Don’t Outsource. But if you must, don’t compromise. It doesn’t have to be sorcery any more!
Hello again. We have been fairly pointed in our views on how much repair & maintenance savings and efficiencies are available across the facilities sector (and how our initial $20 billion(!) estimate wasn’t even high enough), then, why you shouldn’t have to trade off cost for quality within your FM program, and most recently, why outsourcing your facilities maintenance program is a bad idea.
But we are nothing if not realistic. Some companies may be required to or simply choose to continue outsourcing various aspects of their facilities maintenance program (for a wide range of reasons). And for those companies, that’s meant living in the dark, trusting a third party without any method of monitoring and validating the work being done across their locations.
But now, you no longer have to live with the historical, inherent “outsourcing limitations” to visibility, transparency, objective data (including how the actual outsourcer is performing, not just the service providers), layered costs, quality metrics, asset aging, and so on!!!! For the first time, you can shine a light under the covers of your own business.
Stop Flying Blind, Eliminate ‘No Visibility’ Facilities Outsourcing
There is an alternative to abdicating full responsibility, flying blind, and “guessing” instead of “knowing for sure.” You can take a hybrid approach combining ‘traditional’ outsourcing with a modern, technology-driven ‘window’ into what’s happening.
Remember, if you must outsource, there is no rule that says you have to forgo accountability, responsibility, objectivity or transparency to your outsource partner.
You should ensure that your outsourcer uses a modern, data-driven, transparent service automation platform to complement its efforts – and to give you the visibility to hold it and its service providers accountable. You’ll end up with a much more measurable, quantitative, and efficient program – and importantly, resulting in the visibility and control you need to control the outcomes you want.
We haven’t come up with a good term yet (if you have any ideas, please let us know). It’s certainly not Your Father’s Outsourcing! Data-Driven Outsourcing? Data-Informed Outsourcing? Transparent Outsourcing? Monitored Outsourcing? Full-Visibility Outsourcing? Objective Outsourcing? Technology-Driven Outsourcing?
What’s your favorite and how do you “get it”?
Typically, your outsourcer has not gathered, measured, or shared (or most likely, all of the above) the data you need to fully assess performance at all levels. But there is literally NO REASON that your outsourcer should object to this….there is nothing they should hide. Outsourcing need not be sorcery (any more).
But How Does Hybrid Outsourcing Work in Practice?
So why would we tout or validate this approach? As it turns out, we have a number of clients (many of whom you know on a first-name basis), who, for a variety of reasons, continue to use outsourcers as part of their property and location management mix.
The difference? The customer MANDATES that the outsourcer be transparent, use an objective (not some hand-in-the-cookie-jar) assessment tool, and report objective data in line with the client’s requests.
Boom – you end up with a more useful, viable and comprehensive solution. One that may augment your people needs (via an outsource partner) but one that does not compromise your need to proactively and objectively manage performance, cost, and quality of your FM program….And one that provides you the ability to share relevant and objective data with other departments in your company...And one that allows you to identify and quantify even more opportunities in the future, by continuing to pinpoint inefficiencies.
And how about this….we have several examples of the outsourcer actually LIKING this – so much so that they have adopted a modern, tech-based solution to better manage THEIR own network of subcontractors in the same way! Once they see the benefit of taking a data-driven approach to managing a business, it becomes almost irresponsible not to do the same for their own. What’s good for the goose…….
Bottom line: Don’t outsource (there are more than 20 billions reason not to!). But if you must, don’t compromise. Take a smart approach to how you outsource and manage your own brand.
Thanks as always, and I continue to look forward to, and value, all of your comments.