A bright future for FM in Asia Pacific
The Asia Pacific integrated facilities management market is witnessing impressive growth, primarily supported by the rapid development of facilities management outsourcing in a number of emerging markets.
The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is largely unique; in that it contains a mixture of mature and developing FM markets, with some countries seeing exponential growth. Currently sitting at approximately $19 billion, the market across APAC presents a significant opportunity for FM providers and corporate occupiers.
Research conducted by Frost and Sullivan in 2018 suggests that the facilities management market in Asia Pacific is positioned for growth, and by 2025 is set to be the largest FM market in the world. A number of trends are driving that development, from wider economic growth to increased levels of commercial construction and a rising culture of service outsourcing.
Shifting market trends
Leading brands and international companies are quickly expanding their presence in APAC, particularly in China and India, where the cost of operating is much lower than other markets.
It is becoming more and more common for global companies to acquire large service sites in India in order to relocate part or all of their operations from other countries that face higher operating costs. That is driving an increased focus from clients on regional outsourcing, tendering and awarding large FM contracts covering multiple APAC markets.
Beyond China and India, there are a number of developed markets across APAC that are further along the FM maturity journey with businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong fully embracing the outsourcing model.
Countries with a stable infrastructure and economic environment are taking advantage of the growth of large FM providers in the region and the development of a strong supply chain. Clients in these geographies are now focusing on optimising their operations, introducing global best practice and concentrating more on delivering cost efficiencies.
An increase in FM outsourcing is also triggering a new wave of partnership agreements between clients and FM providers as their focus shifts to the complete lifecycle of buildings.
As more international companies hunt for offices in APAC, building owners are increasingly looking to extend the life of their built assets; investing more in maintaining the fabric of their buildings and demanding a more mature FM service offering.
A technology-enabled future
The increasing demand for automation in production and manufacturing facilities has also led to a stronger demand for innovative, technology-driven solutions in the region.
The rapid advancement of consumer and business products using the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, particularly in China, is creating expectations for FM providers to offer clients innovative solutions and identify ways to incorporate new technology into their overall FM offer.
Mobile technology is key in the adoption of new software across FM contracts, as more providers are looking for on-the-go solutions to reporting and logging FM jobs, which in turn creates efficiencies and live reporting.
Technology surveys in the region have shown that the use of mobile and tablet devices has increased, and the reduction of hardware costs and better compatibility between systems on internet-enabled devices has led to widespread adoption amongst FM providers.
Smart and sustainable buildings
On average, buildings account for a third of the total energy use in most countries and hold the greatest potential for energy savings. As consumer expectations around reducing corporate carbon emissions grow and sustainability standards increase, building owners face the challenge of improving the performance of their facilities.
Globally we are seeing more emphasis on ‘smart’ buildings and communities, and this trend is likely to continue to grow across the region as technology gets more sophisticated and cost-effective.
In practise, this means that smarter buildings have become a go-to solution for companies looking to minimise energy and resource use, helping them to enhance user experience without driving up running costs.
Effective energy management is essential to achieve cost reduction in building operations, and to have a genuine impact this requires both structural and non-structural approaches.
Non-structural strategies and practices are often neglected and require more attention to ensure effectiveness. However, as the demand for smart buildings grows, clients are also investing more in property, incorporating structural initiatives and retro-fitting.
FM on the rise
As economic growth across APAC drives increased investment from regional and international companies, increasing competition for talent will mean rising demand for high quality FM services. For occupiers and FM providers, this means there is a huge opportunity – but only if they are prepared to reach out and grab it.
The fast-paced adoption of new technology is changing expectations amongst users; and it will be easy for companies to find themselves left behind with outdated estates; unable to deliver the services they need or to attract and retain the right people.
Macro operates for a number of international clients across the Asia Pacific region, and our experience has shown that forming a strategic partnership with an FM provider is the best way to radically improve service delivery and drive down costs without compromising on quality.
With FM on the rise in Asia Pacific, the question is – can you afford to get left behind?