Between 1999 and 2012, the environment had fundamentally changed. The working day had increased; energy costs and sustainability were now a priority; smarter ways of structuring FM services, managing asset lifecycles and meeting changing needs were needed; and students had transitioned from being passive end-users to customers.
Challenges & Actions
The university also faced increasing pressure to attract more top performers. In response, Bouygues Energies & Services and King’s launched an efficiency review to respond to the changed environment, make savings and enhance services.
A review body was set up, co-chaired by senior executives from King’s and Bouygues Energies & Services. The approach was to ‘leave nothing off the table’. Specialist workstreams fed into the steering group and views and ideas were collated from operational staff and managers as well as front-line staff and students.
The review team assessed services based on need and sought new ways of doing things to achieve the same results at lower costs. Over 150 opportunities were identified and evaluated. Any options that adversely affected the student experience were excluded and a total of £1.1m of savings to be re-invested in student services was finally identified.
Lessons & Results
A key element of the review was to change people’s behaviour at all levels, remove silos and build enthusiasm for doing things differently. This was achieved with a comprehensive internal communications plan and a more structured approach to contractual collaboration.
A ’one-team’ approach with multi-skilling has created broader, better, more interesting roles for people with improved career prospects and the concept of “it’s not my job” was challenged. Staff and management now see the ‘whole’ facility and understand that everyone has a part to play, every day.
One of the most innovative outcomes of the review is the use of the lifecycle reserve to fund improvements. A detailed forecast of expenditure from contract commencement to completion was undertaken and a more accurate forecast of maintenance requirements and associated funding takes account of the previous 12 years of learning and experience.
The M&E maintenance workstream achieved savings of £250,000 per annum:
- Partial redeployment of the 20 strong team of maintenance engineers to other sites.
- New internal team of air-conditioning and Gas Safe engineers set up to replace sub-contractors.
- Upgrade from closed to open protocol for M&E systems and plant.
- Holistic equipment strategy and bespoke maintenance programme introduced.
The soft services workstream achieved savings of £298,000 per annum
- Introduction of ‘flow cleaning’ to reduce stopping and starting when moving from task to task.
- Staff empowered to make decisions, improving efficiency as well as motivation.
- Rebalancing of day versus night time cleaning shifts.
- Introduction of battery-operated floor cleaners without trailing wires to improve work rate.
- Optical counters in washrooms and catering to match facilities provision to demand.
- Introduction of Dyson hand dryers, reducing waste and water pipe blockages.
- New disposal scheme for non-hazardous biological waste across sites.
- Refurbished catering services with meeting suites generate more revenue.
Reducing energy emissions and consumption and saving £285,000 per annum:
- Changing staff and users’ behaviour.
- Use of variable speed drives for pumps and fans on equipment such as air handling units.
- LED or high-efficiency lamp replacement.
- Insulation on pipework and ductwork and improvements to chiller and boiler performance.
- Light sensors introduced throughout the two buildings, including in stairwells.