Forecast true value with FCM from BWA and FSI (FM Solutions) Limited
How can you manage value unless you know the true cost, in a meaningful context, of procuring or providing a specific asset or service? Ask any FM professional or, increasingly, one of the army of non-specialists charged with managing and delivering key aspects of an FM strategy on a daily basis, and they'll soon tell you: with great difficulty. Comprehensive cost knowledge has been the weakest link, until now.
Facilities Cost Monitor is an innovative and highly adaptable software system, developed as a joint venture between leading facilities consultancy BWA and CAFM pioneer FSI (FM Solutions) Ltd. Facilities Cost Monitor has been designed to strike at the very heart of this fundamental need, arming users with all the cost information they need to select facilities services of the necessary, cost-effective quality within a site-specific scenario.
The latest addition to FSI's Concept™ family of products, Facilities Cost Monitor is the brainchild of facilities economics specialist Bernard Williams, founder of BWA. It paves the way for professionals at every level of the facilities service supply chain to create value-managed facilities policies with tighter budgetary control and mechanisms for more competitive procurement, based on information that accurately reflects the costs being managed by their peers in the same market.
Behind the configurable, easy-to-use interface of Facilities Cost Monitor lies a mathematical model that empowers users to forecast the best-performance cost of providing a service or an asset, taking into account any number of variable factors: the service level and the amount of work involved, for example, operational conditions, or internal and external environmental conditions.
True value management can only be achieved if it is accompanied by a credible data source of comparative costs and performance. Crucially, Facilities Cost Monitor is built around BWA's database, a repository that holds more than two million entries - and rising - accrued during three decades of gathering facilities cost records from over 10,000 buildings throughout the UK and around the globe. These clients include market-leaders from every sector. As a result, users have access to a wealth of cost intelligence condensed into a single application.
Until now the challenge, particularly for managers entering the FM arena without the benefit of technical knowledge, has been to try and measure their costs and performance against each others. As its name implies, Facilities Cost Monitor removes their reliance on guesses and estimates. Effectively, it enables them to 'speak' to their peer group en masse, tapping into their equivalent experiences and applying them to their own environments.
The data is carefully gathered and categorised by consultants in the field who are highly qualified and skilled in the measurement of service costs. A rigid set of rules is applied to ensure its integrity, and that it is always kept up to date. The programme is built on best performance achieved by organisations whose data is in the database. Users are therefore able to drive their value management strategies based on the latest market conditions and climate rather than data that's passed its sell-by date or poor-quality data gathered from less comprehensive or reliable sources. They can arrive at a known market price that directly correlates to their own environment.
For professionals working in-house or for management companies, the system offers exciting scope for faster, more accurate budget preparation. Armed with a deeper and more precise level of knowledge, they can check tenders and in-house service costs more rigorously, assess existing contract prices and monitor - even contest or renegotiate - components of current and ongoing services charges.
The application also promises to strengthen the cases of service suppliers and PFI contractors when it comes to preparing estimates, carrying out due diligence on their own contract bids, qualifying their own price levels and negotiating with sub-contractors and dealers. As with their clients, they will benefit from knowledge of up-to-date market movements: the Facilities Cost Monitor database is updated quarterly, making it an indicator of unprecedented reliability.
In an environment where costs can change on a daily basis, the ability to react quickly is vital to maintaining competitive edge and, frankly, the motivation of FM professionals to achieve the best results for their organisation.
The process of Facilities Value Management - applying a context-based value to every element of FM and arriving at an affordable price - only ceases to be a theory and becomes a policy-enabler if you can assess your own circumstances against those of your fellow professionals in similar situations; not just during contract negotiation or during procurement but throughout the lifetime of the service. It depends on constant auditing, monitoring and checking.
In Facilities Cost Monitor, F.M. professionals have a pedigree tool with a recognisable, intuitive interface, configurable to their own needs, that works the way they need it to work and can help them in the race to establish value-managed facilities policies based on meaningful costs. Suddenly, the weakest link has become their strongest asset.