Facilities Maintenance Cost vs. Quality – Stop Making That Choice

In my prior post, I highlighted how there’s tremendous waste and inefficiency across the $100 billion facilities services supply chain from reliance on outsourcing, third party cost layers, and manual inefficiencies.  Cost savings are of course important to any organization.

But quality and customer experience are also important determinants of the success of any facilities program, both of which have direct impact on overall business results.At your company, what’s driving your facilities program – cost or quality?  How about BOTH?

Facilities Maintenance Cost vs. QualityWe have been talking about how much savings potential there is in the facilities supply chain (we had originally estimated $20 billion).  But the FM professionals who attended our Annual User Conference in Las Vegas chimed in that it was closer to $27 billion!

Either way, there is a lot of money on the table for those organizations who choose to deploy a technology-forward solution to facilities in place of a legacy outsource, broker, or people-powered approach.

In most cases, a decrease in cost corresponds to a similar decrease in quality.  Spend less and you often get less.  But that is not what we see – it turns out that modern facilities management solutions can drive BOTH big cost savings and substantial quality improvements.

Service Provider Quality Impacts the Quality of Your Facilities

The same data-driven approach that can identify cost inefficiencies can also pinpoint and quantify service delivery quality gaps and inconsistencies.  Because only by using facilities management software  can you gain the visibility and transparency needed to understand where these gaps and inconsistencies are and how to remedy them.

And as to the “quality” in your service delivery, you can use a wide range of metrics to define that, depending on what’s most important to you:

  • What contractors show up in the required timeframe?
  • Which contractors have the best first-time completion rate?
  • Who sends the most qualified person to the job?
  • Who completes the most engagements within the agreed to pricing?
  • Who adheres to “best-in-class” benchmarks on service levels?
  • Who checks in and out of your locations with local staff to ensure satisfaction?

You SHOULD be able to measure all of this and you SHOULD be able to build a quantitative scorecard for your service providers – individually, by region, and by trade – that drive the improvements necessary to build the “quality levels” that you want and need.

And by sharing the exact same data and scorecards with your service providers – so you can have productive, objective performance-related discussions, it gives them the opportunity and data to get better (or not) – helping you to separate the wheat from the chaff, and “thin the herd,” so to speak, where necessary.

Here is a sample of one such scorecard from our system – a scorecard that many of our customers and service providers share with each other in their business reviews.  And guess what – quality improves when you are transparent and “know” what you are driving towards and can measure it, vs. “guessing” and not measuring it.  

Contractor ScorecardIn one of our recent reports on Key Steps to Effective Contractor Management, we highlight the importance of initiating regular, data-driven performance reviews.  Consistent reviews of vendor performance on a regular basis are arguably the most important step in effective contractor management as well as for ensuring positive, productive company-to-vendor communications.

If you want to ensure you’re delivering superior customer experiences, and in today’s increasingly competitive environment, it’s a must have, it’s imperative you have visibility into the performance of your service providers and the work they’re delivering.  

All the work performed across your locations has a direct impact on how your brand is experienced.  It’s really this simple: their quality equals your quality.  So make sure you’re in position to know what level of service is being delivered in your name, and how you can make sure it’s what you – and your customers – expect.

Thanks, comments and thoughts welcome!