Choosing a facilities management (FM) company to outsource to is a very big decision. One way to do is to read Facility Source reviews and those of other FM companies, but that isn’t really enough to find the best fit. Reviews by others are often limited in how much information they actually provide. Furthermore, it is important to first understand what is actually needed from an FM company.
Creating a Provider Project Team
First of all, choosing an FM provider must start by having support from the shareholders for outsourcing in the first place. All the stakeholders must be confident in the ability to find a good provider, which is best achieved by creating a project team first. This is not dissimilar to the creation of a core team, change management team, or project management team. Individuals from many different levels of the organization should be included in the team as well.
Evaluating the Needs of the Business
The project team should be responsible for determining what the needs of the business are. This means getting an understanding of the current maintenance backlog, understanding what FM procedures are currently in place, and identifying the strengths and areas for improvement in the business. This is part of the Six Sigma principles, which should be employed across all organizations. This review will also create a benchmark for what will be expected from service providers.
Creating a Shortlist Using Free Resources
There are hundreds of FM providers out there and this should be reduced to five potential providers if possible. Those providers should offer free resources such as demos and trials. This is an opportunity to see how user friendly the system is, what its features are, and what its potential benefits are.
Checking Facility Source Reviews
The shortlist should include around five providers and they should be properly reviewed. This is the time to look at online reviews from past clients, in other words. Good FM providers should also have an excellent team of people behind them, including vendors, field service technicians, and more. They should also offer excellent training programs to ensure all their staff is fully up to date, but also training for the business if there are any elements of the FM system they will have to use themselves.
Last but not least, a contract with an FM provider should not be set in stone. It is vital that the business sets up key performance indicators and that these are managed and monitored regularly. If the FM provider does not meet the agreed standards, they should be replaced with a better option. At the start of the contract period, the FM provider should have listed their achievable targets and time scales, and these should be monitored and reviewed. It is also recommended to ensure a first contract does not exceed six months, to ensure both the business and the FM provider can determine whether they are a good fit for oneanother.