Cloudfm – Restoring Trust in Facility Management
Cloudfm, with its new approach and groundbreaking technology, has disrupted the facility management market.
When Jeff Dewing founded Cloudfm ten years ago, he had a very clear idea of what he wanted to achieve – to change the facility management culture, focusing on transparency, trust and cost control. Ten years on, with prime global clients, international recognition and a Queen’s Award, the business is soaring, planning to go global with its unique proposition and its patent-pending new technology.
“We have the technology to enable a new era of transparency and behaviour that will rebuild trust and confidence in the industry and drive huge efficiencies and cost-benefits to all the associated stakeholders,” says Jeff Dewing. “That was much needed in a sector that suffered from a range of problems, including a lack of compliance, overcharging, incorrect data and low efficiency.”
Visibility & Transparency
Jeff Dewing co-founded Cloudfm in 2012 and developed a successful business that grew from £1m to £70m in just 4 years. By using cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking to drive behavioural change, Cloudfm demonstrated significant cost efficiencies and radically improved legal compliance for all of its clients.
“Our technology developed in-house allows absolute transparency and visibility, coupled with a game-changing element of cost control,” he says. “It underpins the best people and the most efficient processes – there are no gaps in information, no manipulated data, no deleting, or hiding or removing. What you see is true.”
Cloudfm’s product is the Freedom platform, a workflow management system designed to work seamlessly in line with the client’s business, providing them with real-time visibility of every single element of their maintenance activity. The Freedom platform is specifically designed to minimise human involvement and duplication and aims at providing maximum compliance, ultimate performance and cost control.
Mr Dewing points out that the Cloudfm proposition appeals primarily to early adopters, people who are forward thinking and want to do something different. “One of the reasons why our business has done so well is that we follow a philosophy of having a small number of large clients. We’re here to show the industry how to do things differently and better, we’re not here to become the biggest in the industry.”
Doing the Right Thing
Cloudfm now employs around 180 people and serves clients across the whole of the UK and Ireland as well as Spain, where the company has an office in Barcelona. Mr Dewing affirms that getting the right people, and then getting the best out of them, while supporting their development, is key.
“Most companies want to bring in people with experience in a particular field or with particular skill sets. Not us. Skills can be taught relatively easily. What we care about is the people – What is it that makes those people tick? What are their values? Do they understand our purpose? Do they truly believe in that? Do they believe what we believe?”
“If so, we put them in a great environment, a safe environment that enables them to grow. We have an overriding statement in our business – ‘We do not care what it costs, always do the right thing’. This gives people permission to just be their best selves.”
And Cloudfm does seem to do the right thing. The client portfolio includes Monsoon/Accessorize, Ask, Zizzi, Fridays, The Range, Tui Group as well as The White Company, to name just a few. Bearing in mind that the company is just 10 years old, the average client life with Cloudfm is seven and a half years.
Supporting the Green Move
The benefits that Cloudfm provides to its customers have not only financial but also environmental implications. Cloudfm has been recently recognised as a Sample Vendor in the Asset Optimization category in the international 2022 Gartner® report titled, “Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar: Environmental Sustainability”.
“Asset optimisation has a key role to play in environmental sustainability. The technology is available now to help organisations drive change and see immediate environmental benefits. We fully support the key actions highlighted in the report, by delivering concrete sustainability results in addition to conventional outcomes such as productivity, reliability, and availability.”
While technology is a great tool, there are other ways in which Cloudfm delivers sustainability-related performance. The company manages a broad supply chain on behalf of its clients, and the focus is to have contractors who are as local as possible, to travel shorter distances, creating the opportunity to switch to electric vehicles.
Outside the FM industry, Cloudfm has established a strategic partnership with the Portugal-based Reef Company that focuses on providing ocean recovery and revitalisation solutions by using large scalable engineered reef structures. These will stimulate coral and marine growth, helping in absorbing carbon and generating oxygen. “This is a massive project, and we are proud to be helping to establish 2,000 new reefs within the next few years on a global scale,” says Jeff Dewing.
Game-Changing Award Winner
The achievements during Cloudfm’s short history have not gone unnoticed. In 2019, the company was selected as a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in the category of Innovation, which recognises its outstanding contribution to the facilities management industry. This is the first time a facility management company has been credited for innovation.
“We were commended for our transformative technology-led solution, as well as our advanced systems and processes, things of which we are very proud,” acknowledges Jeff Dewing, adding that the company was also named by the Financial Times in the top 1000 companies to inspire Britain in 2018 and 2019, and, more recently, by Gartner as a leading Technology Specialist in the Internet of Things.
The latter recognition is for Cloudfm’s groundbreaking new technology, Mindsett, that introduces the principles and technologies of IoT-enabled predictive maintenance, moving Cloudfm from conventional FM management to a high-tech business using IoT machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The New Mindsett
“Mindsett, developed during the pandemic, is going to take the industry to a whole new level,” says Mr Dewing. “Trials have demonstrated that Mindsett extends the lifespan of assets and improves the efficiency as a result of maximising operational efficiency.”
Mindsett combines its new Smart Box ‘PRISM’ with artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce costs, eliminate waste and predict asset failure weeks in advance. The benefits go wider, with a compliance and risk module that allow users to demonstrate the potential savings from asset monitoring and monitor changes in temperature or failures that could cause issues such as legionella or impair emergency lighting.
Mindsett is also set to further accelerate Cloudfm’s growth. “Our automatically-operated IoT technology can work with any provider and is therefore extremely scalable. We’re expecting to go global within the next two to five years, potentially covering 50 countries and a huge asset portfolio,” concludes Jeff Dewing.