The Advantages and Potential Pitfalls of Outsourcing Facilities Management

Understanding the advantages and potential pitfalls of outsourcing facilities management can allow multi-site businesses to make the proper decision on whether to outsource their facilities management or not. Companies use outsourcing to build facility management services without dramatically expanding their in-house expenses, but some may still be skeptical of whether to pull that trigger. As FacilitiesNet states,  “a starting point is to stop thinking of outsourcing to integrated facility management (IFM) companies as just working with “vendors”. Vendors sell hot dogs. Outsourcing facility management services or a portion thereof to qualified  providers should be considered valued “partners” in the business. They can be true enablers if the facility manager allows them to be. In order to keep the relationship with an IFM company on track, it must begin correctly.” Knowing the advantages and potential pitfalls of outsourcing and what to look for in a partner can allow multi-site companies to make the best decision for every situation. Here is a comparison.

Advantages of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the practice of contracting with another party splitting tasks and responsibilities between the two. Rather than hiring new employees or assigning such tasks to existing staff, outsourcing can lower operational costs, streamline operations and greatly improve productivity. Additional advantages to outsourcing facilities management to an integrated facilities management (IFM) company include:

  • Easier to focus on your core responsibilities: Outsourcing back-office operations or administrations free up resources to allow you to focus on core functions of the business without sacrificing responsibilities of facility management. 
  • Lower cost and time requirements: Lower labor and operations are among the top benefits of outsourcing and help multi-site companies maintain cash flow while reaping significant savings compared to building an in-house team. 
  • Improved flexibility in scheduling: Operations and maintenance requiring seasonal care and regular upkeep may require additional staff, and by outsourcing, your team gains added flexibility to handle those cyclical or seasonal demands.
  • Less stress in managing critical assets: Outsourcing also reduces the hassle of tracking maintenance schedules, training facilities team members and vetting field services vendors too and tracking the useful life and maintenance of critical assets.
  • Easier to implement proactive maintenance: Since your team reaps the benefits of cost reductions, such savings can be passed along and used to create and maintain critical assets prior to breakdown, the so-called preventive maintenance (PM) program. 
  • Multiple services within one Partner: Outsourcing opens the door to more services and resources all from one company, whether that’s expertise in a single asset class repair (i.e. HVAC repair), interior maintenance or exterior grounds maintenance.

The reasons for outsourcing revolve around the need for lower operational costs and the need to grow your core market. Partnering with a company to  outsource facility maintenance services can provide facilities managers and facilities owners with the benefits needed to focus on other areas while lower overall maintenance costs..

Potential Pitfalls of Outsourcing

Working with facilities outsourcing companies could have potential pitfalls  as well, despite the improved efficiencies outsourcing can bring to a business. Outsourcing does not fit every situation and in some cases could cause disruption and potential harm more than help. Potential pitfalls that could accompany outsourcing of facilities management include: 

  • Loss of managerial control: The company will have different standards and missions, rather, and their main drive will revolve around making a profit from the services.
  • Hidden costs: Some companies make not mention all fees in the contract upon signing and could add additional charges after the fact.
  • Physical and cybersecurity concerns: There’s also the risk of whether the outsourced function will share proprietary data and knowledge about the company. 
  • Quality management problems: Due to a fixed price within the contract, service providers may not necessarily take on additional work when noted without a revision or change to the existing agreement or contract. 
  • Lost financial stability: The outsourcing services company could have financial issues or could even go bankrupt, putting the burden of facilities management back in your court without repayment or advance notice.
  • Loyalty problems: Managers may focus more on maximizing profitability rather than interests and proper concerns, and there’s no guarantee that your outsourcing partner won’t be working with your competitors too.

Although outsourcing has the potential pitfalls, working with the best facilities outsourcing companies provides much stronger benefits than the risk of negative effects. Multi-site owners trying to balance finance and budgeting on top of other duties should realize the cost savings and significant benefits available through outsourcing, but that demands insight into what your company should look for in an integrated facilities management (IFM) company .

What to Look for in an integrated facilities management (IFM) Partner

To find the an established integrated facilities management (IFM) company for your business, thoroughly review its experience and reputation, as well as ensuring it offers the following services:

  • Quarterly business reports
  • Data-driven platform and work order management system
  • Scheduled and preventive maintenance
  • An extended field service vendor base across many skill sets
  • On-demand, urgent, and emergency services
  • Exterior and interior services
  • New construction management and project management

Working with facilities outsourcing companies  must not be a last-minute decision. Take your time to evaluate the possible partners and how they can add value to your company and its distributed assets. 

Choose an Integrated Facilities Management Service Provider to Reap the Advantages Without Losing Track of Your Goal

Utilizing outsourced facility maintenance services allows facilities managers and multi-site owners to focus on core tasks, promote company growth, and better maintain operational controls. Understanding the benefits, potential pitfalls, and how to find the best partner to outsource your facilities management needs is a great way to expand your maintenance efficiency and implement meaningful changes to improve budgeting too. Rather than facing common facilities challenges alone, companies should work with a proven partner to focus on core duties while gaining more organization throughout. Contact SMG Facility Services to get started today.

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