Facilities management companies specialize in delivering support services to businesses so that they can focus on their core activities. They contribute to the creation of an efficient and safe working environment. This allows the staff to be more productive.
Support services provided by facilities management include building or property management; janitorial services; messenger and mail delivery; security; engineering; information technology and telecommunications; and accounting.
In the past, these services would be handled in-house or would be outsourced to various different specialized contractors. These days, however, they are outsourced to specialized companies that provide all of the services required.
According to real estate company CBRE, the global market for facilities management outsourcing is set to hit $1 trillion by 2025. Integrated services are seen to make up 35% of total worldwide revenues.
What is driving the growth in facilities management outsourcing is less the desire to control costs, as it is to enhance the workplace environment. The hope is that improving their employees’ experience would free them to focus on the organization’s strategic initiatives and business goals.
Why Outsource Facilities Management?
The advantages of hiring facilities management companies include:
Improved delivery of support services. These days, facilities management is now a profession with its own international association that also offers educational courses and credentialing programs. This means that when you hire a company to perform facilities management for you, you are getting professionals with specialized training and technology to provide the services you need.
Cost savings. Companies are more cost-conscious than ever. Thus, there is a greater demand for operational efficiency, i.e. being able to maximize resources while containing costs. It is part of the responsibility of the facilities manager to be able to do more with less.
For instance, the highest expense of businesses aside from salaries is usually occupancy costs. These costs include rent, property and general liability insurance, taxes and cleaning services. A facilities manager would be able to manage these costs so that unnecessary expenses are eliminated and there is no waste. They can uncover and remove hidden costs that increase your occupancy costs unnecessarily.
Focus On Core Functions
You can focus on your core functions. Small businesses often think they can save money by asking staff to perform some of its support functions. But this would prove to be unproductive in the long run as this would dilute your precious human resources.
Investing in professional facilities management would allow your staff to focus on your business’ main activities. This would make them more productive and thus, your business would be more profitable.
They are familiar with regulatory requirements. These days, there are more government regulations for issues such as workplace safety, handling and disposal of toxic materials and handicap access.
Facilities management professionals are familiar with these requirements as part of their responsibilities. They would ensure that your office would adhere to these regulations to ensure a safer workplace and avoid fines.
Of course, there are also some issues that may need to be addressed when bringing in people from outside. One major issue is that they would not be familiar with your company’s organizational dynamics and company culture. This might create friction between the facilities manager and your staff that would hinder their work.
Related to this consideration are negative reactions from staff. By outsourcing certain functions, your employees may feel that you are reducing the potential job pool. You would have to reassure staff that by removing facilities management from them, you are actually freeing them to focus on productive work that would contribute to the profitability of the company.
Should You Outsource?
There are a number of considerations to take into account before you make your decision:
Does your staff have the experience and expertise to perform the required support tasks? Could the task be better handled externally?
Would it cost less to have the work outsourced rather than have it done internally? You have to factor in not only direct costs, but indirect ones as well (i.e. the cost of having a staff member perform a task vs. focusing on their core responsibilities).
Is there a competitive advantage to doing the task internally rather than having it outsourced? In other words, does doing it in-house support your core business?
If you decide that outsourcing is necessary, then using the services of facilities management companies can ensure that you are getting the services your company needs.