Many Locations, One Common Goal
Whether you manage a network of facilities in retail, dining, medical, office space, or any other industry, one of your goals for the year ahead will likely be cost reduction. Depending on your strategy, it may also include aligning your team’s focus with core competencies, high priority objectives, or more readily available resources. For facility leaders, a key way to achieve one or both of these goals will be outsourcing facility management.
Why outsourcing? Does that not increase costs? While outsourcing facility management will result in new expenses, savings in other areas will most likely offset these costs. Just a sampling of these cost savings includes:
- Not having to increase facility department employee headcount
- Reducing time spent onboarding and training new employees
- Reducing administrative workloads on your current team
- Minimizing the amount of risk to which your team is exposed
- Enabling your team to focus on driving value (and revenue)
- More time available to pursue other cost-savings and improvements
Equally important as these opportunities to conserve resources is your choice of facility asset maintenance partner. Not all providers have the same services, industry experience, or value-added benefits. For example, some facility asset maintenance companies also offer property management services. If your organization has a private equity partner, you may be limited on who you can work with.
If outsourcing facility management is on your list of priorities for the year ahead, here are several important considerations to help you make the best decision possible.
What to Consider When Outsourcing Facility Management
Understand the Type of Partner You Need
As mentioned above, facility management partners aren’t 1:1. Some offer more services, some offer services for specific types of customers, some are regionally focused, and so on. When outsourcing, what matters most is that you aim to consolidate. The last thing you need to deal with when trying to reduce costs is handling estimates, invoices, project management, and communications with multiple companies throughout your footprint. Ensure you’re working with an aggregator who will manage commercial service vendors and handle program management on your behalf.
Have Confidence in the Team You Work With
You could partner with the largest facility management aggregator in the country and still have a negative experience. It all comes down to the people working on your program. Do they have sufficient experience? Have they been with the company long enough? Does the team supporting you work well together? Additionally, will you have dedicated contacts for account management, financial planning, and emergency needs? Take the time to evaluate these to ensure you have complete confidence in your choice of partner.
Ensure All of Your Needs Are Covered
An outsourced facility management program that covers 95% of all your needs may seem ideal, but what’s being left out with that 5%? If you have to parse out maintenance on a key asset type to another provider, remember that this will result in more administrative time (and cost), greater risk of things falling through the cracks, and a less seamless program overall. Carefully consider the services needed and balance that with partner capabilities.
Get Complete Asset Oversight and Metrics
You can’t manage — or improve — a facility asset maintenance program without understanding what you’re working with. Often, facility managers lack a comprehensive list of all assets (HVAC, lighting, signage, etc.) at all of their locations. This is truly essential as it will help you understand where the program is succeeding and where opportunities to improve may be. Additionally, it’s important that this asset list be accessible at any time, such as online in an easy to access portal.
Worry Less about Internal Turnover
Recent years have brought many changes to facility maintenance managers and their teams across retail, restaurant, medical, and all industries. The turnover of facilities teams for businesses places even more importance on the reliability of their facility maintenance vendors. Having an aggregator with an experienced team can help to ease the transitions of employee changes and foster consistency. A strong facility maintenance aggregator can even help to offer training to new team members. Selecting a partner who has your back during times of transition creates full stability and assurance that your facility services program will continue without a hitch.
Take Your Program Further with CLS Facility Services
The considerations we’ve evaluated here for outsourcing facility management are important but they are far from everything that you and your team must evaluate. If you’ve been wondering how you can improve your program for the year ahead, CLS Facility Services is ready to assist you.
For more than 50 years, we’ve been supporting organizations across multiple industries nationwide with extensive facility asset maintenance solutions ranging from preventive maintenance programs and turnkey LED retrofits to emergency services. Along the way, we work closely with you and your team — assisting with budget planning and even CapEx facility management strategy.