Successful Facilities Management Outsourcing

Martin Dancy
Market changes and budgetary pressures are forcing companies to re-examine their support operations. Facilities Management (FM) outsourcing may lead to a leaner, more efficient organisation that can concentrate on core business and reduce operating costs.

Market changes and budgetary pressures are forcing companies to re-examine their support operations. Facilities Management (FM) outsourcing may lead to a leaner, more efficient organisation that can concentrate on core business and reduce operating costs.

An efficient working environment represents an enormous overhead. It also needs significant ongoing investment of managerial time and resource. Outsourcing may be a better option.

Organisations explore outsourcing options for a variety of reasons:

  • Cost reduction

  • The potential to convert fixed costs to variable costs

  • Insufficient management time available for the in-house operation or its improvement

  • Difficulty in retaining sufficiently qualified staff

The switch to outsourcing brings advantages including:

  • Cost savings of 10% - 20%

  • Improved service delivery by specialist FM service providers

  • Better attraction and retention of staff by the service providers

  • Improved management of existing resources

  • Transformational initiatives 

  • The added value of consultancy expertise 

  • The potential for better procurement opportunities on an asset refresh

Making FM outsourcing work

  • Successful FM outsourcing hinges on strong leadership

  • Decision-makers empowered to manage resources, balance the programme's priorities and focus on the business benefits realisation

  • Good stakeholder management and communication are vital

  • Clear service levels and governance are needed

Benefits management should also be considered, as FM outsourcing is typically highly visible - end users notice changes to food services, environmental conditions and housekeeping immediately.

Monitor how the initial foreseen benefits will remain intact and of value to the organisation. Thorough interrogation of the service provision market is needed, to ensure delivery capability. Global estate holders will be affected by the significant differences in labour laws in each country, impacting on service provision.

Designing and implementing a well-planned outsourcing process

Faithful+Gould utilises programme management, specialist FM subject matter expertise, procurement, risk management and change management techniques. Our sector specialists strive for a full understanding of our clients' culture and aspirations, and this is key to achieving cohesive and workable solutions. We clearly translate clients' requirements to the FM service market, facilitating productive and lasting relationships with service providers.

For some clients, we mastermind the entire FM outsourcing transaction, from defining scope to mobilising operational changes. For others, we contribute to the FM outsourcing lifecycle at the individual organisation's most critical stages.

Effective results have been achieved for clients with large real estate portfolios, in the pharmaceutical, finance, energy and government sectors, with our costs subsumed within the benefits realised.