The facilities management (FM) industry has long been reliant on the unending demand for labour. It was good for everyone. The slow and steady growth seemed guaranteed, and there was a well-known operating model for how to win. But the good times are over. Large players have been losing share price or underperformed, with abundant profit warnings. The world is changing, but the providers are not.

Robots and automation tech are disrupting how services are delivered across industries. The reliance on labour in FM make the industry particularly vulnerable – yet, few if any providers have adapted, but can this truly continue? Innovations have already reached the FM industry: autonomous floor scrubbers, robotic window cleaning systems and robotic waste sorting to name a few. The response is polarised between the tech-oriented start-ups and traditional FM companies refusing to adapt.

What is required to win, and who will be the future winners? It is time to act.

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