Facilities Management: Why Go Integrated?
Outsourcing in all its forms has taken off in recent years as businesses have realised that hiring specialists to provide services allows them to concentrate on their core functions. The most obvious and frequently-cited examples of outsourcing involve call centres and technical business processes, but one outsourced area that businesses across many sectors have turned to is facilities management, where providers can bring their expertise to bear in looking after catering, security, cleaning and other services for their customers.
Whilst individual business requirements may vary, the need for a high quality of service combined with value for money is the same across different industry sectors and the FM provider who can most closely match a solution to the challenges of a specific location or business is the one most likely to succeed. Many businesses prefer to contract separately for their support services, so they will look to a single service catering or cleaning provider; but increasingly we’ve been hearing from clients that they would prefer to contract for an integrated solution, bringing together catering, cleaning and security and other services into one package.
From a client perspective, the benefits of having a single point of contact for support services are significant; the head of facilities saves time, because there is a single person managing the services and providing the required information. Of course, the integrated facilities manager needs to be capable and trained in all the service elements that they oversee; that’s why an IFM provider must invest properly in training its people to ensure they can cope with the breadth of challenges they will face.
The soft services teams which sit under these new integrated facilities managers naturally feel better connected; they wear the same uniform and report to the same person. Members of integrated teams can be multi-skilled, like security personnel who can check light bulbs and fill photocopiers on their patrols around a building in silent hours. Cleaning teams also have to time their shift patterns to fit in around busy office hours, proving that integrated facilities management truly is a 24-hour operation. This round-the-clock concept was what inspired our new brand 14forty.
14forty aims to simplify the challenges of facilities management while maintaining excellent quality of service in all areas. A responsive mind-set is paramount to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction in the competitive marketplace and 14forty is committed to a continuous process of communication with its clients, responding to feedback which can then inform actions and enable adjustments to the services provided. Only by taking this agile approach can 14forty prove the integrated concept and lead the facilities management sector.