December 21, 2020

How To Pick The Right Integrated Facilities Management Provider

As a facility manager, you have a wide range of responsibilities. Depending on your specific building or company setup, you could be in charge of everything from managing employee comfort to boosting productivity to ensuring safety and beyond. 

The size of your organization or facility can dictate how this happens. In some cases, you may work with an in house team. In other situations, you may be the point person for outsourced solutions. Finding the right option can be a challenge. 

More commonly than not, a facility manager will outsource many of these tasks to other companies. In that case, how do you pick the right integrated facilities management provider?

The solution to figuring out how to pick an integrated facilities management provider requires analyzing your needs and understanding the pros and cons of outsourcing. Let’s look at that process in more detail.

What Are Your Immediate Needs As A Facility Manager?

Before you can decide on who to partner with, you first need to determine what you need. Your role as a facility manager can be summed up in a single sentence.

Everything that happens in the building depends on you.

This can include maintaining the campus lawn care, providing internal equipment upkeep, scheduling critical repairs, managing renovations, and keeping everyone safe. 

We think it’s fair to say that your number one need is time. And that’s what an integrated facilities service provider does for you: gives you more time to properly run your building.

What Are The Strengths & Weaknesses Of A Facilities Service Provider?

The first and most obvious strength to using a facilities service provider is that all support responsibilities are handed off to the company you partner with. From top to bottom, they will take care of all aspects of your facility. This includes everything from managing deliveries to equipment maintenance to groundskeeping and more.

The second strength is that when you utilize an integrated facilities service provider, everything filters through the same company. In fact, a major weakness of using multiple providers is that it’s incredibly inefficient. You need to get multiple companies in sync and working together, which can be a significant challenge. Instead, when you have just one company dealing with everything, your facility operations are streamlined and efficient.

A third strength is the ability to turn your building into a smart facility with IoT solutions. They can help you make the transition to a 21st century facility with ease!

A downside to using any outsource solution is that ultimately anyone working for you through the facilities service provider is not your employee. In other words, you can’t simply knock on their door down the hall and ask them a question or brainstorm with them.

A minor yet worth noting second weakness is that when they handle everything. Something as simple as changing a flickering light bulb can take longer than may be expected. And, although your facilities provider will usually be on top of requests like these, things come up from time to time that could delay the repair.

How To Conduct Interviews & Trial Periods For An IFM Provider.

While there are many things to keep in mind, during the interview process find out how long they’ve been in business. This may be available from their website. But, if you’re transitioning to a fully integrated solution, make certain they have sufficient experience to justify your business. Also, find out what the typical turn-around time is for a repair and how they handle requests.

During the interview process, ask for a copy of their contract in advance. You’ll want to look for a few things such as their KPI’s, penalties for non-performance, and termination clauses. In fact, you may want to discuss a six month trial run with a company before you lock yourself into a long term contract.

Have a backup option or two in mind so that you can select a second company for another six month trial if the first doesn’t work out.

So Is Integrated Facilities Management Right For You? 

This is a question only you can answer. Remember, the first step is to determine what your needs are. Most likely, it’ll come down to a single word: time.

Next, weigh the pros and cons of an outsourced solution against the things you need.

Finally, determine which company or two you’re willing test out with a short-term trial.

Reputable companies such as Branded Group has a long history of working for some of the biggest brands in the world.

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