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Incorporate Technology Into Outsourcing Equation


Outsourcing is often considered as a cost-savings measure, but savvy facility managers know it's not an all or nothing proposition. Rather, outsourcing fits into a carefully considered strategy that balances the organizations needs, the FM organization's capacity and the tools it has available to fulfill its mission. The following are some of the ways facility managers have figured out ways to leverage technology solutions to bolster their in-house capabilities and do more with less.

Go paperless. Create efficiencies in your process by using online services for ordering parts, handling customer service requests, reviewing reports from building systems and the like. Investing in tablets or other mobile technology for the team will help spread the reach of this strategy for greatest impact.

Be data driven. Conduct a regular analysis at the interval of your choosing to evaluate the performance metrics at your facility. Twice a year, for example, the New York City Department of Education, evaluates the maintenance and cleanliness conditions of common areas in the schools, such as classrooms, bathrooms, and cafeterias. These are given a rating and crunched through an algorithm, which prioritizes the system's schools in terms of need for additional attention and helps to catch problems while they're still small. In addition, tracking this data helps the department protect against budget cuts, as they can overlay school condition ratings over time with the budget over time.

Standardize. When you have a large portfolio, it's easy for the small idiosyncrasies at each facility to bog things down and create inefficiencies. Components such as contracts, drawings, manuals and property management systems should be standardized. This will mean facility management staff can easily go from one facility to the other, for more efficient and effective staffing models.

Read the full article for more outsourcing best practices here.

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