What’s the Difference Between Self-Performing and Aggregate When It Comes to Facility Management Companies?

As your organization grows and you expand its footprint, it follows that the number of assets — HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, FLS, and signage systems — increases as well. Each of these assets requires ongoing maintenance and management to ensure they perform reliably and keep your facilities comfortable, operable, and safe. Eventually, maintaining all of these assets will go beyond your internal team’s capabilities, and you’ll need to explore outsourced solutions such as facility management companies that self-perform their services or those that aggregate services from other providers.

As you research your options, you’ll have to weigh which of these routes is better for your business and needs. Self-performing facility management companies execute the work themselves and with their own team members, whereas aggregators partner with service providers from different trades and service lines. For example, self-performers will have electricians, plumbers, HVAC specialists, and more on staff (or they will be separate companies that do the work vs. a one-stop shop), and aggregators will hire those specialists from companies throughout their network.

The option you choose will depend not only on the size of your organization, the number of facilities you operate, and the assets requiring ongoing maintenance, but also what you want to get out of the partnership, your ability to work with more than one provider, how you manage documentation for assets, and many other details. As CLS Facility Services is an aggregator facility management company, we believe there are key advantages to going this route.

Key Advantages of Aggregators

We Only Work with Proven Partners — When you work with self-performing facility management companies, you’re starting that relationship fresh with each new project. Now multiply that by the number of locations you’re trying to support. If something goes wrong or the work isn’t done properly, you’re back to the starting line. By working with an aggregator like CLS, you benefit from our established relationships with vendors and suppliers with whom we have an average partnership length of 12.5 years. With CLS, you’ll never have to worry whether the vendor supporting your location is reliable. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be working with them in the first place. CLS clients can also choose to request an alternate vendor to service certain sites, should a problem arise or your team would like a change in the technicians/company servicing a site.

Service Providers Are Closer to Your Locations — Closely related to the above is the fact that aggregators build partnerships with vendors throughout the country. Whether you’re regional or national, an aggregator facility management company will have an established relationship with a vendor or service provider close to your location. This saves you from having to do research and vetting yourself when an asset needs maintenance in a facility that’s far away or where you previously haven’t worked with someone. Simply let us know what’s going on (if it wasn’t caught with preventive maintenance), and we’ll dispatch a proven partner to provide service. You also have the luxury of one COI — with CLS — as opposed to needing coverages from dozens of self-performing companies, helping to ease that aspect of security and vetting for your facilities team.

Manage Quotes and Invoicing for You — If you were to work with one or more self-performing companies, you’d be managing all of the estimates, quotes, invoicing, and other documentation internally. By working with an aggregator, all of this documentation is first gathered for you from vendors, centralized in a single online portal, and communicated with you for approval. And you can log into the portal at any time to check the status of any documentation and look for historical receipts and invoices. At CLS, we make this portal available to you from the start. We also build a complete list of all of the assets that we’re managing, providing you with complete oversight. While many companies charge a monthly or annual fee for Portal usage, CLS’ portal is cost-free, as an integral part of the partnership.

Uniform Scopes of Work — Working with different self-performers for various needs can result in projects not being completed on time, missed coverage, and inefficient or inaccurate reporting. When you work with CLS for facility management, we provide uniform scopes of work for all programs. These are provided to our field partners to both hold them accountable and to ensure that the work performed at your locations is consistent and that there are no surprises. All reporting is centralized through us and provided to you as the program proceeds (and is available online in your portal as well).

One Contact for Multiple Needs — It can quickly become overwhelming to work with multiple self-performers as opposed to letting a team handle communication for you. You’d have numerous contacts for different types of assets in different parts of the country. With CLS as your facility management company, our internal estimating team builds all quotes in-house with a line-by-line breakdown of pricing and all costs. Our estimators are available to answer questions regarding each and every quote, and of course, all of this is available in our online portal. If anything comes up as your program proceeds (such as an emergency), you’ll simply contact your primary account manager — the same person you’ll work with for any other needs.

Let’s Build a Program to Make Your Asset Management Needs Simpler and More Effective

For more than 50 years, CLS Facility Services has been supporting companies in multiple industries with all of their asset management needs. Covering all 50 states and Canada, our team — and our vetted field partner network — are ready to support you, wherever you do business. If you’re starting to feel the pain associated with increased growth, or if you already have a partner in place that isn’t performing like you’d hoped, get in touch with our team today to learn more about our capabilities. You can also book a meeting with us at your convenience here.