Q&A with Guy Pakenham


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Q&A with Guy Pakenham

How many years have you worked in the FM industry?

I have worked in the Cleaning Industry for 24 years


How long have you worked for Cordant?

Since March 2007, 10 years


Why do you enjoy working for Cordant?

Variety. No two days days are the same; constant challenges and rewards.


Tell us a little bit about your career background

I joined Tennant UK at the age of 22 and sold cleaning machines until the age of 28. This led me to become the sales manager for one of my customers; a contract cleaning company named Dougland Support Services. From here, I started my own business with a couple of other colleagues selling cleaning and support staff to London Bus Operators. This company, Interclean Bus Services, was bought by Cordant in 2007 and I came across with the sale. In 2009 I was made MD of Cordant Cleaning, formally known as Dynamiq Cleaning.


What is your proudest career moment?

At the age of 24, I won a Ministry of Defence contract to supply 366 cleaning machines of varying types to all the REME sites across the UK and Europe. This represented nearly 5 years worth of sales targets and probably saved my job (as I hadn't exactly excelled until then). It also taught me the value of relationship selling.....


What is the biggest challenge facing your brand and industry (ie. cleaning, security etc)?

Customers still see tendering their cleaning services as a cost reduction opportunity.


What does the future hold for your brand and industry? (ie. cleaning, security)

The Cleaning Industry has been slow to innovate but is gradually catching up with other sectors. We are likely to see more and more technology and productivity improving devices and gadgets affect the ways in which we clean and deliver MI to our customers.


How do you demonstrate candor across client relationships?

Great client relationships are built on sensible and deliverable expectations. An honest presentation of our capabilities combined with personal assurances allow us to be candid. 


What initiatives does your brand drive to encourage collaboration?

Anything that facilitates customers seeing us as an extension of their business not simply a contractor. This includes a bespoke MI on-line Reporting Portal, joint auditing, innovation workshops and Partnering Boards


How do you seek out and develop new opportunities within your business division?

We are a close knit management team and through incessant communication are constantly looking for opportunities to develop staff and opportunities for sales. We are courageous in our decision making and this has allowed us to become a team which has almost exclusively grown up from the shop floor. We have also entered new markets and are about to begin our first ever Retail contract.


How do you promote 'relentlessness' and promote success across your teams?

Cleaning is extremely good at internal recognition because we get so little from anyone else. Cleaning is something that only gets noticed when it goes wrong. This generates a very strong team spirit and drives everyone to greater achievements. Relentlessness is a job requisite so it does not need much promotion. When everyone else is going home or waking up, the cleaning team is being "relentless".


How does your brand support and initiate disruptive innovation?

"How can we do this differently / better / faster / more cost effectively" is a constant question we pose. Autonomy is given to the contract managers and we try to learn from new and innovative practices. We would like to be more creative and there are no barriers in the way to allow this to happen…


Who would play you in a film about your life?

Hugh Laurie, a good mix of stupid and sensible


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Still working that one out


What was the last thing you watched on TV?



What inspires you?

My family


Tell us a joke…

Want to hear a word I just made up? Plagiaris