A year of new challenges

13th of March 2013
A year of new challenges

2013 has now begun and with it comes a new set of challenges. ECJ’s reporter in the US Ron Segura asks a number of industry experts what they expect to face this year.

2013 has begun and with it come new challenges! I have asked representatives of three industry segments to provide some challenges they will face:

Ken Burkhalter, deputy director facilities services, The RAND Corporation:

“Recapitalisation of the built environment will challenge us for decades to come.  As the global economy emerges from its recent troubles, FM must compete for its share of a shrunken resource pool. That alone will be a tough road, as society must make serious value choices about how it allocates limited funding.

“FM will be competing directly with defence, social services, and entitlement programs for the resources it needs to provide effective workplaces that support the efficient operations that business demands in ways that benefit society. In my mind that means a couple of things:

Raise appreciation

• FM must engage in the public policy arena in a much more meaningful way to
raise the appreciation level for the leverage the built environment represents.

•The design/build/operate community must focus on delivering value and solving
problems with every project as a way of demonstrating its stated commitments.”

Jeffrey Stone, national channel manager building service contractors, ProTeam:

“Traditionally building service contractors in the United States have had a prominent presence cleaning commercial real estate properties. Studies show that BSCs have significant growth potential as more educational, healthcare and governmental facilities turn to outsourcing their janitorial services.  Working over many years with numerous educational maintenance and operation departments has led me to believe that education will provide the largest growth opportunities in the coming year for BSCs.”

Money flowing again

Norberto Velez, president, CBSE,  Customized Performance:

“Outside the windows of our headquarters in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, we see the first signs that money is flowing again.  Many corporations’ reluctant spending habits have been overcome by the opportunity to upgrade their space and working environment, always moving towards greener and more sustainable facilities.

“While this small glimmer of light casts a rosy glow, it would be easy to get distracted and lose sight of some ongoing issues that have emerged over the past few years. These include Obama Care, commoditisation of services, immigration, and our industry has a history of being slow to accept innovation, just to name a few.”

As the year progresses, we will check back with these three experts for an update on how they have addressed these challenges.


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