By: Ryan Lee
One of the clear and present challenges facilities managers face during the COVID-19 pandemic is cost management. How can Integrated facility management (IFM) reduce costs at a time when collections are affected? For most buildings, the answer lies in Integrated Facility Management. It’s a concept that’s easier talked about than implemented.
To optimize service providers in a way that justifies the cost, facilities managers need to explore integrating all service providers at the center of FM software. But these are only the ingredients for smarter and cost-saving facilities management.
Cost savings is a common benefit associated with IFM. As a specialist in facility management, the IFM provider can leverage extensive experience, proven methods, and economies of scale to streamline service delivery and reduce operational costs. In addition, a provider can often manage a group of related services with fewer people that might be otherwise needed for the delivery and management of services through multiple providers or a mix of in-house resources and outsourced providers.
Performance can also be improved. An IFM contract encourages a shift from input-based management (hours and resources) to outcome-based management (performance). The organization’s facility manager now has a single point of contact for all facility management issues, helping to support the efficient coordination and accurate monitoring of service performance delivery. And with `one throat to choke,’ the manager can expect greater accountability and responsiveness if issues arise.
In some cases, this shift to outcome-based management can be disruptive for hands-on managers who are used to tracking operations, maintenance schedules. and multiple contractors. Even today, changing to IFM and performance-based contracts remains a hurdle for many companies that are still working with multiple providers on a time and materials basis. On the other hand, an IFM contract can help managers better understand the total cost of ownership, risk management, supplier performance, and process improvement, helping them to better align the business value of services with the overarching goals of the Joint Management Body (JMB)