ISS Facility Services:

Demonstrating Better Value

ISS Facility Services:
Peter Ankerstjerne, chief marketing officer (CMO) for ISS World Services — who has recently been named one of Denmark's top communication executives, tells FM Magazine public sector facilities management outsourcers must do better at explaining value to governments and taxpayers.


ISS Facility Services is one of the largest providers of facilities management (FM) services to public sector organisations in the world. How important is price in contract awards?

Price is very important at a time of enormous pressure on public sector spending.

 

Even now, despite the climate of austerity that has followed the global financial crisis, public expenditure still represents between 40 and 50 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in many developed countries.

 

However, many governments are decreasing the size of their public sector workforces - for instance, in the United Kingdom the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts one-in-seven public sector jobs will be lost by 2017, and it is not clear how public authorities will continue to meet the high expectations of their citizens as policymakers are already under pressure to find better and more tailored ways of delivering FM services with smaller budgets.

 

 

Some of your competitors have come under fire for underpaying staff working on public sector contracts (and for even breaching minimum wage regulations in the UK). Is this symptomatic of a wider malaise that perceives FM as a commodity service and leads to providers underbidding for contracts?

Although I would not seek to comment on the activities of our competitors, we are of the opinion that governments may need to rethink how facilities management services are provided.

 

The public sector has increased in size and significance but has been less focused on improving efficiencies and effectiveness - or value for money to use a better term.

 

By contrast, the private sector is constantly focusing on improving its levels of service delivery.

 

We know from experience when we bid on public sector service tasks that we can provide better cleaning in schools or better facility management of a hospital at lower cost, whilst also ensuring everything operates more effectively and efficiently.

 

Research undertaken for us by the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies (CIFS) involving interviews with leaders, administrators and members of the public has also found outsourcing within the public sector to be much less developed than in the private sector, and identified even bigger challenges ahead that are linked to social and demographic changes. [Editor’s note: ISS Whitebook, 2020 Vision – Future of Public Sector Outsourcing is available for download on the ISS Group website: http://tinyurl.com/nq8zdn7].

 

Additionally, it has uncovered obstacles the industry as a whole must work together to remove.

 


What are these obstacles?

Primarily, there is a persistent myth that outsourcing means poorer quality and lay-offs which reflects a bias against private service providers and suggests better and cheaper may not always be welcome.

 

ISS and the rest of the service industry need to play an active role in promoting and facilitating outsourcing within the public sector, and we can do this by demonstrating how we provide services that are better, smarter and of higher quality by offering innovation, economies of scale and flexibility as welfare societies are badly in need of this.

 

Indeed, we would go further by suggesting service providers have an essential role to play in society by helping governments procure high quality services, and that facilities management companies will need to prove themselves as partners in value creation rather than merely as providers of outsourced services. 

 

At ISS we have made it part of our business strategy to engage actively and openly with the media and unions, as well as local and national decision-makers in order to encourage discussion about the 'pros' and 'cons' of outsourcing in the public sector.

 

Service providers should not shy away from being open about how they operate but should instead engage in dialogue, and the industry should not be afraid of being challenged if outsourcing of public services results in people changing jobs, causes disruption, or even temporarily disappoints public expectations. After all, dialogue and transparency are essential for successful partnerships — and building and shaping lasting relations between service providers, the public sector and the citizens we both serve.

 



Contracts are typically awarded for short periods of between three and five years. Is the emotional investment you imply is necessary to convince governments and the public sector about the importance of added value worth it?

One of the central challenges in providing services to the public sector is overcoming the assumption that outsourcing contracts should be static, unidirectional and time-limited, and the public sector should therefore consider the more widespread use of “smart contracts” that take account of successes and failures (which are often the outcome of poorly negotiated and executed agreements). 

 

The issue is directly linked to the input-output measurement practices that are the norm for contracts today, and we believe this practice seriously limits the scope of any provider to innovate and create better and cheaper services.

 

We also believe the FM industry in Europe should push for a re-evaluation of the European Union's public procurement rules which, in combination with other factors, function as a barrier to the introduction of innovative, value-adding solutions because they do not allow governments to buy services unless input is defined narrowly.

 

Many of these challenges cannot be addressed overnight as they do not have simple solutions, although we sincerely believe the industry can make a start by encouraging and contributing to constructive public debate in the societies it operates within.

 

At the end of the day outcomes (which we define as "value created for customers") matter much more than inputs such as the amount of time spent on delivering a service.

 



In January, an independent panel named you one of the "Top 5" CMOs in Denmark for the Berlingske Nyheds Magazine awards. What is the secret of your success?

Our success at ISS is based on teamwork.

 

Beyond that, you can rest assured I won't be sharing any of my darkest marketing secrets!

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Ankerstjerne

Author

Peter Ankerstjerne

Peter Ankerstjerne, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for ISS World Services A/S, has been with the group for more than two decades after joining the Marketing and Business Development department of...

Article rating:

vote(s).

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Comments are locked / disabled for this article.

:  (Photograph by Dave Phillips Phot).
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) Contract Wholly owned Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) subsidiary, Quality Truste...

0 Comments | Read more +
JMP: Photograph courtesy of JMP.
Boost for Burrell Refurbishment as Kier Named Preferred Bidder Glasgow City Council’s Contracts and Property Committee has confirmed Kier Construction Scotland ...

0 Comments | Read more +
FCC Medio Ambiente: The Alt Empordà solid urban waste treatment plant.
Alt Empordà Solid Waste Plant Operational An FCC Medio Ambiente-led joint venture (JV) has assumed operational responsibility for the Alt E...

0 Comments | Read more +
Save the Children:
Making a Difference Staff at curtain accessories company Renaissance are supporting the Save the Children charity wit...

0 Comments | Read more +
Staverton:
Cultivating Creativity through Office Design Paul Edward, managing director of award-winning furniture designer and manufacturer Staverton, sa...

0 Comments | Read more +
The Durst Organisation: One Bryant Park, New York. (Photograph courtesy of The Durst Organisation).
Beyond 72 Degrees and Sunny Aircuity CEO Dan Diehl discusses the changing conversation about indoor environments.

0 Comments | Read more +
Chubb Fire & Security:
Staying Safe During the Festive Season The onset of winter and the festive season bring added fire and security risks and Chubb Fire & S...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Smarter Workplaces: Integrating People and Technology As businesses embrace new technologies, Richard Harris, director of B2B market network Okappy, co...

0 Comments | Read more +
Panoramic Power: Panoramic Power sensor installation.
Power is Knowledge Yaniv Vardi, Managing Director of Centrica’s acclaimed Panoramic Power arm, tells FM Magazine his...

0 Comments | Read more +
Sodexo (UK & Ireland): <p>FM facilities engineers logo</p>
The New Social Contract FM Magazine spoke with Phil Hooper, corporate affairs director, Sodexo (UK and Ireland) about the...

0 Comments | Read more +
dmg events:
Knowledge is Power A decade after first partnering with the FM Expo, FM Magazine (GCC Edition) asks dmg events' Seni...

0 Comments | Read more +
ISS Facility Services:
Demonstrating Better Value Peter Ankerstjerne, chief marketing officer (CMO) for ISS World Services — who has recently been ...

0 Comments | Read more +
London Business School: London Business School.
Stimulating Learning The quality of the learning environment impacts considerably on the student experience - as well ...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Essential Winter Maintenance With the onset of colder weather, David Gajda, operations director of UK-based ECO Integrated Pro...

0 Comments | Read more +
Lukas:
Chain of Responsibility Statistics show the fire industry needs to educate tenants on who to speak to regarding fire door...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Implementing Green Practices Richard Renwick, managing director of industrial brush manufacturer Brushtec, explains how his co...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
A World of Investment Opportunities The International Property Show (IPS), the Middle East’s biggest property sales platform for loca...

0 Comments | Read more +
UAE Ministry of Economy: International Property Show 2013
MAG Property Development and IPS Partnership The International Property Show (IPS), the Middle East’s biggest property sales platform for loca...

0 Comments | Read more +
Datateam Business Media:
Building Services Forum With tickets selling fast for the inaugural Building Services Forum, potential attendees are bein...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
US$200Bn of Hospitality and Leisure Projects Underway in the GCC There are more than 2,000 hospitality and leisure projects with a combined estimated value of USD...

0 Comments | Read more +