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Avoiding Outsourcing: Strategy Helps Increase Staff, Improve Quality
Paul Adjan, Facility Manager with the Glynn County Airport Commission in Brunswick, Ga., discusses his efforts to keep maintenance jobs in-house
Glynn County Airport Commission, Brunswick, Ga.
1. What events or conditions led you to focus on avoiding outsourcing?
Having more control over the outcome while spending a lot less time explaining to a vendor the building systems and what had been transpired over the years as far as maintenance is concerned. That way, you don't have to justify why things were done the way they were. Sometimes it was a "band-aid" fix, sometimes lack of the correct maintenance technician and usually no monies. I need to be sure that the safety of our employees and the building users is never at risk. The proactive look at costs and time are the major conditions I look at for doing the work in-house.
2. How has this strategy affected your staffing decisions?
I have used it to justify hiring more in-house staff to upper management by comparing the workload to the cost of contracting, realizing that the employees carry a high cost, including benefits, but learn the systems and have the experience to pass the knowledge along.
3. Do you have specific examples of a situation where this strategy benefited facility operations?
A contractor proposed doing some high-visibility landscape work as opposed to our current staff continuing to do it. They made the case that they were experts and could make the area much more attractive, thereby giving out a better curb appeal to the public. We took their proposal and analyzed what they planned, priced it out, budgeted for it and did the work in the next fiscal year in-house.
4. How significant is the impact on your budget by keeping your maintenance repairs in-house?
Moderately significant. It seems more and more the deferred maintenance is turning into an emergency. This postpones regularly budgeted items. The more we can do in-house lessens the impact but has to be weighed project by project for critical system maintenance vs. emergencies vs. contracted services.
5. What kinds of exceptions do you make for going outside the department for maintenance repairs?
Any specialized services that require uncommon knowledge or tools to protect not only the equipment, but the safety of the employees.