Rank Xerox (UK) Ltd yesterday announced the setting up a Xerox Facilities Management division to spearhead further movement into the growing market for facilities management, with Xerox aiming specifically at document-based facilities management, a market in which it predicts a massive 300% growth rate over the next three to five years. Facilities management – or […]
Rank Xerox (UK) Ltd yesterday announced the setting up a Xerox Facilities Management division to spearhead further movement into the growing market for facilities management, with Xerox aiming specifically at document-based facilities management, a market in which it predicts a massive 300% growth rate over the next three to five years. Facilities management – or FM – involves the complete taking over by an outside organisation of an area previously handled in-house – for example cleaning services, catering or data processing – with the outside organisation putting its own staff on-site and being completely responsible for all activity in that area. Xerox, naturally enough, has decided to concentrate its tegy in this direction based around two crucial factors: a quality guarantee contract and a simple, predictable billing system. The quality guarantee, which is written into the contract with the client, establishes five promises of service standards: a guarantee of 100% uptime of agreed staff levels, including holiday and sickness; a guarantee of 100% uptime of service, even at peak periods; guaranteed reliability levels for on-site equipment; guaranteed availability of supplies and consumables; guaranteed levels of output quality and response times. Xerox says these guarantees, which were established as the result of a survey of customer requirements, have been ratified by the British Standards BS5750 standard introduced to define quality of service.
One monthly invoice
Customers will pay for this service through a single monthly invoice based on an agreed cost per copy. This is the only charge, and stays at the agreed rate regardless of whether more Xerox staff are brought in to cope with increased throughput, or whether the job is produced in-house or via the Xerox Copy Centre network; only all-perfect work is billed. General manager John Falconer says Xerox is targetting large firms within the financial, insurance, legal and high tech sectors for the service – its existing customer base includes Merrill Lynch, Bankers Trust, ICL and Hewlett-Packard – and is particularly keen to develop the potentially rich pickings in the public sector. As mentioned before, the growth in demand for this service has been projected over three to five years. At the end of this period, would not the move into data processing prove irresistable? Firstly, printing and reprographic services are almost certainly to become more directly connected to data processing applications; secondly, there appears to be a lot of money to be made in data processing facilities management; and thirdly, is not Xerox, with no binding committment of its own in data processing, well-placed to offer the best multi-vendor environment without partiality? Iain Livingston, director of Xerox’ UK Sales Operations, stated that despite pressure from existing customers to provide such a service, there was absolutely no policy to follow this up, for reasons at the heart of the company’s revised corporate strategy. The domain of data processing, believes Livingston, lies in what he calls structured applications – such as payroll and account management – and after dabbling in these areas, it was decided that there was really no more room for development there. The way forward, he continued, is through the more all-encompassing task of increasing the competitive edge of companies through improving their quality of management, a term used by Livingston to describe the internal processes central to the running of an operation. These processes, he concluded, will remain essentially document-based and will moreover become increasingly important to the future survival of a company: providing systems capable of efficiently regulating these processes will be the core of Xerox’ future strategy, and is the rationale behind the company’s diversification into the printing and reprographic facilities management arena.