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10 Questions with…Paul Goggins

10 Questions with…Paul Goggins

In each issue we ask an FM professional the Tomorrow’s FM 10 Questions. This month we spoke to Paul Goggins, Specification Manager at UAP Ltd.

1. What was your first job?

My first job was working for a company called Telefusion, my role was essentially to fit aerials. In fact, I remember the second day I was there I was working in a loft, and I fell through the ceiling. I was hanging upside down suspended by my foot that was caught on the wires. There was a painter and decorator working on the floor below and he was furious as he’d just painted the ceiling.

2. How did you get into the FM industry?

I got into the FM industry via building maintenance, I worked for a merchants called Magna & Sons and initially they were set up to support the ‘white van man’, small contractors and housebuilders. I started off as a Trainee Manager and progressed to Branch Manager in one of the biggest branches. 

3. How do you challenge the status quo?

To challenge the status quo, you must be better. It’s important to have a ‘leading edge’ in a specific area, whether that’s price, service, or stock availability. Just reflecting on Magna & Sons again, their KPI was stock availability, and it really did set them apart. Ensuring that stock is readily available is also something that we pride ourselves on at UAP. 

4. Since you started in FM what has been the biggest change the industry has seen / you have observed?

The market has changed a lot in recent years, if you take the commercial office sector for example, people aren’t travelling to the office as frequently as they would have before the pandemic. This means the buildings are simply not degrading as much as they were. However, what we have noticed is that there has been a shift towards repurposing space, rather than more traditional refurbishment works. We’re now supporting customers with more refits and remodelling projects. 

However, one of the wider industry changes has been the rise of digital technology. For UAP, one of the key things was to ensure our trade website was easy to use – this has also been important over the last few years too, as people just aren’t travelling as much – we had to make it easy for products to be viewed, accounts to be set up and deliveries to be organised. 

As a business it is vital to provide customers with various touchpoints to maintain that level of service.

5. Who, in any other industry, do you most admire?

Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City. He has redeveloped football in his own image; he’s at the forefront of tactical innovations and creating new styles of play. 

6. What is your favourite film?

Cathy Come Home.

7. If you could host a dinner party with three guests, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

It would have to be Frankie Boyle, Rik Mayall, and George Carlin. Three very clever comedians that tell (and told) incredible stories. I wouldn’t stop laughing all night.

8. Any advice to someone just starting out in the industry?

Have a serious think about what you want your long-term career to look like. Set out with a plan to get the work/life balance right and create specific goals that you want to achieve. It’s also important to consider the type of organisations you want to join and align yourself with a business that looks after you, and one that is committed to taking on younger people. 

In addition, find out about the industry. Read trade magazines, blogs, attend exhibitions and try and build as many relationships as you can. LinkedIn is a brilliant platform to explore too.

9. What do you think is the future of the FM industry?

It’s got to be about technology and having a building that is ‘tech-enabled’. From a UAP point of view, we’re engaging with a lot of companies in the FM industry, and we can see the digital enhancements taking place. For instance, one customer we work and provide products for has taken over the supply to various local authorities; they actually have a dedicated service set up just for them and their requirements. All stock is digitally enabled and can be monitored to ensure that new products can be delivered to sites quickly if emergency repair is needed.

10. Which area of FM do you think could be best transformed through technology?

I think it’s expanding the capabilities of a connected building, using BIM technology, and ensuring that we’re proactively managing buildings better.

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