At this year’s press conference, the management team of Sasse Group summarised the challenges that the pandemic year 2020 had brought for the family-owned company and how they handled the crisis successfully.
For sure Corona had serious consequences for the FM sector and journalists were keen to get insights of approaches and solutions. This was shown by the numerous enquiries, e.g. about the concept of compensating for the decline in cleaning tasks in mobility or airports with comprehensive medical-hygienic concepts, which conveyed more security to customers as well as employees when using services. “In some cases, we had to meet the demand for such concepts overnight,” Christine Sasse reported. Thanks to the reorganisation and digitalisation of its processes Sasse Group was able to share the available know-how and provide the required competence at short notice.
According to Christine Sasse, recruiting skilled workers requires increased commitment. “This does not affect our industry alone, but is particularly noticeable in facilities management, which is traditionally strongly oriented towards lateral entrants. Currently employees are reluctant to reorient themselves. The market is almost empty at the moment.” An enormous effort is needed to recruit staff – which the company is pursuing vigorously in order to ensure its quality standards. In this context, Eberhard Sasse referred to the “fascinating willingness to perform that kept us going during the crisis”. Thanks to the 800,000 people in facilities management the sector was able to do its job despite the pandemic.
Digitalisation brings transparency for the client
The forward-looking and demand-oriented services of Sasse Group helped to convince existing customers to extend contracts and to win new customers even in this difficult year, Laura and Clara Sasse reported. Among other things, the company received the ‘Supplier of the Year’ award from Deutsche Bahn, now cleans 83 % of the underground stations for the Berlin transport company (BVG) and will take over the technical FM for DB’s high-tech ICE plant at the beginning of 2022. The two also cited as exemplary the new performance management model that Sasse Group has developed with another client. Here, continuous digitalisation, not least in documentation, creates the greatest possible transparency for the client and helps to reduce the effort for controls.
Also discussed was the matter of outsourcing. Katja Böhmer, Director Operations, made it clear that the decision to outsource FM is no longer driven exclusively by cost advantages. “Our ability to constantly come up with new innovations is at least as relevant, as is the comprehensive, always up-to-date know-how on a broad level and the impulses for process optimisation developed from it.” Against this background, the need for high potentials in all areas is also growing. “For the practical application of diversity, we need just as bright minds as for the realisation of sustainability.” It is a question of leadership culture with a ‘personal branding’ of those in charge that this has developed into a strong argument in Sasse’s attractiveness as an employer, said Christine Sasse, HR Director.
Finally, Laura Sasse, Chief Digital Officer of the family-owned company, referred to the growing importance of Big Data for FM. “We are data collectors, suppliers and evaluators not only in our own interest, but even more so for our customers,” she emphasised. Tailor-made and flexible concepts only earned their names by having far-reaching and detailed data as a basis. In her view, the development potential is enormous. “While data use in the area of maintenance is already common at a high level today, we often still encounter restraint in cleaning.” Yet the Sasse app is already proving its efficiency in use every day in many places.