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Collaboration is the secret to successful FM


Anthony Raikes was promoted to divisional director of Taylor Woodrow's facilities management arm in June.

He talks to Joanna Booth about how he sees the future of FM.

What is your background?

I've spent my whole working life - since 1986 - with Taylor Woodrow.My first job was working on the Channel Tunnel, a great experience of working on a large project. I also worked in China and Africa before returning to the UK in 2000 to join the FM arm of the company. I was customer director until my promotion to this more strategic role.

Was working abroad a valuable experience?

Definitely. It was very challenging. I was part of the first Taywood team to go out to Zimbabwe, to build a 17-storey office and retail complex in Harare.The construction industry there had a history of major delays and cost overruns.We managed to deliver the project on time and to budget despite major political tensions, and picked up International Project of the Year awards from both Quality in Construction and the British Construction Industry.We had to change our procurement strategies a number of times to meet our objectives as the economic situation deteriorated, but this taught me to be self-reliant.We also adapted the original design to better suit the client's needs.

What are your goals for the FM business?

I want to continue the growth we've achieved in the business over the last three or four years.We want to grow 30 per cent year on year until 2008. Our strategy is to focus on a number of sectors with niche specialisms - like the petroleum retail or telecommunications sectors. It's essential for us to understand what is critical to their business - equipment is the lifeblood of the mobile telecomms industry - and keep it up and running at all times.The FM sector is growing, but we also want to expand our market share.We've invested heavily in bespoke IT systems.They allow us to analyse our performance in relation to customer needs, driving us to improve.

What is the secret to successful FM?

Collaboration in both directions. Integrating upwards with clients means we can understand their needs more fully, and the best way to come up with the optimum solution for them is to work as a team with our supply chain. It's also not just about delivering in the working environment - though obviously that is the end result - it also requires collaboration at design stage. I'm very keen to migrate FM needs down the food chain to affect building design.We are actively trying to engage with our design partners to provide the optimum operating environment for our services. A prime example is PFI where you run the life cycle of the whole project.

How do you make design FM-friendly?

You look at the life-cycle cost of repair and replacement in tandem with initial investment.We need to hit the right balance between initial and ongoing costs.The layout of buildings can be made to function efficiently in terms of things such as where security is located in the building and people flows.