Choosing whether your organization should manage an initiative in-house or partner with a third-party service provider is not an easy decision to make. While some businesses are equipped to handle facilities management (FM) without the helping hand of a dedicated FM partner, many multi-site companies with a national footprint are simply too large and complex to function effectively without one.
But before you start sourcing quotes and vetting vendors, it’s helpful to check a few of the following items off your list to ensure all your business needs and priorities are met:
Conduct a Thorough Operational Assessment
Begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of your operational capabilities. Ask yourself, your colleagues and your leaders:
- What are you reporting capabilities to track, measure and to report up your financial chain of command?
- What are our strategic goals for the next year?
- Which tasks take precedence over others? For example, are we focusing on trimming expenses, or should we prioritize improving service-related KPIs?
- What are our biggest weaknesses when it comes to FM, and conversely, your primary strengths?
- Are you and your team working at a tactical level and/or are you able to make strategic decisions?
Once you have a handle on the big picture, assess smaller details such as your deferred maintenance backlog and unresolved work orders. This will give you an idea of what areas are lacking, where your current service providers might be missing the mark and where opportunities for improvement lie.
Seek a Provider with a Robust Implementation Plan
After you’ve got a hold on what your business needs, you can dip your toe into the market and see what’s out there.
Whether you’re changing service providers or it’s your first time outsourcing facilities services, find an FM partner that can help you and your team manage the transition. An experienced provider will be able to set you up with an implementation team that can train and onboard your employees. This is particularly important if the FM provider will be introducing a system or tech platform that’s new to your organization.
Tailor a Solution
In most cases, a one-size-fits-all solution will not be a good fit for your organization. The ability to customize workflows, dashboards, processes and beyond is necessary for businesses looking to scale their operations. Flexibility to tailor solutions to your needs Customization will allow your FM program to grow and evolve with your organization.
Request Testimonials and Previous Client History
If you’re on the fence about a provider’s capabilities, request testimonials or work samples to get a better understanding of how they’ve assisted companies with a similar business model or offering. Accomplished FM providers will be more than happy to showcase their previous successes.
Find an IFM Provider with Experience in Your Industry
Every business is different, and it’s crucial to find an FM partner that gets the nuances of your industry. If you’re a national retail chain, for instance, seek a provider that services other retailers with multiple locations. Again, it’s useful to garner feedback from these clients if you can to gauge how the provider might be able to help your organization.
When seeking a new FM business partner, it can be difficult to know where to begin. First, focus your efforts internally by completing an operational assessment to evaluate your FM business needs. After that box has been checked off your list, you can start your quest for a provider that’s aligned with your business’s goals, priorities and vision.