System relevance of FM service providers in the New Normal

The corona pandemic is a catalyst that accelerates existing trends, slows down others and creates new ones. It is beginning to emerge how service providers can create additional value for customers in the much-cited "new reality".

The central questions for facility management service providers at the beginning of the lockdown were: How can customers be helped quickly and pragmatically in the crisis? Which services will be in particular demand, which ones need to be rethought? Which services can be developed in the long term in such a modern and innovative way that the entire FM sector can emerge from the crisis stronger and more systemically relevant?

The basic answer is: good FM providers can implement solutions for all these questions in a goal-oriented manner if they see themselves and position themselves as interdisciplinary, flexible service providers. In this context, trends such as accelerating digitization must be considered and incorporated.

Fast Reaction - "First Aid Kit”
Immediately after the start of the lockdown, Apleona reacted to the previously unknown requirements with new service offerings. Within a few working days, a task force centrally controlled by a structured idea management system collected, validated and selected proposals for ad-hoc pandemic services from all departments and regions and elaborated them as concrete offers and products.

For example, distance markings were produced and glued as well as disinfectant dispensers were produced in-house, temporary waiting areas were installed in reception areas by means of tents, and teams were separated synchronously with the customer to interrupt possible chains of infection. 

This "First Aid Kit" was an important first step to strengthen confidence and demonstrate the ability to act in the short term.

"Solution Module for the new normal”
The next step was to develop medium and long-term concepts that can be adapted to future conditions when the properties are reopened and in the New Normal operating mode. In continuation of the idea management, the Apleona task force developed the "solution modules for the New Normal". In the process, several clients were brought on board as sparring partners, reflecting the relevance, plausibility and feasibility of the resulting concepts. Interdisciplinary thinking, readiness for unusual solutions and a resilient network of customers and contact persons connected in a spirit of partnership were decisive in this process.

For example, in path management, full support can be provided from planning to constructional implementation, or only partial services can be called upon to provide selective help - the technical expertise and the ability to take a multi-factorial approach coupled with flexible customer orientation is what makes good facility management indispensable in the New Normal. 

An Example: Digital Solution "Apleona.SafeAtWork”
A concrete example is sketched for clarification: With its proprietary digital solution Apleona.SafeAtWork, Apleona minimizes the risk of office users being infected with Covid-19 at the workplace. By simply scanning a QR code, users log in and out of the premises they are using, enabling them to quickly identify contact chains and quickly inform other users in the same premises about a potential risk of infection. The software is very easy to use, hardware-independent, DSGVO-compliant and there is no need to install an app on the smartphone - the camera function alone is quite sufficient. Users are only required to check in and out with the camera function of the smartphone via green or red stickers with QR codes attached to workstations, offices or social rooms. Here, "green sticker" means "check in", "red sticker" means "check out". This makes it easy to collect occupancy and movement data within an office building and track contacts. In the event of a potential infection, all users can be informed quickly and efficiently, thus interrupting the chain of infection immediately. In addition, Apleona.SafeAtWork allows a better, demand-oriented control of cleaning and disinfection services, especially of frequently used areas and contact surfaces, in order to proactively interrupt infection chains. Even in the case of a suspected Covid-19 infection or disease, it is possible to react much more effectively and rooms and areas can be immediately closed for further use and appropriate countermeasures such as area disinfection can be initiated. 

The Corona Pandemic and its consequences have shown that integrated facility management is and will be essential during the crisis and in the New Normal. This can be achieved through an innovative and above all customer-oriented approach, since

The original article of Lünendonk & Hossenfelder can be found here.