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Gathering forces in Facility Management

Gathering forces in Facility Management

 g-company and Google support #samensterkFM (‘#StrongTogetherFM’)

When the need arises, you have to be smart and work together.

That is exactly what innovation platform #samensterkFM was founded for.

As a result of COVID-19, labour, housing and services are subject to great change. #samensterkFM wants to bring and stimulate innovation. Together with the sector, we want to develop smart ideas to get out of the crisis, turn these ideas into action and bring that to a successful conclusion. g-company and Google have joined in to help innovate on the basis of data.

Just under a year of working from home by corona has brought everything related to Facilities Services to a standstill. The closure of offices has a huge effect on the services of cleaners, canteen staff and security guards. And it remains to be seen whether activity in the sector will return to its old level after corona.

Facilities Management (FM), with 300,000 employees, is one of the largest employers in the country. It is expected that as many as 100,000 people will have to look for another job, in another sector. And the FM sector will have to reinvent itself to stay afloat in the new reality.

This calls for a cross-company vision and strategy. To innovate with impact, one will have to step over one’s own shadow. After all, you achieve more together than alone.

The special thing about #samensterkFM is that the founders not only succeeded in bringing together all the major players in the sector, but also in mobilising a great many people and parties.

"We are not an industry organisation, but much more of an action movement."

Karoline de Koning, initiator #samensterkFM
 

Inspire and connect

“We are not an industry organisation, but much more of an action movement.” So says Karoline de Koning, Together with Daniëlle Overweg initiator of #samensterkFM. The role of work on location has changed everywhere. This has also turned the service world upside down. Where do new opportunities arise? What does it mean for employees?

Daniëlle Overweg: ,,Service provision must change. The question is how? We are trying to find out with #samensterkFM. Inspire, connect, initiate and realise progress are the key words here.”

#samensterkFM was only founded in March 2020. Karoline and Daniëlle managed to get the big parties in the sector, such as Yask, Asito and G4S, to bury the hatchet. In the meantime, a rapidly growing community of people and companies has formed that are actively involved in thinking and doing. Ideas are developed and actions are set out in hackathons.

De Koning: ,,During these brainstorming sessions, we set to work on two urgent issues. That yielded a lot of useful ideas and concrete plans that we are now working on.

The first issue focuses on business: ‘What do flexible, adaptive services look like that are valuable for the user, for organisations and for buildings (office, home, on the road, co-working spaces)?’

The second issue relates to labour: ‘What solutions can we come up with so that organisations can retain human capital and knowledge, employees can retain their income and we can still flexibilise?’

"You can't innovate without data and analysis."

Michiel Hazen, Google Cloud

Small steps, big goal

When you think of innovation, you immediately think of Google. “Innovation is impossible without data and analysis, if only to test and sharpen assumptions and ideas. We are happy to participate in helping this important sector for Google to unlock and analyse data,” says Michiel Hazen of Google Cloud.

Hazen brought in Google Cloud Premier Partner g-company because of its track record in innovating service providers.

“The approach of #samensterkFM fits perfectly with the open way in which Google makes innovation possible and how we work: small steps, just trying, a little better every time, open to alternatives. But always with a very big goal in mind. In this case, helping hundreds of thousands of people to maintain their income within or outside the sector.”

g-company gathered all kinds of data, from public sources but also from the participants. Data on travel behaviour, alarms, time sheets, sick notes, cups of coffee from the vending machine, you name it.

Saris: ”Everything, of course, in full compliance with the privacy laws and regulations. We used all kinds of analyses on that data to gain more insight into the state of affairs and to test assumptions. It also taught the participants to think carefully about the front end, about asking the right questions.”

The participants also learned what processes are needed: transferring large amounts of data, cleansing and exploration, and making insights visual. In a very short time, all these things were achieved together with Google’s tools.

"We think it's cool to make a useful contribution to solving such big social issues."

David Saris, founder and managing director g-company