There is a big misconception in business: in-house is always best. The problem with this notion is that you can't easily scale, vendor management is in-house, and technology is an added expense.
While these are downfalls you'd see in most departments, they are very evident in the facility management department. With COVID-19 running rampant and buying and selling off properties the norm, it has never been more clear that outsourcing facility management has its benefits.
Scalability in Facility Management
There will be times when you need to scale up or down within your facility management department. Many buildings closed their doors for months during the recent quarantine. During this period, businesses didn't need full-time in-house facilities staff.
For those with in-house facility personnel, they needed to furlough employees. Meanwhile, businesses that outsourced FM used the services they needed and scaled back what they didn't. While we hope that another pandemic doesn't ravage the country, other, more common incidents can arise that would shine a light on scalability benefits.
- Buying new real estate
- Selling properties
- COVID-19 outbreak
- Long-term projects
- New regulations
If one of these events were to occur, would you be ready to adapt quickly?
Every facility department needs to hire vendors throughout the year—the boiler putters to a stop. The disinfection process is too time-consuming. The faucets in the restrooms are acting out. Whatever the event, FMs are no stranger to vendor management.
A hidden benefit to outsourcing facility management services is vendor relationship management. A proper FM vendor will curate experts and handle billing, management, scheduling, and coordination between vendors and building occupants. Vendor management can be a time-consuming process. By outsourcing this tedious job, your in-house staff spends their time on more critical tasks.
Asset Management with Facility Engineering
Asset management is just the beginning. Having a strategy for those assets is the long-term plan. Plan ahead for preventative maintenance schedules for your building's assets.
- Track when your HVAC is due for its annual tune-up.
- Get a reminder when you need to replace filters.
- Know exactly when your fire protection system needs an inspection.
Use this rule: If an asset cost more than $5K or, if it failed, would slow productivity, manage it in a proper database.
Asset management is a proactive way to approach maintenance and energy-saving measures. Collect data on energy, water, and gas usage to learn where you can implement automation to reduce utility costs. Also, track equipment downtime and service requests to make smart decisions and know when to upgrade machinery.
Asset management makes annual budgeting and scheduling easy. Costs become predictable, resulting in painless building management.
While this task feels overwhelming to a small facility department, it is a central aspect of a proper FM vendor's system. Asset management helps the building owner make data-driven decisions, but it also allows the outsourced FM vendor to plan, budget, and make proactive decisions for their customers.
Automating work tickets and projects streamline processes for both the vendor and the in-house staff. On a desktop or on the go with a mobile app, send a request to the FM vendor to trigger the work. A request gets added to the system as a work ticket. Each work ticket has schedules, task lists, timekeeping, activity tracking, and team communication.
Building owners get complete transparency, and the FM vendor can better predict tools, time, and staff needed for projects.
COVID-19 has turned facility departments on their head. If an outbreak were to occur, FMs have to respond quickly to:
- Possible reduced staff.
- Thorough cleaning and disinfecting.
- Office configuration changes.
An FM vendor will create a proactive prevention plan and an emergency response plan in the event of an outbreak. By relying on a vendor, facilities have the peace of mind knowing staffing issues are eliminated, turnaround on disinfection is swift, and it will be done correctly the first time.
Occupant lives are at risk if a COVID-19 outbreak goes unmitigated. Fast and thorough disinfection is the only means of stopping the outbreak from going further.
An outsourced FM vendor puts their reputation on the line every time they respond to emergency disinfection, which means they will do it right the first time or risk their business.
Quality assurance isn't just a "are you satisfied with your service?" question with a choice of stars. It's more than that. The proprietary platform includes triggered workflows based on survey results. This workflow embeds quality and accountability into the systems we use every day to keep buildings running optimally.
In-house is not always best. When it comes to facility management, outsourced meets building needs better. FM vendors are scalable, flexible, and systemized, taking the weight off of in-house building staff.
From automated work tickets to COVID-19 response and beyond, outsourcing facility management streamlines building management, keeping facilities in optimal condition.
Encompass is a full-service facility management company that supports businesses by proactively maintaining their building portfolio. They balance infrastructure and service needs with regulatory and operational requirements to fulfill time-strapped facility departments' needs. Their state-of-the-art, Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC)-certified COVID-19 disinfection program is built for rapid deployment to assist your facility when you need it. No waiting weeks for assistance in containing an outbreak, Encompass can be there within 24 hours.