This Outsourced Service – But Not That One

Why are Facility Services seen as a sack of potatoesSack of potatoes <–compared to–> Boeing 787 outsourced components

Commodity <–compared to–> Respected high-priced solution

Basic service <–compared to–> Strategic service

Facility services <–compared to–> IT & Business Process outsourcing

Like you, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve facility service engagements. Such as how to increase value, improve performance and better manage relationships.

Been reading a lot recently.

And there’s a lot written about outsourcing and governance, mainly about Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

It’s because ITO and BPO deals are often for millions of dollars over several years. Lot’s of money, lot’s of attention.

What about Facility Services?

Why isn’t there a lot written about facility services? How to improve, increase, manage and govern?

Facility service contracts can be for millions and multiple years too.

There seems to be a lack of respect for facility services’ business contributions. They’re the spinster aunt. Part of the family, but not as interesting as the more glamorous members, such as IT, finance, production, etc.

Large facility service contracts do get eyeballs. They get Procurement’s attention for the initial bid, and then again if contractors fail legal compliance.

But the business owner (the lonely Facility or Property Manager, or Security Director) spends a great deal of time putting out fires and justifying budgets. Not basking in the glow of valued contributor.

It’s about the Connection

I’m guessing facility services have an image problem. Their performance is not connected to their organization’s business success, or survival. Not in a dramatic, compelling way at least.

What’s compelling? Think Department of Homeland Security.

Business owners of facility services know their place. They see it in the size of their budget, access up the executive food chain, and in their personal compensation.

So it’s understandable why business owners may not create or promote that compelling story about their services’ importance.

Can Contractors Help?

That’s where contractors can step in. Who better to articulate the contributions a facility service makes to a business than the provider themselves.

Contractors want to reaffirm their value to business owners. To reconfirm why they were chosen in the first place. And business owners want to validate the contractors contributions and performance.

Well, here’s an opportunity for creating that “better story”. The one that upgrades that facility service’s image within the organization. It only takes connecting business importance to the service.

Isn’t that what contractors present to business owners in contract performance reviews?

Isn’t that what business owners monitor in their contract governance?

When contractors articulate and package that message for their own benefit – business owners can use it upstream. As part of their on-going efforts to raise the organization’s valuation of their contributions.

Dare I say it, but this is a win-win opportunity.

So why aren’t more business owners and contractors promoting the importance of their contributions upstream?

Chris Arlen
President, Service Performance

Technorati: contract governance, contract performance review, procurement, outsourcing, facility services

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