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World FM Day – Celebrating our Support Functions

By 12th May 2021Blog

Today marks World FM Day, an annual celebration of the vital work that the FM industry do to keep our world clean, safe, maintained and fed. Today we would like to celebrate those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes in our support functions, allowing us to continue supporting our clients and employees through such a challenging time.

Wesley Bell-Surette, Bid Manager 

Can you give us an insight into your role?

No day as a Bid Manager is the same, as a Bid Manager, I tend to work across many different service lines and on a variety of projects. I am responsible for project managing the bid process and ensuring that our submissions are engaging, well presented, and fully compliant with client requirements while being agile and adaptable to hit deadlines and submit winning bids. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with teams focusing on CSR and social value initiatives. Working in a role like this helps keep things interesting!

Why are you proud to work in FM?

In truth, I fell into working in FM. I was offered a job as a Bid Writer for a small, regional FM company a few years back which started me on my journey. I’ve been working at Atalian Servest for the past 2-1/2 years and have grown and learned a lot.

FM is such an important industry and I believe it’s going to play a key role in building a sustainable, secure future. Not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic when the FM industry worked to ensure that buildings and transport were clean, sanitised and COVID-secure. But, also in terms of

supporting communities and local economies, and driving sustainability initiatives to work toward a carbon-neutral future. Atalian Servest and the FM industry are not only supporting clients with agile, sustainable, future-driven FM solutions but, are providing good jobs and opportunities all across the UK and the rest of the world.

What misconception do you wish you could dispel about the FM Industry?

I think there tends to be a misconception that FM companies are ‘behind the times’ or reluctant to change, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Atalian Servest and the FM industry are providing intelligent IT solutions which are innovating the way buildings are managed, chemical-free and robotic cleaning solutions, and utilising ‘wonky’ fruit and veg in catering which is drastically cutting down on food wastage. The FM industry provides innovative services to clients and is constantly looking towards the future.

Nirgun Bhandal, Group Procurement Analyst

Can you give us an insight into what your job involves on a daily basis?

I am responsible for creating analytical reports that support the tender process. In these analytical reports, I examine internal trends, the external marketplace, market leaders, and any potential risks or opportunities.

What has your experience been like working throughout the pandemic?

For me, it has been a strange time working through the pandemic, but I think it has been a great learning curve. Having started this position in October 2020, so I have only had the opportunity to meet the wider team virtually. I have been very lucky that the team I work with talk regularly and we all get on great, which has allowed me to settle in well. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in person and getting to know people from the wider team.

Why are you proud to work in FM?

This industry is one of the largest on the planet and I think it is at the forefront of driving Sustainable, Ethical and Environmentally-friendly services. Group Procurement at Atalian has been recognised by CIPS for ethical and sustainable procurement which is something I am proud to be a part of. FM makes up 10% of the working population in the UK, providing opportunities for people to learn and develop. Demand for FM services increased in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19, the response from our organisation has been outstanding and shows our commitment to providing professional services, despite the exceptional circumstances.

Sally Saunders, Executive Assistant 

Can you give us an insight into what your job involves on a daily basis?

As an Executive Assistant, my job involves ensuring that the senior executives that I support, get to the places they need to be, whether physical or virtual, at the right time and that they have everything they need to have effective and productive meetings.

We are a global business, which allows me to liaise with colleagues from all over the world regularly, which provides me with a lot of insight and variety in my working day. As you can imagine my job used to involve making a lot of travel arrangements and there has been quite a shift over the last 12 months, but we have adjusted to using collaboration technology to meet the needs of the business.

Why are you proud to work in FM?

Typically my job is very removed from the day to day front line functions that we provide but, through the pandemic, my viewpoint has shifted enormously. From seeing all of the stories of our amazing colleagues, and the efforts they have gone to ensure our customers are safe and secure, I now see and understand the vital role FM plays in our society.

While I don’t feel that what I do is in any way comparable to their efforts, it makes me very proud to recognise the work and services that we provide within FM. I hope that my efforts go in some small way to ensuring the smooth operation of our business that helps others.

Do you think the perception of FM providers has changed during the last year, why and how?

I really do, with the clapping for the NHS and the general recognition of the importance of front line workers who put themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us, I hope that the perception of FM as an intrinsic part of these efforts is maintained. From the stories I have seen and read internally, and on social media, I can see the tangible thanks from customers as they recognise the value that FM has provided during this difficult time. I’ve often felt that maybe our colleagues who perform these functions are almost hidden from the clients they support. I hope that the general public’s recognition, high regard and esteem in the services that FM provide continues, as we hopefully beat the virus and transition back to normality!

Support with you at the centre.

Atalian Servest are a global solutions provider and we’re here to take your enquiry and assist you in the most efficient way that allows you, your business and the teams you employ to focus on what it is you do. Contact us today.

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