This is a shot of one of the Dutch students who won the “poster competition” at EFMC 2015 in Glasgow in June. He did a brilliant study using virtual reality to study travelers’ perception in a train station based on various manipulations in lighting. All the finalists for this competition had excellent projects and I recommend anyone attending IFMA World Workplace Denver this year to see this same event for a glimpse into how our future facility managers are thinking about the profession.
This was just one event I had the good fortune to attend all of which occurred in the United Kingdom this month. EFMC 2015 is a pan-European yearly conference of academics who come together to present to their colleagues as well as to general FM practitioners from all over Europe. The other two were a Deloitte sponsored roundtable on the Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate (OSCRE) and the annual Trimble Conference in London on Real Estate and Workplace solutions. I will concentrate on the first event in this blog and then the latter two in a subsequent posting.
Background of European FM Development
The European Facility Management Conference is sponsored by EuroFM, BIFM and IFMA. FM emerged in Europe in the mid- 1980’s and the European FM Network composed of organizations from the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK was created in 1993. The next ten years saw the development of 27 European national FM markets developing at different paces with disparate objectives. Some were begun by maintenance professionals, others more real estate focused while another grew out of the development of both outsourced and in-house services. EuroFM emerged as a network of academic institutions in Europe who could share research, best practices and educate each other about what they were doing in their programs.
IFMA was part of this development as many national chapters were created during that time (I remember a particular amazing ceremony in Stockholm for the christening of the IFMA Sweden chapter in an 18th century Swedish military building) and World Workplace Europe was held in various cities across the continent. Meanwhile, universities were setting up programs for studying FM in many different countries. While IFMA had begun defining the profession with the concepts of the integration of people, process and place, in 2006 29 European countries defined FM as the “Integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.”
As can be seen from the above definition, the concentration on service provision was key to FM in Europe from the start and today it has been reported that FM is the largest business service market in Europe (the market estimation by German Sven Teichmann is 640 billion euros) and can be seen by this 2006 diagram:
By 2010, EuroFM had connected with the European construction industry, the EU and the CRE networks in all its member countries and is part of Europe 2020 Initiative which is a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. They created a FM Futures Project which asks that the next generation of FMers take leading roles in the transformation of organizations and contribute to the European knowledge economy in a sustainable manner. This is reflected by the EFMC conference which I attended in early June. Look for the details on the event in my next post.