Factors Affecting Innovation in Facilities Management Service

It’s challenging for organizations within the industry to innovate. But why is that?

In a competitive support sector, clients are increasingly looking to service providers to demonstrate innovation. Often this is understood to be technology but that is not always the case. There are generally five categories or types of innovation within the sector:

  1. Technological Innovations: Examples include the introduction of software systems or apps.
  2. Product Innovations:Developing new services to specifically match customer need.
  3. Environmental Innovations:New ways in which to lower or monitor energy consumption, reduce the carbon footprint, or strategies to deal with issues of CSR, recycling and waste reduction.
  4. Organizational Innovations:Concerning new approaches to staff management, training and recruitment as well as a focus on more positive use of internal space to benefit staff and the productivity of the working environment.
  5. Process Innovations:Introduction of new techniques, equipment or software to increase efficiencies.

The burden of deploying new innovation to a large and dispersed workforce should not be underestimated. For many, this is an inhibiting factor. After all, buying or building something new is easy when compared to getting everyone at your organization to adopt that innovation. It’s because of this that many choose to not even attempt to change something that has been working just okay for a long time. The risks to brand and reputation are high if it goes wrong.

Confidence in the change you are introducing is therefore vital. Perhaps this is why many companies don’t ‘innovate’ by building their own technology (which underpins every innovation mentioned above) and instead buy market-ready, market-tested options instead. This is far safer and often much more cost effective.

Organization size could also be a contributing factor to little or no investment into innovation. Small organizations are far better at introducing innovation quickly and effectively but may not be able to invest as heavily and readily. While larger organizations carry the problems associated with scale and complexity, making the process of change much more challenging. However, industry trends to indicate that the bigger a company is, the more likely they are to have robust innovation processes in place.

The use of technology is certainly prevalent in all areas of innovation. In fact, it is considered the game changer for businesses looking to improve delivery services, cut costs and enhance transparency for their operation. Factor in the changing culture and attitudes towards how people work, make business decisions and communicate, new technology and bespoke software solutions will be the way in which business will grow and remain sustainable in an environment of increased competition and reduced end-user budgets.