— By Megan Varano —
The benefits to outsourcing your facilities maintenance program and what to look for when choosing a provider.
If you’re considering outsourcing any part of your company’s facilities maintenance services, you’re not alone. There is no industry divide — organizations, both big and small, are feeling the strain. Do you have in-house teams that are being stretched thin, important repairs and services being missed, or are you looking to expand coverage beyond what your team can handle? While most organizations are focused on the direction their core business is going, successfully managing and maintaining facilities can prove to be complicated, confusing and time-consuming. Outsourcing can result in substantial savings while also leading to increases in efficiency, innovation and safety — enabling your business to better maintain a competitive advantage.
It’s important to remember that while outsourcing can be extremely valuable, this is not a decision to rush into. It’s important to carefully consider your company’s unique needs so that you are able to find the experienced professional provider that can carry you forward. Here are a few key benefits and things you should consider when sourcing a provider to take over your program.
Better Facilities Management Service Experience
The best facilities management providers are an extension of your own team. They will offer dedicated and reliable service, control and visibility on a scale that fits. They have the specialized training, processes and technology in place to meet your business’s changing needs efficiently. They aren’t the “Jacks” and “Jills” of all trades like you’re used to; they truly are the masters. When creating a plan and finding a partner, you and your business are what matter most. Choose a provider that takes the time to listen and understand who you are and what the unique needs are of your business. This is paramount to developing a seamless service process. Ensure the person you trust sees your vision and can help move you forward with a flexible process that can react, change and innovate quickly so you’re never left standing still.
Broader Experience, Expertise and Foresight
Expertise and experience are a winning combination that means quality, speed and efficiency. Outsourcing to a qualified FM service provider guarantees that the people responding to the needs of your business’s facility services are the best at what they do. You’ll avoid the learning curve and training gap of getting employees up to speed in dynamic environments. The right FM provider will be at the top of their game from Day 1. From the top down you want to be in the hands of experienced professionals who understand both the Facilities Maintenance service side of the process and who are also dedicated to their own professional development. Find a partner that not only has real life experience in your field, but one that is also continuously learning and training their teams and technicians about new techniques, technology and tools and how to best implement these to benefit their clients.
More Variety, Flexibility & Responsiveness
Communication is essential in any industry, but when it comes to entrusting your facilities to a provider, this should top your list. It may sound unbelievable, but not all facility maintenance providers prioritize their accessibility to their customers. It’s not too much to expect! Always ensure you’re working with seasoned professionals that provide you multiple ways to contact them at any time of the day or night and tell you what to expect once that call is made. An outsourced FM provider has the resources readily available to scale — meaning keeping your facilities up and running aren’t a worry when deciding how to expand your business. Additionally, by choosing an integrated provider you are able to test services and amenities before rolling out across your entire organization and you allow your in-house team to stay focused on other priorities.
Proactive Cost Savings & Triage Pre-Assessment
One of the most appealing aspects of outsourcing — and a key focus for most FM providers — is cost savings. Skilled, qualified service providers are able to successfully receive a service call and triage before deploying a technician — saving you money on potentially unnecessary service calls. Experienced providers have also spent time developing best practices, fostering relationships to maintain access to resources, and are able to track your metrics effectively, which can help you keep costs in check. The long term advantages and potential savings are evident when you consider that your FM provider is the one that absorbs the overhead costs of training and ongoing education and employee benefits like workers’ compensation. The facilities service provider responsible for your business should handle every aspect of a service call as if it was their own money and property at stake.
Access to Modern Technology and Visibility
You know how important it is to be able to see exactly what’s happening in your organization at all times; your FM provider should know this, too. Real-time visibility can be enhanced with technology-backed workflows and software systems designed specifically for facility services. Top FM providers are transforming data into strategic plans to produce improved outcomes that are empowering vendors, establishing a solid platform for continued success and informing decisions to benefit you. As teams take on more strategic roles and organizations adapt new ways of working, outsourcing facilities management can improve responsiveness and scalability. One thing you don’t want is a FM provider who is asleep at the wheel. Modern technology and data management systems provide immediate and complete visibility to the professionals you’ve tasked with maintaining your business. Find a provider who uses a program to pay attention for you, one that offers streamlined work order organization and invoice management. Fexa is a great example of a software that helps maintain due diligence while keeping a watchful eye on the big picture. It can track your KPIs, replicate the things that are going well, and bring visibility to opportunities for improvement. A true single source FM provider will act on behalf of its client, like employees of that organization — all without the overhead.
Established Protocols & Processes
From tracking your spend on repairs and offering recommendations to solve problems to assessing service call requests before deploying a team, your provider should have processes in place that will actually translate to cost savings in the long run. Experienced professionals don’t just jump in; they have a well-oiled process. Trusting a provider that has spent time developing and perfecting this process based on client interaction and technological advances is one of the best choices you can make. From first call to a completed request, your FM provider should have the ability to talk you through the steps in their workflow. If you think a step is missing, it probably is — no detail should be left to chance.
Hybrid Execution Model
A successful and agile FM service provider will have a hybrid team of technicians that are a combination of self-performers and vetted sub-contractors. When managing multiple sites in a portfolio, working with an experienced, national FM service provider gives your business easy and immediate access to a large network of vetted technicians covering all kinds of trades — even ones that may be located outside of their immediate service area. When you lean on a provider that already has these proven resources at its fingertips, it alleviates the stress and time of locating a specialized trade. Depending on your geographic needs, a provider with a hybrid labor model typical gives the most flexibility to suit your business and facilities needs because they will always have boots on the ground where you need them, when you need them.
— Megan Varano is the vice president of facilities maintenance for Irving, Texas-based DAVACO, a leading provider of self-performed national construction services, rollouts and facilities maintenance. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.