Upstream - The Newsletter of Incentive FM Group

Jeremy's Point of View

Jeremy Waud - Incentive FM Group Chairman

What does Success look like?

I often ponder on just how well we are doing at Incentive FM Group and am continually looking at ways of improving the quality of what it does, how it does it and finding more people to do it for. People often tell me that to have built our nearly £ 50 million business in just twelve years is a fantastic achievement. This is both generous and well received but in honesty we cannot afford to take our foot of the accelerator for a second.

The Best People

My view continues to be that in the Facilities Management, Security, Cleaning and FM Consultancy business – the key element is to have and keep the very best staff in the market. We try really hard here and everything else we do around the best staff in terms of innovative practice, best use of technology, marketing and business development are just the icing on the cake. Our business really is all about people and we now have 1,700 staff directly employed on our books.

Our Culture

Culture was once described to me as ‘the way we do things around here’. I like that and at Incentive we have a very strong and individual culture that sets us apart from other employers and of course our competition. This is not to say that our culture and our style is for everyone, most definitely not, but for staff who care, who want to succeed and don’t mind hard work with some fun along the way, then we are the right fit. For our clients it is the same approach – I feel strongly that we should be very close to our clients and be responsive, passionate and fun in our pursuit of providing a first class value for money service. This should be achieved whilst applying our moral objectives of Honesty, Integrity and Respect.

The Big the Bad and the Ugly

We compete day in and day out with the Billion Pound brigade when tendering for work and to be honest, we have very little fear of their offer over ours. The reason for this goes back to my first point about people - you either have the people the clients want to work with or you don’t. When it comes to price, if contractors large or small are stupid enough to believe that they can really make money and deliver a service with management fees or gross profit charges of 8% and less, then I suggest they get on with it, that’s not our market. Experience generally dictates that the customers caught up in this spiral of commercial kidology are almost exclusively dissatisfied with the service they are buying. Is this what success looks like? Surely not.

Our Future

We plan to do more of the same, expanding and improving whenever and wherever we can. We will continue to pick our business opportunities and clients carefully, so that we are confident we are a good match and can achieve long term mutual goals and not be caught in the revolving door of tendering which seems all too prevalent for some. In the past two years Incentive Facilities Management Ltd has achieved the rare and impressive distinction of only losing one client. This is a very high standard of retention that we should continue to aspire to.

Over the past eighteen months we have run our slide rule over several service businesses as acquisition targets, mainly in the catering sector, but sadly all of these came to nothing in the end. It seems that the expectations of sellers are frequently unrealistic when cashing in good quality businesses (and we are not interested in ones in intensive care!). As a result we will continue along our route of organic growth and business development, as we have largely done for the past twelve years, looking after our evolving client base and talented staff pool as we go.

I hope that sounds like continued success to you?