Below you can see the interview I gave to the magazine self service (April 2015 issue) on the topic of cost fusion with quality terms. As you will see, I explain the advantages ofFacility Management, referring to how the Manifest manages to grow, despite the unfavorable economic environment.
What functions do companies usually choose to outsource to Facility Management and what are the criteria for selecting a provider?
In Greece, Facility Management mainly refers to the health and safety services of buildings and employees, such as cleaning, storage, technical maintenance, landscaping, green maintenance, catering . In more mature markets, such as Central Europe, these services extend to administrative functions such as human resource management, accounting, marketing, or anything else that may involve a company’s non – core activities.
The selection criteria are those that apply to the selection of any external partner for a company, such as its financial soundness and proven experience. I point out, however, that the most basic selection criterion should be business ethics. We must not forget that Facility Management companies deliver services through people.
Some time ago you participated as a speaker at the CEO Forum 2015 – and I even wrote the title of your speech “Words fly … numbers stay”. Why did you choose to turn to the retail industry?
The title was a last-minute inspiration due to one of the main, in my opinion, benefits, namely the percentage reduction in operating costs of the business. We decided to participate in this conference because we believe that supermarkets are large organizations that can easily reap the benefits of Facility Management . On the other hand, they have many and large facilities and are very interesting potential customers for our industry – I would say they are a “challenge” as customers for our industry.
That is, what could be the benefits of a supermarket?
We did a study for a supermarket store with an area of 2,000 sqm and found that the reduction of operating costs on an annual basis can be from 24 to 26 thousand euros.
It should be noted that this reduction has no negative impact on the quality of services provided either on the part of Facility Management to the customer, or on the part of the supermarket to its own customers. On the contrary, I believe that the quality of the supermarket services will increase, as well as productivity and efficiency, as, having ensured health and safety in its daily operations, it can seamlessly engage in its core business , ie provide quality products and services that exceed the needs of its customers.
The Facility Management has adopted a practice by the retail sector?
The Facility Management is a new branch in Greece and has been adopted only by multinational companies at present. I believe that this is due, on the one hand, to the Greek culture of running a company and the difficulty observed in changing procedures and, on the other hand, to the fact that there is no information about its services and thus there is often confusion about what it is. Also, many companies may have had some unpleasant experience from Facility Management providers , and this may have discouraged them. But this is true of all service industries. If a company clearly sets the selection criteria and looks carefully at the market, I am sure it will find the right partner for it.
But the benefits, at least financially, are clearly significant. Why do you claim that the management procedures of Greek companies are difficult to change?
For the simple reason that they are not properly informed about the cost reduction in day-to-day operations and the overall benefits they will reap from Facility Management . The right information – and I emphasize the “right” – is the key to making a decision. The information about the services and the benefits of using Facility Management providers is one of the main issues that concern our association, the Hellenic Facility Management / HFMA .
But I’m sure the times call for business reorganization, and to achieve that, business will find us an effective ally.
I agree with you that companies do not exactly know the services and usefulness of Facility Management . Until recently, I also thought it was exhausting in cleaning services.
Yes, and this is an issue that concerns us as an industry. Cleaning services are part of Facility Management , but cleaning is not a Facility Management that offers a comprehensive business support solution.
I visited your company’s website and saw that the Manifest is steadily rising. How do you do all this cool stuff on the market?
First of all, even in times of lean cows there are companies on the rise – this is a rule that is confirmed by historical data. Indeed, we note continuous growth with an annual turnover increase of 15-40%, depending on the year, since 2003 when the company was founded. In fact, Manifest is on the rise, although the demand for building maintenance services fell by about 5.5% in 2014 in the domestic market due to unfavorable economic conditions. We have positive results in a negative market environment. The company also employs about 550 employees directly and indirectly, operates in 30 cities in Greece, already serves 1,100 buildings and delivers 3,000 hours of service daily.
Where is this thought to be due?
There are a number of reasons why this happens. I will mention the most important ones in my opinion.
First: we apply a specific way of exchanging with everyone who exists in the “world of Manifest “:employees, customers, partners, suppliers. Our principle is to always be in a state of “excess exchange”, ie we always offer more than what is required by the contractual agreements inside and outside the company. We give more value than the amount of money we receive, or, in the case of our employees, we provide them with more than what is agreed in the employer obligations. For example, the monthly training since the start of the company has helped us to have a uniform level of knowledge, to increase the level of commitment and faith in the company’s vision, to increase initiative and self-efficacy. In the Manifestno idea is underestimated, no point of view is rejected. We recognize everyone’s efforts and that is why everyone tries even harder.
Second : from the day the company was founded, my main goal was a company with financial strength. Today we have managed to be a reputable company that constantly invests in providing better services for its customers and in the best environment for its employees.
Third: our administration is based on ethics . This is how we inspire and set an example to everyone who works in our company, this is how we create a sense of trust in everyone we work with and make them enjoy the experience of working with us and want to repeat it. The best solution to any problem will always be to apply some form of ethics, and that is our professional belief.