Globalization is becoming a commodity. It no longer sets you apart from your competitors. But to profitably grow and sustain a multinational business doesn’t happen by chance, it requires business acumen to gain economies of scale, alignment across business functions and the ability to leverage resources globally. Global Facility Managers play an intrinsic role in achieving these objectives, but what else is needed within your facility management plan to give your global organization that competitive edge?

In a market projected to be worth $394.69 Billion in 2017 (Global Industry Analyst, Inc, April 2011), it’s clear that companies are taking the management of their global facility operations seriously. Multinational companies appreciate the importance in planning and integrating facility management within their global business plans, as its outcome can have a significant impact on the rest of the business. The industry has moved a long way from viewing global facility management as an unavoidable cost, but as an asset which needs investment in order to achieve significant cost savings and improved workplace environments.

Global market complexities such as geographical barriers, cultural differences, differing workplace expectations, changing regulatory environments, employment regulations, skilled workforce and significant challenges related to demographics are driving the increased focus and attention to global facility management operations. Many companies look to gain the advice and expertise from global FM service providers to help minimize their risk while improving their business performance. These FM services are in many ways rudimentary, but can be difficult to deliver consistently in complex environments; however, they are expected within a global facility management operation. So, what’s going to help you stand out from other global players when managing your global operations and FM requirements?

We believe the differentiators to be:

Image: cultivating a strong professional identity

For many organizations, the work environment plays a key role in conveying crucial values like professionalism, stability and quality and reinforcing a company’s brand. A facility management program needs to integrate with the organization to create an atmosphere that complements the brand and reflect its values from the outset – through supporting workplace environments, sustainability and energy management programs and other programs that respond to business drivers.

Culture: developing work processes to better serve clients

The work environment can be a powerful tool in helping to bring about cultural change and supporting new ways of working. From the very outset, processes, procedures and workflows need to be underlined with firm and straightforward leadership with systems and processes that provide the necessary control, governance and transparency.

People: attracting and retaining the best employees

People are the engine and the backbone of any company. The most ambitious and bright among them are looking for workplaces that make them feel looked after and scripted into a larger corporate story. Offering a people-focused service enables you to build a strong facilities staff and enhances your organization’s ability to recruit and retain great people.

Agility: being able to change quickly to meet your changing requirements

Today’s business environment is characterized by increasingly high levels of uncertainty and change. To operate in this environment, it is important to havean agile culture which requires you to constantly rethink and redefine your processes to address legacy issues and predict the changing requirements of your clients.

Knowledge: cross pollination of business practices and experiences

Leverage the global workforce’s experience and share best practices, innovation and lessons learned so others can benefit; a simple process in theory, but sometimes difficult and complex to implement.

Growing and sustaining a global enterprise is a massive undertaking and a well integrated FM plan can make a difference in how economically successful you are. If you want to supersede your competition you need an FM solution which looks beyond the obvious by drawing on the strength of your image, culture, people, agility and knowledge. These can’t be achieved with an out-of-the-box solution, but one that is tailored to your needs and complements your business goals

The Mace Group is an award winning, international consultancy and construction company. Mace offers highly integrated services across the full property lifecycle. Its experts in facilities management, program and project management, construction delivery and cost management thrive within their collaborative and entrepreneurial culture, constantly striving to find better solutions to complex infrastructure and property challenges in over 65 countries. Mace’s North American Headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. Mace North America currently operates in over 25 cities across the US and Canada and continues to expand on this continent.

By Tim Tourville, previously with Mace Group – now with CBRE as Senior Managing Director