Property and facilities services providers are drifting out of sync with the expectations of the marketplace. Corporate clients are increasingly looking at the big picture; we’re still looking at the details.

Delegates at the first Workplace Futures conference were told that fundamental change is already well underway at many large organisations. In essence, clients are increasingly less interested in the elements of estates and facilities management and more interested in finding appropriate support for their business or their brands.

And in another message that would prove to be a regular theme of these events, delegates heard that cost reduction is reaching the bottom of the curve – so the time has come to think bigger, and harder, about how we can increase the value that FM adds.

One promising opportunity is adoption of a more effective approach to ensuring that outcomes align with strategy, in turn through more effective bringing together of people and process with the ‘glue’ of technology to deliver critical real-time management information. That seemed to be evident in a growing trend (at the time) towards the convergence of property services and facilities management. Confirmation that there was a demand for integrated delivery came in the form of an impassioned plea from one client-side representative in the audience, who urged providers to ‘just get on and do it’.