Facilities Management Success Means Knowing When to Outsource

October 24, 2017

I love a well-kept yard and work very hard at hiring the right company to get my yard to look great. Admittedly, I don’t have the time or expertise to spend on my yard to keep it well-trimmed with beautiful beds, so I hire a service to do the job – better than I ever could. If I lived in a climate that got snow, I’d probably hire a plowing service to “shovel me out” – not because I can’t shovel or buy my own plow, but because someone else has the machinery to do it faster and better.

Within our industry, facilities management (FM) is commonly known as the outsourcing of a company’s onsite resources dedicated to performing non-core office functions. It can also include the outsourcing of certain non-core Business Processes (BPO) where work is completed offsite.

These non-core services include:

  • Mail room solutions, like mail distribution, postage management and digital mail
  • Copy center management
  • Key operator services for multifunction printers and printer fleet like loading paper, adding toner, replenishing staples and clearing print jams
  • Office service solutions like reception and security services and conference room management
  • Shipping and receiving
  • Document scanning and indexing; and
  • Business process outsourcing like payroll, human resources, A/P and Marketing

Facilities management is the management of an entire building or campus with services like electricity, plumbing, safety, and maintenance, and could include traditional, non-core internal operations like mail rooms. When something breaks, there is damage from a storm or anything else that affects the physical plant, FM handles it, leaving the intellectual property within the walls to the business strategists.

And, finally, with FM, there is the outsourcing of specialized, narrow functions that are important to the core business, but heavy on processing.  Some of these distinct business processes are for payroll, billing, customer service, marketing, call centers and data entry. A company chooses to outsource because it can utilize specialists who have been trained for that task, and those specialists have the right tools. Enlisting a third party because they have the Best Practices and the expertise is one of the key reasons for outsourcing facilities management services.

Outsourcing Trends

In the absolute, we see a lot more services being outsourced for convenience. Taking an Uber – outsourced driving. Delivering groceries to your doorstep – outsourced grocery shopping. On-demand Movies in the comfort of your living room – outsourced entertainment. The incentive to find convenience is great when you can spend your time with the end-product without worrying about the process to get to that final point. In business, it’s critical to decrease the time spent on time-consuming processing or tedious tasks when your employees can be more productive.

The global market size for outsourced services hit its peak in 2014 at 104.6 billion US dollars according to Statista. Last year, that market dropped to 76.9 billion US dollars, which parallels the market size back in 2005. The subset for the aforementioned ITS  was 52.9 billion US dollars and BPO was 24 billion US dollars.  These are still big numbers with companies embracing outsourcing for services.

As the @home mentality meets the @work mentality for expertise, convenience and cost-effectiveness, this means opportunity for consultants, business partners and you, the customer. Let me explain.

Business for Consultants

As facilities management providers, Konica Minolta offers you guidance through outsourced services, providing expertise and innovative thought. Our FM experts  listen to you and execute and aggregate services so you have one bill from one provider. We give you a centralized account person to handle all of your needs. Plus, as we assess the services for your needs, we have the internal and the external portfolio to find the match to the right provider. Need IT Services or Managed Print Services? We offer both. Looking beyond document management to content capture? We have the intelligent capture and enterprise content management solution that can help you, too.  Konica Minolta is the one-stop shop for finding the solutions you need and offering perspective on what else you might consider.

Business for Partners

Solutions are only as good as the partners. By matching the provider with the need, you get the benefit of the consultant/provider relationships. You get the value – better than you had before or for the first time as you jump into the outsourcing arena instead of hiring more people.

Opportunity for You

When you outsource services, you get experts and best practices for which you do not have the time, money and effort to effectively train your own people to execute. In some cases, your company may outgrow your ability to do it all in-house and, instead of expanding, you opt to outsource to save on labor costs/employee benefits/managers’ time and get to redirect those valuable employees to more valuable tasks.  Plus, you get the breadth of knowledge powered by Konica Minolta instead of just a thin silo of information for one area of expertise.  Our portfolio of services, management solutions and, of course, technologically advanced hardware means we open the door to innovation to you.

So, why do it?

According to the Outsourcing World Summit, the top reasons for outsourcing are (1)

  • Focus on the Core (36 %)
  • Reduce Costs (36%)
  • Improve quality (13%)
  • Increase Speed to Market (10%)
  • Innovation (4%)
  • Conserve Capital (1%).

To these, I would add convenience. When you focus on the core and let the non-core get outsources, you save on the cost, but it’s easier to get those tasks done by someone else. As for best practices – improved quality is definitely the outcome for outsourced expertise.

When Do you Know that You need to Outsource?

If you haven’t already explored alternates to your current provider, it might just take a visit by your Konica Minolta sales rep who has new technology to share, has a portfolio of solutions, and listens to the issues you’re facing. You can be proactive and seek us out, but you may not realize you have a great opportunity to save with outsourcing your non-core services. Understanding the depth of the need means our Konica Minolta specialists can offer the best advice on what facilities management solutions or services you need. Many times, the catalyst is business growth or dissatisfaction with your existing provider.

What Do you Do?

We are problem-solvers, and our insight and expertise will give you an assessment and a recommendation. These days, we know that technology is moving quickly, and you may be unaware of your opportunities to save, optimize, drive core business strategies and reap the benefits of best practices and expertise. Take stock of your problems and let us explore how innovative thought in facilities management of non-core services can bring benefits to your operation.

Alan Smith
Director, Facilities Management Solutions

As head of the Facilities Management Team since 2015, Alan oversees the BIS Regional FM Managers along with Partnership Governance for the major Independent FM Providers. He’s been with Konica Minolta for 21 years and is an industry veteran of over 25 years. Alan’s held various Leadership positions throughout his career up to and including Market Vice President in the South Region. He enjoys the Martial Arts having trained for over 40 years and also now enjoys singing in a Southern Gospel Quartet through his Church after having pursued a Country Music singing career in Nashville early in life. He now resides just north of Atlanta with his beautiful wife Misti of 23 years and three wonderful children.