Future of Facility Management
Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Marieke Weerts (Atir): Making developments tangible for facility managers

By Service Management

Following a successful first edition in 2018, the Facility Inspiration Event, organised by Interclean Amsterdam and facilities consultancy Atir, is once again going to feature at the trade show. Marieke Weerts, who is a managing partner at Atir and closely involved in the organisation, explains what facility managers can expect from the revamped event.

Marieke Weerts joined Atir in 2011 and has held the post of managing partner of the consultancy for a couple of years now. Given her hospitality background and broad experience within facility management consultancy her role is to focus on a daily basis on, among other things, strategic issues and tenders, with an emphasis on cleaning. "That's also what I'm most interested in. Cleaning is a sector that revolves around people and I love working with customers and service providers to achieve the best possible result." Given her enthusiasm it is hardly surprisingly, therefore, that Marieke is involved in the organisation of Interclean’s Facility Inspiration Event during the world's largest trade show for the cleaning industry.

Experience solutions

"Interclean needed to attract more facility managers to the trade show. Although facility managers from abroad are, in particular, familiar with the trade show, the same cannot be said of their colleagues in the Netherlands", Marieke explains. "That's a shame because Interclean is a great opportunity to see, with your own eyes, which practical solutions are available. Facility managers are the ones who read all about the possibilities of their chain partners in the quotations they receive, for example in the field of sustainability and robotisation. Many of these solutions are already being presented at Interclean, where you can therefore see them in practice. That makes it all more tangible."

Atir and Interclean are joining forces to put in place a nice, attractive and interesting programme for, and partly by, facility managers. This year the Facility Inspiration Event is spread across two mornings, namely 11 and 12 May. Although the programme for both days has, in principle, the same structure, there will be different speakers on each day. "So they'll provide a slightly different perspective on the same theme", Marieke clarifies. "The real enthusiasts can attend both days if they wish, but even attending one day will give you an all-round picture of the current state of affairs."

Sustainability in the chain

The programme on both days is starting at 11.00, with a variety of speakers who will examine the three themes. As Marieke explains, "The first theme is called 'Sustainability: creating value and making impact through chain cooperation'. So it's about making the whole chain sustainable and this is a topic many facility managers are involved in at the moment. And they have to be because sustainability is no longer a unique selling point for organisations, but rather a must. Nowadays you can only have a real impact if you collaborate within the entire chain." The speakers on this theme are facility managers from the field who will talk about their approach and specifically how they tackle the issue of sustainability. They will tell us about the problems they have come up against and which lessons they can share with us. "Facility Coordinator Christel Simmelink from Waternet will, for example, talk about their approach based on a circular roadmap and how she has started working on this together with her chain partners."

Robotisation and digitisation

The second theme is called 'Workforce and ergonomics: people are the most valuable asset in FM'. "People are the most important facility service asset", Marieke explains. "How do we keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible while they work for us? This is a key issue within FM, particularly in view of the ageing workforce and the shortages on the labour market. The solution may be to use innovations such as robots and sensoring." That is why the experts participating in the event will examine the relationship between sustainable deployment and innovation in more detail and how facility managers can use this in practice.

'Data-driven Performance Management' is the third and final theme. In the words of Marieke, "Digitisation has, of course, been a feature of our lives some time now and more and more data is becoming available. The question is what can you actually do with it? How can a facility manager use data to improve facility processes and why would you, or should you, even want to do so? Another question is how you should collaborate with your suppliers in this field? The Technical Property manager of a pioneering smart building will explain to us what exactly they measure, what insights this has generated and how they use that data together with their chain partners."

Translation into practice

"In the space of an hour the speakers will not only take the people attending through current developments, but also provide them with practical tips", Marieke adds. "We believe it's important not just to tell visionary stories and talk, for example, very generally about the future of robots or circularity, but actually to translate this into what that means in very practical terms for facility managers. We need to tell them how they can actually start working on this and what it actually offers them at a personal level."

Tour of the exhibition floor

During the Connect & Exchange Lunch, which follows the inspiration sessions, the facility managers present can discuss all of this with each other and with the speakers. "We hope this will be an opportunity for them to exchange newly acquired insights and inspire and learn from each other. There will also be an opportunity to ask the speakers more in-depth questions", Marieke adds. The event will then move to the exhibition floor where the facility managers will be taken on an Innovation Tour past the various exhibitors offering solutions related to one of the three themes. "That immediately provides tangible evidence to back up what they have just heard. It's also a fun way of helping the facility managers find their way around the huge exhibition floor. Seeing all those cleaning solutions in one place can be quite overwhelming." A group tour is being organised and the tour is also available in the Interclean App to give you the option of doing it yourself. The idea is, in any event if it was up to Marieke, that everyone feels inspired as they head off home.

More about Facility Inspiration Event

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