Nowadays, it is very common for companies to outsource facility management responsibilities to FM consultancy firms including the likes of janitorial services, energy usage management and waste management. Although there are many advantages to outsourcing facility management services, it is vital that company facility managers are also fully aware of the possible disadvantages that outsourcing can bring too.
Before you decide if outsourcing facility management tasks, we will look at many of the key advantages and disadvantages of this.
Save On Resources
You can save energy, money and time when you outsource facility management operations. This is generally one of the key reasons why managers outsource this work in the first place.
When your company avails itself of the training, staff and tools of contractors, it allows you more capital and time to spend in other areas that could help the furthering of your business and profits. It is also possible that they will be more likely to take responsibility for liabilities and risks including personal issues and equipment failure, helping you to avoid unpredictable and surprise expenses.
Expertise In Specialised Fields
Hiring an external facility management team means that you can benefit from their expert and specialised knowledge and experience, something that might not be possible if you rely on in-house teams. Lots of FM firms offer a range of facility services packaged together. With services bundled together, it means you are not having to communicate with too many contractors, thus making the process a whole lot simpler and easier to manage.
Focus On Strategies
When the overseeing of your facility management tasks is handled by an in-house team it could take focus away from more important business concerns and responsibilities. When you outsource these tasks and responsibilities though, it frees up your own staff to concentrate on what they do best and fully focus on that well, rather than spreading themselves too thinly.
The tasks that are best suited to handing on to outsourced contractors includes the likes of equipment repair and cleaning. Essentially anything outside your primary competencies, as long as you are maintaining a consistent level of communication with the facility management company you have outsourced with.
Not As Much Control
One of the most obvious and biggest disadvantages of outsourcing facility management tasks is that you do not have as much control over that whole area of your business. It is the responsibility of the facility management firm you have outsourced to deliver their services that have been outsourced to them and how they handle their own staff. It is for these reasons that contract and relationship management agreements are so important. When you establish early on the communication, payment, reporting, rules and performance expectations you have, you will be able to get the best from their services, even though you are giving some of your control up to them.
Although it is possible and very likely that you will be able to improve the efficiency of your business by outsourcing facility management, it is not guaranteed. It is still important for managers to put some effort into ensuring that the company facilities are receiving the most efficient service possible and that contractors are fully co-ordinated.
There is a risk that by outsourcing facility management to other contractors you could make processes more complicated, cause fragmented communication and duplicate work. When proper management is missing, facility data can be mishandled or even lost and other serious mistakes can occur. As a result of these mistakes, outsourcing can become an even more expensive affair. However, if you can find a reputable, reliable contractor and establish the grounds for termination clearly, you may be able to lower the chance of outsourcing costing you more than it benefits you.
Management of Changes Can Be Slower
When you have to involve input or action from contractors, it can slow down any changes regarding facility finances and operations. When you are trying to implement new and fresh work policies such as resource availability or working hours, you will also have to consider the agreements you have with your contractors. This can obviously cause conflicts with any changes you have proposed.
Depending on their communication practices and their workload, outsourced service providers could take longer to act on requests for changes.
When you outsource the right and most appropriate tasks it can help your facility managers to run operations in the most efficient way, while allowing them also the opportunity to focus on more pressing matters and responsibilities. It is important to develop and establish clear expectations and communication with your facility management contractors to fully avail yourself of these advantages.