolved in a practical and value driven way.
The HE (and FE) sectors are always interesting to work in as they are dealing in people’s futures and with them you have a unique opportunity to support this with your specifications as you can build in elements that support learning and potentially provide real experience and insight for students.
Many of the challenges faced by the higher education sector are going to be familiar to managers in all organisations and business sectors with the main one being “how do we deliver more whilst still making savings?”
I was able to provide a number of approaches to them that would help achieve this and also support them in gaining ISO 41001 compliance. Key amongst these are understanding the service you need, getting the right specification, understanding needs and working with suppliers. The delegates attending will be able to use this information to improve their property and workplace value and quality going forward.
28th May 2019 - 'Flight Shaming' - don't underestimate the importance of the face to face meeting
Recently I heard a new term ‘flight shaming’ which is used where someone flies where they could use more sustainable modes of travel. This has got me thinking about sustainable travel and my own habits.
When travelling for business or pleasure and I can travel many thousands of miles in a year use the most convenient mode of transport; London, Manchester or Birmingham by train, Bristol and Lancashire by car and anything off shore by plane but often use a hub e.g. Schiphol and the train or rental car from there.
This probably means my personal carbon emission footprint is large however the work I do in property and procurement means that I can and do put mechanisms in place to facilitate huge energy and carbon savings and sustainability benefits such as recycling so that my net environmental impact is very positive.
I strongly believe in video conferencing now that connectivity means they actually work but what they don't do is have the coffee or lunch after the meeting where an informal chat with the right people achieves more than a million conference calls.
I guess what I am saying is that everything is not black and white and flying can also be environmentally positive if it’s for the right reasons. The overall impact is what matters.
1st April 2019 - Cafe Culture
As anyone who knows me will have noticed, I am rather fond of a cup of coffee or ten and am writing this sitting in a coffee shop. Notwithstanding my somewhat high requirement for decaf its interesting to think just how important the coffee shop is to the workplace. I use them as my personal office, an infomral meeting space and, often, somewhere quieter than the office to read an important document (although you do have to be careful with confidentiality).
In addition to these benefits there is also a significant potential financial benefit to using cafes - remember that workstations are expensive and a single one can cost over £15k in parts of Central London so if people using cafes means you need one less workstation or meeting room this can make a real impact on your bottom line.
So next time you are looking at your space strategy or floor plans don't forget to consider what's around your office as it can make a difference - and that's something to ponder over a cup of coffee!
A couple of weeks ago I delivered my first, very well received, course on ISO 41001 which is the new international standard for Facilities Management - Management Systems which promotes both quality and consistency throughout an all facilities within an organisation.
This has caused me to reflect on just how often you see a company which has its core business operations aligned globally or regionally but not its support services which can be totally different from one country to another or even one site to another. When you consider that property is often a company’s biggest cost after people and direct inputs, such as materials for a manufacturer, this means that a large part of the cost base is not being optimised or fully controlled.
By adopting the principles of ISO 41001 you can determine where sites have efficiency issues or where there are opportunities or changing your portfolio – expensive sites are not always where you expect them – or identifying opportunities for multi-site or multi-national reprocurements that can save over 20% at some sites in my experience. However, it can also give you the opportunity to objectively demonstrate that you are already operating efficiently and give you the chance to pat yourself on the back for doing the right thing!