Facilities management (FM) is the effective delivery of non-core management services that play an elementary role in supporting core business activities. It involves places, people, and processes. The facility manager is riddled with the task of homogenizing places and people for the smoother operations. The cost associated with the FM represents a large proportion of the total operational cost of the business. The quantitative and qualitative levels of FM services has a direct impact on productivity, profitability, and public image of the organization. The trend of outsourcing FM services faces cynicism as the most common disadvantages include service quality issues, lack of in-house expertise, demotivated service staff, etc. Thus, in order to maintain a high quality in outsourced FM services, cost-effectiveness takes a backseat.
The planning and implementation of cost optimization in facilities management should be carried out in a manner that does not compromise with the quality of the services. The following are some measures that may be adopted to optimize the cost in FM are:
1. Applying automation technology: Facility managers are increasing their reliance on technology tools to minimize paperwork and boost the accuracy of data collection. This helps in mapping out the facility under management and addressing escalations swiftly.
2. Personnel training: The managers should focus on imparting relevant technical training to the staff. The modern facility manager has access to vast and deeper domain expertise and technology to track the performance of human and technical resource.
3. Avoid over optimization: Once the client experiences the initial cost-benefit of outsourcing the FM services, they continue to look for further savings. This may prove to be a sustainable exercise, but the optimization of cost must never compromise the quality of services, or else outsourcing will lose its relevance.
4. Integrating modern technologies: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next step in the FM sphere. It is a disrupting technology that aims to connect every electronic function to a single platform through the cloud so that everything is electronically controlled by a single control center. This combined with the use of e-sourcing and e-procurement, there is the beginning of a new era in facility management where the most technologically savvy and adaptable player shall have the edge over others.
5. Audits and assessment: The constant monitoring and analysis of processes. For instance, conducting energy audits to optimize and reduce the consumption and employment of temporary staff to assist the in-house staff with unplanned, temporary work while ensuring facilities can run at full capacity. These are some methods to optimize the cost of FM services, which have little or no impact on the quality of services delivered.