January 28 - 29, 2020
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, FL
The CPO's Corner
Convincing Stakeholders to Make the Move to Outsourced Facilities Management
Outsourcing facilities management is a tough decision for a company to make. Even though there are countless examples of firms who successfully made the transition, there are usually deep relationships between the inhouse team and executive management. Facilities specialists tend to stay within that vertical, so over the years there are many opportunities for them to form strong bonds with their internal clients.
Having said that, facilities management is not a core competency of most companies, and it is logical to assess the benefits of outsourcing. If it looks like there may be a good business case to do so, here are some thoughts to consider:
- Any business case needs to include a plan for the existing team. Will there be roles for them in the new organization? How can they be kept “whole” in terms of benefits? Increasingly, companies are using their bargaining power to ensure that salaries and benefits remain the same for employees who transition to outsourced environments. That’s likely to be a top question for the internal stakeholders.
- Help your internal stakeholders make an informed decision by pushing them to participate in reference calls with you. Give them a chance to ask their questions and allay some of their fears by going direct to people who have had the outsourcing experience.
- Provide balance by talking to companies for whom outsourcing didn’t work. This will help you identify and avoid potential pitfalls.
- Make sure that you are comfortable with the technology the outsourced firm uses, and the process for logging complaints or issues. Ensure that – particularly at the start – the right number of people are responding to work tickets. If you use a call center now, compare your current metrics to those your outsource provider is obtaining with their current clients. It should be a red flag if there’s no clear path to improvement.
- Be clear on the expected benefits, and be wary of commitments that seem “too big”. Make sure you and your leadership are clear and comfortable with exactly how any benefits will be obtained. Upgrades to improve energy efficiency? Great. Less frequent restroom cleaning? Probably not.
Communication is so important. The more your internal stakeholders feel they are being listened to, the more they will be comfortable with the transition. Good luck!
Joanna Martinez is a global procurement / supply chain leader and the founder of Supply Chain Advisors LLC. She is a frequent lecturer and blogger on procurement topics and also provides coaching, strategy development, training, and cost reduction opportunity assessment. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to technology startups.
As either regional or global CPO, Joanna has led transformation initiatives for companies in many different sectors: among them Johnson & Johnson (consumer products), Diageo (beverage), AllianceBernstein LP (financial services) and Cushman & Wakefield (real estate services, property management). She has also held client-facing roles, effectively giving her the opportunity to “sit on both sides of the table”.