We hear a lot about the big organisations in UK FM. But who are the rising stars and what makes them successful? Fiona Perrin talked to four of the challengers.
Sometimes it can seem that the bigger names in FM dominate the headlines. But around the edges of the i-FM Top 50 (the definitive source of the major players in our sector), there are some organisations who are raising their game and their profile. In no particular order, here are four of the SME stars biting at the heels of the big boys.
Pareto: TFM, engineering and a heap of ambition Andrew Hulbert conceived Pareto FM in 2014, armed with a reputation as a rising star in FM, a laptop and a decent book of contacts – and went on to win a NatWest Great British Entrepreneur award late last year.
Now turning over £13m and with his sights on annual sales of £25m in the next few years, Pareto has a distinctive culture focused on engaged, proactive staff empowered to deliver a “completely bespoke approach to what the client wants”, using cloud-based systems to support its agility on the ground.
It has worked: the company now employs 110 people, offering TFM and directly delivered building engineering alongside subcontracted soft services. It has 25 clients including Twitter, Paddy Power Betfair and London Zoo, as well as others from online, science, charity and professional services. Hulbert says they are characterised by being “quality customers that want good levels of service and understand it has a direct impact on the productivity of staff. We want to work with clients who understand that FM and workplace is important to the business.”
It is its people who set Pareto apart Hulbert told us in a recent interview: “A lot of them have come from big boys, frustrated by a lack of opportunity. We have flexible systems which lead to innovation and we let them show us how things can be done and be creative. Of course, that has to fit within parameters, but we give them an opportunity to prove themselves without being stuck in the ways that bigger organisations have to do it.”