Tomorrow's FM: 10 Questions with Karl Broom

In each issue, TFM ask an FM professional the Tomorrow's FM 10 Questions. This month, they interviewed Karl Broom, Territory Sales Manager at FSI.

Q1: What was your first job?

I joined FSI at 19 years of age, working on a part-time basis whilst studying for my degree at university. I joined FSI full-time after university, starting in the support team before moving into the business development & marketing team in 2010. I am now Territory Sales Manager with FSI.

Q2: How did you get into the Facilities Management industry?

Like most, my knowledge of the FM industry in the beginning was very limited. I knew I wanted to work in software and technology, and a family friend advised me of FSI. I approached the company directly and started working with them shortly thereafter, quickly understanding what the term FM meant.

Q3: Who, in any other industry, do you most admire?

Jeff Bezos, from humble beginnings to a brand you just cannot escape. He has taken a simple concept of an online bookstore and used product diversification to maximise his reach has provided a mammoth platform for growth whilst concentrating on putting his end users, Amazon's customers, first.

Q4: How do you challenge the status quo in FM?

People often think that throwing technology at a problem will immediately be the solution. Instead, take the time to work with organisations to understand the problem. Software and technology can not only enhance a business' day-to-day operation, but will ensure a better experience for your clients.

Q5: How would you improve the Facilities Management industry?

The introduction of AI and automation into FM are in their infancy, they will have a profound effect on the industry. However, the introduction of such technologies will bring a human challenge, an initial resistance which will look to replace activities currently delivered by humans. Communication with our people through this process, providing an understanding, as well as an insight into how these technologies can help the workforce will smooth the journey for everyone.

Q6: What is your favourite film?

Man on Fire. Combining action and drama genres with a standout performance from Denzel Washington. Expect a roller-coaster of emotions.

Q7: If you could have a super power for a day, what would it be and why?

I would be Superman and fly around to our territories meeting with my colleagues and clients in one day. Modern communication technology aside, face-to-face communication is still a big plus.

Q8: If you could host a dinner party with any three guests, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Roger Federer - his mental strength as a professional tennis player is second to none; Richard Branson - to understand that it's OK to make mistakes in business as long as you learn from them; and James Martin: a down-to-earth man who would be great to have a beer with, and he could rustle up my favourite, toad in the hole.

 Q9: What do you think is the future of the Facilities Management industry?

To underpin the entire FM industry on a bed of technology. Taking the uberisation principle [achieving optimum efficiencies in day-to-day operations] and empowering end- users with the choice to order services as and when necessary.

Q10: Ian Flanagan, MD of RFM Group asks: Do you think there's a definitive better option for FMs?...TFM or single service experts? Which one and why?

I don't think either on their own is a better option. One can complement the other. We live in a world of choice and uniqueness, whilst I agree that margins are an issue we should encourage the market to continue to grow with all different types of competition.