According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), facility management is “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, processes and technology.”
This mainly encompasses providing services related to Security, Emergency Response, Project Management, Health & Safety, Cleaning, Landscaping, Fire safety, Maintenance systems, Help desk, Asset management, Waste management, Reception, Car Parking, Pest control, Property Management and even Business continuity planning (to name a few). As with all purchasing, the success of a FM engagement depends largely on effective procurement planning and management which affects the outsourcing decisions, service bundling and the type of relationship required.
Therefore, the FM considerations to consider are;
- To outsource or not? DIY, direct employment or outsource? Surprisingly some buyers do not give this point sufficient attention. It is vital to analyse your requirements fully before deciding to outsource or not.
- Service bundling: Single services or bundled? Due to the myriad of FM services outlined above, it is imperative to decide whether some/all can be bundled. This undoubtedly will affect the number of FM service providers, contracts, relationships etc.
- Location: Single location or multi-site? If this is single-site, there is very little to consider with this point. However, if you have multiple sites do you require multiple providers? Would local, regional or national suppliers provide the optimum service?
- Type of relationship: Management or Partnering? This decision will be facilitated by firstly accounting for the previous considerations. Thereafter, your resources and expertise will dictate whether you manage this FM provider or collaborate fully with a strategic partner.
It is understandable that there is a strong correlation between each of these considerations while varying external elements affect these also e.g. the number of available service providers, the range of services available and the size/scale of these service providers. Finally, as when sourcing all vendors, ensure your tender/request responses seek expertise, experience , integrity and honesty. Have you any other considerations to add to this list when sourcing Facility Management services?