The ThinkFM Conference opened with papers covering the macro economic shocks that FM professionals will be facing in the coming years, exploring potential major changes to outsourcing and PFIs. This section of the conference culminated in a debate between industry leaders on imminent changes for FM and how they can be dealt to the best advantage.
This session was opened by Vicky Pryce who provided the keynote. The noted economist and much feted public speaker will provide valuable insights on the imminent changes for FM and how they can be dealt with advantageously. She talked about the ‘dark art’ of forecasting and whether we should believe economic forecasts including a look at Brexit and the re-balancing of the economy – financial services vs manufacturing, north vs south.
Big data, artificial intelligence and automation are set to revolutionise FM. Will companies be employing data analysts instead of facilities managers in future? How will automation impact on jobs and costs? Speakers highlighted innovation in other areas which could soon be coming to FM and looked in detail at how FMs can make the most of the current opportunities and avoid the pitfalls.
Workplace may be the key to positioning yourself as a contributor of value rather than a cost centre. This session had explored at key elements of ‘workplace’, the opportunity it presents and what skills you will need to take advantage.
In addition to the sessions analysing the strategic issues facing FMs, so that they can choose how to respond, this year’s conference featured two sessions providing practical approaches to implementing answers today.
Because this years event contained so much essential information, it was necessary to provide two streams running concurrently. Delegates could choose which sessions are of most interest to them.