My name is Martin Fitch and I am NJC’s Operations Director. I live on the south coast with my wife, two children at University and two West Highland Terriers. I have worked in soft FM for over 20 years, with a London Professional Services focus, and have held senior roles within family run SMEs and FTSE 250 service providers.
What does your role involve?
My role at NJC is to ensure that we deliver a customer focused service that really demonstrates an understanding of our client’s needs, whilst focusing on enhancing the workplace for all users. This is a shared belief for all of our teams at NJC and our approach is ‘Quality starts with me’.
As a Board Director, my responsibility is to ensure the profitability of the business so that we are able to re-invest in the continual development of our people, processes and technology, to enhance our operational capability for the future.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I’ve got a reputation for being ‘hands on’ and like nothing better than spending time visiting our contracts, meeting our customers and getting to know our frontline colleagues. I have been hot desking for over 10 years! This approach sometimes means early morning or late evening visits to sites to carry out joint audits or speak to the teams on site, but without our frontline colleagues we wouldn’t have a business and it’s great to get direct feedback.
Our business is all about people and I’m passionate about the development of our colleagues, from our frontline teams through to our management. I thoroughly enjoy seeing structured succession planning leading to new opportunities and promotions. I benefited from having a mentor and it’s an approach that I have embraced to support individuals within our business that are looking to progress.
What are the biggest benefits you bring to your customers?
Our service operations are based on the understanding that it is "Not Just Cleaning", but creating an environment where our customers and their employees can excel, through our service, our people and our technology. We focus on getting the basics right, delivering clean buildings and enhancing our customer’s workspace, and because we focus on our customer’s specific needs we are always able to flex our operations to suit their demands.
Training, supporting and empowering our colleagues allows them to go above and beyond for our customers; that is the NJC DNA.
What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
I’m frustrated by some of the larger FM companies adopting a ‘race to the bottom’ approach when tendering for services. Poor margins do not give businesses the opportunity to re-invest in continuous improvements and to deliver high quality services on an ongoing basis.
One of the biggest challenges in our industry is to motivate new talent to join our sector and then keeping them engaged to develop their careers. The impact of the potential mismanagement and corporate failure of companies such as Carillion, and more recently Interserve, has helped create a negative attitude towards the FM sector.
In 2022 we’ll all be talking about?
There is a lot of discussion about the huge impact that Artificial Intelligence will have on Facilities Management and the built environment, so it will be fascinating to see the progress and benefits realised. For our part, we see the data generated through technology as being much more important than the device that collected it and we foresee a smarter use of data in the future.
Having come through a growth period for integrated and bundled services from large FM providers, the tide seems to be turning in favour of a more specialised sourcing approach. By 2022, will we know whether bundling FM services was really the answer?
Where will we find you when you are not at work?
About 3 years ago I made the ‘mistake’ of moving into a late Victorian house requiring renovation, so most of my spare time is spent finishing what seems like a never-ending restoration project. However, I am lucky enough to live within a 5 minute walk of the beach and to properly relax, you will find me on the sand walking with my two dogs at low tide. Less relaxing was the time one of my dogs decided to swim towards France….but that’s another story!