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 (photo: ABM Industries, Inc.)
08.11.2016, 09:18

Axis of Aptitude

Author: ABM Industries Inc

During Tomorrow's Engineers Week Jason Pease, technical services director ABM (NYSE:ABM) UK’s Business and Industry Group, sets out a three part job description for aspiring engineers.

 

During Tomorrow's Engineers Week Jason Pease, technical services director of ABM (NYSE:ABM) UK’s Business and Industry Group, sets out a three part job description for aspiring engineers.

 

"Technical skills are still top of the wish list but, in reality, they are a given. In 2016, engineers must also be efficient systems managers and experts in customer services."

 

Now technical services director at facilities services provider ABM UK, Pease started his career in the British Army before joining door systems manufacturer and service provider DORMA.

 

"When I was out on my first job back in 1987 the brief was simple. You went in, fixed the problem and got your worksheet signed.

 

"Today, it’s almost as important for my engineers to update our system and the client’s system as it is for them to fix the problem itself.

 

"Real estate is a major cost for any business. When things go wrong it can affect performance whether that’s the productivity of employees in an office, guest experience in a shopping centre or the quality of food in a supermarket.

 

"So, it’s understandable that the people running those sites want to know as soon as a problem comes up, and the moment it’s fixed.

 

"Providing that information in real-time is the best way to give your client confidence in the service you’re providing.

 

"Contracts might be won by the business development team but it’s the work of our engineers on-site every day that renews them.

 

"That brings me on to the importance of customer services skills.

 

"For example, in a shopping centre our engineers must be able to fix the problem, proactively log jobs themselves and update all necessary systems but they should also know their way around the site.

 

"The customer experience might actually start with our engineers, so we need to be prepared!

 

"If a guest asks for directions to a shop, the engineer should walk them to the shop, not just tell them how to get there, engaging directly with the guest and improving the overall visitor experience.

 

Reflecting on this new brief for engineers, Pease continues: "Clearly, the role has changed a lot over the past 30 years.

 

"Developing these non-technical skills is not only essential for engineers but it actually makes for more interesting and varied careers in the long run.

 

"It puts people in a great position to take on management and then leadership roles.

 

"If an engineer becomes a site-manager or contract-manager they will often find themselves looking after a range of services. The skills we are developing with our engineers are essential and set us apart from the competition.

 

"Whether it’s heating and ventilation, refrigeration, air conditioning, cleaning, security, landscaping or car park management, the commitment to real-time information and customer services will put them in a great position to excel."

 

Concluding, Pease sets out the responsibility of firms to help engineers develop this new skill set: "FM businesses need to upgrade their development programmes to reflect the changing nature of the role.

 

"For example, at ABM we use our experiential marketing company Blackjack Promotions to deliver sessions on customer services.

 

"We’re bringing world-class expertise from one area of our business to another.

 

"For aspiring engineers this is critical because although technical skills will always be essential, they are no longer enough.

 

"Today, the way they go about their work is almost as important as the work itself."

systems but they should also know their way around the site.

 

"The customer experience might actually start with our engineers, so we need to be prepared! 

 

"If a guest asks for directions to a shop, the engineer should walk them to the shop, not just tell them how to get there, engaging directly with the guest and improving the overall visitor experience.

 

Reflecting on this new brief for engineers, Pease continues: "Clearly, the role has changed a lot over the past 30 years.

  

"Developing these non-technical skills is not only essential for engineers but it actually makes for more interesting and varied careers in the long run.

 

"It puts people in a great position to take on management and then leadership roles.

 

"If an engineer becomes a site-manager or contract-manager they will often find themselves looking after a range of services. The skills we are developing with our engineers are essential and set us apart from the competition.

 

"Whether it’s heating and ventilation, refrigeration, air conditioning, cleaning, security, landscaping or car park management, the commitment to real-time information and customer services will put them in a great position to excel."

 

Concluding, Pease sets out the responsibility of firms to help engineers develop this new skill set: "FM businesses need to upgrade their development programmes to reflect the changing nature of the role.

 

"For example, at ABM we use our experiential marketing company Blackjack Promotions to deliver sessions on customer services.

 

"We’re bringing world-class expertise from one area of our business to another.

 

"For aspiring engineers this is critical because although technical skills will always be essential, they are no longer enough. 

 

"Today, the way they go about their work is almost as important as the work itself."

 

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Photograph: Matthew Maaskant. (photo: Matthew Maaskant)
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