The UK could be accused of being obsessed with benchmarking. Whether it is university ratings, hospital waiting lists or the percentage of trains that get us to work on time, benchmarks are everywhere. Eyes may roll at the sight of yet another suite of key performance indicators (KPIs) - this time for the M&E industry. Love them or hate them, the latest KPIs provide evidence that M&E service delivery has changed, and largely in the right direction.
At least, that's the general trend. Table 1 provides feedback on the 14 headline KPIs, showing the trend over the last three years against the first year of data collection. Overall, design satisfaction is interesting as it's shown the greatest improvement since 2001, compared with the other headline customer satisfaction KPIs. Admittedly this started from a very low base of 38 per cent, but in 2001 only 50 per cent of M&E contractors were actively involved in design (50 per cent being procured on an installation-only basis). By 2010 this was closer to 80 per cent. Clearly the more experience contractors had, the better they got.
BSRIA's calculation for productivity removes cost of goods supplied and the labour costs, leaving turnover derived by M&E activity. Even allowing for inflation, this has improved significantly over time. Each M&E operative contributes an average £46 000 to pure turnover, an increase from £26,000 in 2001 (2001 values allowing for inflation).
The KPI for environmental impact was introduced in 2005 to capture how well M&E contractors control it during the installation phase. This year saw a vast improvement compared with 2009.
It might be a blip or it might not, but what with rising interest in corporate responsibility, display energy certification, and attractive feed-in tariffs for renewables, more clients are demanding good practice from their professional teams. The KPI results indicate that contractors have risen to the challenge.
The M&E contractors are also taking more notice of energy and environmental issues due to pressure across all parties to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. BSRIA intelligence has uncovered that more M&E contracting firms are perceiving that tackling energy and environmental issues is a strategic business opportunity.