As 2023 draws to a close, I’ve reflected on what has been a gratifying year. Having started the year as CEO of Atalian Servest, I was honoured and excited to take up the role of Group Chief Executive of the newly formed OCS following its merger with Atalian Servest’s operations in the UK, Ireland, and Asia in March 2023.
As two stonewalls of the industry, I knew the underlying strength of both the Atalian Servest and OCS and believed in the great potential that combining them would create. The merger presented us with the opportunity to take the best bits from both businesses to develop a genuine disruptor in the international facilities management landscape.
That said, I was also cognisant of the challenging macro picture. Rising interest rates and persistent inflation have created difficulties for our customers and colleagues. I knew from the outset that we would need to adapt holistically to successfully position ourselves as the partner and employer of choice in the market.
Resilience: A Pillar of Strength in Challenging Times
The merger was more than a business transaction; it was an opportunity to redefine our purpose and values, ensuring we build our most compelling offering for our customers. In my experience in this industry, I’ve seen that having resilience is crucial to success. With 2023 being as challenging as it has been for business generally, this quality has never been more critical.
At OCS, we’re on a mission to become the best facilities service provider in the world. I’ve been encouraged to see how colleagues across the business have responded to this challenge, often in testing conditions, to ensure we meet the high standards we promise to deliver. Indeed, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is a testament to the resilience and drive of our colleagues. I thank every one of them for their valued contribution and commitment.
TRUE Values: Guiding Our Journey with Trust, Respect, Unity, and Empowerment
Similarly, I have been proud to see our TRUE values—Trust, Respect, Unity, and Empowerment—guiding us through this transformative period. I’ve seen evidence of these values in practice helping to shape our business for the better as we grow at pace over the coming years.
Trust: It’s all in the Process
In my experience, trust is the bedrock upon which successful mergers are built. Trust in our collective vision, trust in our strategy, and trust in the capabilities of our teams have been instrumental to our success this year.
Indeed, the success of our merger can be seen in the flagship customer wins we’ve achieved throughout the year (Royal Parks, Government Property Agency, and Irish Rail, to name a few). Winning a business’s trust is never something we take for granted, and we work to be the best partner we can be.
Respect: A Foundation for Collaboration and Sustainability
Respect for our colleagues and a broader sustainability approach have been at the forefront of our endeavours. Respectful collaboration has enabled us to unite as one business with a shared vision and mission. While this principle covers many aspects of our business, one particularly evident area is our 2040 net-zero commitment, a testament to our dedication to setting the standard for excellence in compliance and responsible stewardship.
Unity: One Business, One Vision
Since the very early stages of the merger, I have been impressed with how the new OCS has presented itself as a singular, cohesive business entity. The merger was a consolidation of operations and a unification of purpose and vision.
Over this year, I’ve had the opportunity to visit several of our teams on the front line across the globe. Every time I make one of these trips, I’m inspired time and time again to see how colleagues pull together to provide the market-leading service our business is known for.
Empowerment: Investing in Our Teams
Empowerment, a commitment to investing in our teams, is a cornerstone of our strategy. Our success is intrinsically tied to the growth and development of our people. By empowering our colleagues and encouraging them to take ownership, make decisions, and shape the future of our business, we nurture future leaders within our organisation.
The merger has allowed us to combine the best initiatives from both organisations into one holistic approach. We proudly offer schemes that offer access to employment for people who may not get the opportunity, ensuring we select from as broad a talent pool as possible and offer apprenticeships and progression schemes across the business to support development.
Serving Communities: A Responsibility We Cherish
Integral to our identity is our role as responsible and sustainable members of the communities we serve. Our goal is to manage spaces efficiently and create a positive impact on the people and places we touch. This mindset permeates every aspect of our business and drives the support we offer locally in those countries where we operate.
As we move forward, OCS’ BEST strategy and TRUE values remain the driving force behind our mission to make people and places the best they can be. We are a unified global team with one identity and vision. We are poised for growth, and I want OCS to become the market leader in the facilities management industry. Reflecting on the first ten months of this transformative journey, I have nothing but confidence in our ability to achieve our goal.