Bob Forsyth, Managing Director of Mitie Total Security Management, discusses employment and the need for long term thinking in his latest article. He writes: “The impending increases in labour costs over the next few years will no doubt create a time of reflection for UK businesses. Thinking around long-term strategy and how people-based services are to be delivered in the medium to long term will be at the front of everyone’s minds.
“The UK unemployment rate is at its lowest in a decade – according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – indicating a strengthening economy and a tightening labour market. Organisation will therefore require a shift in strategy if they are to meet the challenge they’ll undoubtedly face of growing competition for scarce labour inputs and the inevitable increased wage pressures
“This challenge may well be the catalyst for our clients to think differently and consider a more long-term approach to contracts and their sustainability. Mitie is well known for promoting ways for our clients to introduce technology to enhance what our people do. Now, more than ever, technology will be critical to supporting their long-term plans and objectives.
“Our service offerings are about to change again to reflect these specific challenges and I’m extremely excited about the future. The pace of shifting to a more technical and flexible service will increase like never before and, as an example, the use of outsourced control room environments like Mitec (our remote monitoring and control room as well as our recovery and helpdesk services) will become the norm. The need for increasingly technical delivery models will also be more effective and will enable clients to offset the potentially large increases in cost.
“Our security and cleaning businesses are now moving into a new world of productivity, being driven by dynamic wearable technology and the advancement of software. Our continued investment into these areas will continue at pace to meet these new and evolving needs of our clients.
“I see the use of data to manage decisions and make long-term plans as a key trend and a valuable tool. I truly hope that a renewed outlook on maximising talent and technology will encourage all service providers to work smarter in long-term partnerships, with data at the core.
“This economic shift is also a good opportunity for businesses to think about how they attract and retain the best people, which is always a challenge.
“Companies that adapt and change, prioritising areas of differentiation will continue to flourish and those who do not embrace this new era of increased labour costs will struggle to compete. I am convinced that that our service sector can grow and adapt, embracing talent and technology to produce a highly-skilled workforce enhanced by the latest technology”.
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