Many organisations – across a very broad range of sectors – have decided that outsourcing their facilities management (FM) services makes sound, strategic sense. It allows them to maintain maximum focus on their core business, and removes the headaches, not to mention the staff requirements, of managing their own facilities.
The efficiencies from outsourcing can apply to operations from a retail outlet or shopping Centre to a commercial building or manufacturing facility. By selecting the right provider, the outsourcing organisation can benefit from a greater focus on managing their core business rather than having to manage their building infrastructure.
There’s also the cost saving involved – not just on labour, but also on specialist cleaning or maintenance equipment. Specialist service providers can not only manage staff, but also give you access to leading edge technologies and state-of-the-art machinery for grounds maintenance, cleaning, security, mechanical and electrical services, waste disposal, etc.
A further benefit is that, by outsourcing to a properly vetted specialist, you’ll be rest assured that your service supplier is skilled in attracting and retaining the most effective qualified service personnel, applying business best practice and adopting the newest service enhancements.. If you choose to try it yourself, however, you may need to apportion time or resources that may be better served in other areas of your business.
THE MULTIPLE FORMS OF OUTSOURCING AVAILABLE TO YOU
You can make a choice from a variety of outsourcing models for facilities management services – each with their own distinctive advantages. A specialist contractor delivers only one or or a couple of specialist services, like cleanup or grounds maintenance for example.
But if you’d wish to bundle complementary services like cleanup and security, that can also be simply organised. You’ll be able to bundle any variety of services that you want. Some organisations even choose ‘total facilities management’, which implies that one supplier provides all of your facilities management services.
WHAT IS RESEARCH TELLING US?
Grosvenor Services commissioned independent research on this issue and the results indicate that, when faced with outsourcing facilities management services, some 65% of managers feel it is important to have a single organisation managing all the different elements of service provision. The research suggests that there is a trend towards a ‘total FM’ model.
As to why the trend is gathering pace, some of the reasons include:
- Dealing with a single point of contact
- Simpler invoicing and administration
- Saving time on contract management, with associated cost reductions
With many FM managers struggling to keep on top of multiple service providers, it’s apparent that the more streamlined a company’s facility services can be, the greater the operational efficiencies and the cost-savings.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REPORTING
Another critically important benefit of the total FM model relates to reporting. The overall contract management process can be streamlined enormously, and online access and automatic tracking of key performance indicators is simplified to a huge degree. The net effect is that the client enjoys greater control, and can easily review the performance of all FM services.
NOT EVERYONE IS OPTING FOR TOTAL FM
All of this is not say that there aren’t still some fans of single service outsourcing. A number of people cite considerations around a potential lack of specialist employees, the danger of ‘putting all their eggs within the one basket’ and therefore the risk of increased costs.
Over the coming years, the total FM trend could flip full circle, with a pull back referred to as ‘best of breed’ single service suppliers.
SO WHICH MODEL IS BEST FOR YOU?
Regardless of what analysts say, it’s not possible to have one definitive answer which will work in all situations. Instead, it’s a case of what’s right for each organisation, supported by the company’s distinctive strategic requirements. Whether or not you decide on one supplier or multiple suppliers, the key purpose is that you simply ought to receive the very best levels of support and commitment. Everything ought to be meshed towards the facilitation of smooth business operations.
According to research findings, areas for improvement which FM service providers need to consider, include:
Consistently maintaining agreed standards: FM managers need consistent delivery of the service level that have been agreed on paper.
The knowledge and ability of staff: They want staff to understand the nuances and the complexities of their business.
Easier access to management: FM managers don’t want to have to contact several different people to find the person who can help with an issue. They need a single point of contact – and easier access to higher level management.
Provision of electronic data entry and real-time reports: FM managers want to limit the amount of physical paper flow, and also need real-time reports to help them make informed decisions.