Compliance seems to be one of those necessities that corporations go through because they’re mandated to do so. Unfortunately, this has sometimes made the poor Corporate Compliance Officer one of the least popular employees in any company doing one of the most thankless jobs.
The problem is, of course, being non-compliant can have severe repercussions legally and financially – and may cause damage to your company’s reputation. We sadly learned of an incident involving a retailer who had an improperly installed mirror drop on a child’s head during a grand opening of a new store, which resulted in legal action. The retailer, however, learned too late that the service provider responsible was not compliant in terms of the necessary insurance, forcing the retailer to bear all the costs.
Effective Compliance is Critical for Facilities Management
This real-world scenario only illustrates the fact that facilities managers are not immune to compliance requirements- far from it. In fact, the number of major compliance items that facilities managers need to worry about can seem endless and overwhelming when it comes to managing their contractors.
A small subset of what typically needs to be tracked includes vendor insurance forms, licenses, certifications & accreditations, tax forms (e.g. W-9s), trade associations & affiliations, financial status, business health, rate changes, etc.
3 FM Compliance Trends and How to Keep Up
Complicating the issue further, the compliance landscape is a highly dynamic one with new regulatory and corporate requirements emerging all the time.
Here are a few that facilities teams should be aware of:
- Proactivity: Auditing and monitoring have never been more stringent as corporate compliance programs become further operationalized and increasingly sophisticated. A key requirement for facilities managers is that they have to be proactive in identifying red flags concerning third parties such as vendors and service providers.
- Fourth Party Management: Keeping track of third parties is hard enough, but companies will have to start monitoring compliance requirements for fourth parties as the number of suppliers and supply chains become increasingly diversified. This means facilities managers may have to worry about compliance issues for the companies providing goods and services to their strategic vendors.
- Popularization of Analytics: Technology tools such as analytics are must-haves as the foundation of a well-oiled compliance and enforcement operation. Identifying a technology solution for their compliance needs would be a good way for FM teams to endear themselves to their Chief Compliance Officer, a topic we discussed in a recent blog post.
FM Compliance Best Practices
There are a few specific steps that facilities managers can take to stay ahead of these trends and ensure that they and their vendors are as compliant as possible.
- Prioritize Visibility: FMs need to gain better if not full visibility into their compliance landscape. This will be increasingly difficult as the number of vendors goes up and the compliance paperwork piles up. It’s not uncommon for companies to have filing drawers full of just compliance documents, which makes filing, tracking, and retrieval a major headache.
- Communicate Thoroughly: FMs should build in regular communications with their vendors about impending compliance issues, ideally well before they’re likely to occur. Being able to alert vendors about potential red flags is sure to save everyone a lot of time and money in remediating problems after the fact.
- Closely Monitor Contractors: FMs should not hesitate to eliminate vendors who are habitually out-of-compliance. Having access to a real-time and easily updateable database with compliance information ensures that FM teams can identify and manage out the outliers on a regular basis.
Perhaps most effective at keeping up with compliance trends is specialized compliance management software, which is designed for FM pros in key areas so that they can reduce their operational risk and be more confident about meeting all their contractor compliance needs. By providing complete data visibility, enabling sophisticated contractor hiring and management, and making communication simple, compliance management software helps take the stress out of remaining compliant.
Learn more about maintaining FM compliance using sophisticated compliance management software.