Defending an In-House Staff

facility management, staffing   January 28, 2008

I’m Ed Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today&rsquos tip has to do with planning to keep facility services in-house.

Outsourcing has become a widely accepted facility management strategy. But many organizations still rely on in-house staff for many facility functions. Facility executives who have an in-house staff and want to keep it should be prepared to justify it.

Many facility executives are convinced that in-house staff provides better service at lower cost. They argue that in-house staff develops ownership and specific expertise that outsourcing providers can&rsquot match. But it&rsquos a mistake to think that anecdotal observations or subjective arguments will be enough for top executives who wonder why facility services aren&rsquot being outsourced.

Instead, facility executives should track key performance metrics, like the cost to provide services and response time, then try to find benchmarks at other facilities. That way, if questions arise about the in-house staff, the facility executive will have data readily at hand. Some facility executives even invite outsourcing providers to bid on taking over facility services, then compare the performance of in-house staff to the bid.

In some cases, keeping services in-house is a good fit with the culture of the organization, so there will be no pressure to outsource. But having hard numbers on hand can help if the question of outsourcing is raised.


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