Fail to prepare, prepare to… (you know the rest!)


Recently I had to redecorate my kitchen and I took the time to prepare. Cleaning up, filling holes, fixing cracks and doing all those little things which makes for a quality finish. I had to laugh at myself though; you see, a younger (probably less wise) me would have just bought a brush & some paint and started slapping it on. This would result in stains on the floor, a large clean-up operation, a row and probably my wife redoing everything within 6 months or so!

In FM, the art of preparation can be even more important.

The obvious opportunities for improving your FM operations are when there are going to be changes, they could be based on the contract being due for review, a new office or even a new CEO, my top tricks for ensuring this is a success can be just as simple as redecorating the kitchen.

  • Choose the right colour. FM contracts, just like paint, come in a huge variety of shades. Make sure you take the time to pick one that will stand the test of time. Will the wacky aubergine still look good in 2 years’ time? Time to plan is very rarely wasted.
  • Protect against the spills. Make sure that you have the right compliance, continuity and safety procedures in place. After all, spilled paint will stain a carpet for ever.
  • Fix the cracks. Don’t try to hide the issues under a new coat of paint. If a service is not working there is no reason to believe that the same service, delivered in the same way, with people wearing different uniforms should give you a better result.
  • Use enough paint! For me, this is the most important, don’t confuse cost and value. Do a critical analysis of all services. If something seems too cheap it probably is, but equally, you wouldn’t ask Picasso to paint your kitchen. Value means getting the right service at the right price, if you are not sure about how to achieve that, get some help in.

Taking the time to plan and prepare might seem like it distracts from the job in hand. But doing it right ensures that you get excellent results that can stand the test of time.


The LCMB team can improve the performance and productivity of your buildings and supply chains to increase your organisation’s return on investment and competitiveness. If you would like to explore how our team can help you procure the right FM partner or improve the performance of your existing arrangements contact: Rudi du Plessis, Associate Director on t:01295 722823 or by email.

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