Facilities management: Service elevators

IT IS a sprawling, unseen, unglamorous industry that is hard to define and harder still to measure. Outsourced facilities-management firms clean offices, guard premises, feed students, manage heating and lighting, move prisoners from cell to workshop, and so on, for customers who prefer to focus on their core activities.

Employing millions, outsourcing firms have combined revenues that some put as high as $1 trillion a year. The market is most established in Europe and North America, though it is on the rise in Asia too (see chart). Now the structure of the business is changing, as firms that used to specialise in one sort of outsourced service increasingly aim to be all things to all men, and trip over each other in the process.This week a giant of the industry went public. ISS, a Danish cleaning firm which has branched out into other countries and services, will raise at least DKr8 billion ($1.5 billion). It is not the first time since the firm was taken private in 2005 that its owners have sought a stockmarket listing or a buyer for the debt-laden company, but this time the markets have proved receptive.Although ISS will use much of the money…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/business/21599033-big-outsourcing-firms-find-escaping-crowd-not-so-easy-service-elevators?fsrc=rss|bus

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