As we mark World FM Day and this year’s theme of ‘Making a real difference’, our FM Managing Director, Antony Collett, reflects on how Wates is focusing on providing the most sustainable services to customers.
Collaboration is key
We have great relationships with our customers, with connections that have been built up across a range of industries over many years. Closer collaboration with customers means we have a deeper understanding of what they need, making us better placed to find the right solutions for them.
Where we get the best results is when we become a part of their team. Having an FM partner, not just a provider, means that we become an extension of our customers’ teams. We can have a lasting impact on how they do things and can add value by proactively taking ideas to them, demonstrating how they can be implemented.
It’s an approach that has worked well, particularly with our one our public sector customers, where we’ve been working together since 2019 on the challenge of reducing environmental impact, generating financial savings using new technology to establish green systems and services, cutting both costs and carbon.
Prioritising continuous innovation
With the current economic challenges, the pressure to innovate is more pressing than ever and it’s our responsibility to support our customers with realistic solutions and timelines to fit their agendas. We aim to adopt change within our work before it’s needed, pre-empting challenges to ensure we’re at the forefront of the digital future.
We developed our industry leading compliance system, ACT, to streamline the way we store data and manage compliance, allowing us and our customers to access any data set in four clicks or less. Not only does this help our customers in their day-to-day operations, it allows them to stay up-to-date with compliance.
Trialling products and methods to test their abilities in real scenarios goes hand-in-hand with driving innovation. We recently invested one of our customer’s contract profits into a 12-month pilot for a new Energy Management System, allowing them to test the system without committing budget. This gave them the confidence to trust in the product after seeing the difference it had made while reaping the benefits of real-time consumption data, providing visibility of energy use to mitigate against inefficiencies.
We are constantly driving change within all of our projects and we often set our own targets above and beyond what is required by industry standards, keeping pace with innovation and positioning ourselves as a leader of change.
We were recently named Best Sustainability Supplier of the Year by HMRC at their annual supplier conference. The accolade recognised our contribution to HMRC’s sustainability initiatives, helping them to considerably reduce their environmental impact across their regional centres. The success of this programme has also been recognised by two industry awards, winning the ‘Green Apple’ Environmental Award and achieving runner-up in IWFM Collaboration Award in 2022.
Our work with HMRC saw us set up panel pitch events with the support of our Head of Sustainable Technology, Dr Zainab Dangana, to ensure all providers demonstrated innovative ideas that aligned with HMRC’s objectives and goals.
Building optimisation for the future
Providing customers with a greater understanding of their operations allows them to gain greater control. Determining the best course of action isn’t always straightforward but carrying out a full assessment of the buildings in our care allows us to create a full picture of all operations, identifying and acting on priorities.
Building optimisation is key for businesses as they look to use their facilities in much smarter ways, for the benefit of their colleagues and customers. Understanding patterns of usage allows us to achieve energy and operational efficiency while considering occupant comfort to provide the best possible solution to the customer.