When it comes to buildings and workplaces, a majority of companies are looking for ways to increase cost-efficiencies, optimize the use of space and create synergies. But do you have the right workplace and facility management strategies in place to do so?
There are just some things we as both companies and individuals are better at than others. Realizing our talents, we as individuals tend to focus on our core strengths while using the competencies and strengths of others to compensate for our weaknesses or making sure the organization focus on the right things, which will drive the business forward and increase competitiveness.
Our biggest competitive advantage and strength of our business lies in our core business. Our core business is what can lead us forward or drag us down, our core business is a reflection of our key competencies and expertise within the company. The core business is what we are looking to strengthen by hiring the right candidates and talents.
Just as humans, companies also have some weaknesses or areas they are just not that good at managing. Being a large financial institution the strengths must lie in financial analysis and client consultation. But secondary activities such as cleaning, security, catering, property services and other supporting services are indeed necessary to make your company function and your employees and clients happy. These competencies, more often than not, do not represent the core strengths of such a company.
If you are a company considering to outsource your non-core business activities, how do you choose the right partner?
Single vs. Integrated Facility Services
Working with a single service provider means that you outsource parts of your businesses to independent entities. This could among others be a catering provider, a security provider or another single service expert.
Using a specialized service-provider holds several advantages. First and foremost, it lets you fully focus on your core business and what you are best at, while your service providers can focus on what they are best at. Having experts conducting the service will eventually also lead to higher efficiencies and overall better service quality. It will free your own employees to focus on the areas of your business that matter the most to you and save resources on HR and other support functions outside the areas of your core business.
While it may be a good way to start an outsourcing experience, choosing a single service expert, it will still over time leave you with the task of managing a multitude of sub-suppliers, integrate them and deal with the risks involved.
Conversely, working with an Integrated Facility Service provider the responsibility of all supporting service functions is in the hand of the outsourcing partner. The Integrated Facility Service provider manages all service deliveries, administration, training, operational management, integration, innovation and provides strategic support to the client organization.
This means that instead of having several external service partners working with various service deliveries, everything is integrated in one solution.
Working with Integrated Facility Services solutions can give raise to economic benefits and cost-efficiencies, due to multitasking of employees, integration of back-office functions, volume discounts, training volumes, and so on.
When single services hurts your efficiencies
Smaller companies might only need one secondary service covered externally at as low cost as possible, while medium to large companies outsourcing multiple service areas might prefer one integrated solution covering the entire range of services.
Working with different single-service providers across multiple service areas can quickly become inefficient not only from the management perspective but also from the cost-perspective.
Managing multiple independent service providers holds several disadvantages.
In these non-integrated, single-service models, where different service providers are employed to manage different services such as catering, cleaning, security, double functions commonly occur. Why?
Simply because the service employees and their employers neither have the incentive nor the motivation to work together.
Thus, creating synergies and cooperation across different service providers can be difficult, if not impossible.
The Integrated Facility Services approach on the other hand eliminates these barriers between service functions, as the outsourced Facility Management Account Executive has full managerial responsibility.
Integrated facilities are the key for smart buildings
The more we are starting to take advantage of new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to make our buildings smarter, more user-friendly as well as efficient, the more important it will be to work with integrated models.
It can be quite challenging to make different technologies and setups work together as integrated entities – and it becomes even harder when the different providers of course want to take advantage over their uniquely acquired data and business systems. If you are not able to make the variety of partners and their technologies work together, making a building smart will be hard if not impossible.
The new IBM/ISS partnership is a new example on how this can be approached in a more efficient and integrated way.
As the Director of IBM Watson Internet of Things, Nils J. van der Zijl mentioned in our recent interview: “We are now able to go to clients together, hand in hand with one solution that covers all their needs, offering an Integrated Facility Services solution where technology is a utility that has the ability to optimize customer experiences, use of space in buildings, employee workforce etc. while delivering a new level of efficiencies.”
Have you identified which facility services solution is the right one for you? Give us feedback in the comment field below.