January 22, 2014

Emerging opportunities for facility management providers

As our population ages and demand for facility management services increases, hospitals are doing their best to manage costs. Ivan Fernandez, Industry Director at Frost & Sullivan, suggests ways for facility management providers to identify new opportunities and overcome challenges.

As our population continues to age, there will be increasing demand for all levels of medical care. But as hospitals and public health providers are forced to manage costs while still delivering for patients, there are opportunities and challenges for facility management providers to prepare for.

Frost & Sullivan’s Industry Director Ivan Fernandez says the changing market, developing technology and new approaches to healthcare are also creating new opportunities. “Many FM providers are benefiting from the success of public-private partnerships (PPPs),” says Fernandez. “PPPs allow public hospitals to construct very large, complex and capital-intensive infrastructure projects by including partners from the private sector. Typically, a PPP will also be contracted to manage and run the facility, so a successful FM provider will be employed to provide ongoing maintenance.”

While it’s likely that larger tier one providers will have the resources to take on a project the size of a PPP, some smaller FM providers are also broadening their capability by joining forces with specialists in areas such as laboratory services.

The ownership structure of many residential aged care facilities and nursing homes might also create opportunities for smaller scale operations, according to Fernandez. “This sector is dominated by not-for-profit groups, so their objectives often include workers from the local community or to use single service providers for small contracts rather than taking on an integrated contract with a large provider.”

Fernandez also sees an opportunity for some FM providers to expand into health and fitness centres, and focus on the wellness aspect of healthcare as well as remedial intervention.

He also points to the pattern of many hospitals utilising a mix of both new and older buildings, many of which are scheduled to be upgraded. “In this case, FM providers might be able to take on a more consultative role,” he says. “The right advice at this stage could help hospitals to establish a greener footprint and also reduce their costs over the long term by cutting their energy costs or minimising waste.”

“Like every other industry, FM is continually evolving. To run a business effectively you need to maintain the skills and capabilities that are going to satisfy increasingly diverse and sophisticated clients.”

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