The story of FM over the past couple of decades or so has been one of extraordinary change. i-FM has been around to track all the action, and an analysis of the companies in our Top 50 listings shows how the industry got where it is today.
Over the past couple of decades, there’s been steady growth – in terms of overall industry value, service quality, sophistication, recognition, expectation. At the same time, bubbling under those rising trend lines, the marketplace itself has been remarkably dynamic, famous for the levels of M&A activity but also in parallel seeing many new players enter the fray while others departed.
We launched our first industry benchmark a year after our own 1999 launch into the marketplace. The content of the list has changed considerably over the years, but its purpose has remained the same – to provide a reliable reference point for identifying the top service providers in UK FM and tracking their business performance. There are a number of challenges involved in doing this which mainly hinge around two big questions:
i-FM’s benchmark rankings are used by many within the industry and by many others engaged in market research, product development and similar analysis or investigation work. We are proud to be the source of this unique list, but we are certainly open to suggestions for improvement and development – feedback is always welcome.
In this article, we look back in five-year intervals from 2016 – at 2011, 2006 and 2001 – to see how things have changed.
Shown below is the Top 20 – as it was back then – from 2001. Younger readers will look at many of those names and wonder who they are, or were in most cases. No less than 14 of that original list no longer exist in the form in which they did in those days. Many, as we shall see, were key elements in the evolution of the companies in today’s benchmark list, while some others moved out of the industry altogether.
i-FM Top 20 (2001)
|Building & Property||202|
|MITIE Managed Services||136|
|Amey Business Services||54|
|Pall Mall Support Services||39|
|Sulzer Infra CBX||34|
|Dalkia Workplace Services||14|
Growth and change
By 2006 the Top 20 had grown to become the Top 50, following the brief existence of a Top 30 which was soon replaced with the Top 40, soon itself replaced. That rapid enlargement of the benchmark was a direct reflection of the growth of the industry generally. And within our next reference list, below, the same pattern of change and development continues to be evident – well over half of the companies included in 2006 are gone now, gone from the list or gone altogether.
i-FM Top 50 (2006)
|Land Securities Trillium||1054.5|
|Mowlem Support Services||564|
|Global Solutions Ltd||341.5|
|Haden Building Management||256.8|
|AMEC Building & Facilities||250|
|Alfred McAlpine Business Services||250|
|Emcor Facilities Services||190|
|Taylor Woodrow Facilities Management||175|
|Atkins Asset Management||65.5|
|Gardiner & Theobald Facilities Management||62|
|Jones Lang LaSalle||22.4|
|EC Harris Solutions||14|
|Europa Facilities Services||9|
|HBS Facilities Management||4.5|
|Derek Smith Associates||4|
By 2011 the process of change had slowed but nevertheless remained a key feature of the market – about a third of the businesses listed then are not included today.
i-FM Top 50 (2011)
|Balfour Beatty Workplace||466.6|
|Norland Managed Services||250.7|
|Amey Built Environment||193.7|
|G4S Integrated Services||173.2|
|Resource Services Group||145.7|
|Europa Support Services||125.3|
|John Laing Integrated Services||55.2|
|Atkins Asset Management||48|
|Servest Multi Service Group||47.9|
|SGP Property & Facilities Management||46.8|
|GBM Support Services||44.6|
|Jones Lang LaSalle||40.8|
|SSS Management Services||6.9|
|EC Harris Solutions||3.2|
So where have all these companies gone? A few examples will illustrate the trends that have characterised the industry seemingly forever. Taking our 2001 list as the starting point....
The above quick summaries are just the tip of the iceberg in this incredibly busy marketplace. We’ve followed the changes carefully through the years, and one of our contributors looked at some of the big issues for the industry in a thoughtful piece published in 2005 (one that remains remarkably relevant today). You can of course use i-FM’s search function to trace the issues and trends or the path of any company we have reported on since 1999.
Progress over the years
The impact of all this M&A activity is indicated in the following table which summarises turnover figures for the companies that have been listed consistently in our rankings since 2001 (though of course M&A is just one factor in each case: other big factors include the trajectory of organic growth for each company and the state of the wider economy).
|Company||2001 (£m)||2006 (£m)||2011 (£m)||2016 (£m)|
|Ecovert FM (Bouygues)||-||10.4||96.1||127.8|
|Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)||-||22.4||40.8||67.7|
|Vinci Partnerships (Facilities)||-||141||228.3||213.8|
A big and important industry
Finally, by way of illustrating how increasingly significant facilities management has become within UK plc, shown below are the ‘headline’ figures for the Top 50 over the past 10 years.
|Total turnover £m||12,873,200||16,576,100||17,212,300|
Over the past five years the trend has flattened somewhat in the case of turnover growth, largely reflecting recession impacts. In the case of employment, the decline reflects both those impacts and the departure from the list of some high-number companies (for example, Rentokil Initial).
Those effects notwithstanding, facilities management remains a very significant industry – and will no doubt continue its strong upward path over the coming five years. Check in with our current Top 50 listing here.
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