Is there a difference between building services and facilities management? If there is, why should I care? Before answering these questions, its first important to understand why maintenance is important.
Why Should I Carry Out Maintenance?
To flourish as a business, providing a safe and positive environment to work within is critical. Not only does it ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees, it also minimises the number of interruptions. The maintenance of the space and infrastructure, therefore, is essential to enabling your business to excel.
This maintenance isn’t optional either. There are several statutory instruments created under Section 16 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These statutory instruments require you, as employers, to carry out maintenance in line with approved codes of practices. Non-compliance can be deemed a criminal act.
There is, therefore, a key requirement on every business to manage your facilities. But when you’re looking for support, it’s important to understand the difference between Building Services and Facilities Management suppliers.
Building Services Suppliers
Building services suppliers are specialists in their chosen fields. They maintain plant such as air conditioning systems day in and day out. Moreover, building services suppliers offer exceptional knowledge and experience for specific pieces of plant. Finally, they carry out the preventative and reactive maintenance in an efficient and cost effective way.
However, this knowledge will be focused and will not extend to other areas of the facility. This means building services suppliers rarely venture outside of their comfort zone. Because facilities are complex, you will therefore need to contract several specialist building services suppliers to ensure 100% statutory compliance.
Indeed, to make this silo approach work, as a customer you need to be fully informed. You will need to know:
- which assets you need to maintain and when;
- what the going rate is for maintaining these assets;
- and who you can trust to deliver high quality workmanship.
Not only will you need to be fully informed, you’ll also need a significant amount of time available to manage multiple suppliers. You’ll need to coordinate their visits and then check that they’ve done the work correctly. This will be a drain on your valuable time that could be spent focusing on the strategic needs of your business.
Facilities Management Suppliers
True Facilities Management businesses, such as Almeda, are different to building services suppliers. Using in-house expertise or supply chain partners, Facilities Management suppliers will deliver the full range of services you require. This offers you a single point of contact, reducing the time that you need to spend managing their actions.
They also have a broad range of knowledge. They will inform you which assets need to be maintained and when, reducing the knowledge burden on you. Indeed, by bundling services, you will be able to achieve economy of scale savings as you won’t be duplicating multiple overhead costs.
By giving you an impartial, holistic overview of what is and isn’t working in your business, Facilities Management suppliers enable you to do more with what you already have:
- Finding areas to save money without impacting on performance;
- Saving you time and hassle.
Finally, more than just delivering the scope of work, companies such as Almeda offer strategic input to reduce your everyday costs of your facilities. Instead of just delivering the services, we have the understanding of how it can be run better. We offer strategic insights, advice and innovations to help reduce the through life costs of your facilities. We constantly think outside the box to see where we can add value to our customer’s environments, including:
- Identifying energy saving efficiencies and initiatives;
- Doing more with the time we have;
- Streamlining operations;
- Implementing simple solutions that present long term cost savings.
Why Should I Care?
So why should you care who you select to support you?
Building services suppliers will perform their work to a high standard, but they will only stick to their specialism. Multiple specialists will be a drain on your time and will cost more. You’ll also need to be fully informed so you can set the scope and then monitor their work. Ultimately, these challenges can be overcome, but the responsibility lies with you to manage them properly.
However, choosing the wrong building services supplier can have more serious consequences. Under qualified or inexperienced persons could do costly damage if they carry out maintenance incorrectly. Worse still, not being 100% statutory compliant leaves you open to prosecution if the worst were to happen.
Conversely, Facilities management suppliers transfer these responsibilities and risks. Externally validated by a variety of bodies, you can be assured of consistently high quality works. They also free up your time by offering a single point of contact. Moreover, facilities management suppliers replace knowledge with expertise. Overall, the right supplier will deliver added value beyond the scope of work.
Choosing the right supplier can have a significant impact on your business, enabling it to flourish.