Outsourcing facility maintenance has become a growing trend for a number of reasons. For facility managers, it eliminates the need for employing permanent specialist staff and the ongoing costs associated with their remuneration, training and specialist equipment.
Many facilities and businesses require specialist tasks to be performed irregularly or for only a handful of hours each week. This makes hiring part-time or casual staff an excessive move and wastes the time of your key employees, who most likely don’t have the required skills and are more productive in their main roles. By outsourcing maintenance tasks you are offloading the risk – if something goes wrong, it’s their responsibility, not yours!
Outsourcing has similarities to recruiting a new employee, with key steps required to ensure the best candidate is selected. Their previous experience, ability to meet your requirements and ability to form a positive long-term working relationship must be reviewed.
A common pitfall is to simply select a service provider based on price. A higher priced provider is more likely to conduct work properly the first time around, saving you money in the long run.
When hiring a service provider we recommend:
Provide potential service providers with a clear understanding of the services you require to ensure you are being quoted on exactly what you need.
Discuss clear key performance indicators to ensure both parties are on the same page; this will reduce the likelihood of grievances further down the line.
Request that candidate service providers provide proof of experience and capability in maintaining your specific type of facility. They must demonstrate they can solve similar problems for similar facility types by naming specific clients and the outcomes they achieved, providing references upon request. Receiving validation from references also demonstrates their trustworthiness on your property, where they are likely to have access to restricted areas and pose a risk to the security of your assets.
Request evidence of standards and insurance. Facility maintenance service providers will be performing tasks which pose a risk to your employees and customers, so safety is critical. Responsible service providers will be able to provide evidence of being independently audited annually to OH&S Management AS/NZS 4801 standards. They will also have public liability insurance; if they don’t and they conduct a negligent act which causes injury, the liability is then placed upon the property owner.
Review communication. It’s also important to review the interpersonal skills of all facility maintenance representatives you will be liaising with. Are they easy to contact, pleasant to communicate with and responsive to your requests? Facility managers with multiple sites may wish to simplify their maintenance processes by selecting one point of contact who can manage all of their sites.
Consider impact on your operations. Are you satisfied that the presence of the facility maintenance provider won’t disrupt your customers or employees? Many maintenance tasks require access to certain areas to be restricted. The work should be completed outside of trading hours if it poses a risk to customer experience or reduces your employee’s ability to provide a high standard of service. Will the maintenance provider adhere to these requests and are their additional costs for this?
The Graffiti Eaters provide maintenance agreements for shopping centres, national retailers such as Woolworths, Kmart and KFC, and banks such as NAB and Commonwealth Bank.
We are the one point of contact for their network of facilities, providing an emergency response to graffiti vandalism, while also maintaining the appearance of their properties by removing difficult stains that regular cleaning staff are unable to remove.