Choosing the right facilities services provider is a decision with a lot of costs riding on it, but it is important that you don’t just think about cost. Get the decision right and you can start to build a long-term relationship with a reliable facilities services partner who responds to your needs and is flexible in terms of resources and cost. But get it wrong and you are constantly making changes, constantly searching and constantly in a state of regret.
But choosing a reliable facilities services provider shouldn’t just come down to cost, and you need to consider a lot more than just budgets. Of course you need your provider to be affordable, but like a lot of things in life, sometimes things are cheaper because corners are cut, the service is sub-standard and you are looking only at short term solutions, so here we have outlined eight important things you need to consider when you are looking to appoint a new facilities services provider in Scotland.
- Are they fit-for-purpose?
Fundamentally, you want a facilities services provider to be responsible for a wide remit of issues at your business. This could be security, cleaning, health & Safety management, building maintenance and temporary site services. It is no good appointing a supposedly “all-singing-all-dancing” solution if they don’t possess half the skills and abilities you need, and you then need to find and appoint another company to plug the gaps as well. So list out all the services you need covering and make sure this one facilities services provider can adequately cover all your needs.
- Do they have a commitment to people?
How a business treats its people says a lot about how they will also treat you. So do they use highly-trained people? Do they have good human resources structure? Are they a fair employer? Do they have a good mechanism for promoting people? This will all mean they have dedicated, reliable and motivated staff and that can only be a good thing for you.
- Do they aspire to quality standards?
This should be a pre-requisite in all your sub-contractor approval processes, but you want to know if the facilities service provider is accredited to external industry standards like ISO9001, and to what extent. This should give you instant assurance that their standards are good enough, without you then having to spend time monitoring their performance, so your approval process should start with this question, even if it would be wise to carry out some formal assessment in the initial stages, and periodically thereafter.
- Are they able to offer national coverage across Scotland?
Essentially you want your facilities service provider to be fast and responsive and available whenever you need them. Sometimes this can be an emergency issue, or it could be in the middle of the night. So what capacity do they have to respond quickly to your facilities service needs in Glasgow, for example? What resources do they have across Scotland in places like Inverness and Aberdeen? Can they have people and equipment with you in Edinburgh when you need them? And does the standard of service remain high enough at all times?
- Do they have technical expertise?
You are outsourcing these services because you don’t have the resources in-house to do the necessary work, and while you might have people available to do things like cleaning or some security tasks, for some things you are paying for technical expertise. You probably won’t have people who can do a legionella risk assessment or a fire safety audit, for example. So you need a provider who can offer information and advice and is on top of new and changing legislation.
- Can you build a relationship?
A good working partner is someone you can trust and rely on, and someone who is adaptable to your needs. Ideally you want to build a long-term relationship with this service provider, so you could read their reviews and testimonials and try to establish how long other clients have worked with them? A long working relationship suggests this provider is trustworthy and reliable and works to a consistently high standard.
- Are they flexible?
Part of being reactive to your needs is being flexible. This means adapting a service to meet your precise requirements in terms of skills, but also in terms of time. You may need temporary site services which change from week-to-week. If a provider can’t bend to meet these changing requirements, it may lead to a problem further down the line.
- Are they accessible?
In simple terms, can you always get hold of someone for help and advice? The best facilities service providers issue you with a dedicated account manager; a lead figure who is always available and can be contacted any time. You need the peace of mind that a solution is always available, and 24/7 support for things like emergencies, breakdowns or round-the-clock security is a key feature of being a good facilities service provider in Scotland.
At Apardion we pride ourselves on meeting the brief as the perfect facilities services provider. We can work with you to be flexible and approachable, and provide a high standard of service which is tailored to your exact needs. Our list of long-term clients is testament to these high standards of consistency, so contact our team today and we can start our working relationship with you.