Andrew's Blog



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Thoughts, insights, musings and, being honest, random thoughts from Andrew Porter, Managing Director of Spingate Consulting


10th August 2020 - Just a cup of coffee?

To anyone that knows me well it will come as no surprise that I am typing this from a coffee shop and certainly here in Durham the initiative to boost demand in the hospitality sector seems to be working.

Can I just remind everyone to maintain social distancing and be nice to the staff as it is especially difficult for them at present.

Also can the cafe owners and chains please look at introducing a way of electronically tipping staff in these times when cashless transactions are recommended.


10th July 2020 - Executive Coaching 

Just started a qualification to become an Executive Coach - its a lot of work but very interesting. Also a good opportunity to learn about myself!


19th June 2020 - Offices in the new normal

As the lockdown is slowly being eased I thought I would post some thoughts on how the office workplace should look during the current 'new normal'.


Do you think this is what the future will be like?


7th April 2020 - Mystic Andrew

We don't know what the future will bring but here are my thoughts.  Also a big thank you to all the key workers who are keeping us going.


4th April 2019 - A big thank you

I know it's been a while since I've commented much here but I thought I needed to comment in these difficult times. 

As well as a big thank you to all the emergency services workers I would also like to say thank you to all those in facilities and support services who are keeping buildings safe, legal and running so that important activities can take place. 

Also its a time to be nicer than normal to any customer facing staff - from a safe distance of course. 

Stay safe everyone!


14th October 2019 - Delivering Training in Bucharest

Just last week I was pleased to present a training course on Best Practice in Facilities Management in Bucharest in Romania to a wide range of property professionals including occupiers, managers and service providers.

It’s really rewarding to visit different countries as you get a different view on the property industry and what is important especially in a changing place such as Romania. I also find it is a learning opportunity for myself as there is always something new for me to take away from these sessions. It was also great to have a group such as this who were keen to participate and join in with all the interactive sessions.

It was also great to visit Bucharest again after not being their for about 10 years – it’s a wonderful place with so much character and so many great cafes and bars to watch the world from, something I love to do, as well as some of the cheapest public transport I have seen – under £2 for unlimited travel all day on the metro!

So, thank you Bucharest and thank you to Quadrilect ( for setting up the course.


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!



18th March 2019 - I've Been thinking about ISO 41001 - Shouldn't we all?

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!