Centre for Excellence Director
Facilities Management, UK
After beginning his career as a maintenance electrician, Nick Garniss has worked his way through the facilities management (FM) ranks and now heads up two teams within Mace Operates Division. Nick is now responsible for Mace’s FM Centre for Excellence but also its global FM Consultancy. Nick’s strong technical background and experience with IT systems is helping Mace lead the way with its workplace experience technology and data analytics offering.
- How did you get into what you do?
I started life as a maintenance electrician working shifts after I finished my EITB apprenticeship. I progressed from a site electrician to facilities engineering manager and then head of capital projects for a business in Hull. However, I always wanted to work in London – my brother had a role in IT in the city and I wanted to make the move too.
After a couple of years leading capital projects, I made it to London when I was offered the role of UK Head of Property Services, overseeing the service delivery for a well-known professional services company in the city. I later moved companies a further two times, taking on regional director roles in large banking organisations, before joining Mace in 2019.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
When I initially joined Mace, it was as technical services director for our facilities management business, supporting the division in developing innovations and technologies to improve the efficiency of our technical solutions and the quality of our service delivery.
As Centre for Excellence Director I have functional responsibility for supply chain management, IT, fm24 (our FM helpdesk), workplace, and mobilisation for our facilities management business. These workstreams support the service delivery for our clients, improving account performance and supporting collaborative working.
In my role as Global FM Director, I lead a team of FM professionals working across Europe, Middle East and the US providing strategic and operational expertise to help clients with specific problems or resource gaps they may have.
- How has facilities management and workplace evolved in recent years?
It has long been recognised that people have always been the most important asset for any organisation. More recently though, a lot of work is going into the experience an employee has while at work, which can be directly influenced through the delivery of FM services. Workplace experience can be defined through people, place and technology – where the design of the workplace, and the technology used within it, creates a productive and engaging space where employees want to work.
- How do technology and data support workplace strategies?
Technology is fused to workplace strategy, supporting the delivery of services, the provision of information via smart building technology and through data analysis and carrying out performance benchmarking. FM solutions will continue to exploit technology to support workplace experience and improved service provision. Technology is no longer a bolt on, it’s integral to enabling sophisticated and satisfying workplace experiences.
I’ve also been really privileged to lead our efforts in digital transformation. We’ve created an eco-system of reports for our teams and clients which is unparalleled in the market. All our corporate systems are connected and interconnected meaning we can display a massive array of insights to our clients. All our corporate systems are connected and interconnected meaning we can share a wide array of insights with our clients; this aspect of how we harness technology and data to drive service improvement has made us a leading player in the FM digital technology space.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I work with some great people where I can learn new things. The even broader variety of my role covering different disciplines is really unique and allows me to join the dots in the strategy and make changes swiftly. Leveraging the capability of our four growth engines is exciting and will enable us to contribute more strongly to the Mace brand in years to come.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
Having an ability to think critically and strategically whilst also keeping things real are perhaps the most important attributes. Having a sense of humour and not taking yourself too seriously helps. I have some strong characters around me who keep me grounded too!
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
I was fortunate, the more learning and qualifications I got, the more I sought to improve myself, and the more opportunities I was given in my career. If you want to progress, make self-improvement your number one and two priorities. Having a well-rounded knowledge of FM services, workplace experience and technology also helps.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love my dogs! As the kids have left home we now have four dogs and spend lots of time walking them. We’re lucky enough to live in the country, so dog walking is now a major part of our lives.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
When I was a kid I used to watch Crown Court on TV during the summer holidays and always thought the idea of being a barrister seemed like a great job. The closest I got to wearing a gown was at my senior school when I became a prefect.
“Technology is no longer a bolt on, it’s a necessity to enable sophisticated workplace experiences.”