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12 TOPDESK MAGAZINE - MARCH 2017

Collaboration without monitoring
Wisse Stenchlak about collaboration in
facility management
Collaborating in the new economy doesn’t work if organizations uphold dogmas from
previous decades. Today’s market should therefore stop working together in the traditional
sense, where success is measured with KPIs, SLAs and fines. Instead we should move
to collaboration without monitoring. This is the vision of Wisse Stenchlak, Commercial
Manager at ArrangeGroup.
Text: Leo Kranenburg Photography: Aad Hogendoorn

More and more organizations are focusing they often use the wrong definition. Most while we should work together more.”
on their core tasks. Supporting services, like partners are focused on their own future and “If you want to work together well, you need
facilities management, are outsourced to revenue model, but they often don’t know this to have the best intentions for each other.
service providers. Organizations stay on top about each other. There isn’t a mutual interest Otherwise it only leads to frustration. To keep
of these services by formulating standards, and instead they focus on price, achievements control, the customer continues to manage
minimum requirements, desired results and and quality. But do we lean so much on ratio things they shouldn’t manage at all. And the
goals. But this traditional customer-supplier that we forgot how to manage on instinct and contractor has the same attitude towards his
relationship doesn’t leave much room for trust in relationships between people?” or her employees and customer. This way you
service providers to focus on quality. They often never achieve full transparency.”
have to deal with price competition without
necessarily being the most successful service Matching and dating
provider, and end up delivering minimum Stenchlak encourages customers and service Best Value
standards to secure their return. This might providers to work together differently. In recent years, facilities organizations have
give customers what they want, but they don’t “Focusing on numbers seems necessary, but it’s experimented with new collaboration methods
get the most value out of their relationship. not enough for an optimal relationship. What’s to overcome these problems, such as ‘best
missing? Concern for the match between value procurement’. Stenchlak: “This approach
organizations. Take a look at what partnership has a number of new strategic pillars and is
Rationalization means in the private sphere, for instance. If based on predictability, transparency, win-win,
Wisse Stenchlak studied facilities management you enter a relationship after a number of no silos and no control. It’s a good starting
at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. In successful dates, you do this because it gives point where organizations select an expert
2009 he took his first steps on the FM market you a positive feeling. You like someone and and stop laying down strict guidelines. They
as Interim Professional at ArrangeGroup, and you have the same morals and values. We can have a price cap for project and organizational
now he is Commercial Manager Interim & also apply these characteristics to the business goals, after which the service provider tries to
Consultancy. He acknowledges the problems to business environment. If a friend is short of meet these goals on a functional level based
that the traditional customer-supplier money, it’s likely you won’t mind picking up the on his or her expertise. The level of innovation
relationships face. “The market writes tab. But would you do the same in a business- is higher, there are fewer mistakes in the
and speaks a lot about partnerships,” says to-business environment? In the market we process and more value is created for the
Stenchlak, “but continue to view things from our own position, organizational goals.”
TOPDESK MAGAZINE - MARCH 2017 13

Wisse Stenchlak, Commercial
Manager at ArrangeGroup

Structure doesn’t create value,
people do
It’s a step in the right direction, claims
Stenchlak. “I believe that best value helps to
select the expert with the best performance.
But it’s not the method to build the best
relationship. A relationship based on trust
can’t be expressed in metrics, and working
with an expert doesn’t guarantee the best
relationship.” The best value approach reduces
risks and ensures predictability based on
structures and performance data. Stenchlak
believes that trust and a good relationship
thrive on creativity, experimenting and the
autonomy of people in this collaboration.
“In the FM market it’s all about finding a
relationship that creates value by using the
right professionals. They ensure that people
working for a customer are proud of their work
environment, work productively and are happy.
In the end, facility professionals support the
organization by achieving its strategic goals.
Change is never top-down, but bottom-up
instead. Facility management is the internal
service provider that ensures that people enjoy
working at an organization. We can truly call
this creating value.”
“I look forward to the first customers and
service providers that let go of dogmas and
primarily search for the best relationship”, says
Stenchlak. “Find an organization with people
that you feel connected to by dating. Then
start to build the relationship, like in real life.
A prerequisite is that you have to believe in
the partnership. It’s why this approach isn’t
14 TOPDESK MAGAZINE - MARCH 2017

right for organizations with mandatory tender our collaboration ideals in a strong economic relationships and trust are more important
agreements. Or does this make me guilty of climate, or whether the abundance will limit than monitoring mechanisms, structures and
holding on to a dogma?” the sense of urgency.” old beliefs.”
“Eventually,” says Stenchlak, “we’ll
learn to collaborate without monitoring
Effect of a strong economic Learning to work together mechanisms by trusting each other. Of course
climate “I expect we’ll find a good balance. I’m an partnerships require plans, contracts and
Nevertheless, Stenchlak sees the future idealist and believe that we enter relationships organizational frameworks, and we need to
of facility management collaborations as that add value in every era – no matter the uphold regulations. It doesn’t matter that you
a positive one. “The market has reached a economic, political or social context. Greyston document the collaboration. As long as you
turning point. On the one hand there are new Bakery is a good example. This bakery do this as minimally and simply as possible,
initiatives focused on creating value. But the was located in one of the most criminal so people understand it and it isn’t used to
motivation behind this can be traced back neighbourhoods of New York, and was founded monitor a good relationship.”
in part to the 2008 credit crunch. We were to help underprivileged people find work. Their
creative with available assets. And at the end motto says it all: ‘We don’t hire people to bake
of the crisis we were no longer talking about brownies, we bake brownies to hire people’.
money, but more about value and innovations. Everyone can apply for a job and they’re always
It looks like we’re facing some years of invited for an interview. The employees are
economic growth. Will we return to our own also continuously challenged to develop,
horizon? Or will the development continue which they do. The profits are given back to
and will we look for new ways to collaborate? the community, the company and employees.
I wonder whether we’ll continue to pursue This sounds idealistic, but it illustrates that

In the market we continue
to view things from our
own position, while we
should work together more.