Oct 06, 2021
By Brandon Davis

Take Back Your Tech Stack: Re-Thinking Facilities Management Outsourcing

If you’re a facilities management leader, chances are you’ve at least considered outsourcing some or all operations across your portfolio to a third-party provider.

This decision may appear to make good business sense. By working with a reputable provider, you can fill in the gaps where you’re understaffed and ensure quality service delivery at every property enterprise-wide. It seems like a winning situation across the board.

But here’s something to consider: By outsourcing facilities management services to a vendor, you’re most likely also outsourcing your facilities management technology.

At first, this may not seem like a big compromise. After all, doesn’t the value you’re getting from the provider outweigh the seemingly small loss of control over your tech stack? The answer: Probably not.

The good news is that you can maintain greater control over your tech stack even while engaging vendors for service. In this post, we’ll look at the downsides of outsourcing your facilities management technology and explain how you can avoid them by implementing a fully connected integrated workplace management system (IWMS) instead.

The 4 Pitfalls of Outsourcing Facilities Management Technology

Here are some of the most common (and usually unforeseen) setbacks that organizations encounter when they rely on vendor technology for facilities management.

1. They can’t get a holistic view of their portfolio.

Let’s say Company X owns 20 properties.

At 10 of those locations, they track and manage facilities operations internally using spreadsheets and emails. At the other 10, they rely on a vendor that utilizes a proprietary software system to handle the same functions.

In this scenario, key data is scattered across platforms. If leaders at Company X want to tally important metrics—like total work orders—for their entire portfolio, someone will need to access the internal records as well as the vendor records. And while vendor records may be simple to access, the process of finding and combining the data can become time-consuming and labor-intensive.

That’s why Company X needs one true line of sight across their entire portfolio. By having a single, unified IWMS platform that tracks equipment status, maintenance history, work orders, and other key information, the company’s leaders can more easily make data-backed decisions that benefit their entire business.

2. They don’t have complete control of their enterprise data.

Companies that rely on their service providers for technology solutions simply don’t have the same grasp on their data.

Sure, they may be able request, access, or view key metrics—but that data is ultimately not contained within an interface maintained by the company. Instead, it’s entered, altered, and maintained by the third-party provider.

Many leaders may not see this as a problem. So long as the data is available, they ask, why does it matter if it isn’t technically owned by the company?

One answer to that question is the possibility of a cyberattack. If the provider is compromised, so too is the enterprise data stored on their servers. That means months or years of crucial information can suddenly be lost or leaked. And without visibility into the cybersecurity operations of the provider, leaders can never be 100% sure that their facilities management data is safe.

Again, this is where an enterprise-wide IWMS system comes into play. By maintaining control of the technology platform that employees and vendors use for facilities operations, a company can more easily monitor who’s accessing it and protect it from outside threats.

3. They’re less able to hold vendors accountable.

Third-party vendors are obligated to deliver on the service levels outlined in their SOWs. And companies expect satisfactory performance when they hire a provider to perform facilities management operations. But who ultimately benchmarks that performance?

The answer is whichever party controls the tech stack.

A vendor may report satisfactory results, but if they’re using their own platform to track performance metrics, then the company has no way of verifying the information internally.
They simply have to take it at face value.

And while most providers are likely trustworthy, it’s not ideal for them to be holding themselves accountable. Any detail-oriented leader will see this as an issue—and it’s one that can be addressed by an internally-managed IWMS system. With such a platform in place, companies can effectively measure vendor performance against contractually agreed-upon standards.

4. They experience disruptions in business continuity.

Transitioning between service providers can be a daunting process. This is especially true if a company’s data is contained within their provider’s own technology platform.

One reason why is that moving data from one provider to the next can be cumbersome. Even if exporting it is fairly simple, the transfer process still adds extra steps and opportunities for error. Important information can get deleted, lost, or overlooked in the migration.

Another reason is that it’s highly likely to cause gaps in service delivery. During a transition between providers, the company may have to tell its employees that facilities services aren’t available for a specific period of time. And while timing may be optimized for minimal disruption, most leaders would probably prefer not having to make such an announcement at all.

That’s why the simplest method to ensure continuity of data and operations is to manage it all within a company-wide IWMS platform. This way the previous vendor can be offboarded and the new one onboarded with minimal (if any) disruptions.

How A Fully-Integrated IWMS Can Help

Avoiding these pitfalls starts with consolidating all your facilities management operations into a single platform. By doing so, you can more easily visualize your entire portfolio, access and protect your data, measure vendor performance, and prevent business disruptions.

Nuvolo Connected Workplace brings you all these benefits and more. Using the Maintenance solution, you can seamlessly:

  • View enterprise-wide data and generate detailed reports nearly instantly
  • Access your entire inventory in one place
  • Schedule and auto-assign preventative maintenance
  • Submit requests in a single, easy-to-use portal
  • Automate common work order processes

Are you ready to gain greater control over your facilities management tech stack? Learn more about Nuvolo Connected Workplace and how it helps put organizations in the driver’s seat of their own facilities operations.