Selecting a facility management provider is so much more than buying any other product or service. It is identifying a partner that will become a crucial part of your operations. The selection process of your facility management partner should identify five primary areas:
- Ensuring a smooth transition
- Detailed experience and how it relates to the solutions you are looking for
- Providing efficient and consistent quality services
- Implementation of technology
- Resolution of challenges
You can identify these features by asking the right questions in your request for proposal (RFP). Rather than listing a series of tasks in the RFP, your potential service provider should provide an all-encompassing solution to meet your goals and maximize cost savings.
To ask the right questions, and get the best deal for your organization, it’s important to define your scope of needs and the conditions under which those needs are to be satisfied. You know your problems the best, so ask questions that specifically request solutions to those problems. You should also consider including issues you’ve had with service providers in the past and questions that ask for solutions a new service provider would provide. The clearer you can be about needs and requirements, the better chance your bidders will propose a personalized value proposition.
Whether you are unfamiliar with the RFP process or you are looking to improve your results for an upcoming procurement process, here are some key questions to ask on your next facilities management RFP.
1. How will you ensure a smooth transition from the current service provider?
One of the most important aspects of a management plan is detailing the transition out of the existing methodology into the new methodology. Your potential facility management provider should detail a transition plan that includes a timeline and identifies key tasks to be completed. They should also have a team that is experienced in delivering successful transition plans. This plan should also include regularly scheduled meetings to share progress and concerns to adapt to the transition.
2. What is your experience in the facilities management business?
You need a partner that has a track record of providing cost-efficient, reliable services and transparent communication. In this section, they should be able to describe in detail their experience and how it directly relates to the solution you are looking for.
Additionally, you want to know about the management team and their experience in delivering similar services. Because management will be in charge of staffing, strategy and building assessments, you need seasoned management professionals to lead your facilities team. In this section of the RFP, you can ask them to provide information about their experience with larger opportunities versus small regional buildings, or their range of services and experience in niche locations, such as hospitals and data centers.
To ensure you receive an objective assessment of a potential facility management provider, request several references. Talking with existing clients of a similar size and scope of services lets you know whether the potential partner can deliver consistent, quality services. Requesting a number of case studies will also allow you to gain a stronger understanding of their service approach and client relations.
3. What certifications do you have to ensure quality and reliable service?
Although every partner claims they are skilled, having accreditations and certifications from independent third-party organizations help to validate your partner’s claims about their processes, training and tools, which in turn ensures the protection of your assets.
One of the more notable certifications for janitorial services is the Cleaning Industry Management Standard—Green Building (CIMS GB), which Able Facility Services was granted with Honors. This puts Able Services in the top one percent of all janitorial providers in the United States.
For engineering, look out for LEED certifications. Able Services maintains the first Platinum-Certified LEED EB building in the country. Since 2005, Able Services has been a member of the USGBC and provides cleaning, operations and maintenance to over 1,000 LEED certified buildings in the country.
4. How have you implemented innovation and technology into your process?
Innovation, creative solutions and technology assist in work process methodology to drive greater outcomes toward clients’ goals and compliance. Your facility management partner should utilize robust, meaningful technologies, from mobile applications and software for data reporting, to ultraviolet (UV) light robots and autonomous foggers and scrubbers.
Technology should help you further your goals and objectives. For example, because 13 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial buildings, you also want to know about the service provider’s commitment to innovative technologies that contribute to sustainability.
5. What challenges has your organization experienced in the past, and how have you resolved them?
When a provider works in many geographies across industries, it's likely they have experienced adversity in their operations. By asking them about past challenges, you are providing them an opportunity to show how they have overcome obstacles, backing up their claims about methodology and experience. It can also reveal how well they understand you and your needs, demonstrating early alignment between the organizations.
A Facility Management Partner with the Right Answers
While there are more questions and criteria your potential facility management partner should satisfy, these are some of the most important to discuss with your team when making a selection. Ultimately, you want your service provider to be committed to providing your employees a safe and healthy environment while optimizing the workplace experience to enhance productivity and job satisfaction.
If you want to discuss your needs with a trusted, experienced partner, request a quote from the Able Services team today.