FM Times Podcast
  • 07 Oct.2021
  • 5 Min min read

Key Barriers and Outcomes of State of Facilities Management in South East Asia

by Harshika Singh



Facility management firms are striving to adjust to changing technological usage and economic trends and they have now realised how short a time span is left to handle these developments. Current unanticipated advancements, for which we had no way of preparing, have increased the importance of adaptability and innovation. 

The urge to transform increases the risk factor but adds significantly to the improvement of your firm. If you are locked in a traditional company, you will find it more difficult to adjust to a data first environment. Transformation, once again, do not wait for your next planned implementation period. If your company does not make the necessary changes in a timely manner, it may be too late, and your company will be lagging behind the rest of the world. 

We don’t want you to struggle so we’ve identified four major barriers and outcomes that Southeast Asia Facility management companies can avoid.

Southeast Asia FM firms compared to rest of the world

Countries have evolved and changed. Technology has become so intricate and developed that there aren’t many companies who understand it any longer. It takes time for them to recognise the change but then they struggle in the road of transformation.

South East Asia markets account for about 3% of the global market when considering the integrated facilities management. FM enterprises are being encouraged by the government to focus on innovation and technology. But, when the government evaluates organisations, they must have a certain number of headcounts. So the government wants organisations to not only have these efficiencies, but also a minimum headcount.

Innovation through the incorporation of technology-supported propositions or enabling technologies is key to the future of FM.” said Janice Wung, Program Manager, Industrial Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

If you look up to the Southeast Asian FM firms, you’ll see IoT is absolutely getting a lot more airtime than what it used to. The real issue, though, is how to get value from the data. It’s not good enough for an organisation to say tick the box, IoT is installed, we’re getting data. But it really does actually have to add some form of real value in the chain.

Is FM markets prepared to take calculated risks?

Digital transformation was once a key focus, but it has now become a requirement. For nearly a decade, it was in the forefront of people’s minds, yet it was also simple to neglect but now you can’t do that.

Inefficiency lies in the traditional companies which are unable to start with the transformational move. Inefficiency suggests that the FM industry is missing out on the advantage of making operations more efficient through technology. As a result, the organization struggles to adopt the new technologies coming by. When your company refuses to invest in upgrading facilities and providing a better workplace experience, it will miss out on attracting the best talent and with that if it becomes too comfortable with the continued business-as-usual scenario, the economical growth rate will drop.

Calculated Risk

Although coming up with a solution is easy, implementing it is a quite totally different thing. The reality is that you must be able to demonstrate to your customers, as well as your own employees, that this is the correct thing to do and that you can accomplish it.

 As a result, it’s essentially a risk-reward situation. Taking a calculated risk by stating that our company will be slightly more proactive than its competitors, with the condition that there may be downside.

Internal roadblocks, impeding transformational change

Change is not an intention to eliminate traditional companies, rather, it is an effort to keep FM firms moving with the transformation.

The main difficulty, though, is that cost is tied with culture and comfort. You can’t simply add technology and expect the headcount to stay the same. The goal is to find efficiencies and cut down on costs.

At Xempla, we believe that you should start by examining the problem you are attempting to address.

Even if the customer is unaware of the process, we are the ones who can, to some extent, change their focus from labour to technology. Of course, when it concerns the cost of tech innovation. Overall FM cost now must be lower in comparison to future costs.

Frameworks to get going on their transformational journey

In our Podcast Series, Umesh and James cover the four Cs: Culture, Comfort, Contracts, and Costs, which is a fundamental framework for properly addressing the underlying need for change.


Culture in this context refers to preparing your organisation or a portion of it for change. Culture has the capacity to alter, and it does so. It just needs to have the right leadership and vision.

“When organizations undertake digital transformation and focus only on technology at the expense of culture, that can hinder progress in many areas,” says Carey Oven, a partner with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory at Deloitte & Touche LLP.


Working on an existing contract and running a parallel process with the team, assuring them that this is the site and you are not committed in any way, is what comfort entails.

As a result, you’ve pushed yourself, seen things from a fresh angle, and begun to identify the holes in the process. So that could be a technique to put yourself at comfort.


If the customer looks at you as an absolute promoter, has genuine love for technology, ready for the change and you have mutual trust. then this is the client with whom you can have an open and honest conversation about what you’re planning to do and what you believe the outcome will be.


If an FM company has been using traditional strategies, it should set aside savings. Considering Double digit savings is a must.

Of course, you can’t expect it to happen on its own, you must work at it, and there are some really simple things you can do to save money, such as integrating services and using cross-service synergies.

Our blogs cover all the major insights and frameworks briefly. You can check our Ebook or Podcast Series to know more!

Let us know what you think about these insights and frameworks. What, in your opinion, is an actionable framework or plan that will assist a traditional organisation in beginning their transformation journey?

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