The Facilities Management industry in South Africa has grown significantly over the past 20 years. One area of specific interested to the team at A4FM is the measurement of the value added by FM at an organisation level.
Over the past decade and more the European Facilities Management Network (EFMN) has done an amazing amount of research with regard to the Value Add (VA) of FM. The driver of this endeavour has been the European FM study group, but the real stars have been Prof. Per Anker Jensen and Dr. Theo van der Voordt. The latest conference report by the EFMN provides an overview of the seminal research regarding the value add of FM. It makes interesting reading and concludes with a VA model consisting of 14 constructs.
We at the Academy have adapted the EFMN’s model for a local research project. The focus will be on the assessment of the impact or value add of our alumni in the market place (more about that when the results of our pilot study are available in 2016). The VA of FM has not received much attention in the SA industry we believe that this needs to change. While our planned research is not focussed on the VA of FM as such, it will cast some light on how this is viewed and used in the industry.
As an industry I believe we need to find consensus on the constructs of VA for FM and maybe one of the first steps should be to get someone like Jensen or v/d Voordt to address the work that has already been done in Europe. SAFMA may consider this for their 2016 conference. Once there is consensus about a model it can clearly be used as a means of assessing the FM value add to both employers and clients. However, in my view the impact will be much more significant in boldly staking our claim as industry in terms of the value we believe we deliver.
For far too long the broad market has rather unsuccessfully tried to get a handle on FM and the value we add. This somewhat random process has unfortunately not always been too complementary of FM. As FM professionals, we need to take some initiative. A value add instrument, built on the EFMN model will enable the profession to lead the debate rather than being onlookers about the value we add as an industry.
Should you be interested in more background regarding the EFMN research please contact the Academy.