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Report Reveals Increasing Facility Outsourcing
Facility managers remain confident in the ability to save money and improve quality through the use of outsourcing.
According to An Inside Look at FM Outsourcing, a new research report from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), companies are outsourcing with greater frequency today, hiring full-service vendors to provide many functions. Fifteen percent of the respondents’ companies are now outsourcing, up from three percent in 1993.
The report, based on online survey responses from 487 of the association’s members, also revealed that most facility managers believe that outsourcing can be the answer if they find the right service provider.
The use of out-tasking, hiring individual specialized vendors to provide one or more services, has decreased from 91 percent in 1993 to only 77 percent in 2006, according to the report. The steepest decline has come in the past seven years.
More than one-half of companies have also saved money through outsourcing/out-tasking and one-third have seen a quality improvement. These results are consistent regardless of whether the company is outsourcing or out-tasking.
Architectural/engineering/interior design services were outsourced with the most frequency with 90 percent of respondents reporting that they outsourced these services, followed by housekeeping services with 77 percent, property appraisals with 72 percent and roads/parking/garage maintenance with 70 percent. The largest growth among outsourced services between 1993 and 2006 was in the outsourcing of utility system maintenance with a growth of 23 percent.
According to the survey, the main reasons facility managers are choosing to outsource include financial motives like reducing or controlling costs, and the ability to better adjust to work fluctuations while decreasing turnover and training costs. The key challenges to implementing an outsourcing initiative are ensuring delivery of the correct level of service and developing a level of trust.