Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 11 No 1 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 11 NUMBER 1
MEMBER INSIGHTS |
FMA EXISTING MEMBER
Name: Campbell Walker
Job title: Executive Director (Board Chairman)
Organisation: Urban Maintenance Systems Pty Ltd
(UMS) and Ultum Pty Ltd
Key responsibilities: Chairing the UMS
Group of companies and playing a large
role in maintaining the year-on-year health
of client relationships, as well as leading
the business development direction at both
UMS and Ultum.
When and how did you get into
I was invited by a former school friend to join
UMS as a shareholder in 1997. At that stage,
the company was two years old. This year, I
will celebrate my 20th year with UMS.
What attracted you to your current job?
Seeing the opportunities popping up
in government and semi-government
outsourcing, and the ability to invest as a
shareholder in my first large-scale business.
What do you find most fulfilling
I enjoy assisting people within UMS to
grow as much as the business itself, and the
satisfaction from happy customers when
UMS goes the extra mile (which is strangely
viewed as being uncommon in our industry
these days). We see it as a must-do to stand
out and differentiate ourselves.
What is your career highlight to date?
Being recognised by my peers and voted
in for a second term as a director of the
FMA. Other highlights are overseeing a
range of philanthropic organisations, namely
Melbourne Day and the O’Brien Institute at
St Vincent’s Hospital.
And your biggest career challenge so far?
Buying out my longstanding business partner,
the founder of UMS. The challenge was to make
the business mine, and put my stamp on it.
How do you think the industry has
changed over the past five years?
The industry has started to mature over the
past few years in relation to ‘you get what
you pay for’. I believe that there is a maturity
in understanding that the cheapest price may
not be the best value for your organisation.
I think that our industry is leading the way,
and is now challenging the old temptations
to accept the lowest price, to the detriment
of service delivery, quality and safety. These
items are being considered more in our
industry, which is hopefully educating both
service providers and procurement in having
mature conversations and assessments.
In your view, what are the three biggest
challenges the industry faces today, and
if you could change just one of those,
what would it be and why?
The three biggest challenges facing
our industry are: long-term thinking,
understanding value for money (which
includes safety, quality and environment) and
specialisation (our industry managers need to
be across a wider range and have a deeper
understanding of various skill sets).
If I had to change one, I think it would be
the value proposition around price. We need
to have a procurement approach that goes
beyond the initial price. If your price point does
not get the client’s attention, then it’s very hard
to state your case, and could lead to possibly
missing out on an interview/presentation
where you could present your case.
What do you see in the future of the
industry that you are most excited about?
I’m excited about the return to partnering
agreements from more than 20 years ago – a
time when your contractor really was part
of the fabric of the client’s team. In the last
eight to 10 years, some clients have wanted
to keep the client/contractor at arm’s length,
which has resulted in shorter-term thinking,
and an ‘us versus them’ culture. With a
united team and vision, greater value can be
achieved while also having fun.
What piece of advice do you wish
someone had given you when you
started in FM?
You have no second chance at a first
impression – make the first one count. Be
honest, and deliver what you promise.
If you weren’t in FM, where do you
think you’d be today?
I’d be in motorsports management – possibly
in V8 Supercar administration (blending my
hobby with work).
What’s great about life for you right now?
Good personal health, a happy family, two
new shareholders after buying out my former
partner 2.5 years ago, and a handful of
exciting opportunities for UMS, both here in
Australia and in New Zealand.
Rate out of 10 how important the
following industry hotspots are
for you right now:
3 Providing ongoing PD for my team/
3 Introducing energy-efficiency
3 Managing flexible working: 7
3 Improving service levels while
cutting costs: 9
3 Delivering good social outcomes: 7
3 Adopting new technologies: 10
3 Aligning services to meet the
business’s strategic outcomes: 9
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