Facilities management ‘plays a vital role in retail’

March 22nd, 2013 Category: Building Management

Adopting the right facilities management strategy is crucial for retail firms, according to Caroline Parry of Retail Week, who has canvassed the opinions of senior managers in some of our nation’s biggest retail outlets to see which solutions work best.

When it comes to facilities management in retail, a one-size-fits-all approach is impossible, Ms Parry explains, adding that the complex nature of the market means that strategies are required to be more bespoke. While some firms may choose to outsource all their cleaning and maintenance requirements, it may suit others to keep control of part of the duties and just outsource in certain areas. Creating joint ventures have become a popular option of late, particularly among the leading retail chains.

Sainsbury’s facilities management service delivery manager Rich Jones told Retail Week: “Facilities management plays a vital role in creating and maintaining a company’s brand and reputation. From maintaining the environment where our colleagues and customers love to work and shop, to ensuring good availability of products through the performance of key equipment, it plays a crucial role in helping to deliver our corporate goals.”

The trend over the past five years has been a shift away from in-house delivery towards either total facilities management solutions – where one supplier handles all of a retailer’s facilities management needs – or a bundling of services to a single contractor. Retailers such as Tesco have opted to use separate contractors for each service, although Martin Reed, managing director of Incentive FM, believes it is important that all departments share the same outlook and work towards unified company goals.

Fundamentally, there is no one solution when it comes to facilities management in retail. The most important consideration for businesses should be that they are employing good quality at all stages, with each department working towards the same, unified company goal.